In 1870 he decided to emigrate to the United States. He arrived at Cresco, Iowa, with fifty cents as his sole capital and began work on a farm, being employed through that summer at a wage of twenty dollars per month. During the winter months he works for ten dollars per month and for five years remained in the employ of others.
Niels bought his farm of nearly 200 acres from a land agent named Marcus Whitman who lived in the state of Georgia. Anna Johannsen had been a cook for an army officer in Georgia, and Mr. Whitman introduced Neils to Anna Johannsen. Later they married. (1875)
The land is two miles south of the town of Saratoga, and mostly on the east side of the road. Saratoga is about 16 miles west of Cresco. He lived there as a full time farmer from about 1875 until his death in 1927.
Niels built all the buildings and the silo on the homestead. It had a carbide lighting system which was unusually progressive for that time.
In politics Niels Larsen was a republican and had served for several years as road boss. He and his family were of the Lutheran faith and guided their lives by the teaching of the church. Niels Larsen was a man of many splendid traits of character. He was not only been progresive but also thoroughly reliable in his business affairs and his life record should serve to inspire and encourage others, showing what might be accomplished through individual effort and determination.
In 1927 Niels Larsen was trampled to death by a bull on the farm. No one saw the accident as it was occurring. Niels Larsen was buried inSaratoga Cemetery
His son Elmer bought the farm from him. Everything started going badly for Elmer Spencer Larsen beginning with the terrible death of his father. Then he got his hand caught in a corn shredder and lost it. He began drinking. Then the Great Depression occurred, and he lost the farm to the bank. There was an auction to sell all the farm equipment in 1935.
He and Rosabel moved into the town of Riceville.