Page 455, 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.




JOHN SWANSON, who follows farming in Elsmore township, was born in Sweden, December 5, 1850. His father, Swan Olson, is still a resident of Sweden, and there he reared his family, the subject of this review remaining in that country until he was twenty-one years of age, when he crossed the Atlantic and took up his abode in Moline, Illinois, where he entered the employ of the John Deere Plow Company and remained for three years. At the expiration of that time he went to Iowa and for two years was employed as a farm hand, after which he returned to Moline and again entered the works of the Deere Company. He was employed for four years in the factory, during which time he won the confidence of Mr. Deere who manifested his appreciation of the faithful service our subject had rendered him by giving him employment at his home and there he remained for two years.

In 1876 Mr. Swanson was united in marriage to Miss Hannah Benson, a native of Sweden who came to America on the same ship on which her husband had made the voyage. He then rented a farm in Henry county, Illinois, and continued its operation for eight years, returning again to Moline, where he resided two years. Believing that he could more readily secure a home for his family in the west he then came to Kansas, arriving in Allen county on the 8th of November, 1887. He purchased eighty acres of land two miles and a half west of Savonburg, where he still resides and has made himself one of the prettiest homes in the county, having erected a fine residence in the midst of a beautiful grove. The house is finished in an attractive manner on the inside and neatly furnished and an air of hospitality pervades it. Mrs. Swanson presides over the household affairs and is an excellent housekeeper. Mr. Swanson attends to the work of the fields and everything about the place is characterized by thrift and enterprise. When he left Sweden he had to borrow money of his brother and in Illinois he laid up $1300 which he brought to Kansas, and by his untiring diligence and capable management he has continually added to his competence which has now assumed very creditable proportions.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Swanson have been born seven children, three sons and four daughters: Alfred, Ansfred and Victor, who are at home and assist their father in the work of the farm; Almeda, who is in Kansas City; and Jennie, Minnie and Ester, who are still with their parents. In his political views Mr. Swanson is a Republican. His duties of citizenship are faithfully discharged and he is true to all responsibilities devolving upon him. Surely he had earned the proud American title of "self-made man" for having come to the new world empty handed he has worked his way upward, and as the architect of his own fortunes has builded wisely and well.

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