John William Nordstrom, abstractor, real estate and insurance agent of Clay Center, and former clerk of Clay county, Kansas, of which he is a native son, was born on his father's farm in Hays township, January 20, 1871, a son of Olof W. and Jane (Hannell) Nordstrom. Olof W. Nordstrom, the founder of the family in America, was born in Sweden, November 2, 1843. He came to the United States in 1867, first locating in Henry county, Illinois, where he remained three years, his employment being that of a farm hand. In 1870 he came to Kansas and located on Government land, in Hays township, Clay county. His capital totaled fifty cents, and with this sum of money, energy, ambition and good health, he started for himself. As a means of sustenance, while proving up on his claim, he secured employment in the Alonzo Dexter Mill, at Clay Center, and remained in this occupation some little time. He underwent the hardships common to the lot of the pioneer of that period, was an untiring worker, frugal, possessed the qualifications of a successful farmer, and was, with his accumulated profits, a consistent buyer of farm lands. He is one of the substantial citizens of his county, possesses the esteem of his neighbors, and his influence in the community has been for good. In 1868, while a resident of Illinois, he married Miss Jane Hannell, also a native of Sweden, born June 5, 1844, and came to the United States with an uncle, who was a member of a Swedish colony which located in Illinois. Her father was a pioneer pilot on steam vessels in the Gulf of Bothnia. To this union six children were born: John William, the subject of this article; Martin Ole, born October 20, 1872, who married, in 1900, Miss Ida Nyman, of Riley county; Edward Alfred, born September 27, 1878, graduated from Bethany College, Lindsborg, as a professional musician, married, in 1901, Miss Georgie Robbins. He died on February 20, 1903. Jennie Mabel, born December 12, 1881, died on March 16, 1901. Ernest Joshua, born November 6, 1889, graduated from the Clay Center High School, and is a salesman at Plattsburg, Mo. He married, in 1910, Miss Anna Warner, of that city. Edward, the third child, died in infancy.
John William Nordstrom received his early education in the schools of Clay county, was graduated from the Clay Center High School, completed a course in Bethany College, Lindsborg, in Spaulding's Business College, Kansas City, Mo., and also in the Kansas State Normal School at Salina, Kan. On completion of his studies in the last named institution, he engaged in teaching in the schools of Clay county, and remained in educational work for twelve years. As a teacher, he attained recognition as one of the able, conscientious, and energetic men of his profession. He received the nomination, on the Republican ticket, for superintendent of public instruction of Clay county, in 1896, but was defeated by the Populist candidate, although he led his party ticket. He was elected clerk of Clay county, in 1908, and elected to succeed himself in 1910. His administration of this department of the county's business, during the four years in which he was in charge, reflects credit upon himself and his constituents. He has been a consistent advocate of the principles and policies of the Republican party, active in party work, and influential in its councils. He is numbered among the progressive and public-spirited citizens of Clay Center, is always ready to assist, both with time and money, any movement which has for its object the development and betterment of the city. Mr. Nordstrom is a student, widely read, speaks and writes both the Swedish and English languages, and served for some time as official court interpreter for the Swedish colony. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias and Modern Woodmen of America.
Mr. Nordstrom married, April 19, 1899, Miss Harriett E. Heusted, daughter of Capt. W. V. and Mary R. (Campbell) Heusted, of Clay Center, who was born on her father's farm in Bloom township, Clay county, June 30, 1873. She is a graduate of the Clay Center High School and was a successful teacher previous to her marriage, having taught in the Clay county schools for eight years. Her father, Captain Heusted, is a native of New York, a veteran of the Civil war, serving with a Michigan regiment with the rank of captain, and married while a resident of the last named State, Miss Mary R. Campbell. He brought his family to Kansas in 1869, and located on land in Clay county. He has been actively concerned in the development of the county, is one of its influential citizens, and has served in public office with honor and distinction. He was twice elected to the office of treasurer of Clay county, attended, as a delegate, the Republican National convention at Philadelphia, which nominated McKinley, and also the convention at Chicago, in 1908, which nominated Taft.
Mr. and Mrs. Nordstrom are the parents of three children: Wayne Vivian, born August 10, 1900; Mabel Irene, born March 17, 1904; and Kathleen Linn, born July 30, 1912, the latter being the name of the National flower of Sweden. Mr. Nordstrom's father and mother visited their native country in 1913, after an absence of forty-five years, and also made an extended tour of the continent.Pages 574-575 from a supplemental volume 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 October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM467. It is a single volume 3.
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