Joseph Schillerstrom, whose energies have been devoted to general mercantile pursuits in Salina for the past
twenty seven years, is one of Jefferson county's native sons. His birth occurred on a farm in Lockridge township,
on November 28, 1855, his parents being Gustaf O. and Inga Schillerstrom, both of whom were born and reared in
Sweden. There the father engaged in farming until 1846, when seeking opportunities affording more rapid advancement
he took passage for the United States. Upon his arrival in this country he made his way westward to Iowa, locating
in Jefferson county, which at that time was but sparsely settled. He invested a portion of his small capital in
forty acres of government land in Lockridke township, for which he paid one dollar and twenty five cents per acre.
After placing upon his tract such buildings as were essential for immediate use. he began clearing and improving
his land, diligently applying himself to its cultivation for two years. At the expiration of that period he sold
his place and purchased a tract of one hundred and thirty acres of uncultivated and unimproved land north of Salina,
where he immediately removed. He improved this tract until 1863, then disposing of it he rented a place closer
to Salina, where he resided one year, locating in the spring of 1865 at Glendale, also in Lockridge township. Here
he purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land that he operated until 1896, when he sold his holdings and retired
from active work, making his home with his children until his death in April, 1911. The mother passed away in 1893.
Joseph Schillerstrom was reared in Lockridge township, gaining his education in the district schools, at the same
time tilling the soil and caring for the crops under the capable supervision of his father. He remained a member
of the parental household until he had attained his majority when he began for himself as a farm hand, following
this occupation for four years. In 188o he went west, locating in Nevada where he farmed for three years; subsequently
he returned to Jefferson county, where he has ever since resided. Commercial activities had always appealed to
Mr. Sehillerstrom who now decided to abandon farming, so he bought the general mercantile business of Frank Thuesson
at Salina, taking possession of the store in January, 1884. He has met with an unusual degree of success in this
undertaking, carrying a large and well assorted stock of goods and being the only merchant in the town. He is a
man who has the happy faculty of making and retaining the friendship of the majority of those with whom he comes
in contact, and this together with his gracious and accommodating manner to customers has enabled him to build
up a large patronage. Mr. Schillerstrom is the owner of the building in which his store is located and of a fine
residence and four lots.
On the 24th of November, 1885, Mr. Schillerstrom completed his arrangements for a home by his marriage to Miss
Josie Edmunds, a daughter of Charles and Sophia (Faust) Edmunds, natives of Sweden. Mrs. Edmunds passed away in
the old country in 1871 and five years later her husband with his family emigrated to the United States, locating
in Jefferson county. During the first four years of his residence here Mr. Edmunds rented a farm near Packwood
which he cultivated with such success that he was able to buy one hundred and forty acres of land north of Salina.
He located upon this, devoting his energies to its cultivation until his demise on the 14th of March, 1898. Mr.
and Mrs. Schillerstrom were the parents of eight children: Edward C., who is twenty five years of age. now residing
in Creston; Glenn J., who is twenty two; Nettie F., whose age is twenty; Townsend, who is eighteen; Curtis, a youth
of fifteen; Iva Pearl, who has passed the twelfth anniversary of her birth Mary, aged eight; and Francis, who is
just entering his fifth year.
The family affiliate with the Presbyterian church, and in matters politic Mr. Schillerstrom gives his support to
the prohibition party. thus indicating his views on the liquor question. Although he takes an interest in all matters
pertaining to the public policy hem has never desired office. and when elected to the office of justice of the
peace, some time ago, declined the proffered honor. He is a man of determination and stalwart purpose, who has
labored persistently and unremittingly in his efforts to build up his business and has had his endeavors well repaid
not only by a large patronage but the respect of the community at large. which is freely accorded him.
History of Jefferson County, Iowa
A Record of Settlement, Organizatin,
Progress and Achievement
BY: Charles J. Fulton
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Jefferson County, IA
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