Location: Lindsborg Kansas

Biography of Claes F. Norstrom

Claes F. Norstrom is among the pioneer claimtaking and homesteading element of the country around Lindsborg. In fact some of the early matters of historical interest are a part of his personal record and experience. McPherson County was a wild and untamed district when Mr. Norstrom arrived in 1868 and secured a tract of Government land adjoining the present town of Lindsborg. In that one community he had worked out his destiny and had resided there nearly half a century. Many acres were brought under cultivation and made to produce bountiful crops by his energy. His influence was not confined to his homestead. He had been a factor in the life and affairs of Lindsborg and that section. His fellow citizens have from time to time conferred upon him the responsibilities of township officer and of other positions of trust. Since it was organized in 1888 Mr. Norstrom had been treasurer of the Swedish American Insurance Company of Lindeborg. He had been a director of the First National Bank of the city since 1907. Both church and schools have been helped by him and he was one of the organizers and for twenty years had been a trustoe of the Swedish Lutheran Church of Lindsborg. One of the interesting landmarks of this section is a log house which Mr. Norstrom carefully preserves on his farm and which stands in...

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Biography of Alfred Bergin B. D., Ph. D.

Alfred Bergin, B. D., Ph. D.The Bethany Church at Lindsborg ever since it was established on the prairies of Central Kansas nearly fifty years ago had been a powerful influence not only in the religious life of Kansas but to a remarkable degree in the social and intellectual advancement of the people of the state. It is the oldest and the parent church of the Swedish Lutheran people who did so much to colonize and develop these prairles from a wilderness into a smiling landscape of farms and towna. The church had a membership of over two thousand people. It was organized by Dr. Olof Olson on August 19, 1869. After Dr. Olson’s ten years of service Dr. Carl Swensson served as pastor all his ministerial life, or for twenty-five years. Dr. Swensson will always be gratefully remembered by the church and by hundreds of people outside of the church. During his pastorate the famous Messiah concerts were started, and there is no one artistic movement or enterprise in the state of Kansas which had become so widely known and is more justly entitled to the appreciation of the cultured classes. The direct resuit of Dr. Swensson’s pastorate was the founding of Bethany College. For the past twelve years Dr. Alfred Bergin had been pastor of Bethany Church. In that time he had continned the great work begun by...

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Biography of Carl Aaron Swensson, Rev. Dr.

Rev. Dr. Carl Aaron Swensson was the founder and chief upbuilder of Bethany College, the institution around which cluster the best and most noteworthy distinctions of Lindsborg as a community and from which have gone influences that now permeate and give character to many localities through the useful men and women educated there. In an important degree Bethany College is a monnment to the late Doctor Swensson, and to a nobler one few men could aspire. He was born at Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania, June 25, 1857, a son of Jonas and Maria (Blixt) Swensson. His parents came to America in 1856 from Smoland, Sweden. His father was a noted minister of the Swedish Lutheran Church and at the time of his death in 1873 at Andover, Illinois, was president of the Augustana Synod of the Swedish Lutheran churches in America. He and his wife had been married in 1855, just a year before they started for America. Mrs. Jonas Swensson died in 1874. The late Dr. Carl A. Swensson was the oldest in a family of seven children. As a youth he attended a parochial school at Andover, Illinois, and afterwards was edueated under private tutors. At the age of sixteen he entered the freshman class of Augustana College at Rock Island, Illinois, and was graduated with the class of 1877. The same year he entered the Theological Seminary,...

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Biography of William Harry Little, M. D.

William Harry Little, M. D. The community of Alta Vista in Wabaunsee County had had the capable services of Doctor Little as a physician for more than fifteen years. In connection with his large practice Doctor Little also conducts the leading drug store of the village. Doctor Little is a native of Ohio, but had spent most of his life in Kansas. He was born in Lucas County, near the City of Toledo, November 5, 1868. He is of colonial American stock, originally from Scotland. His people were early settlers in Pennsylvania and pioneers in the State of Ohio. His father, Alfred Little, was born at Youngstown, Ohio, in 1841, and at the age of thirteen became a canal boatman, operating on the canal between Cincinnati and Toledo. He followed that as a regular business until 1879, when he came West and settled in McPherson County, Kansas, joining the pioneers of that section. His farm was ten miles northwest of the Town of McPherson, and he lived there until his death in 1902. He was a republican in politics and a very strong and active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Alfred Little married Elizabeth Elliott. She was born in 1845, in Lucas County, Ohio, and is now living, at the age of seventy-two, with her daughter, Mrs. C. E. Blackman in McPherson, Kansas. She was the mother of...

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Biography of J. Walter Clark

J. Walter Clark. In no state in the Union, perhaps, have the public schools in recent years been given more careful consideration than in Kansas, and this is evidenced by the fact that school boards all over are insisting on higher qualifications and efficiency than ever before. They demand teachers not only of scholarship, but of high moral character, of equable temperament and conventional deportment, rightly contending that these instructors have lasting influence on the youth that is entrusted to them at the most impressionable age. Well qualified in every way is Prof. J. Walter Clark, who, for the past two years, has been superintendent of the schools of Buffalo, Kansas. Entering the teacher’s profession when but sixteen years of age, he has continued in the educational field because he loves the work. No effort has been too great when it has enabled him to add to his store of knowledge, and, although yet a young man, he has many university honors to his credit, and prior to coming to Buffalo, had already admirably filled educational positions of responsibility. J. Walter Clark was born November 6, 1888, at Piedmont, Wayne County, Missouri. His parents are D. M. and Charity L. (Chilton) Clark. The early ancestors came to Virginia, in colonial times, from England, moving later into Kentucky and still later to eastern Missouri. This name is honorably borne in...

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Biography of Daniel Johnson

Daniel Johnson. Business achievement far above the ordinary and the influences of a character founded on the bedrock of integrity, were the fruits of the long and active years spent by the late Daniel Johnson at Lindsborg. At the time of his death Mr. Johnson had been for thirty-nine years a merchant at Lindsborg, and was the oldest business man of the city. He built up a splendid mercantile establishment known all over that section of Kansas and still a flourishing enterprise. He gave himself with the wholesouled devotion characteristic of him to church and to all the progressive affairs of his community. His was a long life, measured not so much in years as in the quality of accomplishment and experience. Daniel Johnson was born at Kronoborgs Län, Smolan, Sweden, September 29, 1843. His death came suddenly at his home in Lindsborg, April 13, 1911. At the time he was sixty-seven years, six months, sixteen days of age. He grew up and received his early education in his native land. In 1868, at the age of twenty-five, he came to America, spent a short time in Chicago, and from there went to Michigan. In Michigan he lived with C. Lindberg, who subsequently came to Lindsborg, Kansas. Mr. Johnson’s experiences in Michigan was as an employe of the Cleveland Mining Company. Through correspondence with Mr. Lindberg, who in the...

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Biography of Carl Otto Lincoln

Carl Otto Lincoln, a native of Lindsborg and son of one of the founders and developers of the city and community, is a highly educated gentleman and is now manager and editor of the Lindsborg News and Record. He is one of the stockholders and officials in the Bethany Publishing Company, which publishes the News and Record and also the Posten and various college magazines and papers. The News and Record is an independent journal, and was first founded in 1881 as the Smokey Valley News. In 1887 the name was changed to Lindsborg News, published by the Bethany Publishing Company, and in 1912 was consolidated with the Lindsborg Record, which was founded in 1896. Mr. Lincoln was born at Lindsborg August 8, 1886, a son of Andrew and Anna C. (Johnson) Lincoln. His father was born April 29, 1842, in the Province of Vermland, Sweden, a son of John and Maria (Olsdotter) Lindgren. Andrew Lincoln came to America in 1869. About that time he took up a tract of Government land on Saline Creek six miles north of the present Town of Lindsborg. He was on the ground at the beginning, was among the first of the Swedish colonists in this section of Kansas, and though at the time of his settlement he was a single man and without money or influence his name had since become associated...

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Biography of Sven Birger Sandzen

Sven Birger Sandzen. A writer in the American Magazine of Art in February, 1917, paid a deserved compliment to Lindsborg as a city of art and culture better known and appreciated by the outside world than many industrial communities of greater population and wealth. This writer said: “Lindsborg had today the largest number of practicing artists in proportion to its population of any city in this country. By artists, however, is not meant merely painters, sculptors and architects, but also musicians. The musical festivals held in this city of the plains have become celebrated for their quality and musically are welcome events–occasions of national pride. They are attended by people from all over the state of Kansas and from other adjacent states–more than seven thousand a day. It is said at that time the annual exhibition of paintings is held, and though music makes the stronger appeal, the pictures do not go unheeded.” In the fall of 1894 there came to this distinctively artistic community of Kansas Sven Birger Sandzen, to accept a position in Bethany College. With the exception of two trips to Europe he had been there ever since and had been accomplishing a great pioneer work. In the college he is professor of Romance Languages and Aesthetics, and is also dean of the School of Fine Arts. Mr. Sandzen was born at Blidsberg, Sweden, February 5,...

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Biography of Fred Goodholm

Fred Goodholm. Having identified himself with the business community of Lindsborg in 1879 Fred Goodholm is a veteran merchant and citizen of that community and his life had been productive of good, had resulted in a satisfying prosperity for himself, and the influence he had exerted in his home city and the worthy family that surrounds him are tokens of a worthy and active career. Mr. Goodholm was born December 24, 1848, at Filipstad, Sweden, a son of Anders and Charlotte (Lind) Goodholm. His father, who was born in 1822 and died in 1878, spent his active career in Sweden as a railroad trainman. He was a devoutly religious man. His wife was born in Sweden in 1820 and in 1885 came to America to join her children, and she died in Chicago in 1894. She was also active throughout her life in the Swedish Lutheran Church. She and her husband were married in 1846 and had seven children, three sons and four daughters, of whom Fred is the oldest. Sophia, born in 1854, married N. J. Nelson in 1875, and now likes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Henry, born in 1857, married in 1884 Sophia Erickson and is a resident of Lindsborg. Charlotte, born in 1859, was married in 1897 to Axel Carlson, and is a resident of Chicago. Andrew, born in 1861, married Agnes Lindbloom in 1897, and lives...

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Biography of John A. Swenson

John A. Swenson. The clean civic and business record of Lindsborg owes not a little to the sterling integrity of John A. Swenson, a pioneer of the city and for many years its leading banker. Mr. Swenson was born at Falun, Sweden, April 16, 1850, a son of Nels P. and Anna Swenson. His father, who was born in April, 1823, was a blacksmith by trade. In 1865 he brought his family to America, located in Chicago, where he followed his trade two years. Another year was spent in Henry County, Iowa, and in 1868 he became one of the first Swedish colonists to take up a homestead in McPherson County, Kansas. His homestead was a short distance west of the present Town of Lindsborg. In 1872 he retired from his farm and established the first blacksmith shop at Lindsborg. In the following year, in 1873, he opened the pioneer hardware and implement house of that town. He prospered in his business affairs and in 1879 was able to retire with a comfortable competence and on retiring he made an extended visit in Sweden. He was connected with all the earlier and later activities of the town and always in a public spirited fashion. He was one of the founders of the Swedish Lutheran Church of Lindsborg. His last years were spent in comfort and he died in 1899....

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Biography of Francis Johnson

Francis Johnson. What the Kansas pioneers went through in their efforts to establish homes and build up a commonwealth of material greatness and high ideals is a subject of knowledge known to Francis Johnson not from books or what other people have told him, but is part of his individual experience and recollection. He was one of the first settlers from Sweden who established homes in McPherson County in the years following the Civil war, and had always been one of the strong men of that community. His strength of body enabled him to conquer the forces of the wilderness and his strength of character and of heart had made him a source of great good and benefit in founding and upholding those institutions of which the people around Lindsborg take such justifiable pride. Mr. Johnson since retiring from active business affairs had lived in Lindsborg. He was born in Sweden December 27, 1841, an only son and child of Eric and Anna (Norquist) Johnson. He grew up in his native land, and while his education was not the equivalent of a college training he came to manhood strong and resourceful in both mind and body and well fitted for the career which awaited him in America. He was twenty-eight years of age when in 1869 he came to this country and joined the early Swedish colonists in McPherson...

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Biography of Bror G. Grondal

Bror G. Grondal. At the very head of the profession of photography in Kansas stands Bror G. Grondal, who for thirty consecutive years had conducted the leading studio at Lindsborg. Mr. Grondal both in his profession and in other lines of activity is a man of widely diversified experience. His career is an interesting one since he came to America in childhood years and had fought continuously a brave and unremitting struggle until he placed himself in a position where he is master of a congenial profession. Mr. Grondal is a former president of the Kansas State Photographers Association. He was born in the famous university City of Upsala, Sweden, January 11, 1855. His parents, John G. and Sophia (Yack) Grondal, spent all their lives in Sweden. He lived in his native country until he was fourteen and in the meantime attended the University of Upsala. Bravely facing the world alone, he set out for America, and landed at Savannah, Georgia, without means or influence. The first year he worked as clerk in a general merchandise store at Sanford, Florida. The next year he was employed as a chainman with a surveying corps and also put in one year in a sawmill. Other experiences followed and for a year he was a salesman in New York City and then enlisted as a sailor, and sailed for five years, two...

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Biography of Frank Hageman

Frank Hageman, president of the National Bank of America at Salina, the largest bank in that city, and one of the strongest financial institutions in Central Kansas, is all but a native of Kansas and had been a resident of this state nearly continuously since the close of the territorial period. His name is one that had a very honorable and important connection with Kansas commercial life, his father, the late Miller Hageman, having been one of Leavenworth’s foremost wholesale merchants. The late Miller Hageman was born at Reedsburg, Ohio, in 1826. His was an example of the typical American career of a youth who begins life without special influence or advantages and struggles to the top in business affairs. He was both a teacher and farmer in early life, but when about twenty-two years of age he engaged in merchandising with his brother Adam at Beardstown, Illinois. That firm prospered and his success there influenced Miller Hageman to direct his energies in a newer field and one promising great opportunities. In 1859, accordingly, he came to Kansas and established himself at Leavenworth, which then was by all means one of the first cities in point of commerce and trade along the Missouri River. He engaged in the wholesale grocery business under the name M. Hageman & Company. For a long period of years this firm stood second to...

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