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History of The First Swedish Pioneers

By: C. J. Johnson, 1915


First Houses Erected Above Ground

The building of the house did not take so very long a time as my father helped me. During the early days we built the houses cheaply as building materials were high; so we sided onto the studdings. We did not use any sheating on the sides and plastered inside. We would rather have a house above ground than to dig down and live in the ground. Money was scarce and did not go far at the prices we had to pay. Dimension lumber sold in Chicago for about twelve dollars per thousand feet and in Denison it was thirty-two dollars, and all other lumber in proportion. Enormous prices were charged for hauling. Breaking the prairie land was four dollars and fifty cents per acre.

However, we soon had a house erected with three rooms and when it was completed so that we could move into it there was joy and gladness, perhaps more than ever before, because we had a house to live in. Farmers in Sweden are used to living in large, commodious homes as well as having large outbuildings and they stand for centuries. It was certainly not very inviting to come from Sweden to this barren country, and move into a small dugout house with only one room, but it does not harm one to pass through different experiences in his life and learn something new from self denial.

The first frame house built in the community of Kiron was built by Ingemar Michaelson and was erected on the old site where in later years he built the large and commodious house now located on the north portion of the farm near Kiron.

Nels Fredrick Rodin built a small frame house with two rooms and Erick Ericksson built a log house. Nils Andersson,Sr. erected a frame house also in 1869 so that at this time there were four frame houses erected in the vicinity of Kiron.

Money was exchanged during those early days and while there was a large immigration from Europe and many coming from the Scandinavian countries, the money which the immigrants had with them was required to be changed into gold dollars. There was about thirty cents difference between the gold and paper dollars, which seems rather queer in this day and age. The Swedish money did not go very far when exchanged for gold dollars. Today we do not know the difference between paper and gold dollars and we owe the convenient currency system to the good government of our country during the years gone by.

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