Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


The name of Knud B. Mollerskov was long closely and prominently associated with the history of progress in Watsonville and the Pajaro valley, and a life of great usefulness was ended May 2, 1914, when he was called to his final rest at the age of sixty-four years. He wrought along enduring lines, and many of the most substantial .buildings in this locality stand as monuments to his progressive spirit and his ability as a carpenter and contractor. His were the sturdy qualities of the pioneer. He came to the new world empty-handed, achieving success through the utilization of every faculty and the stimulating friction that comes from battling with difficulties.

Knud B. Mollerskov was born at Rodding, in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, under the Danish flag, and there received his education, also serving an apprenticeship to the trades of a carpenter and mason. In 1876, when a youth of sixteen, he responded to the call of adventure and came to America. He spent a short time in the state of New Jersey and then started for Davenport, Iowa, where, in company with a number of his fellow countrymen, he engaged in railroad work. He aided in constructing lines through the states of Iowa, Nebraska and Idaho, and in the discharge of his duties was obliged to walk hundreds of miles.

Mr. Mollerskov lived for a time in Boise, Idaho, and in 1880 came to California. He was first employed on a ranch in Alameda county and later was for three years driver of a brewery wagon in the city of Oakland. In 1894 he arrived in the Pajaro valley and for thirty years was numbered among the foremost building contractors of this region, acquiring that superior ability which results from concentrated effort and broad experience. He erected many homes which were the principal ornaments of their respective neighborhoods, pleasing to the eye and constructed with a conscientious regard for real utility and the comfort and convenience of their inmates. He was thoroughly trustworthy, executing all contracts promptly and living up to the spirit as well as the letter of an agreement. He was one of the pioneer builders of this locality and to its improvement contributed in notable measure. He resided for some time in Watsonville and subsequently established his home in Monterey county.

Mr. Mollerskov was identified with the Masonic fraternity, the Foresters and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. With him there was no compromise with anything that he did not consider right. He was never content with the second best, and his life in its thoughtfulness and consideration for others was the outpouring of a kindly, generous and sympathetic nature. He had a high conception of his duties, obligations and responsibilities, and his integrity in business affairs, his patriotism in matters of citizenship, his loyalty in friendship, and his devotion to home and family were characteristics which won for him the deep and sincere regard of all who were brought within the sphere of his influence.

Mr. Mollerskov is survived by a widow, a daughter, Madeline, and a nephew, Soren B. Pedersen. The last named is a skilled craftsman and has succeeded to his uncle's business. He was born in Rodding, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, June 12, 1890, and was educated in his native land, also learning the carpenter's trade. He emigrated to the United States in 1912, when twenty-two years of age, and followed his trade in Iowa and Wisconsin. He returned to Denmark in 1916 and was drafted for service in the World war, remaining at the front for one and a half years. In 1919 Mr. Pedersen again crossed the Atlantic to America, first locating in Wisconsin, but since 1921 he has been a resident of Watsonville, California. He is an expert carpenter and ably conducts the business founded by his uncle, of whom he is a worthy successor. He gives to the undertaking his undivided attention and the Clear Lake (Iowa) Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows is the only organization of a social or fraternal nature with which he is connected. Mr. Pedersen married Miss Johanna Christianson, a native of the town in which his birth occurred, and they have a son, John, who is one year old.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.