Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 4/26/2010 at 11:26:16
John Rundberg, of Ogden, Iowa, was a typical representative of that sturdy race of northern Europe which has furnished so many valuable citizens to the United States. He as born in Sweden and found in this country opportunities which he turned by is energy and industry into material success. Mr Rundberg was born August 19, 1834, a son of Andrew Rundberg. The father, also of Swedish birth and a wagon maker by trade was likewise engaged in blacksmithing. He stood high in the estimation of his community and served for some time in the responsible position of overseer of the poor, having charge of the poor farm of his district. The parents never came to American, the father dying in his native land in 1846 and the mother surviving him for about thirty years.
John Rundberg had to earn his own livelihood upon the death of his father, at which time he was only twelve years of age. He found employment a the munificent sum of eight cents a day and afterward learned the carpenter’s trade and also that of cabinetmaker, completing his apprenticeship when he was eighteen years of age, a fact which speaks well for his deep and serious purpose.
Mr Rundberg continued in the pursuit of his trade until 1868 in his native country, coming in that year to America and locating in New York. IN September he invented a threshing machine separator, giving hereby evidence of the fertility of his mind and the close attention which he paid to mechanical details, for which he had a particular talent. Later Mr Rundberg decided upon a removal to the West and went to Stockholm, Wisconsin, where for a short time he continued to pursue his trade. He then came to Boone, Iowa the year of his arrival being 1869. He followed his trade in a furniture factory in Boone county for one and one half years, at the end of which time he decided upon a change of residence. Selecting Moingona, where he established himself in the furniture business in partnership with Samuel Morgan. They remained in this connection for about nine months and in the fall of 1874 Mr Rundberg came to Ogden and founded a furniture and undertaking business, of which he was the head until 1904, when the store was destroyed by fire. He rebuilt but retired from the business, his son, however, carrying a stock of furniture and continuing the activities of his father. Mr Rundberg was successful because he had a thorough knowledge of the furniture business and because he possessed good business ability. Fair methods always prevailed in his establishment, and his reputation for the honest treatment of his customers gained for him an extensive trade.
Mr Rundberg was twice married. His first union with Miss Johanna Rundberg, a native of Sweden, who passed away December 10, 1877. On January 5, 1879, he married Hannah Rustan, a daughter of Gustav and Caroline Rustan, natives of Sweden. The father was a carpenter by trade but also followed agricultural pursuits. He crossed the Atlantic to America and located in Webster county, Iowa at an early day. There he was for many years as successful as an agriculturist, gaining a competency which permitted him to retire in the later years of his life, when he moved to Des Moines. That city remained his residence until his death, which occurred in September 1910. His wife had preceded him to the great beyond in 1900. To the first union of Mr Rundberg were born five children: Augusta the wife of Charles Rosen, a harness dealer of Ogden, Iowa, David, John H, Emma and Philip E who is now conducting the furniture and undertaking business established by his father. To the second marriage also five children were born, Jennie, Charles, Martin, Bessie and Anna H.
Mr Rundberg gave his political allegiance to the republican party and although he shunned publicity and never sought public office, was always interested in the development and advancement of his city and county. He gave material and moral support to worthy public enterprises and as a successful business man stood in the front ranks with those men who considered no effort too great in order to promote the welfare of their city, In later years Mr Rundberg did not enjoy the best of health and after an illness of two years he passed away on December 14, 1913., in his eightieth year. He was venerated by all the citizens of Ogden as a pioneer and one of the early business men of the city. He was esteemed not so much for what he had accomplished as for the high qualities of his character. Mrs Rundberg, who survives him, owns the building in which the furniture and undertaking business if now conducted, and resides in a handsome home which stands in grounds that comprise 4 acres of land. She is well and favorably known in Ogden, where she has many friends who esteem her highly on account of her womanly qualities of character.
1914 Boone County History Book
Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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