Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


S. N. Sandstrom

Among the enterprising and ambitious young men, who, unfamiliar with either the language or customs of this country, left their native land to seek their fortune in America, is S. N. Sandstrom, whose birth occurred in Sweden on the 19th of April, 1845. He is a son of Nels Nelson and Elna Swanson, who spent their entire lives in the land of their nativity and were laid to rest there.

In the year 1869 S. N. Sandstrom crossed the Atlantic to become a citizen of the United States, believing that the opportunities afforded in America, although they might not be so wonderful as were oftentimes reported, were far greater than in his native land. He first located in Crawford county and after remaining here for a short time went to Marshall county, where he was employed as a farm hand for three years. With much forethought he carefully put aside the greater portion of his meager wages each month and by the end of his period of service had sufficient money to buy land. He therefore returned to Crawford county and bought one hundred and sixty acres in Stockholm township from a Mr. Hamilton. He was only able to make a payment of ten dollars on his land, as the remainder of his small capital was required to buy a team of horses as well as to make necessary improvements.

He immediately began the cultivation of his homestead, being the first man in the settlement to break prairie with horses. He engaged in general farming, making a specialty of stock-raising, and in both undertakings he has met with most gratifying success. He had but a limited amount of money when he landed in the United States, but he had an abundance of perseverance and energy, the qualities which dominate conditions and make for success in any walk of life. Confidence in his own powers and belief in ultimate victory, even when things looked the most hopeless, gave him the courage to attempt greater things. He has added to his holdings at different times until today he owns two hundred and forty acres on section 5, Stockholm township, and one hundred and twenty on sections 8 and 11; and also two hundred acres in Sac county. His improvements are fine and are kept in an excellent condition; his place is well stocked with a fine grade of cattle and hogs, while his fields are cultivated in accordance with the most approved methods, which means abundant harvests that command the best prices the markets afford.

On the 6th of November, 1872, Mr. Sandstrom married Miss Mary Olson, a daughter of Ole and Celia (Anderson) Matson, both of whom died in Sweden. Eleven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Sandstrom, but the first five died in infancy and the next three, Albert, George and Otto, are also dead, while those surviving are: Nels, Martin and Alice. They are all living in this county, the last one still being at home with her parents.

The family hold membership in the Lutheran church. Mr. Sandstrom affiliates with the republican party, considering that its protective policy is best adapted to subserve the interests of the majoriy. He takes an acive interest in all local political matters and was for a time a trustee of his township. He is one of the well known and highly regarded men in his community, and although he has met with more than a usual degree of success in his undertakings it is deemed but the just reward of honest and well directed effort.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.