Cottonwood County MN Biographies-John F. Gustafson
"History of Cottonwood and Watonwan Counties of Minnesota, 1916"



John F. Gustafson, a well-known and substantial farmer of Dale township, Cottonwood county, proprietor of a fine farm of two hundred acres Situated on rural route No. 5, out of Windom, chairman of the board of supervisors of his home township, president of the Dale Rural Telephone Company, a director of the Farmers' Elevator Company at Windorn, a director of the Minnesota State Grain Dealers' Association, vice-president of the Three Lake Farm Club and otherwise actively identified with the agricultural and business life of the community, is a native of Sweden, but has been a resident of the United States since he was eighteen years old. He was born on a farm in the vicinity of Wrigstad, in Smoland, in the southeast part of Sweden, June 10, 1870, son of Sven Gustaf and Emma Caroline (Johnsdatter) Johnson, who were the parents of seven children, of whom. John F, was the second in. order of birth, the others being as follow: Augusta, who is living in Sweden; Minnie, who is the wife of Hans Man-berg, of Hammond, Indiana; Hilda, wife of John Olson, who is an automobile racing man, living at Milwaukee; Ida, a hairdresser at Chicago; Carl, who lived with an uncle and took the latter's name of Mallander, and Earnest, who died, aged six. The father of these children died and his widow later married and is still living in the old country. To her second marriage there was born one son, Axel Lauder.

John F. Gustafson received his schooling at Wrigstad and when a lad worked on a large estate, Lundholmen, of which his grandfather was the foreman. When eighteen years of age he came to the United States and landed at the port of New York on December 24, following. His objective point upon arriving in this country was Stanhope, Hamilton county, Iowa, where for eighteen months he was employed on the farm of Olaf Cealine, He then went to Webster county, Iowa, where for a couple of years he was employed on big farms in that section, and then went to Pocahantas county, same state, where for some time he worked on a hay press, after which he located at Cowrie, Iowa, and was there engaged, in partnership with Peter Skellstrom, in the tile business for three months, at the end of which time, in June, 1892, he came to Minnesota and settled at Windom. For three years thereafter he worked on farms in that vicinity, in the meanwhile, in September, 1892, having bought eighty acres of wild land in section 28, Dale township, on which, in June, 1893, he built the house in which he is now-living, the same, however, having been considerably enlarged and improved since then. While developing his own place, he also rented additional land nearby and after his marriage, in the fall of 1899, began housekeeping on his place and has since made his home there. Mr. Gustafson is an excellent farmer, long having been recognized as one of the leading agriculturists of that neighborhood. He has added to his original acreage until he now has a farm of two hundred acres, well-improved and profitably cultivated; a good set of farm buildings and a modern and up-to-date plant for effective fanning. In addition to his general farming he has given considerable attention to the raising of live stock and has a fine herd of Shorthorns.

Mr. Gustafson is an "independent" Democrat and has ever given close attention to local civic affairs. For the past fifteen years he has been a member of the board of township supervisors and is now chairman of the same, while for seven years or more he has been treasurer of school district No. n. He has been equally active in neighborhood business enterprises and is president of the Rural Telephone Company of Dale and a director from the time of its organization of the Farmers' Elevator Company at Windom, while he is serving as vice-president of the Three Lake Farm Club and a director of the Minnesota State Grain Dealers' Association, in the affairs of all of which organizations he takes a warm interest. Mr. Gustafson drives a fine automobile and he and his family are very pleasantly situated.

On November 16, 1899, John F. Gustafson was united in marriage to Jennie Elizabeth Seashore, who was born in Sweden, June 14, 1881, daughter of John August and Sophia Christina (Carlson) Seashore, farming people, who came to the United States with their family in 1885 and settled at Gowrie, Iowa. After farming for seven years in that vicinity, John A. Seashore came to Minnesota with his family, arriving at Windom in the spring, 1892. He bought the east half of the southeast quarter of section 33 in Dale township and there established his home, later buying the west half of the same quarter, and there he lived for seventeen years, at the end of which time he moved to Buffalo, Wright county, Minnesota, in the vicinity of which place he bought an eighty-acre farm and he and his wife are now living there. To them nine children have been born, of whom Mrs. Gustafson is the eldest, the others being as follow: Axel William, a farmer at Buffalo, Minnesota; Charles Fred, a motorman in the employ of the Minneapolis Street Railway Company; Olive Amelia, wife of Theodore Wester, a carpenter at Windom; John Oscar, who is farming with his father in Minnesota; Harry, who is living at Minneapolis, in the employ of the Minneapolis Dairy Company; Albert Emanuel, who died at the age of six months; Paul Theodore, an assistant to his father on the home farm in Minnesota, and David, likewise engaged.

To John F. and Jennie Elizabeth (Seashore) Gustafson six children have been born, as follow: Grant Reuben, born on September 30, 1900; Olga Emma Sophia, July 30, 1902; Adelia Amelia Henrietta, April 7, 1904; Esther Cecelia Agnes, October 27, 1906; Victor Emanuel, August 3, 1908, and Florence Ida Wilhelmina, May 27, 1910. Mr. and Mrs. Gustafson also have an adopted son, Walter Allin, now twenty-five years old, serving in the United States navy, at present stationed on the battleship "Colorado," and has served four years now at home. The Gustafsons are members of the Free Mission church at Windom and take an earnest interest in the various beneficences of the same, as well as in all local good works, ever concerned in all movements having to do with the elevation of the standards of living hereabout.