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Faltin “Valentine” Olsen – Brown’s Grove Cemetery, Burdett, Pawnee County, Kansas


Faltin “Valentine” Olsen spent his youth in Norway where fishing was the main industry. As a young man, he worked on fishing boats and later on sailing ships. Valentine was able to see many foreign ports and even sailed around Cape Horn in South America. After several years of adventure, he debarked at San Francisco and headed to Pawnee County, Kansas. His brother Lars was living there.


Faltin “Valentine” Olsen was born in Norway in 1854. He was the second of nine children. Older brother, Lars, and younger brothers Martin, Knud, and Sivert came to Canada in 1880. Knud and Sivert remained in Canada where they married, had children, and are buried.


Lars moved to Pawnee County about 1885. Valentine spent some time with his brother and decided he was ready to settle down. He sent for his fiancé, Nellie Halvorsdtr who was in Norway. She left Norway, sailed into New York harbor, and took a train to Larned. The two were married in Garfield on May 9, 1886. The couple settled in a dugout six miles south and three miles east of Burdett. Ten sons and two daughters were born on their homestead.

Their oldest son was bitten by a rattlesnake and died. He was nine years old and is buried in Selig Cemetery. Their second child, Ole, married Marie Regnier. Ole died in 1919 from the influenza pandemic and is buried in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Hodgeman County. He was 30 years old.


Valentine died of Bright’s disease with symptoms beginning four years earlier. He passed away in 1910 at the age of 56. He is buried in Brown’s Grove Cemetery with two sons, their spouses, and many grandchildren.


The rest of the story: Nellie moved to Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington to live with two of her children. While living there, she married Valentine’s brother Martin in 1922. Martin’s wife had passed away in 1917 and is buried in Canada. Nellie died in 1946 and shares a stone with Martin in Bellingham.


Note: Bright’s disease which is now known as nephritis which is an inflammation of the kidneys.



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