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Biography of Engward Bengtson

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Engward Bengtson. While good Americans today find it entirely unnecessary to refer to other countries in order to establish honorable standing, it is but natural that a kind feeling should ever be preserved for the land of one’s ancestors, and especially may this be the case when attention can be centered on Sweden. That country has contributed nobly to. the good citizenship of America, and in every part of the United States may be found men of Swedish extraction who have proved their dependable qualities. They are found in Champaign County among the representative citizens and progressive farmers. Here the Bengtson and Gilburg names have been held in the highest regard for very many years.

Engward Bengtson, one of the large farmers and successful cattle growers of Champaign County, was born in Ford County, Illinois, and is a son of Charles and Clara Bengtson. They were born in Sweden and came early to Illinois. They endured many hardships, as did all the early settlers, but they acquired property through their perseverance and industry and the father still lives to enjoy the comfortable surroundings which seem to be the rightful accompaniments of age. About 1900 they removed from their farm of 245 acres, situated in Harwood Township, to Paxton, Illinois, where the beloved mother passed away April 15, 1917, attended carefully, tenderly and scientifically by their daughter, Tillie Bengtson, who is a graduate nurse of Wesley Hospital, Chicago. She still maintains a home at Paxton to care for her venerable father. To Charles Bengtson and wife the following children were born: Alfred, George (who died December 3, 1916), Engward, Tillie and Carl.

Engward Bengtson attended the public schools and was a student in the Ludlow High School. He gave his father assistance on the farm, as was natural and proper, taking a deep interest in all the industries and advocating improvements when he found them desirable. When his parents left the farm and moved to Paxton he and his brother George took entire charge and Tillie became the housekeeper. The death of his brother and his own marriage made some change in the domestic arrangements, but he has continued to operate the land and has been exceedingly successful in this undertaking. Under his management the Bengtson farm has retained its old reputation for fine cattle, and perhaps no finer herds of Durham can be found in the county. He has had a continuous record for large yields, particularly in corn and oats, eighty bushels to the acre not being unusual in corn, and in 1915 he harvested 5,340 bushels of oats. He keeps well posted on agricultural matters and is not afraid of new ventures and has met with some success in his experiments with alfalfa. Although he has met with a gratifying amount of prosperity in his agricultural industries in Champaign County, as a good business man he thought it desirable to look over some other agricultural sections arid in 1907 spent some time in the vicinity of Spokane Falls, Washington. It resulted in his contented return to Champaign County, firm in the opinion that this is, indeed, the garden spot of the world, a section that cannot be surpassed for rich farming land, equable climate and good neighbors.

In 1912 Mr. Bengtson was married to Miss Sylvia Gilburg, who was born in Benton County, Indiana, and is a daughter of Carl Oscar and Louise (Anderson) Gilburg, both of whom came early to Indiana and were married at Attica. They had the following children: Sylvia, Lena, George, Emma and John, all of whom were educated in the public schools of Fowler, Indiana. Even before the marriage of the son and daughter, the Bengtson and Gilburg families were very friendly and frequently visited each other. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Bengtson settled on the old Bengtson homestead and have resided here ever since. They have one son, Edward Charles Bengtson, a handsome, sturdy little fellow of whom parents and grandparents are justly proud. Mr. and Mrs. Bengtson attend ^he Swedish Mission Church at Paxton, Illinois. In politics Mr. Bengtson is a Democrat and a great admirer of President Woodrow Wilson, believing that he is the providentially selected man of the hour for the great responsibilities now resting upon him.

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