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RASMUSSEN, ANDREW A.

RASMUSSEN, ANDREW A. (1858–1933). Andrew A. Rasmussen, sailor and lifesaver, the son of Rasmus and Stine (Peters Datter) Jensen, was born on May 8, 1858, in Ulbolle, Denmark. At the age of thirteen he left Denmark with his brother to sail to the United States. He first settled near Chicago and for the next seven years was a cabin boy on sailing craft on the Great Lakes. To become the officer in charge of a sailing vessel, he acquired his United States citizenship before shipping out on a cargo ship bound for New Orleans by way of the St. Lawrence River. There, before reaching the age of twenty-one, he became the captain of a vessel that ran from New Orleans to Tampico, Tamaulipas, for Poncho Yturria of Brownsville. Rasmussen purchased his own ship, the Louis, and later a schooner called the Dorio and Doria, that he sailed between ports on the Gulf of Mexico. In 1885 he ran the ship aground at Cavallo Pass and lost her cargo of lumber, after which he never commanded his own ship again. He entered the life saving service at the Saluria Life Saving Station, which had been responsible for saving his crew in the 1885 disaster. In 1888 he became the keeper of a station and in 1889 keeper of Saluria Station. Rasmussen helped to save many lives along the Texas coast and retired in 1918 as a warrant officer-boatswain of the United States Coast Guard, first formed in 1915. He married Theresa Amelia Smith on May 16, 1892; the couple had six children. He purchased six acres of land on Matagorda Island, known as Mainland Place, in December 1891 and lived there until around 1904, when he built the family home in Port Lavaca, which remained standing in the 1980s. In 1910 the Rasmussens purchased a lot from the Calhoun Cattle Company's Port O'Connor Townsite Company at the site of Thomas O'Connor's former Alligator Head Ranch, where they constructed a new home in 1911. After his wife's death in 1930, Rasmussen lived with his son in Seadrift. He died on March 28, 1933, at Victoria, and was buried with his wife in the Port Lavaca Cemetery.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Paul H. Freier, A "Looking Back" Scrapbook for Calhoun County and Matagorda Bay, Texas (Port Lavaca, Texas: Port Lavaca Wave, 1979). Houston Post, April 21, 1983. Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin.

Diana J. Kleiner

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Diana J. Kleiner, "RASMUSSEN, ANDREW A.," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fra74), accessed July 25, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.