A highly improved and well cultivated farm of two hundred and forty acres in Lockridge township pays tribute to
the agricultural skill of Victor Swanson, who has been engaged in general farming and stock raising in Jefferson
county for the past thirty one years. He was born in Sweden on March 21, 1849, and is a son of Oliver and Catherine
(Erickson) Swanson, who were born, reared and married in the old country. Mr. Swanson engaged in farming in his
native land until 1852, when together with his wife and family he emigrated to the United States, locating in Jefferson
county. Upon his arrival here he invested a portion of his limited capital in forty acres of government land in
Lockridge township, where he and his wife spent the remainder of their days. He erected a few crude buildings to
suffice for the immediate needs of his family and as a protection for his stock when he began clearing and cultivating
his land. He was an industrious man and applied himself with unremitting energy to the improvement of his farm,
his efforts being abetted by the thrift his wife practiced in the management of the household affairs. As time
passed he was able to extend his holdings, increasing the value of his place by the erection of better buildings
and the development of his fields. Here he passed away in February, 1887, while the mother survived until July,
Fifty nine years have elapsed since, a child of two years, Victor Swanson emigrated to the United States with his
parents. He was reared on the farm where he is now residing, obtaining his education in the district schools of
Lockridge township. While engaged in the mastery of the elementary branches of English learning he was being trained
in the tilling of the fields and care of the crops, having begun to assist his father when little more than a child.
When he was a lad of twelve years the entire responsibility of the cultivation of the farm and support of the family
devolved upon him, his father being helpless with rheumatism and his elder brother away at the war, where he served
for four years with Bissell's engineers. Nothing daunted he resolutely assumed the duties necessity forced upon
him, the determination that has ever characterized his actions enabling him to meet the requirements of the situation.
At the age of twenty one years Mr. Swanson left the parental roof westward bound and located in Omaha where for
ten years he worked for the Union Pacific Railroad Company. At the expiration of that period he returned home and
bought the old farm on which he has ever since resided. He has worked with the indefatigable energy and definite
purpose that invariably bring success, so intelligently directing his efforts, that he has been able to increase
his holdings from time to time, until he now has two hundred and forty acres of as highly cultivated and well improved
land as is to be found in that section of the county. His homestead bears little resemblance to the place where
he spent his boyhood, the old log buildings having given way to large, substantially constructed barns and outbuildings
providing ample shelter for both stock and farming implements, while his residence is both comfortable and convenient
in its arrangements.
On the 28th of August, 1875, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Swanson and Miss Ida Sophia Lakestrom, a daughter
of Martin and Anna (Johnson) Lakestrom, also natives of Sweden. The father, who was a carpenter in the old country,
emigrated to the United States with his wife and family settling in Jefferson county. After the marriage of Mr.
and Mrs. Swanson the old people made their home with them for a time but later went to Burlington, where Mr. Lakestrom
passed away in September, 1886. Soon after Mr. Lakestrom's demise his widow came to live with Mrs. Swanson and
continued to make her home with her daughter until her death on the 20th of July, 1896. Five children have been
born to Mr. and Mrs. Swanson: Eva, the deceased wife of the Rev. J. J. Jones, who passed away in Colorado on the
21st of May, 1891; Stella, who married J. A. Anderson, a farmer of Nebraska; Charles, who is living at home; Clara,
who passed away on December 30, 1895; and William, who is at home.
Mr. and Mrs. Swanson hold membership in the Lutheran church, and politically he is a republican. He has always
taken an active interest in affairs of the township, particularly those of an educational nature, having served
for many years as a school director, while for ten years he was president of the board. In addition to his fine
homestead Mr. Swanson is a stockholder and director of the Lockridge Savings Bank, and for ten years he was president
of the Four Corners Creamery Company. He is one of the highly esteemed and respected men of Lockridge township,
whose success is recognized as the well merited reward of capably and intelligently directed effort.
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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