Biography of Claus J. Sjogren
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Claus J. Sjogren is not only one of the pioneers in the agricultural district of Saline County, but as much as any other citizen had had a part in the progress and upbuilding of that flourishing little Town of Smolan, a name that reflects and preserves the native district in Sweden from which many of the early colonists here came. Mr. Sjogren had at different times been a figure in the commercial life of Smolan, and is now well to do and influential though at one time he was dependent entirely upon his manual labor and had come to America practically penniless.
He was born in the Province of Smolan, Sweden, August 9, 1845, a son of Carl and Anna (Johnson) Sjogren. He was 1½ years old when his mother died. He was the youngest in a family of six children. Claus J. Sjogren grew up in Sweden, and most of his early training there was in the nature of hard practical work. In 1868, at the age of twenty-three, he immigrated to the New World, and landed in this country with only 50 cents in money. In 1871 he sent money back to Sweden which enabled his father to come over, and his father spent his last years at Smolan, Kansas, where he died in 1892.
For a time after coming to America Claus J. Sjogren lived in Henry County, Illinois. In 1869 he bought land with the Swedish colony in Saline County, Kansas, and for two years he worked as a farm hand in this county. Since then he had been farming for himself, and his property adjoins the Town of Smolan. Through good years and bad he had held his own and gradually had added to his possessions, until his present place comprises 620 acres, a magnificent farm with all the improvements.
Mr. Sjogren also had the first store in the Village of Smolan. He served as postmaster four years. For ten years he conducted the principal grain elevator of the town. He early became active and influential in local affairs and served as trustee of Smolan Township. He was one of the men who comprised the society of the Swedish Mission Church at Salemsburg, and the first religious edifice was a dugout.
On May 6, 1872, after getting started to Saline County, Mr. Sjogren married Miss Anna S. Johnson, daughter of John Johnson. Mrs. Sjogren was born in Sweden July 6, 1841, and came to America in 1871. Of the seven children born to their union three are deceased, named William, Caroline and Paul. Those still living are Oscar, Phina, Amy and Selma.