Ole J. Kirkhus was born in Norway, September 24, 1850, a son of John and
Elizabeth (Olson) Kirkhus, and one of a family of ten children. Of this
family six are still living, three having died in infancy and one at the age
of eighteen years. Three of the sons and one daughter reside in this
country. The father was a farmer, and on a farm in his native land Ole J.
spent his youthful days.
May 18, 1869, before he reached his twentieth year, he bade good-by to home and friends and started for America, having borrowed the money with which to pay his passage to this country. His father could have helped him at this time, but as the family was large and our subject was of an independent disposition, he preferred not to ask assistance at home. It is needless to say that as soon as possible after he came to this country he repaid the debt. Landing at Quebec, he came thence by rail to Chicago and from there to Ottawa, where he secured work as a farm hand. For three years he was engaged in farm work, as a wage-earner, and then in 1873 he married and settled on a rented farm in Adams township, LaSalle county, the one which he now owns and occupies. After renting this farm three years he removed to Earl township, in the same county, where he rented land and lived the next three years, then returning to the first farm, which he bought in 1880 and where he has since lived. Here he owns one hundred and six acres, well improved and under an excellent state of cultivation, the result of his hard work and good management.
Mr. Kirkhus married a woman of his own nationality, Isabelle Gunderson, who came with her parents to America when she was six months old. Her father, Thomas Gunderson, was one of the early settlers of LaSalle county, Illinois, having located at an early day on the farm now owned and occupied by Mr. Kirkhus. Mr. and Mrs. Kirkhus have six children.
Politically Mr. Kirkhus is a Republican, and has served his district as a school director. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America.
Extracted 13 May 2019 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois, published in 1900, volume 2, pages 606-607.