Biography of Tony M. Rasmussen
Audubon County, IA Biographies

The gentleman whose name forms the caption of this review, mayor and well known attorney of Exira, this county, did not come to this county from his native land of Denmark until he had attained the age of seventeen years, yet he has won for himself an enviable reputation as an attorney of force and ability and a public official of keen administrative capacity. The life story of Tony M. Rasmussen, mayor of the city of Exira, is an example of what can be accomplished by an immigrant boy in this land if given an opportunity and the possession of native talents.

T. M. Rasmussen was born in Denmark on March 26, 1872, son of M. P. and Elsie Rasmussen, natives of that kingdom. In the year 1889, when T. M. Rasmussen was seventeen years of age, the family emigrated to America and came to this county. After residing one year in Exira, they settled on a farm in Hamlin township. The mother of T. M. Rasmussen died in Denmark in 1876, and the father married a second time before coming to America. M. P. Rasmussen died in Seattle, Washington, in October, 1909. There were two sons by the first marriage, Anthony M., or "Tony" M., the subject of this review, and C. M., a resident of Spokane, Washington. By the second marriage there were six sons, namely: E. I., who was drowned during the summer of 1899, while in bathing; Chris, a citizen of the state of Washington; Martin, deceased, and Andrew and Gerlow, both residing in the state of Washington.

After coming to Audubon county with his parents, Tony Rasmussen assisted his father upon the farm and attended the district school in the neighborhood of the farm home. The young man was ambitious and had a desire to advance among his fellows; consequently, he studied diligently, preparing himself for the vocation of teaching, and taught for four years in the schools of Audubon county after he had attained the age of twenty six years. In fact, the career of this Danish-American citizen did not properly begin until after the time when most boys of American birth are fairly well established in their callings or professions. Tony Rasmussen landed upon the shores of America at an age when American born youth are almost through the high school. He was handicapped by not being able to speak our language; yet, in spite of this and the other handicaps of being poor and having to make his own way in the world, this immigrant boy quickly acquired a speaking knowledge of the English language and educated himself while working in the fields. His ambition did not stop at becoming proficient in the art of teaching, but he began the study of law while engaged in his school work. He saved his money, entered Drake University and was graduated with honor from the law school of that excellent institution of learning in 1904, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Laws. Thus admirably equipped he was admitted to the bar and at once began the practice of his profession at Exira. Mr. Rasmussen is recognized as one of the ablest legal lights in the county and has met with gratifying success.

In 1906, T. M. Rasmussen was united in marriage to Martha E. Nelson, daughter of Lorenz P. Nelson, of this county, to which union two children have been born, Chester Cole and Elsie. Mayor Rasmussen was reared in the Danish Lutheran faith, but is not now a member of any religious denomination. He is fraternally connected with the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, a member of the lodge at Exira. He is a Democrat in politics and for years has been regarded as one of the leaders of his party in Audubon county. He is now serving his second term as mayor of Exira and it is said of him that he is one of the most capable and progressive executives that the city has ever had: Mr. Rasmussen's success is the outcome of patient purpose, backed by the exercise of native ability, and is all the more striking when adverse conditions under which he labored from the outset of his career in Audubon county are taken into consideration.

History of Audubon County, Iowa
Its People, Industries and Instutions
H. F. Andrews, Editor
B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.
Indianapolis - 1915

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