Ole Olson

Ole Olson was born in Norway, and came to the United States with his parents, Ingrid and Anders Olson. Ole and his wife, Augusta, and their son, Albert, lived in the North Dakota towns of Granville and Norwich for many years.

While he was in Granville, Ole ran a meat market for awhile, and later bought a motel with a restaurant. Successful in the hotel business, he sold the building in Granville and bought a hotel in Norwich. This hotel also had a restaurant, one that was known for serving good food, and which was a popular place for people to meet.

Often, any conversation with Ole involved wrestling. Wrestling was a popular sport in the pioneer days, and Ole was known locally as a wrestler. He was 6-feet tall, and weighed 325 pounds. There was an outdoor ring set up in a grove just west of the Norwich Depot. While wrestling, Ole was sometimes billed as "The Terrible Swede", "The Human Derrick", or "Big Giant Olson". He even employed a publicity agent.

The Minot Daily News of July 28, 1903 stated, "What promises to be the greatest wrestling match ever witnessed by a Minot audience is scheduled for Friday evening in the Jacobson opera house, when Frank Gotch will make an effort to throw Big Giant Olson."

Big Giant Olson won that match.

Ole Olson appeared in the ring in several towns, including Devils Lake, Grand Forks, and Fargo. He was said to have won more matches than he lost.

About 1919, Ole and his family moved to Canada, making their home at Crow's Nest, Alberta, where Ole was the engineer of a train that transported coal. He found that he loved the mountains and the forest, so he remained there until his death at the age of seventy-nine.

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