Carsten Nickelson, one of the early settlers and well known farmers and stockmen of Comanche-co., is a few months past 64 years of age, and 39 of those years have been spent in this county. He came early and has never shown any regret that he came or that he stayed on when others were leaving the county. The story of his life is one of constant struggle, of hard work and of planning to build up for himself and his family a home, and success has crowned his efforts. Here, in brief, is the story of his life.
Mr. Nickelson was born on June 13, 1859, in the northwestern part of Germany, within 7 miles of the line between Germany and Denmark. His father was a brick mason, and was said to be one of the best workmen in that part of the country. He did work not only throughout Germany, but also in various parts of Denmark. Young Carsten worked with him and he, also, soon became a good workman and went with his father quite frequently. He says that the most he or his father ever received while in Germany was $1.50 per day, but recalls that, as a young man, he worked eight months for the sum of $5 for the entire time.
Carsten served a few years in the German army, and he says that he never did have very much fancy for the life of a soldier. His brother, Andy, was even more opposed to the German system of militarism, so he decided to come to America. That was about the year 1879. Andy located in or near New York City and secured employment at reasonably good wages. His letters to the family in Germany were quite encouraging, so within a few years, Carsten and his sister, now Mrs. Lars Nielson, decided to come to America also. Carsten had saved enough money to pay their passage ($25 each). Two weeks were required in which to make the trip. Upon landing in New York, Carsten was not long in securing work, first as a gardener and farm hand and later as a bricklayer. Not long afterwards, the remainder of the family came to America, and soon they all decided to come further west. Andy and Carsten settled in Topeka, and there secured work on the Santa Fe railroad. By the strictest kind of economy, they managed to save a few hundred dollars each, and then they decided to come to Comanche-co., where there were numerous chances to secure clean homes. They arrived here in March, 1885, and were not long in securing claims. Carsten located in the southern part of Logan-tp., while his brother and parents located in Kiowa-co., but all finally moved to this county.
Mr. Nickelson and his wife, who, before her marriage on April 26, 1892, was Miss Carrie Schenk, were among the number who had enough faith in Comanche-co. to stay with it. At an early day they put a good portion of their earnings into young cattle, and in that way began to get not only a good start in cattle but eventually more land. Now they have several hundred acres of ranch and farm land in this county, also a good ranch near Freedom, Okla. Their ranches are well stocked with Aberdeen Angus cattle and each year Mr. Nickelson turns a good bunch of young cattle at top prices. He and his sons are demonstrating that pluck, perseverance and the right kind of economy will eventually win out in Comanche-co., as elsewhere.
Emma Katherine (Nickelson) Purkey, daughter of Carsten Nickelson.
A Strange Coincidence in the Purkey Family -- The Western Star , June 27, 1947. Jimmie, Chester and Harold Purkey were the grandchildren of Mr. & Mrs. Carsten Nickelson.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!
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