Pages 453-454, 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.




JOSEPH ERICSON—The name of Ericson is well known in connection with agricultural interests in Allen county and has ever been synonymous with signal honesty in business affairs. Joseph Ericson, who now follows farming in Elsmore township, claims Illinois as the State of his nativity, his birth having occured in Knoxville, Knox county, on the 6th of November, 1827.[sic] His father, Ole Ericson, was born in Sweden in the year 1812, and having arrived at years of maturity, he was married in that country. His wife, Elna, was born in 1825, and in the year 1850 they came to the new world, attracted by the opportunities here afforded. Since that time they have been residents of Knox county, Illinois, their home being in Knoxville. The father has reached the advanced age of eighty-eight years and the mother is now seventy-five years of age. Their


family numbered nine children and three of the sons are now prosperous farmers of Allen county.

Joseph Ericson, the fifth in order of birth, was reared in Knox county and pursued his education in the common schools and worked for his parents until twenty-one years of age and then secured employment as a farm hand, to which work he gave his attention through the summer months, while in the winter seasons he was employed in the coal mines. Through his industry, economy and determination he accumulated about six hundred dollars, and with this capital he came to Kansas, accompanied by his brother Eric. They made the journey in the spring of 1883 and our subject located first at Warrensburg, where he was employed in a store owned by Charles Nelson. About a year afterward he and his brother together purchased what is known as a "league claim" in Allen county, investing all of their capital in that property. Soon, however they found that they could not secure a title without again buying the land. Thus they lost all of the money which they had first put into the place, but they made arrangements to again pay the purchase price, and for seven years Joseph Ericson resided upon that farm, after which he sold his interest to his brother and purchased one hundred and sixty acres on section 12, town 26, range 20, on which he has since made his home, and today he owns in Elsmore township a valuable property of two hundred acres, conveniently located one mile west of the town of Elsmore, which furnishes him a good market for all that he has to sell.

Although Mr. Ericson started out upon his business career without a dollar and has had no assistance from wealthy or influential friends, he has steadily advanced upon a successful career, his resolute spirit and unflagging energy standing him instead of capital. His property interests are now very desirable. A pleasant residence occupies a good building site and is surrounded with shade trees of his own planting. A school house is located at one corner of his farm and thus his children enjoy educational advantages near at hand. He raises hogs, cattle and horses, and to his stock feeds the most of his grain. His farming methods are progressive and he is quick to adopt all improved methods which will promote the productiveness of his farm or add to its value or convenience.

On the 11th of February, 1892, in Allen county, Mr. Ericson led to the marriage altar Miss Amanda Olson, a daughter of Nels and Anna Olson, both of whom were natives of Sweden. Mrs. Ericson was born in Ford county, Illinois, and by her marriage has become the mother of five children, but Elna and Arthur are now deceased. Those still living are Elmer, Josie and Juneta. A nephew, Eddie W. Miller, is also a member of the family. Mr. Ericson usually gives his political support to the Populist party, but votes for the men rather than the organization. For eighteen years he has been a resident of Allen county, known and respected as a man of sterling worth and ability, and as one of those who contribute to the general stability of the community he is numbered.

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