ANDREW B. OLESON
Vol. 5, p. 1906
The present mayor of the City of Chandler is one of the pioneer white settlers of Oklahoma Territory, having been identified with this country more than twenty years. Mr. Oleson has been a resident of Chandler for the past twelve years, and as a business man conducts the office of mayor on business principles, with emphasis on efficiency and with an impartial administration for the benefit of all concerned. Mr. Olson came to Oklahoma in 1892 with the tide of home-seekers that made Oklahoma famous in those days. He was first located on the Sac and Fox Reservations.
A. B. Oleson was born in Norway, July 9, 1845, of a family noted for industry, thrift and physical and mental vigor. His parents were Bertel and Angie Oleson, his father dying at the age of seventy-five and his mother still living at ninety-two. His father was a farmer and there were five sons and five daughters in the family.
Mayor Oleson grew up on a farm, received a wholesome training in body as well as mind, and leaving school at the age of fifteen became a sailor before the mast, and spent five years in sailing about the world. In 1867, at the age of twenty-two, he came to America and located at Madison, Wisconsin, where he was employed in the carpenter's trade. He did some general railroad work and later was a builder and contractor, and in that business laid the foundation for his substantial prosperity. He was in Western Kansas for a time, erected some courthouses and other important buildings, lived in Iowa, later in Princeton, Illinois, and for several years was a building contractor for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. Later he returned to Iowa, and in 1886 located in Kansas, where he did an extensive business as a building contractor. He afterwards took some large contracts from railroads, lived in Pueblo, Colorado, for a time, and in 1892 came to Oklahoma. Since moving to this state he has performed a number of important contracts in building, including courthouses, business blocks, private residences and other structures. He was superintendent of the courthouse here, which was built in 1907. He has been quite successful in his operations and owns 160 acres of land in this county, also his home and three houses in Chandler, which he rents, besides city and farm property in other parts of the state.
In 1872 Mr. Oleson married Elizabeth HILDEBRAND, a native of New Jersey, and she died here in 1913 when sixty-two years of age. To their marriage were born six children, four sons and two daughters. Those still living are: Ben, a business man at Sapulpa, Oklahoma; Harry of Chandler; Ann, who married Tom JESSEM, of Dakota; Edward Charles of Sapulpa, Oklahoma; and Ella, at home.
Mr. Oleson has always been a stanch supporter of the Republican Party. For the past forty years he has been connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and in whatever relation he has stood with business or with the community has exemplified a thorough integrity and a high degree of public spirit. He is a member of the Lutheran Church.
SOURCE: Thoburn, Joseph B., A Standard History of Oklahoma, An Authentic Narrative of its Development, 5 v. (Chicago, New York: The American Historical Society, 1916).
Transcribed by Peg Luce, April 2001.