Biography of Svante Josephson

Svante Josephson, a respected citizen of Brule County, South Dakota, is an extensive landowner and successful farmer. Born in Sweden in 1840, he immigrated to America in 1863, working as a carpenter before settling in Iowa. In 1884, he moved to South Dakota, where he purchased land and developed a thriving farm. Today, his home ranch spans 800 acres, and he owns an additional 320-acre tract. Known for his progressive approach and dedication to education, Josephson serves on the school board and is an active member of the Presbyterian church. His children have also excelled, with one daughter becoming a popular teacher in Brule County.

SVANTE JOSEPHSON, whose career we present in a brief sketch in this work, is an extensive landowner, successful farmer, and stock-grower in Brule County. He has been a resident of South Dakota for the past twenty years, actively involved in the state’s development and progress, and is regarded as an esteemed citizen.

Mr. Josephson was born on December 25, 1840, in Sweden, where he was raised and educated. His parents were Joseph and Elizabeth (Swanson) Anderson. In accordance with Swedish naming customs, his surname signifies “Joseph’s son.” He received his education in excellent local schools while his father worked as a farmer and tradesman. After completing his schooling, he apprenticed in his father’s trade, dedicating his attention to it until 1863.

At the age of twenty-three, Mr. Josephson embarked on a journey to America, aiming to establish a home and attain independence. Like many of his fellow countrymen, he arrived in New York City and subsequently made his way westward to Chicago. There, he initially pursued a career in carpentry and eventually secured employment with the government. He contributed to the construction of several buildings used by the federal armies during the ongoing Civil War. He worked as a carpenter for approximately four years before relocating to Minnesota for a brief period. Later, he settled in Mitchell County, Iowa, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits for the next fifteen years, up until his move to South Dakota in 1884.

In that year, Mr. Josephson sold his Iowa interests and purchased two hundred and twenty acres of land in Union County, South Dakota. He developed a successful farm there and resided there until 1895 when he sold the property at a profit and acquired a quarter section of land in Willow Lake Township, Brule County. Over time, he expanded his land holdings, and his current home ranch covers eight hundred acres. Additionally, he owns a separate tract of three hundred and twenty acres within the county, resulting in a combined landed estate of one thousand one hundred and twenty acres. He has cultivated one hundred acres to a high standard while utilizing the remainder for various fodder crops and grazing purposes. Engaging in the extensive raising of livestock, Mr. Josephson demonstrates a progressive and energetic approach to both sectors of his farming enterprise. Consequently, he is widely recognized as a reliable and substantial citizen of the county. He has made significant permanent improvements to his ranch property, making his home an attractive site in the region. His residence stands four miles northeast of the village of Kimball, where he receives his mail and conducts most of his trade.

Politically, Mr. Josephson aligns himself with the Republican Party. Although he has never actively pursued public office, his commitment to education has led him to accept a position on the school board in his district. He is also a member of Brule Lodge, No. 44, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, located in Kimball. Both Mr. Josephson and his wife are esteemed members of the Presbyterian church.

On March 24, 1873, in Osage, Mitchell County, Iowa, Mr. Josephson married Miss Mary E. Evans, a native of Pennsylvania who was raised in Iowa. The couple has three children. Their daughter, Minnie H., completed her education in the high schools of Union County, South Dakota, and has excelled as a popular and successful teacher in Brule County for the past eight years. She currently serves as a primary teacher in the village of Pukwana, South Dakota, a position she has held for the past three years. Their daughter Cora M., also a successful teacher in Brule County, taught for seven years. Their son Guy, born in 1883, assists his father in managing the homestead ranch. He is well-regarded among the young men in the region and is currently studying at the Agricultural College of Brookings, South Dakota.


Robinson, Doane, History of South Dakota: together with mention of Citizens of South Dakota, [Logansport? IN] : B. F. Bowen, 1904.

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