"Our Friends on the Acres"
Mr. & Mrs. Sander O. Swenson
One of the best farms in this vicinity is the farm of Mr. and Mrs. Sander O. Swenson, located about four miles north of Postville. The farm comprises 260 acres with well kept buildings on the property. Mr. Swenson has lived on the farm for 61 years, which is almost a record in this community.
He was born March 24, 1875, in Post township, the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Swenson. His parents were residing at that time on what is now the Harvey Schultz property. When Mr. Swenson was four years old he moved with his parents to the farm on which he is now living. At the time the farm consisted of only 40 acres. It was purchased by his father from Frank Van Velzer. The property was heavily wooded in those days and only six acres had been grubbed. Mr. Swenson's father went to work, grubbing and plowing land until the farm became one of the most productive in Post township.
The Swenson home was a three room log cabin, with an upstairs. It was considered a good sized home in those early days. When Sander Swenson was ten years old, his father built a small house in which the Swensons lived for many years. Mr. Swenson, who was the only child in the family, acquired his educaton in the Highland district school, which he attended until he was 13 years old. In those days the school was located on what is today the Kiesau farm. It was moved in recent years to a point a half mile west of its old location and a new building now serves the Highland district. Mr. Swenson continued his studies at Lybrand school.
Mrs. Swenson is the former Miss Cora McGhee, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L.H. McGhee. She was born in Post township, near Hardin. Mrs. Swenson attended the Hardin school and has always lived in this community. Their marriage was solemnized on October 18, 1898, at the home of the bride's parents. After their marriage they moved to the farm on which they are now living.
Mr. Swenson's father had passed away December 1, 1891, and he had assumed the entire management of the farm. His mother passed away May 19, 1902. By this time the farm property had been enlarged by the purchase of an additional 78 acres, making 118 acres in all. The year before his marriage, in 1897, Mr. Swenson purchased another 26 1/2 acres from Knute Hanson. Then in the spring of 1899 the Swensons purchased 60 acres of land to the north of their holdings. Of this property, 20 acres were to the northwest in section 9, and 40 acres were to the north, in section 8. It was all timber land. The Swenson farm was further enlarged in 1911 when 60 acres were purchased, at the southwest corner of their property in section 17. This land had belonged to Anthony Barrett and had been in the possession of Sanky Bollman for only a short time.
On November 22, 1917, the Swenson farm house caught on fire and burned to the ground in an hour. In the spring, before the frost was out of the ground, the new Swenson home was in the progress of construction. It is the home in which they are now living. The house is a large frame structure, measuring 29 feet X 39 feet, with seven good sized rooms. Since 1920 the house has been lighted by a home lighting plant. The house is modern in every respect. All of the buildings on the farm are in good repair. A basement barn measures 34 feet by 74 feet. The only building on the property, which has been standing since Mr. Swenson's parents lived on the farm, is the granary. All other buildings have been put up in more recent years. "I believe we have over 100 acres of pasture land," Mr. Swenson stated. "That's enough." The Swensons have 50 head of cattle and five horses.
Many farmers move frequently, but the Swensons have spent over 61 years on the same farm. "I've been here for 61 years," Mr. Swenson remarked. "Yes, we thought of moving, too," Mrs. Swenson said, "but we are glad to say that we haven't. I guess we belong here, all right." The Swenson farm house is located at the foot of a hill, making a picturesque setting. "About eight or nine acres of the farm is in the hill," Mr. Swenson volunteered. As the hill is directly north of the house, it acts as a protection from the north wind. "It doesn't help any in the summer," replied Mrs. Swenson, "as it gets good and hot down here. The evenings are usually cool, though."
Mr. and Mrs. Swenson are the parents of two boys and two girls. Lloyd L. Swenson of Mason City, Harlin W. Swenson of Muscatine, Ruth (Mrs. R.C. Grays) of Minneapolis, Minn. and Alice (Mrs. C.J. Thomson) of Luana. They have five grandchildren. The Lloyd Swensons have three boys and the Harlin Swensons have one boy and one girl.
~Postville Herald, March 20, 1940
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