Olson & Sons Meat Market fonds. — 1912-. — 4 cm of textual records. — 1 photographs.
John Olson was born in Oslo, Norway March 3, 1885 and started his life-long career as a butcher while there. In 1906 John traveled to the U.S.A. where he attended Park Region Lutheran College in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and later worked in Havre, Montana. John’s next trip took him to the Peace Country where he settled in Peace River, Alberta. While there John, along with partner Henry Jarry, opened up a butcher shop in 1918.
John met his future wife Mary Reierson while she was working at the local R.C.M.P. office. Mary had traveled from Minnesota in 1921 and settled with her family in the Grouard area. It was at work that Mary was introduced to John and in November of 1922 they were married. In 1925, with the decision to expand the butcher business, John & Mary moved to Sexsmith. The Olsons bought the existing business of William Tarvey’s as well the whole building on Railroad Avenue which included a butcher, barber shop and a pool hall.
Four children were born to John and Mary. Their eldest son Harold arrived in Peace River, with children David, Roald and Marie born in Sexsmith.
Olson’s was truly a family business; John had all his sons working in the butcher shop and eventually the shop was called Olson & Sons Meat Market Ltd.
John was involved with the community; in 1928 he was elected Mayor of Sexsmith and was on hand when electricity was installed the next year.
John was an avid skier and instrumental in developing a ski jump one mile east of town where several ski events were held in conjunction with winter carnivals.
In November 1972 John & Mary celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in the Memorial Hall. John passed away in 1976.
The records were donated by the Sexsmith & District Pioneer Museum Sept. 13, 2013.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of 2 hand-written accounts books belonging to John Olson, who established Olson & Sons Meat Market in Sexsmith: a 1928 cash book for the meat market, and a notebook used by John Olson when attending the Lutheran College in 1912-1913. There is also one photograph of a 4-H Beef Steer purchased by Olsons ca. 1980.
Accession No. 2013.55
Title based on the contents of the fonds.
Biographical Sketch based on historical information from “Wagon Trails Grown Over”.