America can boast of no better, more patriotic citizens than the sons of
old Norway, and Illinois and the great northwest recognize them as extremely
important factors in the development and progress of this splendid region.
Almost without exception they are industrious, peaceable, law-abiding
citizens, and in these respects few countries can compete with Norway.
Prominent among the early settlers of LaSalle county were the Jamesons, who
for more than thirty years have been numbered among the enterprising
agriculturists of this flourishing section of the state.
The father of the subject of this article was Sivert Jameson, a son of Gudman Jameson, and a native of the island of Skudesness, on the western coast of Norway, born May 16, 1826. When he was twenty-seven years of age he married Rachel Christopherson, and to them were born the following named children: Gabriel M.; Rastus; Annie, wife of Knute Holt, of Iowa; Maggie; Rachel, wife of Richard Thorgerson, of Chicago; Martha, who married John Watnem, of Dayton township, LaSalle county; Laura, wife of B. Johnson, of Freedom; Ollie, bookkeeper for the firm of Skinner, Richards & Company, of Chicago: and Miss Nellie.
Until he was forty years of age, Sivert Jameson struggled to gain an honest livelihood for himself and family by farming and fishing, as was the custom of the people of his country. Largely through his own persistent efforts he obtained a little education, and, having given particular attention to the subject of the United States and its development, its resources and industrial conditions, he at length determined to seek a home in the land which ever has extended a warm welcome to the honest sons of toil. When he landed on these hospitable shores he was better versed in the politics and duties of citizens here than some of the native-born sons of the countrv, and he had made up his mind to uphold the laws and do all within his power to promote the prosperity of the nation. On the 1st of June, 1866, with his six children, he stepped from the deck of the sailing vessel which had conveyed them from Stavanger, Norway, to Quebec, and thence proceeded by railroad to Chicago. There he remained for one month, and then went to Leland, Illinois, where he rented a house, and, having safely installed his family therein, he commenced working by the day, as his scanty funds were in need of replenishment. In the following spring he rented an eighty-acre farm of Charles Wiley, who was so impressed by the industry and spirit of his tenant that he said to him one day that summer, "I want to sell you this farm;" and when Mr. Jameson replied, "I am not able to pay for it," Mr. Wiley told him that he would sell the property for two hundred dollars in cash, and the remainder might be paid for on as easy terms as he desired. Mr. Jameson accepted the condition, and, in due time the farm was deeded to him. After owning the place for eight years he sold it to Theodore McClure, and purchased two hundred and forty acres in Wallace township, making a fine country home there.
Gabriel M. Jameson was born near Stavanger, Norway, March 21, 1852, and was a lad of fourteen when he came to LaSalle county. After learning the details of farming on the parental homestead, he worked for three years by the month, and with the carefully saved earnings of this period later bought an eighty-acre tract of land from his father. There he began his independent family life and resided there until 1898, when he sold that property and bought the Rowe estate in Freedom township. He is improving this farm and is making a success of his business undertakings, as he generally does.
The first wife of Mr. Jameson was Amelia, daughter of Matthias Sawyer. They were married in February, 1881, and in September, 1884, the wife died, leaving two children — Raymond and Merton. In January, 1896, Mr. Jameson married Mary Thomson, a daughter of Thorn Thomson, and they became the parents of two children, Fremont and Marian. Mrs. Jameson was summoned to the silent land in August, 1898, and her loss has been deeply felt by all who had the pleasure of her acquaintance.
Extracted 19 Dec 2018 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois, published in 1900, volume 2, pages 565-567.