Swan M. Carlson

SWAN M. CARLSON. Saline County lost one of its most capable citizens and one of its best known pioneers in the death of the late Swan M. Carlson, who had come to the vicinity of the present town of Falun more than forty-five years ago and had become successful and prominent in that locality long before the accidental death which took him from his family and friends.

Mr. Carlson was born in Christala Parish in Sweden December 31, 1850, a son of Carl M. and Anna (Erickson) Carlson. In 1869 the Carlson family immigrated to America. Carl Carlson took up a timber claim near the present Town of Falun in Saline County, and by his hard work in developing that claim he contributed something of value to the permanent prosperity of the county. Carl Carlson was born in Sweden in 1819 and died at Smolan, Kansas, in 1897. His wife was born in 1821 and died at Smolan, Kansas, in 1891. Of their five children, four sons and one daughter, two are now deceased.

The late Swan Carlson was only nineteen years of age when he came to America. In the meantime he had acquired his early education in his native tongue, and he found himself among friends and fellow countrymen in Kansas He soon found work during the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad, and for nine years was engaged chiefly in railroad labor. In the meantime, at the age of twenty-one, he took a homestead two miles north of the present town of Falun. That farm was his place of residence the rest of his life.

Many residents of Saline County recall the tragic end of Mr. Carlson. He was driving a hay rake when the horse ran away, and in falling his skull was fractured, resulting in his death August 7, 1916. In forty-five years he had acquired all those things which men of ambition most desire. He had bought land front time to time until he was owner of 2,040 acres in a single body. This land was well improved and constituted an immense and valuable farm. In fact Mr. Carlson was one of the largest land owners in Saline County at the time of his death.

Mr. Carlson was always devoted and active in his connection with the Swedish Lutheran Church at Salemsburg, Kansas. He was married March 20, 1879, at Falun, Kansas, to Miss Allida Christina Nelson. Her father, Nelse P. Swanson was a native of Sweden where Mrs. Carlson was also born August 8, 1856, She came to America in 1875. Mr. and Mrs. Carlson had eight children, five sons and three daughters. Effie, who was born August 30, 1880, and died September 22, 1882; Elmer, born December 2, 1883; Titus, who was born May 24, 1885, married November 22, 1916, Miss Marie Strobeck, who was born May 24, 1892, at Smolan, Kansas, daughter of Stephen and Louise Strobeck, natives of Sweden, her father being now deceased and her mother living at Smolan; Sylvia, who was born January 25, 1887, is now the wife of Emanuel Hedquist of Smolan and has one child, Raymond; Ollie, born November 10, 1889, now the wife of Julius Burnison of Marquette, Kansas, and is the mother of two children; Herbin, born June 22, 1891; Egun, born January 18, 1893; and Walter, born December 10, 1895.

C. J. VAN DOREN'S extended business experience has been almost entirely in connection with the cement industry. He knows the business in every detail, both on the technical and manufacturing side, and also selling end. Mr. Van Doren is now superintendent of the Great Western Portland Cement Company's plant at Mildred, Kansas.

A native of Michigan, he was born at Adrian July 22, 1874. His paternal ancestry goes back to Peter Van Doren who immigrated from Holland and settled on Long Island between 1637 and 1640. Mr. Van Doren's grandfather, Jacob Van Doren, a native of New York State, was a pioneer in Southern Michigan, locating on a farm near Adrian in 1837. He spent the rest of his life there. His wife was Drusilla Burgess, who died at Adrian.

Chester C. Van Doren, the only child of his parents, and father of C. J. Van Doren, was born at Adrian in 1844, and spent all his life in that section of the state, being a farmer and later a merchant. He was a democrat and a member of the Masonic fraternity His death occurred in 1908. He married Sarah Katherine Whittaker, who was born near Toledo, Ohio, in 1845. They were the parents of four children: Dora, wife of Ernest C. Smith, who besides looking after a real estate business at Adrian, Michigan, is one of the leading promoters for the establishment of Maccabees lodges and other fraternal organizations; J. C. Van Doren, a resident of Adrian, Michigan, and a merchant; C. J. Van Doren; and Harry H., who owns a merchants' delivery system at Adrian.

C. J. Van Doren was educated in the public schools of his native town, graduating from high school in 1894. The following two years he spent in farming, and he gained his first experience in the cement industry at Coldwater, Michigan. In 1898 he became foreman of a machine shop, spent two years in that work, and in 1900 removed to Kansas. At Iola he served as night superintendent of the Iola Portland Cement Company until 1904. From Kansas Mr. Van Doren went to Yankton, South Dakota, where for four years he was general Superintendent of the plant of the Western Cement Company. In 1908, returning to Kansas, he became general superintendent of the Ashgrove Lime and Portland Cement Company at


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by students from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 05/10/99.

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