Lindsborg, which claims to he the cleanest city in Kansas, is the second largest town in McPherson county. It is located on the Smoky Hill river, the Missouri Pacific and the Union Pacific railroads, 15 miles north of McPherson, the county seat. It has a sewer system, waterworks, electric light plant, 3 banks, 2 flour mills, 3 elevators, a brick works, a broom factory, 3 newspapers (the News, the Posten and the Record), and a number of well stocked stores. This is the headquarters of the Swedish American Insurance company. It is also the location of Bethany College (q. v.), one of the leading educational institutions of the state. This institution, as well as the old people's home in Lindsborg, is supported by the Swedish Lutheran church. The population of the town and surrounding country is almost wholly of Swedish descent. They are artistic people, especially in music, and the little city is known to musicians all over the United States for the yearly rendering of the Messiah, an event which brings visitors front all parts of the country. Lindsborg is well built with fine business blocks and up-to-date stores. It is supplied with telegraph and telephone connections, express offices, and an international money order postoffice with three rural routes, The population in 1910 was 1,939.
The town was located by the Chicago Swedish company in 1868. The first building was the company's house, in which religious services were held and business transacted. The first private house was built by Neils Olson in 1869. The first store was opened the same year by J. H. Johnson, about a mile west of the town site, where the first postoffice was located. It was established in 1869 and Mr. Johnson was made postmaster. In 1870 the Swedish Merchants' association bought Mr. Johnson's property and moved the store and postoffice to Lindsborg. In May, 1871, C. Carlson surveyed the town site for the First Swedish agricultural society. The town was incorporated as a city in 1879, and John A. Swensson was the first mayor. Bethany College was opened in 1881 with 30 students. The Bank of Lindsborg was established in 1882. By this time Lindsborg had grown to be an important grain market. Three large elevators with a combined capacity of 50,000 bushels had been built at a total cost of $15,000. Two large mills had been put up, one at a cost of $8,000 and the other $12,000. The first newspaper was the Lindsborg Socialist, established in 1879. The Kansas Posten, which was at that time the only Swedish newspaper in Kansas, was established in 1882. The first railroad was the Salina & McPherson branch of the Union Pacific, built in 1879. The Missouri Pacific was constructed through Lindsborg in 1887.
Lindsborg was made the county seat of McPherson county by the commissioners in 1870, and remained so for three years. The first school was taught in the court-house by Mrs. Warner.Pages 164-165 from volume II of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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