Niels Andersen, born Feb. 9, 1887, came to New Yorkon the vessel New York from Wenne Bjerg, Denmark on Jan. 2, 1914. He came with the encouragement from his Uncle J. L. Andersen, who was his sponsor from America, and settled in Wolbach, Nebraska. A friend of his uncle's needed a blacksmith in his shop so Niels came. His wife, Nielsine, followed with their two sons, Carlo and Helmer, on April 14, 1914. They also had a daughter Norma (Mrs. Harold Starky) and a son Egon, of Wayzata, born while living in Wolbach.
In Dec. of 1925, Niels and his family moved to Maple Plain. He then became the village blacksmith locating in the blacksmith shop formerly owned by a Mr. Peterson, where the Zwieg lawn and snow equipment store is now, then later moved across the highway.
In 1935, he moved into the old Mason place,, which was a part of a farm that was homesteaded on June 16, 1856 by William Fogleman. In 1871, a strip of land 150 ft. wide, was sold across the 80 acres for $100 for the railroad. In 1897, the Masons were paid $30.00 by Northwest Telephone Exchange to acquire right of way across the land. Highway easement was filed on March 9, 1922 for $1200.00. Anna Mason had a private cemetery on the land, near the house, where her husband had been buried. After her death in April, 1926 she also was buried there. Later the bodies were removed. Mr. 0. W. Olson, the new owner, rented this house and some land to Niels Anderson for 13 years before Niels bought it in 1948, where he lived until his death on May 18, 1963. His wife preceded him in death in August, 1958.
Niels and son Helmer remained in the blacksmith shop until about 1959. In 1937 Niels and son-in-law, Harold Starkey bought two school buses and started transporting high school pupils to Mound. Orono district was formed so more buses were bought and they transported children for Orono district only. A family corporation was formed, involving Helmer and son Randy. The newly remodeled bus garage is located directly west of the old railroad bridge housing three new buses.