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Hans Swenson


Posted By: Peter Gausmann (email)
Date: 2/7/2010 at 07:04:37


Hans Swenson is proprietor of the Maple Grove Farm situated on section 4, Forest township, and so named from a beautiful grove of maple trees which he planted. For about forty-five years he has lived in Winnebago county upon the farm which he now owns and occupies and for a still longer period has been a resident of Iowa. He was born, however, in Norway on the 22A of February, 1845, and is a son of Swen and Augusta (Bent) Swenson. The father died in his native land, after which the mother came to the' new world and spent her last days in the home of her son Hans, there passing away in 1892. In the family were seven children, of whom three are yet living.

Through the period of his boyhood and youth Hans Swenson remained a resident of Norway and there acquired a common school education. Ambitious to enjoy better opportunities than he could secure in his native country, he came to America in 1867 and made his way to Iowa, settling first in Winneshiek county. There he was employed as a farm hand for about six years, after which he came to Winnebago county and invested his savings in a tract of land on section 4, Forest township. He has since improved the property, which he has converted into a valuable farm with well kept fields and fine buildings. In fact, the Maple Grove Farm is one of the finest in Forest township, lacking none of the equipment or accessories of the model farm property of the twentieth century. Not only has he carefully tilled the soil but has also successfully engaged in raising and feeding stock, this branch of his business constituting an important source of his income.

In 1869 Mr. Swenson was married to Miss Dora Olson, a native of Norway, and they became the parents of six children: Anna, the wife of E. J. Hill; Otto, who is engaged in the hardware business at Thompson, Iowa; Simon and Henry, who are now residents of McKenzie county, North Dakota; Alfred, who is cultivating the old homestead farm; and Tom E. The wife and mother passed away on the 16th of June, 1913, and was laid to rest in the United Lutheran cemetery near the West Prairie church, in which she held membership. She left not only a husband and six children to mourn her loss but also many warm friends who deeply regretted her passing. Mr. Swenson is also a member of the Lutheran church and his religious faith has been a guiding force in his life. In politics he is an earnest republican, having supported the party since becoming a naturalized American citizen. He has served as township trustee and as school director but has never been ambitious to hold office. He may truly be called a self-made man, for all that he possesses and enjoys has been acquired through his own efforts since he came to the new world. His has been a well spent life and he well merits the prosperity which he now enjoys.

Source: History of Winnebago County and Hancock County, Iowa: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement, Vol. II. Pioneer Publishing Company (Chicago), 1917. pp. 207-208.


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