Eileen Kinnick

Smith Olson

The little white house that sits east of the big barn

Arrows point toward the little white house, south of State Highway 141.

This picture from the Garst & Thomas Hybrid Corn Company

50th anniversary book (1980) - their South Plant, built in 1974, is in the foreground.


Eileen wrote the following on Sept 19, 1997, to Steve (presummably Hansen, the UMC minister):

In regard to the little white house that sits east of Shirbroun's big barn; My grandpa Sorensen & 4 children came here from Denmark in 1912 [1].My mother, Dorothy, married my Dad, Paul H. Kinnick in 1914. Rasmus Nielsen (a relative of Jens Jensen) came a little later. My Aunt Louise Sorensen lived with her Dad (my grandfather) & he built that little house [2] for them to live in & run a dairy. Rasmus married Louise & they had 3 children born in that little house: Karl Nielsen, lives south of Coon & drove a CRB bus until 2 years ago, Howard Nielsen, lives in Omaha, Paul Nielsen, who commited suicide 10 years ? ago. Darrell Nielsen, Glidden, is another brother & they had 4 girls, too. My Dad had uncle Lem Williams, the iceman, build the stucco house & Leo Kinnick & I were born there - Leo in 1917 & I came along in 1918. Buzz was born in 1928 on Main Street where Irene Fick lives.

Hope you enjoy the little bit of history, Eileen Kinnick Smith Olson


[1] The Sorensens came to Iowa from Denmark to the Adair/Guthrie county area a few years years earlier (1905), perhaps moved to Coon Rapids in 1912.

[2] I asked Leo Kinnick in a letter about the little white house. This is how he replied (August 2000): "The first little house on the West just past the the bridge is where Rasmus and Louise lived in the 1920s. My folks, Eileen and I, lived in the second house on the West side. It was a 2 story stucco & Frances Shirbroun use to live in it. I started school in 1922 when we lived there. Can you believe I walked to school from there? I dropped by lunch box off the bridge once into the water."

Mrs. Sorensen had died in 1906, less than a year after she came from Denmark. In 1912, Louise, the youngest child, would have been 18 years old. She and Rasmus were married in Jun 1919.

 The Sorensen Family, about 1900-1901, in Denmark:

In back, Chris (b. 1890), Dorothy (b. 1888), Delma (b. 1891)

In front, mother, Jensene, Louise (b. 1894), father, Lauritz


Uncle Lem Williams, the iceman

From the Coon Rapids Enterprise

I sent a copy of this picture to Leo Kinnick, Eileen's brother, in Tucson. He responded (Aug 2000) about it in this way: "That could be me on the wagon seat. That is the kind of wagon we used to take ice to Armours and ice freight cars. We would use the same horse & I would lead it to pull up baskets of ice like hay into a hay mow. I have no recollection of the other boy."

Page created July 19, 1999, Last Updated August 10, 2000, William L. Smith, Web Manager