Halvor Schou was born in Christiania (now Oslo, Norway). He was a son of Christian Schou (1792-1874) and Birgitte Halvordine Ramm (1796-1877). He attended Oslo Cathedral School and later traveled to Lübeck to attend a trade school. He returned in 1842 and first worked for Schous Brewery (Schous bryggeri), the family company which the father had established. He later took over Schous Brewery, becoming one of the country's largest industry leaders. 
By 1841, the United Kingdom began exporting steam engines and weaving machines. Schou founded the weaving mill Hjula Væveri (built from 1854 to 1856), which exploited the waterfall Hjulafossen on the Akerselva. Schou built the weaving mill into one of the country’s largest textile industries. 
Married in 1852 to Anna Cecilie Crowe (1829-1914), he was the father of Christian Julius Schou (1854-1909) and Olaf Fredrik Schou (1861-1925), as well as grandfather of Christian Julius Schou (1888-1955). After 1879, Hjula was passed on to the next generation. He was decorated Commander, First Class of the Order of St. Olav in 1877. He was a Knight of the Swedish Order of the Polar Star, and of the Danish Order of Dannebrog.
- "Halvor Schou". lokalhistoriewiki.no. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
- "Hjula Væverier". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
- "Christian Julius Schou (1792–1874)". lokalhistoriewiki.no. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
- "Schous bryggeri". lokalhistoriewiki.no. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
- "The History of Hjula Væveri". lokalhistoriewiki.no. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
- Wiig, Jan. "Halvor Schou". In Helle, Knut. Norsk biografisk leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- "Halvor Arntzen Schou". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
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