In chapter eight I mentioned that George Albert Norelius purchased the first stock of merchandise sold out in Kiron and afterwards became Kiron's successful merchant. I believe it was in the year 1891 that Mr. Norelius started in business in old Kiron on a small scale, having purchased the Swede Brothers' store. He added improvements from time to time and increased his stock of merchandise, taking in trade for his stock farm produce such as butter and eggs. This he was obliged to haul to Odebolt, where he had his stock of merchandise shipped. The business increased year by year as he was ever agreeable and obliging to his customers and fair in all of his dealings. After a few years he took Mr. Peter Nordell into his business as a partner and thus the firm became stronger and as there was much hauling to be done one of the firm might be on the road at all times, and the shipping could be better handled than by hired help. The post office was located in the store building and it soon was necessary to erect an addition to the store to accommodate their increasing trade, as with the new railroad facilities an enormous trade was realized and a considerable amount of business was transacted.
In the year 1899, the same year as the railroad was established, a new post office was opened midway Kiron and Deloit. Up to this time Kiron had been served by a star route out of Denison, which passed through Kiron and Deloit with daily mail, but at the time the trains began to run on the Kiron railroad this star route was taken off and the patrons of the Kiron and Deloit post offices, living midway between these two points, were left without daily mail service which they had enjoyed for some time, the mail carrier, for remuneration, having deposited mail for about ten families in a box on the ranch opposite the home of F. L. Johnson.
There patrons now petitioned the department for a post office which was duly granted, and the name given was Johnsonville, with F. L. Johnson as postmaster and Mrs. F. L. Johnson deputy. This office was continued for about three and one-half years or until the rural free delivery route was established, when Johnsonville was abandoned.
About 1890 a man by the name of Falk, who had come from Minnesota and had relatives around Kiron residing with Mr. Frank Larson near Deloit, formed a partnership and went into merchandise business, erected a large, commodious building and opened up a general store which was conducted for some time. I am not able to state the time definitely when this firm sold out, but Mr. Falk, desiring to return to Minnesota, disposed of the stock to another company and the business was at last conducted by Albert Hanson and Swan N. Sandstrom, who by this transaction, secured the appointment of postmaster of Kiron, and the post office was moved to that store.
About this time it was decided to move all of the business buildings and the church to the new town and for some time there was considerable work for the house movers of Denison, who were employed to do the work.
A hotel was opened up by Mauritz Brothers not far from the railroad track and east of the harness shop, but was destroyed completely by fire and was a total loss to the owners. New store buildings were soon erected and everyone was busy. Among the many new merchants we mention J. A. Lawrence, who built a fine two story frame building, it having stores on the ground floor and rooms in the upper part, including a photograph gallery; Chas. Chinburg and Burnquist, who erected a large store building for general merchandise; a tow story frame building erected by Dr. Burrows, including a drug store in the lower part and living rooms above; and a two story frame building built by Axel Fredrik Lundberg, where a furniture store was conducted by Edward E. Clauson. The News office and post office were located at this time and at the present date, the little town can boast of two fine churches, a public hall, public library, three general stores, two hardware stores, two implement shops, a livery barn, drug store, jewelry store, a fine two story brick bank building, two lumber yards, one nice garage and agencies for automobiles. There are also a number of fine residences and nearly all of the business houses are owned and conducted by Swedish settlers as well as the residence portion of the town. The town also possesses blacksmith and wagon shops with electric power, harness store, restaurant and hotel, and doctors; and dentist's offices.
The above is a brief history of the upbuilding of Kiron and I now wish to mention a few facts concerning the bank which is owned and controlled by farmers and business men. A majority of the farmers have good deposits and the total assets amount to $245,800. William J. Sandberg, a man born and reared at Kiron, is the cashier and has been ever since its organization about fifteen years ago. He is a fine man and a good cashier. George Albert Norelius is one of the bank directors.
There were at one time two saloons in Kiron, but by hard work on the part of the churches and the better element of the citizens the saloons have been closed for about eight years and there has never been better prosperity in the history of our little city than it has enjoyed since the closing of these saloons, and at the present time the town is made up of about two hundred and forty inhabitants.