70 Niels la Cour

Named after his maternal grandfather, Niels was born on 1 May 1840 at Skærsø manor, a son of Lauritz Ulrik la Cour (no. 52) and Ellen Kirstine la Cour. Niels attended the boarding school his uncle Peter (no. 50) had at Margrethelund farm as a small child, from 1846 to 1848, and then the Aarhus Borgerrealskole from 1848 to 1853 and lower-secondary school at the Latinskolen grammar school* from 1853 to 1855. He subsequently spent half a year with his uncle Christian (no. 53) in Ålsø, where he was confirmed in the church.

Niels learned farming from his father in 1856 and took classes at the polytechnic and veterinary school the following winter. He was a farm apprentice at Rolsøgård manor in 1857- 58 and then farm-bailiff* for his father from 1858 to 1861. He managed the Odder vicarage farm in 1862-63 and then leased it from 1863 to 1867. He became an army cadet in 1863 and fought in the Second Schleswig War* of 1864, and later that same year was made a lieutenant in the infantry reserves. Together with his brother Jakob (no. 72), he leased Skærsø manor on 1 May 1867. Niels also chaired of the local veteran’s
association in Dråby parish from 1869 to 1874. Niels and Jakob purchased Skærsø manor in 1871. That same year, Niels bought Niels Frandsen’s farm on Stubbe lake and then leased it to another farmer in 1874.

Niels married Anine Caroline Elisabeth la Cour (née Jacobsen) on 21 June 1872 in Randers. Anine was born on 20 September 1840 in Randers, and her parents were Hans Carl Jacobsen, a manager, and Christiane Hem. She mostly lived away from home from the age of seventeen, spending three years with an uncle in Randers, eighteen months at Skærsø manor, two years with her sister and brother-in-law in London, and two years in Copenhagen, among other places. Having sold his share of Skærsø manor to his brother Jørgen in September 1873, Niels purchased Sønderris, a farm near Varde, later that year, took possession of it in 1874 and partly renovated it in 1877. Niels also bought Søholt, a farm near Ebeltoft, in 1877 and that made it necessary for him to sell Sønderris farm the following year. Once he sold Søholt in 1890, he no longer farmed, instead becoming the proprietor of a temperance hotel in the town of Nykøbing Mors in May 1890. While his wife Anine managed the hotel, Niels went on a trip to America from March 1891 to January 1892 in an attempt to find a career there.

After giving up the hotel in May 1892, Niels emigrated with his wife and daughters to the United States, settling in Perth Amboy, a city in the state of New Jersey. He tried various occupations, e.g. working at a terracotta factory and owning a soda shop together with a partner for about a year. In 1894 the family moved in with an unmarried clergyman, and Anine worked as housekeeper there for three years. In return, she and her family received free lodgings and the right to cultivate a small area of land. Niels and Anine each earned over 200 dollars annually from her housekeeping and his market gardening. In 1897 they moved to New York City to set up a home for their returning children in Brooklyn Ward 9 in Kings County, New York. In the autumn of 1897, Niels took a one-year trip to Denmark for the purpose of running Vestereng farm, and Anine came to visit in the summer of 1898. In the summer of 1900, Niels left for Denmark again, this time via Trondheim and Christiania (now Oslo) in Norway, and mostly stayed in Andkær Vig to help his sister and brother-in-law (no. 75) with their farming. He returned to the United States in 1901, but went back to Denmark repeatedly on longer visits. Anine died on 7 May 1921 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and Niels followed her on 8 February 1924. (Four children: the USA line.)