The Daily Journal from Fergus Falls, Minnesota on September 7, 1974 · Page 5
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The Daily Journal from Fergus Falls, Minnesota · Page 5

Fergus Falls, Minnesota
Issue Date:
Saturday, September 7, 1974
Page 5
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Olson built most of the (hairs, as well as all the buildings on his farm. Olson's farm, three miles east of Fergus Falls Walter Olson, conservation winner By BILL BANK Area News Editor Walter 0. Olson has made a great number of very comfortable chairs over the years, but he seldom finds the time to sit in them. For the past 34 years he's been building his CO-acre farm into one of the most handsome, productive spreads in the county. • In recognition of his efforts he has been named West Otter Tail Soil Conservation District conservation award winner for 1974. The contest places a priority on the land user developing a definite plan of good land use and applying that plan, says Larry Streif, conservationist for the district. Olson bought the farm, located about three miles east of Fergus Falls on Highway 210, back in 1941. His roots in the county run much deeper than that, however. His grandparents were early pioneers in the county and his grandfather, Fred Ellwanger, served in the Civil War. "I still have his discharge papers," Walter says. Olson became a co-operator with the West Otter Tail Soil and Water Conservation District in 1946. Ribbons of hay and pasture land have been landmarks in the area for many years, Streif says. Nineteen contour strips have been laid out, flanked by 150 evergreens Olson planted in the early fifties. "I sold a prize cow that year and decided to use the money to plant trees in memory of her," Olson said. He's also planted a few fruit trees. Olson himself built most of the buildings on the farm, including the two-story farmhouse erected in 1960. He's also built a playhouse for the kids, a bam, a well house, a brooder house, two garages and a workshop. Just as nature abhors a vacuum, Walter Olson abhors an unpainted building. Every structure on the property gleams with fresh paint. "It makes sense to paint often," Olson says. "The wood lasts that much longer. I've painted every building this year; wood is just too high-priced not to take care of, you know." Walter knows a good deal about wood. He's found a wide variety around the county, some of it quite rare, which he takes to his workshop to fashion furniture. Precision power tools help him shape tables, chairs, bookcases and other adornments for his house. He's found black walnut, cherry, black birch and a little sumac in his forays throughout the county. "It's there," Olson says, "if you just know where to look." He and his wife, Olga, also know where to look for fine china and cut glass. Their home is filled with antiques they've found at auctions in the area over the years. Olson had a top dairy herd for many years before an allergy forced him to sell the herd in 1967. One of his animals, a bull, weighed 3,000 pounds, Olson says. He took it to the state fair which turned out to be a disaster. "He was just a two-year-old, you know," Olson relates. "He didn't co-operate—got homesick—and wouldn't eator drink anything. He just went haywire." Olson eventually sold the animal for breeding in southern Minnesota. He stopped actively farming in 1967 and now rents out his farm. It's been said by some that Olson could take more out of his 80 acres than some can take out of 200. He won't admit to that, but does admit to filling two silos with corn from a six-acre piece of land one year. Reflection in a silver bad . (Journal photos by Harley Oyloe and Bill Bank) Walter and Olga Olson Fergus Falls (Mn.) Journal Sat., Sept. 7,1974 10 VOTE - VOTE -VOTE - VOTE - VOTE - VOTE - VOTE - VOTE - VOTE The Wilkin County DFL is proud cf its ENDORSED Candidate for the Minnesota Legislature. DFL KEITH LANGSETH VOTE TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 You May Register at the Polls PAID ADVERTISEMENT - For Keilh LBngseth. prepared ar*d pa^d 'or at reqjlar as verl.yr*g rj'esfcy W.I* n County DFL. D : ck Heide-ran. Breckemidge.treasurer VOTE - VOTE - VOTE - VOTE - VOTE - VOTE - VOTE - VOTE - VOTE DFL Elect... Robert W. (Bob) MATTSON STATE AUDITOR • Director, St. Paul Office of Consumer Protection • Opposed '56.7 Million Bell Telephone Rate • Proposed Constitutional Amendment to Freeze Sales and Income Tax • Experienced and Proven Public Servant POLITICAL ADVERTISING Procured, ordered r>-f. ••"-( m.r'ce. J01S fiOfd'mr Place. SI Pj«jl. V ri SS'lA

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