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August Stenstrom 1841-1923


Posted By: deb (email)
Date: 7/20/2018 at 10:56:48

August Stenstrom, living retired since 1906, was formerly closely connected with business interests in Burlington as a stone-mason and determination and energy constituted the basis of success which is now his, enabling him to rest from further labor and spend his remaining days in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil. He has now passed the seventy-third milestone on life's journey. He was born in Sweden, August 20, 1841 and came to the United State in 1867, arriving in Chicago on the 12th of May. His parents were Anderson and Mary (Johnson)Stenstrom, who always remained residents of Sweden. Two sisters, however, came to the New World with August Stenstrom, and one of these, Jennie, the widow of Charles Carlson, now lives in Minnesota.

August Stenstrom attended the public schools of his native country, and entering business circles, was employed at cutting stone for a railroad bridge. He was a young man of twenty five years when he came to the United States and he afterward worked on the bridge at Dubuque, Iowa. In 1869, he began to take contracts for stonework and was engaged to do the stone work in the building of the house for John Sherfey on High Street in 1869. In 1871, he erected the stone building of the Merchant's National Bank, obtaining the stone at Nauvoo, Illinois. In 1876, he purchased a stone quarry on upper Augusta road at Long Creek and has since operated it. Men are still engaged in quarrying stone there and to the business Mr. Stenstrom gives his general supervision, although he is not now active in the work. Among his employees is John Frebert, who has been in his employ for twenty-four years. As a stonemason, Mr. Stenstrom has done much work in this county, and in Illinois. He has built vaults in the cemetery. In 1880, he built the Carpenter, John Gregg and Boner stone fronts and he has laid many stone sidewalks. In 1884, he put in the stone front for Philip Andre where the I.S. Schramm dry-goods store is now standing. He built the school house in Dallas, Illinois in 1896, The Congregational Church in Galesburg, Illinois, in 1898, and in 1902, he had charge of the stone work on the poor farm in Burlington. In 1903 he formed a partnership relation, being connected with the Burlington Construction Company. He later built a bridge at Dallas, Illinois, and the next year, 1906, built the bank at Dallas, which was his last active work. Since then he has lived retired, enjoying a rest which he has truly earned and richly deserves. In Sweden, on the 2oth of December 1863, Mr. Stenstrom was married to Miss Sarah Mary Anderson, who was born in Sweden, November 30, 1830 and died in Burlington, January 1910.. They were the parents to five children, of whom three has passed away. Mollie Josephine is the wife of Steve Linstrom and lives on the farm of Mr. Stenstrom at Long Creek, where the quarry is located. They have two sons, Leonard and Frederick, aged respectively sixteen and twelve years. Albertina is the wife of Asa Edward Brockway and they reside with her father. They have two children, Donald McNeill, aged seven and Fay Dorothy, aged five. Mr. Brockway's mother, Mrs. Louisa C. Brockway lives with him.
In politics Mr. Stenstrom was always a republican until 1912, when he voted the democratic ticket. He and his wife are members of the Swedish Lutheran Church and he has held all the church offices. In 1873 he built the home which he still occupies and he also owns several other residence property which he rents. He came to America a poor man but by economy and intelligently directed industry he built up a good business and now has many comforts which has been secured through his former activity along trade lines. He is plain and unassuming, yet there is no shadow of mock modesty about him. He has always been recognized as a expert mechanic, is a man of broad and liberal views and of splendid memory. He is also a man of fine physique and possesses a large heart that reaches out in sympathy, kindliness, and good cheer to all. Pleasant at all times and with all people, he numbers his friends among young and old, rich and poor.

History of Des Moines County, Iowa, Volume 2
By Augustine M. Antrobus, pages 521-523


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