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Mike Bushfield, Eureka, MT, is the winner!

Nels Olaf Helgeson is the answer for Clearwater History Trivia #580, a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.

Join in the discovery!

Monday: Born in Minnesota

Tuesday: Worked at the "North Idaho Sanitarium" for several years

Wednesday: Mayor

Thursday: City Council member

Nels Olaf Helgeson was born at Brandon, MN, Dec. 18, 1882. He came to Blackfoot in 1903 and worked for Dr. L.W. Givens until 1905 when he came to Orofino and worked at the 'Northern Idaho Sanitarium'.

Nels married Elizabeth Brown on July 4, 1909. During that year, he operated the Cottage Hotel for 8 months before going to work for Horace Noble for 5 years at which time he took over the Hotel Orofino for 10 years.

In the spring or 1924, he started construction of the present Helgeson Hotel which opened Dec. 22, 1924. He and his wife Elizabeth operated the facility until his death Feb. 25, 1928.

He was very involved in the community working for the welfare of its people and identified himself with practically every activity of public benefit. Nels was a city council member, mayor for 4 years, an active member of the fire department, member of the board of directors of the Memorial Park Association, president of the county fish and game association and took a leading role in many other activities. He was a member of the Norwegian Lutheran Church.

He extended free use of his hotel for the Commercial Club meetings, of which he was a trustee, to the fire department activities, Legion benefit dance and many more social occasions.

He loved to fish and hunt and clean competitive sports. Nels obituary said he gave freely of his time and money 'for the promulgation of such things'.

Pall bearers for his funeral included many of Orofino's leaders: LL Luttropp, BJ Kinne, John Oud, Samson Snyder, EW Jewell and Edward Gaffney, along with honorary pall bearers LG Bullock, EF Opplinger, CO Portfors, HD Britan, JL McCarthy and LG Beeson.

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P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Orofino 476 0733
Fax: 208-476-4140