Gustav A. Nyquist

GUSTAV A. NYQUIST, now county attorney of McPherson County, has won the honors of his profession in many hard fought legal combats since he was admitted to practice ten years ago, and is one of the ablest and most influential citizens in this section of the state. Mr. Nyquist is a native Kansan. His early life was one of comparative lack of opportunity and struggle against adverse circumstances. He fought the good fight and has gained such a position as men of honorable ambition most desire.

His birth occurred in a dugout on a claim in Ellsworth County, Kansas, September 5, 1874. His parents were Nels M. and Christina (Anderson) Nyquist. His father, who was born in Sweden May 1, 1840, has been both a farmer and carpenter. In 1872 he came alone to America, bringing no capital to speak of, and made his start in life on a Government homestead in Ellsworth County. In that one location he performed a part of labor and industry which brought its sure reward in after years, and he died February 21, 1881. He was a life-long member of the Lutheran Church and was a charter member of the church at Marquette, Kansas. While establishing a home in Western Kansas he endured all the hardships and privations of a pioneer. He lived in a dugout until he could replace that with a better home, and surely and steadily he got a firm grip on prosperity. In 1873, the year after he came to Kansas, he married Miss Anderson, who was born in Sweden August 1, 1842. There were four children, one daughter and three sons. The oldest is Gustav A. The next two children, a daughter and son, died in infancy. The youngest is Magnus Robert Nyquist, who was born April 5, 1881, was educated in Bethany College at Lindsborg, Kansas, and at St. Louis, Missouri, was for ten years a telegrapher and is now living at Marquette, Kansas, with his mother.

Gustav A. Nyquist grew up on the old homestead of his father and also lived on several large cattle ranches in Ellsworth County. When he went to school he had to walk 3 1/2 miles each way between home and the schoolhouse. In 1893 he enrolled as a student in Bethany College at Lindsborg. He was then nineteen years of age. His college course was not consecutive, since he had to pay his own way and frequently one term in college was followed by several terms as a teacher. He kept at the work until he was graduated with the degree A. B. in the class of 1901. In 1901-02 Mr. Nyquist served as teacher of Latin and normal branches in the old Central Normal College at Great Bend. He was a law student at Bethany College in 1902-03, and at the same time taught two of the common branches in that school for one year. In September, 1903, removing to Scott City, Kansas, he served as principal of the Scott County High School for a year and in the meantime carried on his law studies with a firm of local attorneys. For two years Mr. Nyquist was superintendent of the city schools of Lindsborg. On June 22, 1905, more than twelve years after he started his higher education in Bethany College, he was admitted to practice before the Kansas State Supreme Court. During 1906-07 Mr. Nyquist had a fellowship in sociology and economics at the University of Kansas, and gained his degree Master of Arts in that institution. In the meantime be had taught as principal of the Mound Ridge High School until January 1, 1906.

Mr. Nyquist was elected county clerk of McPherson County in 1908, and was re-elected in 1910 without opposition. He held that office four years. During the session of 1913 he was enrolling clerk of the Kansas State Senate. In November, 1914, he was chosen county attorney of McPherson County, and in November, 1916, was re-elected without opposition. Mr. Nyquist is a republican, an able lawyer, and one of the most capable men who have ever held public office in McPherson County.

On July 5, 1904, at Marquette, Kansas, he married Miss Elvira T. Hawkinson. Mrs. Nyquist was born on a farm in McPherson County May 1, 1881, a daughter of Alfred and Hattie (Ahlstedt) Hawkinson, both of whom were natives of Sweden. Mrs. Nyquist was educated in Bethany College and in the Kansas State Agricultural College at Manhattan. She also took special work in expression at Kansas City, Missouri. She is a very prominent and cultured woman and has presided with charming grace and dignity over her home and has done much to assist the career of her husband. Fraternally Mr. Nyquist is affiliated with the Masonic order and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

He and his wife are the parents of four children, one son and three daughters. Leona was born at Lindsborg, Kansas, March 26, 1905. Austin Leroy was born at Lawrence, Kansas, October 8, 1906. Edna Elvira was born at Mound Ridge, Kansas, December 14, 1907. Millicent Christina was born at McPherson May 23, 1910.


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, March 19, 1999.

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