|Name} Olson, Henry John||Family History} Olson|
|Title}||Race} White||Sex} Male|
|Birth: Date} Fam 31 Jan 1880||Place} Spring Valley, Lincoln, Nevada|
|Marr.: Date} Exa 20 Jun 1906||Place} Ontario, San Bernardino, California (Link)|
|Death: Date} Exa 9 May 1934 C||Place} At home, 420 N. Second St., Alhambra, Los Angeles, California|
|Burial: Date} Exa 12 May 1934||Place} San Gabriel Cemetery, San Gabriel, Los Angeles, California|
|Grave Marker} Yes||
|Parents: } Hans Olson & Mary Staheli|
Relationship No.} 4
|1st Household No.} 21 = Spring Valley, Nevada|
| Occupation 1} Carpenter |
Occupation 2} Laborer
Noble, Amy Susan|
Total Number of} 1
|Notes: Henry was born 31 Jan 1880 in Spring Valley, Nevada, a small mining town, and moved
with his family to Jacksonville, Oregon. Moving overland by wagon, his family resettled
in Alhambra, California in late 1882, when he was about two and a-half years old. |
Henry first attended a little school on the corner of Chapel and Beacon Streets.   He later attended Garfield Public School when it was opened in 1886. He was a member of the first graduating class in June 1895. Years later, both of his children, and then all seven of his grandchildren attended Garfield. As there was no additional schooling in Alhambra, he attended Los Angeles State Normal School in downtown Los Angeles. This is where he probably met Amy Noble, his future wife. In later years, he was a member of the Alhambra Board of Education.
Alhambra in those days consisted of a few scattered farm houses, while in the village there were two stores, and a blacksmith shop. The Post Office was located in the general store. Paved streets were unknown, the village roads being nothing but dusty country roads. A natural lake north of the village was the old swimming pool; and quail and other wild game were hunted by Henry and his brothers for food. Nearly everyone rode bicycles, and bicycle races were common entertainment. When Garfield Avenue was cut south from the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks (which went to the Pacific Ocean), Hans Olson, his father, planted ornamental camphor trees along the thoroughfare. It was Henry's job to carry the water to keep the trees alive.
As a young man, Henry was quite the ladies man, and he and his friends and family held and attended many parties and picnics. The newspapers of the day were filled with the local social events. In 1899, he was a founder and treasurer of the Eccentric Bachelor Club, and chairman of its Soldier's Reception Committee. He was second tenor in a quartet, and also entertained with his violin. The violin is currently in my possession.
Henry apprenticed as a carpenter in his youth, and after his schooling began as an employee in a lumber yard. In 1905, he established the Alhambra Planing Mill at the corner of Second Street and Woodbury Avenue. In 1914, the wooden building was destroyed by fire, a total loss as he had no insurance. He immediately rebuilt it, this time out of metal, seen in photograph at right. The planing mill was greatly needed by the growing city, and it was equipped with all of the modern machinery necessary for the building industry.
On 20 June 1906, he married Amy Noble, and they became the parents of two children, Donald and Agnes.;  The family is seen in the photograph at left in 1911 when Agnes was a baby. Agnes died at the age of eighteen years. Donald went to the California Institute of Technology at Pasadena, later taking over the planing mill when Henry died.
Henry was a member of the Free and Accepted Masons, Alhambra Lodge, No. 322,; the Royal Arch Masons, San Gabriel Valley Chapter, No. 100; Order of Knights Templar Alhambra Commandery, No. 48; Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (the "Shriners"), Al Malaikah Temple at Los Angeles; Knights of Pythias, Alhambra Lodge No. 127; and the Alhambra Kiwanis Club. I have in my possession his various pins for these organizations, and his ceremonial Masonic sword and scabbard.
In the 1900 U.S. census, Henry was living with his parents and all of his brothers and sisters on Wilson Avenue in Alhambra. He built the home, shown in the photograph at right, for his own family just next door, at 340 Wilson Avenue. (Wilson Avenue's name was later changed to Atlantic Avenue.) The 1910 and 1920 U.S. census records show the family living there. In 1996, the house was still there and occupied.
Henry registered for the World War draft on 12 Sep 1918. He was 38 years old at the time, married, with two children, and the owner his own mill. He was described as being of medium height and build, with blue eyes and brown hair.
About 1922, Henry built the large family home at 420 North Second Street in Alhambra, shown in the photo at left. The 1923 Alhambra Directory lists him and his wife, and presumably children, living there. The 1930 U.S. census records Henry, Amy, and Don living there. Agnes died in 1929 at the age of eighteen, but living with them is his mother Mary Staheli Olson, and nephew Maurice Noble.
In 1925, Henry, with the help of the his family, built the family's vacation cabin in the village at Mt. Baldy, in the nearby San Gabriel mountains. This was used by all members of their extended family and their friends. The photographs at the right show Amy supervising the work, and the cabin after a snowstorm.
Henry died at home on 9 May 1934 at the age of 54. Cause of death was renal tuberculosis. At the the time of his death he was the proprietor of the Alhambra Planning Mill. He is buried Olson family plot in the San Gabriel Cemetery, along with his wife and daughter Agnes.
|Time of Birth}||Time of Death} 11:00 a.m.||Fraternal/Social} Masons; Kiwanis|
|Confirm. Date}||Photo} Henry in 1916|
|Immigr'n Date} N/A||Port} N/A|
|Education: Grade} Garfield Elem. or Top 2 Degrees} L.A. Normal|
|Military: Service} None|
|Health Condition} Tuberculosis
Cause of Death} Renal failure
|Copyright © 2005 - 2014 by Karen L. Hancock. All Rights Reserved.|
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