Als - Vårst - Rural Iowa


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Als - Vårst - Rural Iowa.


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There's No Place Like Home

The 1858 birthplace of Jeppe Nielsen on the island of Als off southeastern Jutland (Sønderborg County) was a typical half-timbered cottage with a thatched roof. The structure has been preserved to the present, as can be seen from this modern photograph, where the house is called, appropriately, “The Old House.”

Jeppe’s wife, Else K. Nielsen, was born on the Næsbygaard farm in Vaarst in Aalborg County in 1856.

After immigrating around 1882 the Nielsens met and married, changed their name to Nelson, and lived for over three decades on a farm in Polk Township, northwest of Kimballton, Iowa. Rural life certainly did not mean roughing it, as can be seen in the lower photograph! In 1929 Jeppe and Else moved into the town of Harlan, where they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and saw many family gatherings.


  • Als. Photograph courtesy of Herbert Nelson.

  • U.S. Photograph courtesy of Herbert Nelson.


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