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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Johan D. Frederiksen

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 64-65 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Johan D. Frederiksen is a native son of Denmark who has found in the United States a widened field for his activities as a dairyman and agriculturist. He was born in 1846, on the 18th of August, and is the son of Johan D. and Maria (Hansen) Frederiksen, who lived and died in their native Denmark. The father was born June 30, 1791, and died March 7, 1861, when he was nearing his seventieth birthday; while the mother, who was born on July 24, 1811, lived to attain the age of ninety and passed away in 1901. As a boy Johan Frederiksen attended the Soroe Academy in Soroe, Denmark, from which he graduated in 1861, and then took a course in the Royal Agricultural College at Copenhagen, which granted him a degree in 1866. Until 1872 he occupied himself with the management of various farms that were run on a scientific basis and in that year joined his brother in starting the first beet sugar factory in Denmark, which was located on Lolland, a fertile island of Denmark.

In 1877, when he was thirty years old, Mr. Frederiksen set out for the New World, making the voyage across the Atlantic alone. In New York, where he located at first, he established for Mr. Christian Hansen of Copenhagen, the inventor of the celebrated rennet extract for cheese making, the Chr. Hansen Laboratory for the manufacture of dairy preparations. The young man had both the educational training and the practical experience necessary to fit him for this venture and in the growing dairy industry of this country he found a ready sale for the Hansen products. In 1882 the plant was moved to Little Falls, and eight years later the plant which the company now occupies was erected. Its first establishment in this city had been near the old railroad station. The business was incorporated in 1914, since which time Mr. Frederiksen has been the vice president, treasurer and general manager. In the heart of the great dairy region of New York, this industry has filled a distinct place in developing the dairy business of the present day and is now reaping the rewards of long and patient labor in the form of an extensive and prosperous trade. In addition to his connection with this dairy products concern Mr. Frederiksen owns and manages Sunny Hill Farm, one of the fine farms in the vicinity of Little Falls.

Never has this busy man of affairs forgotten his love of nature in all its manifestations, and some of his happiest hours are spent in the open, in his fields, angling along some promising trout stream, or pushing through the woods with his favorite gun. During the summer he spends much of his time in his cottage at Canada Lake. Since he has become a citizen of this country he has followed the leadership of the democratic party to some extent, but has always preserved an independence of thought and action in regard to politics. Locally he has been quite active in public affairs, serving as a member of the board of supervisors for Herkimer county and of the Little Falls school board. Formerly he was president of the Little Falls Merchants & Manufacturers Association and has done a great deal to help this organization in its work for the advancement of the city's economic interests. For years he served as president of the Herkimer County Tuberculosis Society and for one term presided over the New York State Dairymen's Association. Mr. Frederiksen attends the First Presbyterian church of Little Falls, in which his wife is very active as a worker in the various church societies.

Mr. Frederiksen was married to Miss Mattie Oliver Morse on March 15, 1887. She was born in Little Falls, January 10, 1864, and is the daughter of Alfred and Rebecca (Oliver) Morse of this city, both of whom are deceased. The older generation of citizens remember Mr. Morse as the owner and manager of a book store in Little Falls. Mrs. Frederiksen is a member of the Fortnightly Club and takes an active interest in club and church work. Mr. and Mrs. Frederiksen have five children, a daughter and four sons: The daughter, Elsie Maria, was born in this city, where she lived until her marriage to Paul B. Williams of Albion, in 1912; Mr. Williams is the editor of the Utica Daily Press; the oldest son in the Frederiksen family, Felix Morse, married Dorothy Sykes, daughter of the Rev. Mr. Sykes, D. D., of Canton University, Canton, New York, and his wife, Mabel (Haughton) Sykes; during the World war Felix Morse Frederiksen was a first lieutenant in the artillery and saw active service overseas; his brother, Erhard W., was in the ambulance service in Italy, and another brother, Oliver H., was a private in the American Expeditionary Forces abroad; the youngest son, Steffen S., was a student in military training at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, but had not completed his training when the armistice was signed, so he missed the opportunity of having active service overseas.

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