Swan August Bengston
Posted By: County Coordinator
Date: 3/20/2009 at 02:16:18
Swan August Bengston IN this age when so many men are seeking public office, its honors and its emoluments, it is exceptional to find one who is filling a position of public trust which came to him unsolicited. It was only after the earnest persuasions of many friends, however, the Mr Bengston would consent to become a candidate for the office of county treasurer, in which capacity he is now so acceptably and faithfully serving.
He was born in Sweden May 1, 1861, and is a son of Sven Gustav and Caroline Bengston. The father is now living in Madrid, Iowa, but the mother died in October 1897, at the age of sixty-eight years. Peter August Bengston, a younger brother of Seven G Bengston came to the United States and located in Boone county, Iowa, where he secured a tract of land and for many years followed farming, passing away in 1900 a the age of sixty-six years. The father of our subject came to the United States a year after the arrival of his brother, Peter. Mr Bengston is a tailor by trade. He began following that pursuit when but a boy of ten years and carried on business along that line for fifty-four years. Almost a quarter of a century ago he located in Madrid, which has since been his place of residence and although he in now living retired, he was for a long period connected with the commercial interests of the town as a leading tailor. He has also been prominent in pubic office, and in other lines. He was the originator of the Swedish Mission church in Madrid, and has done everything in his power to advance the moral development of the community. In politics he is a stalward Republican, giving earnest support to the political principles in which he believed. He is a man of fine sensibilities, a genial temperament, kindly disposition and his qualities of an upright manhood have gained for him many warm friends. Unto him and his wife were born nine children and those still living are: Christina wife of S A Swanson, of Madrid, Anna L and Swan August.
The last named is the subject of this review. In the public schools of Sweden he began his education, attending school through the winter months, while in the summer seasons he worked upon the home farm. His father purchased timber land and the trees were cut down and converted into posts, which were then placed upon the market. After coming to America the father followed this business until 1881, when Mr Bengton of this review, in connection with his brother John G, succeeded the father in business and carried on the enterprise until 1887. They also operate a hay press, which materially increased their income. In 1887 Mr Bengston disposed of his business interest in the lines mentioned, and became connected with mercantile interests in Madrid as a dealer in farm implements, conducting his store until 1892. All of this time he was associated with his brother, but he latter died on December 2, 1892, and was succeeded in the business by the father of our subject. This relation was maintained until November 1, 1900, when Swan A Bengston withdrew from the firm and organized a flouring mill company, of which he was elected secretary, treasurer and general manager. This organization was effected December 9, 1901, and in a short time the mill was put in operation and has since been conducted with good success, the output finding a ready sale upon the market, because of the excellence of the product and the reasonable prices of the firm.
In May 1901, Mr Bengston was nominated on the Republican ticket for the office of treasurer of Boone county. This was done against his wished and request, but his friends brought all the pressure of their influence to bear upon him and he finally decided to accept the nomination and was elected by a very large and complimentary majority of fourteen hundred and forty-three. He succeeded B M Huntley in the office, the duties o which he is now promptly and ably discharging. He is a practical business man and the same keep insight into affairs is manifested in his official work. In his home town of Madrid he has filled the office of recorder several terms, has been mayor for two years, and has also been councilman, justice of the peace and notary public.
In 1896 occurred the marriage of Mr Bengston to Miss Ida F Carlson, of Omaha, Nebraska, and their children are Gustav Waldemar, Gideon, Olga, Nelga and Marian. Mr and Mrs Bengston have a wide acquaintance in this county and have gained many friends here. He is a director in the Swedish Mutual Association, having thus served since 1892, and in 1900-01 he was its president. He belongs to the Swedish Mission church and as a citizen is pubic spirited and progressive, withholdings his aid from no movement for the general good. In business circles he sustains an unassailable reputation, and over the record of his political career there falls no shadow of wrong, his course being such as to commend him to the confidence and respect, not only of the men of this own party, but of the opposition as well.
1902 Boone County History Book
Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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