|Notes for Dr. John Oliver Halvorson|
|The witnesses at his baptism were Isak Nielsen, Vallentin [Valentine Schaleben], Ingeborg Vallentin [Schaleben], and Maren Larsen.|
John was confirmed on 22 September 1895 at the Linden Lutheran Church. He was working as a laborer at age 15 at the time of the 1895 census. He was attending school in 1900. John got his A.B. degree from the University of Minnesota in 1906 and his B.S. degree in 1907. He was living in Mt. Pleasant, MI, for at least part of 1907, according to Theodore Laingen's diary. He was in Columbia, MO, in 1909. M.A. degree, University of Missouri, 1913. Studied for one year at Yale University. Ph.D. degree from Jefferson Medical College, 1916, in Physiological Chemistry.
They were living in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, in 1916. He was living in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1929.
Thordson has considerable data on his career. She has a letter which he wrote on 18 July 1956 describing his life. Also reproduced is an address by Prof. Frank H. Smith given in February 1959 when Dr. Halvorson's portrait was unveiled in the Pioneer Room at North Carolina State College.
He was assistant chemist in dairy investigations at the University of Missouri 1908-1909; deputy commissioner and acting state chemist for food and drug inspection for the State of Missouri 1909-1912. Associate and acting chief of nutrition investigations at the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station 1917-1919.
He spent over twenty-six years at North Carolina State College. He was in charge of nutrition investigations at the North Carolina Experiment Station from 1920 to 1942. Associate Research Professor in the enlarged Nutrition Section of the Department of Animal Industry until retiring in 1946.
He was one of the pioneers in the field of studying calcium in human blood and developed the first technique for estimating it with Dr. Olaf Bergium, publishing the technique in 1918 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The medical technician who was taking a blood sample after his first heart attack asked him if he was the Halvorson of the "Halvorson-Bergium" method for determining calcium in blood.
He later did work on solving the problem of "soft pork" when pigs were fed on peanuts. They published bulletins on this in 1939, 1942, and 1947. He did work during World War II in finding alternative vitamin supplements for various animal feeds due to shortages in certain supplies due to the war.
He was an active member in the American Chemical Society and also belonged to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association of Animal Production, the North Carolina Academy of Science, the National Research Council, and the Society of Sigma Xi. He was also a member of the Raleigh Natural History Club.
Instructor at Queens University, Kingston, Canada. Previously an instructor at Missouri State University, occupying a Federally-funded chair there. For four years was deputy dairy commissioner for the state of Missouri.5
Unspecified newspaper and date, but obviously spring 1940:
"State Scientists Gain Recognition by Nazi Invasion
RALEIGH - Germany's invasion of Scandinavia has resulted in recognition of scientific work by two North Carolina State College experiment station research men, the college extension service reported yesterday.
Cod liver oil, imported largely from Norway and nearby countries, has doubled in price since the war spread northward.
The increased cost would have placed on consumers of poultry feed, in which cod liver oil is used for its vitamin D content, had not the two experimenters, Dr. J. O. Halverson and Roys S. Dearstyne, discovered that Menhaden fish oil was a good substitute.
Menhaden oil, which is pressed from fresh fish, is not as effective as cod liver oil but when the amount is increased by four, the same results are obtained. That is, one-fourth of one per cent, cod liver oil in the ration contains enough vitamin D for normal calcification of chick's bones, while one per cent of Menhaden produces equal results.
The extension service said four large commercial poultry feed manufacturers had asked for detailed information on the Menhaden studies and said they planned to use this oil in their feeds." Transcribed in Thordson3.
From a letter by John Oliver Halvorson, 18 July 1956:
Maybe I can write up something of the events that have happened in my lifetime. People to whom I have related some ot those things, say I have had 'an eventful life.' But it takes some effort and time to recall all those things, write them up and have them typed well, if that is done it is preserved in printed form. I went down to North Caroline in the early days (in Animal Nutrition) and began work in the southern states. It certainly was pioneering in many ways and I had to do more than just 'investigation work,' but carried an 'educational campaign' as well and we had Dr. McCollum come down there and lecture many times.
So he became quite well known there and I believe North Carolina became the 'leader' among the southern states in 'Nutrition' and also in investigation in diet field. It took years to do so, yes! a lifetime. Twenty-six years down there, but I get credit for it and gave the division of Animal Nutrition in Animal Husbandry in Agricultural Experiment Station all my reprints (representing general agriculture) some 2,000 of them and all the journals that I was taking, also my library in my office there, so I have none of them. That represented some amount of money. But they are a strong departement notw. They give some 2-3 PhD's a year, so I am well pleased with my work and the results there. The Home Demonstration Division in the Agricultural Division also took up our work and brought it right into the homes of the people of the state and are sill doing it on 'Good Diets', 'Balanced Diets', and grow a vegetable garden, etc. Also the Department of Farm Crops began advocating 'yellow corn' instead of white corn. It contained more vitamin A and they also bred varieties which yielded as heavy as the white corn. Now they are planting quite a lot of yellow corn, new heavier yielding varieties of oats and wheat and are working on tobacco and peanuts. The tobacco they have worked on for more disease resistant varieties for years.
Occasionally when I tell my experiences in animal nutrition there in the state to young PhD's who come from Minnesota and Iowa they seem to sit with open mouths to take it in.
Then in this experimental medical field when I went East to study and publish my results, several papers on 'Calcium in Human Blood,' and a method for estimating it, before 1918 a pioneer field with Dr. Olaf Bergium in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. That was a new field and we credit [are credited] in Dr. Petries & Van Slyhis two volumes on clinical medicine as being the first ones to open up that field. Since coming out here, Dr. Robbins (from the Yale faculty, part-time) sid he studied this blood calcium experiment and asked me if I was the Halvorson of Halvorson & Bergium who worked in blood calcium? Also, a technician in the medical lab in one Tucson Community Medical Center who had taken a daily blood sample from my arm for tests when I had my first hearth attack (coronary) asked if I was the Halvorson who worked on blood. He said when he studied the blood under Dr. Addy (?) in the Medical School of Columbia University he studied the methods of Halvorson-Bergium for determining Calcium in Blood.
Then recently, Dr. Robbins said 'yes, Halverson & Bergium will go down in Medical history getting credit for being the original investigators of publishing the amounts of calcium in human blood and methods for its estimation', in words to that effect. The 30 to 40 years dince then that field has broadened enormously.
He also heard over the radio, the associated press, the notice of Hasbither & Halverson solving the 'soft pork' problem when pigs are fed peanuts. After 15-20 years of work on feeding peanuts to pigs we published a bulletin by the North Caroline Agricultural Experiment Station on 'The Production of Firm Pork from Peanut Fed Pigs' in 1939 and later two bulletins on the same subject, 'Soft Pork When Fed Soybeans' in 1942 and 1947." Transcribed in Thordson3.
Hanska Herald, 26 December 1957:
Died At 77
Was A Former Linden
Resident. Funeral Rites at
Raleigh, N. C. Dec. 15
Raleigh, N. C. - Dr. John O. Halveson, 77, a member of the North Carolina State College faculty for 26 years prior to this retirement in 1946, died at his home in Tucson, Ariz., Sunday, December 8.
Funeral rites were held in Raleigh, N. C., Monday, December 15.
Widely-known throughout North Caroline, Dr. Halverson came to North Carolina State College in 1920 as head of nutrition investigations in the Animal Industry Department, a position he retained until 1942.
He remained at State College as research professor in animal nutrition until 1946 when he retired and moved to Tucson because of ill health.
A noted research scientist, he published a large number of scientific and technical publications covering a broad range of nutrition, and biochemical work.
His research investigations related to calcium in the blood, calcium in the metabolism of cattle and swine, soft port, cottonseed meal for cattle, and methods for the determination of gossypol in cottonseed products.
Born in Hanska, Minn., on January 17, 1880, Dr. Halverson earned his B. A. degree in 1906 and his B. S. degree in 1907 from the University of Minnestoa. He received his mater of arts degree from the Universit of Missouri in 1913 and his Ph. D. degree from the Jefferson Medical College in 1916.
In 1908 he spent a year as assistant chemist in charge of diary investigations at the University of Missouri. From 1909 to 1912, he was deputy commissioner and chemist for dairy, food, and drug inspection in the State of Missouri. In 1917, he moved to Ohio State University, where he was an associate in nutrition for two years with the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station.
He resigned his post at Ohio State to join the faculty of North Caroline State College in 1920.
Dr. Halverson was a member of the West Raleigh Presbyterian Church, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, the National Society of Animal Production, and the Society of the Sigma Xi, America's highest honor organization in the general sciences.
Survivors include his widow, who resides in Tucson; two daughters, Helen Halverson of Raleigh and Mrs. John Brown of Black Mountain; and four grandchildren." 22
A transcription of a talk given by Professor Frank H. Smith, Nutrition Section, Department of Animal Industry, North Carolina State College, in February 1959 at the unveiling of Dr. Halverson's portrait in the Pioneer Room, on the State College Campus 3:
"Dr. John Oliver Halverson
Mr Hyatt, ladies and gentlemen, I consider it a privilege to briefly sketch for you some of the characteristics and accomplishments of Dr. John Oliver Halverson, under whose supervision I worked for many years. During this association I came to know him well and to appreciate the abilities he demonstrated in his chosen profession. Our association developed into a friendship that lasted until Dr. Halverson's death in December, 1957.
John Oliver Halverson was born January 17, 1880 at Hanska, Minnesota. He received his A. B. degree from the University of Minnesota in 1906 and his B. S. degree from the same institution in 1907. He received his M. A. degree from the University of Missouri in 1913, after which he studied for a year at Yale. He received his Doctor of Philosophy Degree from Jefferson Medical College in 1916 with a major in Physiological Chemistry.
Dr. Halverson was assistant chemist in dairy investigations at the University of Missouri from 1908 to 1909 and was deputy commissioner and acting State chemist for food and drug inspection for the State of Missouri from 1909 to 1912. He was associate and acting chief of nutrition investigations at the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station from 1917 through 1919. He was in charge of nutrition investigations at the North Carolina Experiment Station from 1920 until 1942, and was an associate research professor in the enlarged Nutrition Section of the Department of Animal Industry until his retirement in 1946.
Dr. Halverson was a member of the American Chemical Society and enthusiastically engaged in the activities of the North Carolina Section. It had to be a rough night, indeed, to prevent him from attending Secion lectures, whether they were held at Carolina, Duke or State. He strongly urged young men to join the Society and to present papers at both local and national meetings.
His broad interest in all phases of science found further outlet in his membership in the Raleigh Natural History Club. This club was composed of men from all fields of science. Each month some member presented a lecture on a timely topic in his specific field. Dr. Halverson particularly enjoyed the round table discussion following the lecture.
Dr. Halverson was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association of Animal Production, the North Carolina Academy of Science, the National Research Council and the Society of Sigma XI.
One of the things Dr. Halverson enjoyed most was his association with people. He thoroughly enjoyed receptions and social functions where he found opportunity for making a host of friends.
He was a charter member of the West Raleigh Presbyterian Church, where he was active until he moved to Arizona. One of the things that he especially enjoyed in his church was a series of lectures on Biblical history wheich were so ably presented to his Sunday School class.
Dr. Halverson's hobby was gardening. He was very successful in growing both fruit and vegetables, but his real love was in growing flowers. Jonquils and tulips were his specialty and he often placed them in flower shows. He generously shared his flowers with his friend, especially those who were sick.
Dr. Halverson was devoted to this family. When his daughters were small, he frequently took them on picnics and outings. When they grew older, he was proud of their acomplishments. After somewhat recovering his health on moving to Arizona, he cared for Mrs. Halverson as long as he was able; she was in declining health for several years.
One of the things that set Dr. Halverson apart from other men was his punctuality. He was almost always at work a quarter to one-half hour before time and he expected those working under him to at least be on time. Many a morning, when Nat Haywood or I came in a few minutes late, we found him in the hall with his watch in his hand, looking over the top of his glasses at us; he wouldn't say anything, he didn't need to.
Dr. Halverson was very meticulous and thorough in his work. One of the things he required was that the laboratories be kept clean and in order. He felt that to be absolutely necessary in a chemical laboratory.
Dr. Halverson's investigations covered many phases of nutrtiion and bio-chemistry. He developed an improved method for the determination of calcium in blood, and studied mineral metabolism in cattle and swine. He devoted considerable time and effort to a cooperative project directed toward the solution of the soft pork problem brought about by feeding peanuts and soybeans to swine. The results of this study and the means for overcoming the problem were published in a Station technical bulletin. He cooperated in a study of the effects of fertilization on forages, and the vitamin content of peanuts and cow-peas. A study on the utilization of cottonseed meal by cattle in which he participated has been described by Dr. Leonard Maynard, of Cornell, as a classic piece of research. The investigation on cottonseed meal stimulated his interest in gossypol and led to improvements in methods for its determination in cottonseed products. Realizing the complexity molecule, he asked Dr. Roger Adams, one of the country's leading organic chemists, to undertake the determination of its chemical structure. Dr. Halverson shipped Dr. Adams large amounts of cottonseed meats from which gossypol was isolated for this study. Dr. Adams determined its structure which has recently been verified through organic synthesis. Someone recently stated that Dr. Halverson did a good days work the day he suggested this problem to Dr. Adams. And this was true, however, a good day's work was not unusual for Dr. Halverson.
Therefore, in recognition of his contributions to agriculture in North Carolina, it is fitting that this picture of Dr. John Oliver Halverson hang in the Department of Animal Industry among those honored as pioneers in Agriculture."
Gladys Lewis23 recounts some details she learned from Lucile Halvorson Daniel when Gladys and her husband visited Lucile in the summer of 1989. "John Halvorson did not allow his two girls to listen to the radio as they were growing up. They could only listen to classical music. He wanted a musician in the family so he sent Helen to the Conservatory - but she did not become a musician!"
John Taylor Brown21 included a copy of the report of the State Bank of Hanska for 1935, which showed that John O. Halvorson was one of the shareholders. Various other relatives were also stockholders at that time.
The date of John and Emma's wedding was provided by a letter of congratulations and advice from his college classmate, Olin C. Myron, written to them on 24 June 1910.21 Their marriage certificate shows that the ceremony was performed by L. L. Fylling of Woodview, Wisconsin. His title (minister or justice of the peace) is not given but it seems likely that he was a Lutheran minister. The witnesses at the wedding were Ole Johanni, John's uncle, and George Evenson, Emma's brother.
John's mother's surname is incorrect on the marriage certificate, but the others are all correct or close variants.
|3, 4 (1907, 1909), 5 (v. 2, pp. 496, 497-498), 22,7 (b. 1, pp. 30-31, 86-87), 21|
Copy of marriage certificate
1880 U.S. census, Brown Co., Minnesota, r. 616, p. 40D
1885 Minn. census, Brown Co., p. 471 [LDS FHL microfilm 565735]
1895 Minn. census, Brown Co., p. 464 [LDS FHL microfilm 565764]
1900 U.S. census, Brown Co., Minnesota, r. 758, E.D. 40, p. 70B
1920 U.S. census, Wayne Co., OH, r. 1448, E.D. 222, p. 149A
|Notes for Emma Cecilie (Spouse 1)|
|She was not living at home at the time of the 1900 and 1910 censuses. She is not seen in the 1900 soundex for Wisconsin, Missouri, or Minnesota.|
|3, 5 (v. 2, p. 496), 21|
Copy of marriage certificate
1880 U.S. census, St. Croix Co., Wisconsin, r. 1445, E. D. 213, p. 213C
1920 U.S. census, Wayne Co., OH, r. 1448, E.D. 222, p. 149A
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