Danish emigrant Louis H. Ebbe settles in Nasonville, succumbs to illness at 80
By Kris Leonhardt
Eighteenth century Danes brought about much agricultural reform, relying less on what nature brought to them and more on the demands of the market. These reforms led to the end of the “open-field” system of farming as well as the village system of living, placing each farmer with a single parcel of land.
As families grew, the parcels were divided again and again until they could no longer sustain families as a whole. Thus, families were forced to seek out new land to provide the resources needed to survive. With fertile land available to those who were brave enough to pioneer the wild lands of America, many Danish sought refuge among the immature communities.
Among the settlers was Louis H. Ebbe, a robust and hearty man born on the Danish island of Lolland in 1833. Due to his powerful, solid physique, he was chosen to serve as a member of Denmark’s King Frederick the VII’s personal Calvary Guard, a chosen group of 100 men that served as a frontline of defense, of which his brother was also part.
During Ebbe’s time defending the royal throne, he was noted for his strapping frame and his brawny stature. Because of his physique, he often modeled for the art institute in Copenhagen.
When Ebbe was 49 years of age, he crossed the Atlantic to seek out farming land to sustain him and his wife for subsequent years. He traveled with his nephew, Hans Hansen Bille, and both settled in the Marshfield area. Bille took up residence in the very young city of Marshfield, and Ebbe settled on a farm in Nasonville.
The pioneering family grew and prospered while welcoming more and more Danish relatives to the area. Ebbe’s son Hans operated businesses in both Marshfield and Waupaca.
In February of 1913, Louis’ wife and mother of eight, Kerstin, passed away. In late October of that same year, Louis himself fell ill. After five weeks of illness, Louis passed away on the Ebbe farmlands on Dec. 1 at the age of 80.