Denmark, economy, family, settlements


Discontent was rife in nineteenth-century Denmark, to be sure, but why would a prosperous, locally prominent individual like Christian Poul Christiansen choose to take his wife and family and leave their native land forever? Economic necessity did not drive them out into the wide world. "It was asserted that Christiansen brought along from Denmark around $20,000," wrote Rasmus Jurgens in Danske i Amerika in 1908.1 "This family is very wealthy. Through their influence, Randall Station was established, three miles north of Story City, in Hamilton County, [Iowa]. They built a store here and ran a general store, later a lumber yard, grain elevator, and bank. The son, George P. Christiansen, is now the leading figure in these businesses. He was born in Denmark in the year [1863] and was thus four years old when he came here. He has been elected twice to represent Hamilton County in the Iowa Legislature."