Swan A. Tulien, a leading brick and stone contractor of Topeka, Kan., is a native of Sweden, where he was born in 1857. He was reared in his native land, and attended school until the age of twelve, when he left the school room to assist his father at carpenter work. Owing to the national custom of naming the sons of the family, the father's name was Simon Nelson, who was a contracting carpenter in Sweden. It was under the able direction of the father that our subject learned the carpenter's trade, and he continued to work with his father until he was of age. He then went to Stockholm, and was there apprenticed to learn the stone-mason's trade, which he followed fifteen years or until he immigrated to America. However, prior to coming to America, he was united in marriage, in 1885, to Miss Hilma Ockerwall, also a native of Sweden, and they made their native land their home until 1891, when they decided to bid farewell to the Fatherland and seek a home in the New World. After a long voyage across the mighty Atlantic, they landed in New York City, where they boarded a train for Topeka, their future home. On arriving here, Mr. Tulien immediately began working at his trade as a brick and stone mason, and although he had almost everything to learn as to language and the customs of the country, he never lost heart or became discouraged, but went to work with a will to make life in his new home a success. After working independently for several years, or until 1900, he formed a partnership with John Nordlund, who was also a native of Sweden, and from that date they began contracting brick and stone construction on an extensive scale. Among the many substantial buildings they have had the brick and stone contracts for, in Topeka, may be mentioned the Lafayette School building, the Potwin School building, the St. Joseph School building, and one of the buildings for the State Industrial School for Boys, and the remodeling of the New National Hotel. They also had the brick and stone contract for the recently constructed building on Seventh street, known as the New Kirkpatrick Building. The firm of Nordlund & Tulien, general brick and stone contractors, have an enviable record as honest and reliable contractors, whose promises are always kept even to the smallest detail in all of their construction work.
Mrs. Tulien died in 1896, leaving a husband, one son and two daughters to mourn their loss. The daughters are: Mrs. W. F. Sanders, residing in Missouri, and Mrs. G. F. Johnson. The son, Ture Tulien, is now taking the mechanical engineering course in Purdue University, having won a free scholarship in that famous institution by his efficient services for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad in their shops at Topeka. He is an exceptionally bright young man and one in whom this great railway company takes pride in honoring and equipping for a successful future.
In 1897 Mr. Tulien contracted a second marriage, when Miss Anna Youngquist became his wife, and to this union there are born two children; Alsie and Florence, both at home. Death again visited Mr Tulien's home, and on Feb. 5, 1910, the wife and mother passed away.
Mr. Tulien is independent in politics and usually supports the best man for office. He is a member of the Knights of Macabees and of the Knights and Ladies of Security, also of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and of the Swedish Benefit Association.Pages 843-844 from volume III, part 2 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 December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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