Pages 359-360, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




ERIC D. ERICSON, who is numbered among the prosperous and self-made men of Elsmore township, Allen County, was born of Swedish parentage in Knoxville, Knox County, Illinois, on the 2nd of November, 1855. He is a son of Ole and Elna Ericson, both of whom were natives of Sweden, whence they came to America in 1852, locating in Knoxville. In their family were nine children, of whom Eric D. is the fourth in order of birth. He was reared in the place of his nativity and during his boyhood pursued his education in the common schools. He worked at home until nineteen years of age and then started out in life for himself, securing employment as a farm hand. He also worked in coal mines, giving his time to those two pursuits until he had secured a capital of about five hundred dollars. Believing that this might be profitably invested in the west, in the spring of 1883, in company with his brother Joseph, he came to Kansas, locating first in Bourbon County, where he rented a farm for one year. In 1884 he came to Allen County and in connection with his brother purchased a league claim. He gave all of his money for the property and soon aterward[sic] found that he had no title to the land, nor could he acquire one. He thus lost all that he had paid. Such an experience would have utterly discouraged many a man of less resolute spirit, but with a determined purpose and a strong heart he set to work to retrieve his lost possessions. Again buying that tract of land, with characteristic energy he


commenced improving it, erected a good residence, planted shade trees and otherwise added to the value and attractive appearance of the place. He today owns three hundred and twenty acres, and the rich, productive soil yields to him excellent returns for the labor he bestows upon it. The entire farm is improved and much of the grain he raises he feeds to his stock, which upon the market finds a ready sale.

On the 12th of April, 1883, Mr. Ericson was united in marriage to Miss Jennie Freeburg, who was born in Sweden, on the 31st of May, 1863, and came to America with her parents when five years of age. She is a daughter of John and Ingar Freeburg, who crossed the Atlantic to the new world in 1869, settling near Paxton, Illinois, whence they came to Kansas in 1883. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Ericson has been blessed with five children: Hattie, George, Alvin, Harley and Earl, aged respectively sixteen, fifteen, ten, eight and four years. Mr. Ericson is a member of the A. O. U. W. at Elsmore, and of a mutual insurance company at Galesburg, Illinois. He is also a stockholder in the State Bank of Elsmore and is at present one of the directors of that institution. In politics he is a Populist, but has never been an aspirant for office, preferring to give his attention to his business affairs. He has served as a school officer for a number of years and the cause of education in his district has found in him a warm friend. Otherwise he has held no other political preferments, for the work of the farm claims his industry and enterprise. However, he has met with reverses, but has overcome all the difficulties and obstacles in his path by a resolute will and unflagging perseverance, and today he is classed among the substanial agriculturists of his adopted country.

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