John Peter Drevets

JOHN PETER DREVETS. One of Saline County's most useful and honored citizens passed away in the death of John Peter Drevets at his home farm three miles northwest of Smolan on March 23, 1914. Mr. Drevets was still comparatively young when death called him. His life's achievements are not to be measured by length of years, but by the quality of the enterprise and the public spirit which characterized his relations among his fellow citizens in Saline County for about thirty-three years. Whether as a farmer, as a private citizen, as an official, as head of a family or member of the church he did the duty that lay nearest and earned the respect and gratitude of all around him.

Mr. Drevets was born in Smolan, Sweden, December 18, 1862, and at the time of his death his age was fifty-one years, three months, five days. His father was Johan Johnson, and both parents spent all their lives in Sweden.

With an education acquired in the schools and language of his native country, John Peter Drevets immigrated to America at the age of twenty. He identified himself with the Swedish colony of Saline County, and after working for others a few years he bought part of the farm on which he died. He was a progressive farmer and his prosperity enabled him to acquire a magnificent estate of 480 acres. He was first in many things. He was one of the first to breed Hereford cattle in Saline County, and he conducted his cattle raising operations on a large scale. He also handled blooded swine, and was one of the first to introduce successfully the raising of alfalfa. His example was a stimulus to others. He made a success of undertakings and that encouraged others who were perhaps less enterprising and more cautious to do likewise.

For fully twenty years Mr. Drevets was the recipient of some office of trust and responsibility at the hands of his fellow citizens. He served as clerk of school district No. 43 for twenty-one years, and for thirteen years was a trustee of Washington Township. He was a leader in the republican party, and was affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America. He was identifed with the Salemsburg Swedish Mission Church and assisted in building the first church at Smolan.

On November 13, 1890, at Salina, Mr. Drevets married Miss Louise C. Johnson, who survived him and lives at her home in Smolan. Mrs. Drevets was born in Sweden October 24, 1863, a daughter of J. P. and Maria (Erickson) Johnson. Her mother died in the old country June 30, 1879, and a few years later the father immigrated to America amd lived at Smolan, Kansas, until his death on September 1, 1914.

Mr. and Mrs. Drevets became the parents of five children, three sons and two daughters, and four of them survive the death of their honored father. The children were: Anton Warren, who was born October 27, 1891, and died August 10, 1893; Paul Arthur, born May 23, 1894; Ruth Mabel, born December 16, 1897; Reuben Clarence, born April 20, 1900; and Marie Matilda, born March 26, 1903.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by Cassidy Schoonover, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, September 7, 1999.

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