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History of The First Swedish Pioneers

By: C. J. Johnson, 1915


Politics and Division of County into Townships.

The early settlers among out pioneers were all republicans as a unit, and among the first things they did when they came to America from Sweden was to apply for their citizenship papers in order to become citizens of our country. They had learned the republican party was the best party we had in this country.

The civil war had closed but a short time before and the result, the abolition of slavery, was considered a great credit to the republican party. Later in years there began to be a division on that line, the same as there is at the present time on almost every question. This division sprang up in Kiron about the time when the money question was in dispute, which was known as 16 to 1. On this question there were a number of Swedish people who adopted the People's party and the republican ranks lost quite a number from among their voters. We had some democrats in Stockholm township along the Boyer river, some of whom were old rebels from the south and every one of them voted and advocated democracy and, as the Swedes were republicans, there were many disputes in political matters and especially on election days when, in the early days before the Australian ballot system was adopted, there was perfect freedom to discuss politics on election days. We were in the majority and always were the winners, in political matters.

There were three townships in those days which together were called Jackson township and comprised what is now Jackson, Stockholm and Otter Creek townships. As the county settled up this old Jackson township was divided up into civil townships and old Jackson retained its name. The next township west was settled mostly by Swedes and was called Stockholm from the capital city of Sweden, which was considered to be right. Otter Creek, on the west border, was named from the creek by the same name which flows through a part of this township and divides itself into two branches. East Otter Creek commences in Sac county and runs through Wheeler township and Stockholm. The west branch has its source in Ida county and the two branches run into one creek southwest of Kiron and, passing through Goodrich and into Milford townships, empty into the Boyer river southeast of Deloit.

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