Knut J. Knutson. Three quarters of a century is the measure of a long lifetime. It is a sufficient time in which to accomplish all those things which men most desire. These seventy-five years from birth to old age have been well utilized by Knut Knutson of Saline County. Mr. Knutson came to Central Kansas over forty years ago, and while he had many hardships and difficulties in establishing a home and maintaining it in earlier years, he came to the age of three score and ten with all that he might reasonably desire. He had ample material possessions in the form of farm lands, had reared a family of useful children, and enjoys the esteem and friendship of the many with whom he had worked and labored in this section of the Sunflower State.
Mr. Knutson was born October 9, 1841, in the Province of Blekinge, Sweden, a son of Mattis Johnson. He grew up in his native country, gained some education there, and was inured to hard labor from boyhood. While it was possible to make a fair living, he could see that the future of himself and his children was restricted by the limitations of his native land, and it was in the hope of bettering his condition that he crossed the ocean to America in 1868. He became identified with Northern Central Illinois, where thousands of his fellow countrymen had already located, and was a farmer there until 1876.
Mr. Knutson came to Kansas in 1876 and for the first two years farmed on rented land. He then bought a place nine miles southwest of Salina in Smolan Township, and his interests as a farmer have since been in that locality. He improved his land, acquired more as his means increased, and is now the owner of an extensive estate of 480 acres, besides much valuable city property in Salina. While living in the country Mr. Knutson served two terms as treasurer of his school district.
At Galesburg, Illinois, April 8, 1874, he married Miss Eva Carlson. Her father was Carl Carlson. Mrs. Knutson was born in Sweden March 3, 1850, and came to America in 1870. Mr. and Mrs. Knutson shared the trials and the good fortune of life for over thirty-five years. She passed away at Salina March 20, 1911. She was greatly beloved in her family and circle of friends and was a devout and consistent member of the Swedish Lutheran Church. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Knutson.
The oldest, Hannah Maria, was born January 4, 1875, at Galesburg, Illinois. She is now the wife of Erland G. Modig. Mr. Modig was born in Sweden February 13, 1862, a son of Johan Modig, and he came to America in 1888. He is now a successful farmer in Saline County. Mr. and Mrs. Modig have three sons and one daughter: Rudolph E., born October 5, 1891; Almeda L., born August 20, 1897; Harold Renius, born December 25, 1901; and Reinholt E., born November 10, 1912.
The younger children of Mr. and Mrs. Knutson are as follows: Ella Matilda, now the wife of Gus Johnson, a farmer in Saline County; C. J. Knutson of Salina; Hilda Eliza, wife of Emil Swanson, a farmer at Assaria in Saline County; William, a resident of Galesburg, Illinois; Sophia, unmarried and living with her sister Mrs. Swanson; and Gustav, deceased.