This page is a text version of the Forest to Field History Book. You can purchase a PDF copy of the book in our online store. The PDF copy is an exact page by page representation of the original book. This text version has been reformated for the web and contains text recognition mistakes. These mistakes do not appear in the purchased version. The purchased version also includes each image in the original book.

Page Index of Forest to Field Volume One

Previous - Page 566 or Next - Page 568

Matt Olsen


by Lil Wilmot

Olaf and Louisa, nee Nielson, came to Canada in 1904. They made their first home with Louisa's sister and brother-in-law, Anna and Axel Ramgren. After a short stay with their relatives, they found employment with a bachelor, Peter Peterson on S.W. 31-17-17W in the Rural Municipality of Clanwilliam. Olaf and Louisa worked for Mr. Peterson as housekeeper and farmhand until Olaf was able to get property of his own.

In August, 1907, they were able to buy N.E. 18-17- 17W, property previously homesteaded by a Matt Blomberg. They kept sheep, had a few cows, chickens and Louisa always had a large garden. Olaf had poor health in his later years but they continued to live there until their demise.

Olaf Olson Family. Left to Right: Maja, Olaf, Louisa and A/bin.

Olaf passed away in 1930, at the age of 58. Louisa passed away in 1938, at the age of 62. Both are buried in the Hilltop cemetery. There were three children;

Nels "Albin" was born in Sweden, came to Canada with his parents at the age of eight and a half. He at­ tended Hilltop school. In 1917, he started work on the C.P.R. until 1928, when he came home to help his mother on the farm. He worked at various jobs through the years. At present he is a resident of Central Park Lodge, Brandon, and enjoys good health.

Vendla Marie (Maja) was four years old when she arrived in Canada with herparents. She attended school at Hilltop, and went to work in Brandon where she met and married Lorne Hurd, an employee of the C.N.R. They raised seven children. Maja passed away in 1942.

Linnea was born in Canada June 11, 1914, and at­ tended school in Hilltop. She spent quite a number of years at home helping her mother on the farm after which time she went to Brandon where she met and married George Steffins, also a C.N.R. employee. They con­ tinued to live in Brandon until George's demise. Linnea moved to Vancouver where she now resides.


by Elvera Shellborn

Olov was born in Aspas, Jamtland, Sweden, January 21, 1886. He arrived May, 1907, at Stockholm, Saskatchewan at the age of 21 years unable to either speak or to understand English. He started work for a Norwegian farmer and his first Canadian experience was to cut wood and haul it home with oxen, the road going by a slough and instead of going on the road, the oxen went right into the water where they had seen some green stalks. He had to wait until the oxen had finished eating before continuing home. Enough of the oxen, he then went to work with another Swede, John Anderson. He later met and became good friends with Andrew Jacobson.

In 1909, when the first elevator "Northern" was built, he worked on that. In the summers he worked on elevator construction making his home with A. Jacobson in the winters and together they cut logs on "six" in Scan­ dinavia.

Because he was used to working at heights on elevator construction he erected the steeple on the Bethlehem Lutheran Church.

He was a carpenter by trade from Sweden and many of the summer homes at Clear Lake in the Riding Mountain National Park were built by him. He also built his own home in Erickson before his marriage to Margaret Ehlin Booth, December 5th, 1922. Margaret was the widow of Charles Booth and had one child, Mary. Olov and Margaret lived in this home for 53 years and it is believed to be one of the oldest houses in Erickson continuously occupied and owned by the same family in the Village. The lots were bought from Mr. Peter Abel when the latter subdivided his homestead in 1921 or 1922. He also owned lot 14 block 4-17-18 and in 1918 the assessment was $50.00. This lot is still in the family and is presently owned by a daughter Elvera Shellborn and the assessment