This is a collection of short biographical sketches submitted by individuals with a link to the Researcher. You are invited to send appropriate sketches of early Atchison County residents for inclusion on this page


Atchison County Kansas Bio Sketches 


Knud G. Gigstad, farmer and breeder of fine cattle was born in Norway, September 28, 1856 and is a son of Gulick and Anna Gigstad. He was one of seven children one of whom is now dead. Four of the boys and one daughter are living in the United States. The father was a native of Norway and spent his life in that country.

Knud G. Gigstad left Norway at the age of twenty to try his luck in America. He came without funds and went to work as a farm hand in Brown Co., KS. He remained at that place two years and then rented 160 acres from his uncle, Benedict MUTSON. This was a profitable venture and before long he was able to buy eighty acres of unimproved land in section 28, Lancaster Township, Atchison Co., for which he paid $16.25 an acre. Mr. Gigstad worked hard to get his farm in workable shape, each year finding him a little more prosperous and finally he added 320 acres to the farm, besides 436 acres of rice land in Liberty Co., near Houston, Texas. Eighteen years ago he built a large house on the farm and has since erected a large barn and other substantial buildings. Mr. Gigstad is a breeder of Shorthorn cattle and has made exhibits at the American Royal stock show in Kansas City, MO and in 1913 was awarded the prize as grand champion of America on his Shorthorns. This is a high honor and is ample testimony of the quality of Mr. Gigstad's stock. He is an extensive shipper to all parts of the United States. His reputation as a breeder is firmly established among cattlemen all over the country. He is almost sure of one or two first prizes whenever he enters his cattle in a fair. Mr. Gigstad also has a fine three acre orchard. He is a hard working man and has succeeded despite great handicaps and his financial success has not caused him to neglect the welfare of his county, as he has always been active in supporting measures for the good of Atchison Co.

He is married to Lena OLSEN, a native of Atchison Co., and a daughter of Herrol and Julia Olsen. She was born in 1866. Her parents are natives of Norway and her father was an early settler of Atchison Co. Mr. and Mrs. Gigstad have eleven children: Anna Flattre, of Lancaster Township; Mrs. Julia HENZ of Lancaster, KS; Harry, Clara, Gena, Gilbert, Matilda, Lillian, Gladis, Carl, Charles, all living at home. Mr. Gigstad is a Republican and a member of the Lutheran Church.

Taken from:

History of Atchison County, Kansas

by Sheffield Ingalls - 1916

Submitted by:

Clemi Higley Blackburn, July 2001

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Last updated 7/18/2001

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