John Englund practically grew up from early boyhood on a farm in Saline County, and instead of going to some distant city he took the opportunities which were right at his door and had become financially independent as well as a citizen of wide esteem in the locality which he had known and which had known him for upwards of half a century. Mr. Englund was born at Smolan, Sweden, May 5, 1858. That province sent many of its sturdy men and women to Saline County in the early days, and the Englund family did their full share in making this country blossom as the rose. Mr. Englund is a son of Peter S. and Anna C. (Swenson) Englund. His father was born in 1832 and died at Falun, Kansas, in 1889. It was in 1869 that he brought his family to America, and after one year spent in Henry County, Illinois, he journeyed out to the large Swedish colony in Saline County. Here he homesteaded a tract of Government land in Washington Township and made that the scene of his progressive farming enterprise until his death. He was always very active in the Swedish Lutheran Church. In 1855, in his native country, Peter Englund married Miss Anna Swenson, a daughter of C. J. Swenson. She was born in Sweden-in 1839 and died in Kansas in 1904. They were the parents of thirteen children. The names of the four now deceased were August, Selma, Matilda and Selma, second. The nine surviving children are John, Ida, Christine, Clara, Emma, Lena, August, Nathaniel and William.
John Englund was eleven years of age when he accompanied his parents to America. In the meantime he had acquired some instruction in the Swedish schools. He grew up on a Kansas homestead, attended local schools briefly, and prepared for his life’s vocation by performing the duties assigned to him by his father. At the age of twenty-one he started out for himself and acquired a tract of land which he still owned and occupies, less than three miles north of Falun. No man ever accomplished as much in life unless he had both purpose and persistence. Mr. Englund was resolute as well as industrious when a young man, and year after year had seen a material increase in his possessions. He is now owner of 520 acres of the valuable and fertile soil of Saline County. The value of this land is largely a profit that he himself had earned. He had cultivated it wisely and had kept adding improvements as his means justified them until the Englund farm is now spoken of as one of the most complete in the county. Mr. Englund had long been a breeder of Hereford cattle and he also keeps a number of blooded hogs.
He is an active member of the Salemsburg Swedish Lutheran Church and for many years officiated as a deacon. At different times his fellow citizens have called him to positions of trust and responsibility in the township and in the management of the local schools.
On January 25, 1883, Mr. Englund married Miss Emma Christina Larson. They were married in the old Salemsburg Lutheran Church and the ceremony was performed by the venerable pastor, Rev. A. W. Dahlstead. Mrs. Englund was born in Sweden March 18, 1859. Her father, L. J. Larson, was born in the old country in 1831 and came to America with his family in 1869, locating Government land in Falun Township. He was a successful farmer there and lived in that community until his death in 1915. Mr. Larson’s wife Mary Josephine was born in 1835 and died at the old homestead in 1909. They were the parents of eight children. Three are now deceased, named Constant, Carl O. and Emma C. Those still living are John, Louise, Minnie, Albert and Emil.
Mrs. Englund besides being diligent in looking after her home and children was also an active worker in both church and Sunday-school, and gave much of her time to church affairs. Her death was widely regretted in the community where she had lived for so many years. She died April 7, 1916, at Falun. Mr. and Mrs. Englund had nine children, five sons and four daughters. All this large family are still living. Briefly, their names are as follows: Sigrid Anna Mary, born March 29, 1884; Edna Elenore, born March 1, 1886; Paul J., born February 22, 1888; Edith Miriam, born April 12, 1890; Martin William, born June 4, 1892; Roy Elmer, born September 20, 1894; Arnold Joseph, born July 20, 1897; Victor John, born January 7, 1900; and Alice Josephine, born June 4, 1903.