Eric Sundgren. One of the best educated of the early settlers in Falun Township of Saline County was Eric Sundgren. In his native Sweden he had received the benefits of a liberal college training. For six years he had taught school. However, the horizon of his opportunities did not seem to widen in the old country and in 1868 he set out for America.
Mr. Sundgren located a tract of Government land in Falun Township, and he applied his energies to the stubborn task of breaking the virgin sod and growing crops. With many adversities and with many experiences of hardship he gradually prospered, and he saw his estate grow and become more valuable under his ownership, and kept his home there until he retired from active business in 1902.
When Mr. Sundgren located in Falun township his home was separated from those of other settlers by many miles, and he lived an isolated existence for several years. His habitation during the first year was a dugout, such as became typical of the western counties in subsequent years. The prairies were covered with grass, the buffalo still abounded and occasionally there was a scare on account of Indians in the neighborhood. Where in the early days only the prairie met his eye as far as he could see he is now able to look over a smiling landscape of farms, towns, villages, schools and churches and everything that makes civilization worth while. Mr. Sundgren was one of the organizers of the first Swedish Lutheran Church in his community. Public affairs have always received a due share of his attention, and he had worked for the establishment of roads, schools and every improvement that would put this section of the state in the lead.
Mr. Sundgren was born in Sweden April 22, 1841, a son of Eric and Anna (Olson) Sundgren. His parents spent all their lives in Sweden and Mr. Sundgren was the only one of their family of five children, three sons and two daughters, to come to America.
On December 25, 1867, the year before he set out for the new world, Mr. Sundgren was married to Miss Catherine Erickson. She was born in Sweden in March, 1848. For forty years they traveled life’s journey together and then Mrs. Sundgren was taken away on January 23, 1907. Her death occurred at Lindsborg, Kansas. She was a very devout and faithful worker in the Swedish Lutheran Church.
To their marriage were born eight children. Three daughters died in infancy. The living children are: Ida, born November 1, 1869; Ebbie, born January 20, 1874; Amanda, born February 10, 1876; Mattie Olivia, born June 10, 1883; and Victor, born May 3, 1889. Ida and Amanda are residing in Denver, Colorado. Ebbie is engaged in the hardware and implement business at Falun. Victor is farming his father’s original homestead. Mattie O. is now serving as postmistress at Falun.