W.C. Christainson, the subject of this sketch, is one of the early pioneers of Grant township, and is one of the most progressive and prosperous farmers in the township. Mr. Christianson is a native of Denmark and was born in the year 1855. When ten years of age, he, with his father's family, emigrated to America and settled in Minnesota on a farm among the lakes; four years later they came overland to Kansas with ox teams. Their object was the same as that of thousands and thousands of others, - to secure more land in the sunny state of Kansas. Stephen Christianson, his father, possessed very little capital, but a large family of children, four sons and three daughters; however, a family of sturdy, helpful children was no drawback in the pioneer state. A correspondence with "Father" Nelson was the mainspring of their locating in his neighborhood. Reverend Nelson desired to settle the community with Danes of the Baptist church, he being a minister of that faith.
Mr. Christianson still lives on the homestead his father filed on in 1869, and where they built a dugout of two rooms and lived in it several years. In order to "go to mill" Waterville was the nearest point that furnished so great a convenience and necessity as a grist mill and it was a great meeting point for the settlers. Building in those early days was incurred at a great cost and inconvenience as well. In order to build a house they were compelled to haul down a rock from the hills and burn it to make the lime; with ox teams they hauled the timbers from Waterville. Notwithstanding these disadvantages, Mr. Christianson decided to build more commodious quarters and hauled the necessary material and erected a stone house consisting of four rooms, the only one in the neighborhood and which was designated as the "big white stone house on the corner." It was plastered and whitewashed and in contrast with the dark and dingy dugouts seemed very fair to look upon.
W.C. Christianson is the possessor of four hundred acres of land and all of which is in a high state of cultivation, which reflects great credit to their industry and careful management as they came to Kansas with practically nothing. The four Christianson brothers now own collectively fifteen hundred and twenty acres of land highly improved and a just return for their labors. Mr. Christainson and his brother Anton passed the summer of 1876 working in the mines of Colorado; while they accumulated five hundred dollars each and with this capital purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land. Mr. Christianson sold his eighty to his brother, who now resides upon it, and purchased the homestead in 1884, where he now lives and enjoys the hallowed memories of the old home. Wheat is almost exclusively raised on the farm, but thirty acres has been sown to alfalfa.
Mr. Christianson was married in 1880 to Miss Lottie E. Burns, a lineal descendant of Robert Burns, the Scottish bard, who speaks to the hearts of all nations through his poems. Mrs. Christianson was born in Mason county, Michigan, July 5, 1857, and was demised June 13, 1887. She was a woman of excellent educational ability and taught several terms of school in her old home in Michigan, also in Kansas. She was a consistent Christian woman, actively interested in philanthropic works, and was for many years a member of the Free-Will Baptist church. Their two daughters, Alice and Blanche, are graduates of the Jamestown high school. Alice is teaching her second term in the home school, District No. 65, Blanche is teaching on her first term in District No. 99. Both of these accomplished daughters are intellectual and excellent young women.
Mr. Christianson was married in 1888 to Marie Eskildsen, a comely and prepossessing young Danish woman who came to America in June, 1888. The parents of both families were friends in the old country. She came to live in Mr. Christianson's family and soon afterward became his wife. Her father, Eskild Jensen, was a Baptist minister in Denmark. Mr. Christianson's eldest sister, Mrs. Mary Johnson, is now a resident of Washington, near Walla Walla. Christina married John Christianson and moved west with her elder sister and was deceased there. The youngest sister is Mrs. Martha Peterson, wife of the Reverend G.R. Peterson.
Mr. Christianson is a Republican in politics. He received the nomination for sheriff of Cloud county in 1898, and was defeated by Morrisette in his sccond term. He lowered the record about three hundred and was a formidable opponent. He has served his township two terms as trustee, served several years on the school board and was a director almost continuously until he resigned. He is deeply interested in all political moves, is well read and well posted on all matters of vital interest to the welfare of the country. While in Minnesota Mr. Christianson and his brothers learned the use of fire arms and were therefore capable of enjoying the chase on the Kansas prairies, and hunted the buffalo as long as there were any in the state. It was noticeable with regret after each hunt the herds were being driven beyond the boundary of the Kansas line. Mr. Christianson killed his first buffalo in the spring of 1870 and furnished the family with meat for the first year. He, like hundreds of others, declares those were the happiest days of his life; the freest from care and would gladly live them over again. Mr. Christianson and his family are progressive, stand on their own honor and integrity and have carried for themselves a good name.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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