J. S. Fahlstrom

J. S. FAHLSTORM is one of the pioneers of Cloud County, where he has had his residence and his principal activities since 1870. Cloud County was then a wilderness and he has witnessed practically every advancement made here in the past forty-five years. His individual success calls for more than passing mention, and few men starting out with only the capital of their native intelligence and the strength of their hands achieve so much.

Mr. Fahlstrom was born in Sweden in 1842. He attended schools only a few months altogether, and his real education was gained in the school of experience, and he says that he has never graduated from that university and is still a student. He early began to cherish an ambition to make a success out of his life. Everything was concentrated and directed toward that end.

The land of promise appealed to him when a boy in Sweden and he felt that his fortune would be made if he could come to America, where all men were politically equal and where there was also equality of opportunity. In 1868 he left Sweden, having just enough money to carry him to Chicago. From that western city he made his way into Iowa, and there by hard manual toil was able to accumulate a little fund necessary for his further advance. All that he heard impressed him strongly with the possibilities of Kansas and therefore in 1870 he came out to Cloud County and took up a homestead about four miles north and east of Concordia in Sibley Township.

In spite of discouragements that came Mr. Fahlstrom made this land yield its crops season in and season out, and the success that attended his efforts on a quarter section was sufficient to permit further investment. In a few years he had acquired an additional 440 acres, and this brought his land holdings in Cloud County up to 600 acres. Even with that he was not entirely satisfied, and feeling that Kansas was too small for his dreams of land conquest, he went westward into the State of Colorado and there bought 800 acres. His Colorado land he rents to tenants. Thus at the present time he has 1,400 acres, a great part of it improved, in cultivation, and worth a vast sum more than what he paid for it in cash. The entire 1,400 acres represents also the achievements of his own hands and brain, and he has never had any other help than what he could give himself. He confined his attention strictly to raising the best crops of the field and the best grades of livestock. Whatever he does he believes in doing well, and that he has adhered to this principle in practice needs no other proof than what has already been stated.

In 1880 Mr. Fahlstrom married Miss Louise Berggren. They are the parents of three sons: J. E., S. M., and L. B., all of whom are unmarried as yet and are making worthy progress toward independent success as farmers. The family are members of the Lutheran faith.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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