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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published by John M. Gresham & Co. in 1891.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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OLOF A. OLSON, a member of the Chatauqua county bar, is a son of Olof H. Svensson and Johanna (Anderson) Svensson, and was born in Skarbolstorp, Kil Parish, Vermland, Sweden, December 17, 1851. He attended the common schools in Sweden, and, in 1868, emigrated from that country to the United States, and located at Jamestown, New York, where he read law with Barlow & Green, and, in 1874, he entered the Albany (New York) law school, from which he was graduated the next year, having studied nearly seven years. He returned to Jamestown, intending to practice his profession, but clientage coming slowly, he joined the ranks of the pedagogues, in order that he might add to his income while he established a practice. In 1883 he was appointed a notary public at Jamestown, and the performance of the duties thereby incumbent upon him, together with his legal practice, leave him but little time to conduct his private classes in his evening school.

In 1874 he took the first step, and a prominent part, in the organization of a company whose object was to publish a Swedish weekly paper in the interests of the Swedish citizens of Jamestown. He was manager of the paper, called the People’s Voice, from July 1 to December 31, 1875. The name was afterward changed to Our New Home, and the journal is now ranked among the prominent Swedish papers published in the country, and has a circulation of about five thousand. He was, in 1873, one of the originators of the scheme to establish a circulating library among his fellow-countrymen. This library, which was established in 1873, was much used for a time in Jamestown, and has been productive of much good among the class whom it was intended to benefit. By these philanthropic efforts to advance their educational interests, Olof A. Olson has endeared himself to the hearts of his countrymen, and so thoroughly have they appreciated his endeavors, that when, in 1878, his health became so much impaired that his medical advisors insisted on a sea voyage as the only means of its restoration, the expenses of his trip to Paris, which he himself would have been unable at that time to meet, were defrayed by his Swedish friends and admirers, who were well pleased to have an opportunity to show how highly they valued his labors in their behalf. He returned much benefited in health, and threw himself with zealous interest into the practice of law and teaching, and the fickle goddess of fortune has opened wide her arms to receive him. His abilities are recognized as of a high order, and his time is now fully engaged. Mr. Olson also ranks high as a violin player. His practice in the law consists chiefly of office work. An only brother, Johan, is a teacher in Sweden.

Mr. Olson is a gentleman, and is a recognized leader among his countrymen, and is also respected and honored by the entire population of Jamestown, who recognize in him one worthy of it.

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This family biography is one of 658 biographies included in Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York published in 1891. 

View additional Chautauqua County, New York family biographies here: Chautauqua County, New York Biographies

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