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Memorable Manitobans: Carl Jonas Olson (1884-1951)

Cleric, businessman.

Born at Minneota, Minnesota on 24 November 1884, son of Jonas Olson and Katrin Magnusdottir, he was educated at the public school of Lincoln County, Minnesota, the Gustavus Adolphus College at St. Peter’s, Minnesota, and the Academy College of Theology at Chicago Lutheran Seminary. His father and mother came to America from Iceland in 1881 and established a farmstead in Minnesota. Olson passed through college and was graduated from the Lutheran Seminary at Chicago, being ordained a minister of the Lutheran Church in 1911.

His first call was to the Lutheran Church in Gimli, Manitoba, where he met and, in 1913, married Olaf Sveinfridur. In 1918, after the births of two daughters, Katrin Margaret and Ingibjorg Lillian, the family moved to Saltcoats, Saskatchewan, a mainly Scottish settlement east of Yorkton, where Olson served the Methodist Church. The years 1920 to1922 were spent in Lancer, Saskatchewan. In 1922 he left the ministry for due to his wife’s ill health. By 1923, he was a District Manager with the London Life Insurance Company and had moved to Brandon. In 1925 his wife died. By August of 1927 Reverend Olson was back in Saskatchewan where he served the Lutheran Church in several towns along the railway line from the family residence in Wynyard. They remained in Saskatchewan until 1930 when Reverend Olson was called to the Central Lutheran Church in Seattle. He served in Seattle until 1935. He later served in Flin Flon, Manitoba; Stamford, Nebraska; and Columbus, Nebraska.

He died in Nebraska in 1951 and is buried in Selkirk, Manitoba.


Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

We thank Louise Olson, granddaughter of C. J. Olson, for additional information used in this profile.

Page revised: 12 May 2008

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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