Kansas History and Heritage Project- Marshall County

Marshall County Biographies


John A. Winquist, one of Marshall county's pioneers, a large landowner in Lincoln township, and who claims the distinction of being the head of the largest family in Marshall county, is a native of Sweden, but has been a resident of Marshall county since 1875, he having come here with his father in that year, and has thus been a witness to and a participant in the development of this county since pioneer days. He was born on February 19, 1855, son of Nels and Olina B. Winquist, natives of the same county, the former born on August 15, 1817, and the latter, March 5, 1821, who became pioneers of Marshall county and here spent their last days.

In 1870 Nels Winquist and his two sons. John A. and Severin, then mere boys, the former being but fifteen years of age, came to the United States with a view to making a new home on this side of the water. Upon his arrival here Mr. Winquist located in Connecticut, where he began working in a stone quarry. The next year he and his two elder sons were joined by the mother and the other three children and the family remained in Connecticut until 1875, when they came to Kansas and located in this county, where they established their home. Upon coming here Nels Winquist homesteaded a tract of forty acres in what is now Lincoln township, the nucleus of the large farm now owned by the subject of this sketch. There he constructed a dug-out, sixteen by fourteen feet in dimensions, with a dirt floor, boarded sides and a sod roof, and in that humble abode the family lived for three years, at the end of which time they were able to erect a modest frame house, fourteen by twenty. There Nels Winquist spent his last days, his death occurring on January 17, 1889. His widow survived him about seven years, her death occurring in 1896. They were the parents of five children, those besides the subject of this sketch, the second in order of birth, being as follows: Mrs. Augusta Benson, now deceased; Severin, who died in 1904, after having been engaged in farming in partnership with his brother John; Malcolm, who died in 1872, the year after he came to this country, and Hannah, also now deceased.

John A. Winquist was fifteen years of age when he came to this country and was twenty when he came out to Kansas with the family in 1875. From the beginning of his residence here he worked hard, not only he and his brother laboring with their father in the task of developing the homestead tract upon which the family settled, John A. Winquist taking extra employment as a corn-husker at ninety cents a day during the winters. His brother Severin herded cattle during the summers, at a wage of twelve dollars a month and with the extra money thus earned the brothers bought a horse. For the greater part of the time after he came here until his death Nels Winquist was an invalid and upon the two brothers devolved the task of working the farm, the eldest brother taking care of his parents until their death. After his father "proved up" the homestead he took charge of it and proved not only a capable manager but a good farmer. He and his brother Severin ever worked in partnership, an excellent arrangement, for they worked harmoniously and to good effect and made money, John A. Winquist becoming sole owner of their joint holdings upon the death of his brother in 1904. Mr. Winquist is now the owner of eight hundred and forty acres of excellent land in Lincoln township, the same having on it two sets of improvements, the home place comprising a half section of land in section 14. In addition to his general farming he does a good bit in the way of raising live stock and markets about one hundred head of hogs annually.

On July 20, 1890, John A. Winquist was united in marriage to Hannah P. Sanquist, who also was born in Sweden, July 19, 1873, a daughter of A. P. and Johanna Sanquist, who came to Kansas in 1887 and located in Lincoln township, but later moved to Beattie, where they are now living. To Mr. and Mrs. Winquist seventeen children have been born, namely: Martin W., born on August 4, 1891; Elsie O. N., September 21, 1892; Frank R., November 15, 1893; Mabel V., November 27, 1895, who married Edward Doering, a farmer living west of Axtell, in Murray township, and has one child, a son, Ralph Willard; Lillie A., January 27, 1897; Mildred E., March 29, 1898; Albert S., January 13, 1900; Aaron Leroy, March 6, 1901, who died on September 25, 1901; John Leroy, June 21, 1903; Lila B., July 14, 1904; Clifford R., August 21, 1905; Carl E., September 10, 1906; Hobart D. and Hannah (twins), January 14, 1909, the latter of whom died in infancy: Winifred V. and Wilfred H. (twins) April 26, 1911, the latter dying at the age of one year, and Doris L., August 9, 1913. The Winquists are members of the Swedish Lutheran church and Mr. Winquist was a former member of the board of trustees of the same. He is a Republican and for some time served as clerk of Lincoln township.

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This website created July 4, 2011 by Sheryl McClure.
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