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May 11th

Friday, February 19, 2010

August Lindquist Retires after 42 Years of Service

From the Chariton Leader - January 12, 1932

Veteran Chariton Tailor Concludes 42 Years
of Service as Deacon in Church

August Lindquist Came to America With Provision
That He Might Go Back

August Lindquisat, veteran Chariton tailor, has retired as a deacon in the First Lutheran church in Chariton after forty-two years of service.  This announcement was made this week by the Rev. Clarence Thorwald, pastor of the church.  Included in Lindquist's long years of service as a member of the Chariton church is twelve years as Superintendent of the Sunday school of the church.

Lindquist was born in the state of Halland, Sweden, more than eighty years ago and spent his boyhood on his father's farm in that state.  His mother died at the time of his birth.  At the age of fourteen Lindquist entered the apprenticeship of a tailor in one of the larger cities of Halland and after several years of apprenticeship went into business with another young apprentice as tailors.

The feverish urge to leave the old country and seek new fortunes in the miraculous country of America found no foothold in the Lindquist home as the young tailor was quite content to remain with his work and family in Sweden.  The cousin was insistent.  "Please come," he begged.  "If you do not like America you can always return to Sweden." And it was upon this provision that Lindquist finally consented to leave Sweden and sail for America.

The party of Swedish immigrants landed in New York in August, 1873, and immediately moved to Connecticut where the tailoring firm was re-established.

For more than a year after Lindquist came to America he understood little of the American language.  "I could not even tell the difference between 'yes' and 'no', Mr. Lindquist said.

Short stays were spent in Pennsylvania before the family moved to Iowa, locating first in Des Moines.  It was while in Pennsylvania that some of the most stirring moments of their lives occurred.  The country was ridden with strikes in 1877 and the coal fields of Pennsylvania were the seat of many miners' difficulties.  The strike extended to railroaders, factory workers and consturction men.

In Pennsylvania conditions became so acute that it was necessary to call out a regiment of troops to patrol the town.  Mr. Lindquist compares the situation then with now and finds that modern economic problems were trivial compared with then.  "It was necessary to have the troops to keep the miners from destroying banks," Mr. Lindquist said.  "For a long time we could not even leave our homes, except for trips through the back door and through the alleys.  Everyone kept their doors locked and the shades drawn tightly.  Merchants were afraid to open their doors for business and little money was spent."

Iowa was much more peaceful after the hectic days in the Pennsylvania coal fields and the Lindquist's lived in Des Moines for several years.  While a tailor in Des Moines, Lindquist was a president of the Tailor's Union of Des Moines and served that organization in many other capacities.

In 1887 the family moved to Chariton where the tailoring establishment was again re-opened.  The first office was in a building across the street from the Alma Clay Memorial building high school and later Mr. Lindquist moved into offices on the square.  The Lindquist tailoring shop has occupied offices on every side of the square with the exception of the east side.  On the south side Mr. Lindquist was located in the Gove building; on the west side, in the Penick building and on the north side in the Blake building.

Shortly after arriving in Chariton, Mr. Lindquist joined the Chariton church and has been an active member of that church ever since.  He aided in the constuction of the new church in 1903, and Mrs. Lindquist even recounted that her daughter, Josephine, was married in the Methodist church because the new church was not finished.  Mr. Lindquist, in all his travels before definitely locating here always sought for Swedish settlements where he could worship in the religion of his country.  It was in a church that he learned to speak the English language and many of his fondest memories are irrevocably bound up in church work.

Mr. Lindquist acted as tailor here continuously since 1887, but was forced to discontinue his work following an accident in which he was run down by an automobile on September 22, 1929.  Mr. Lindquist was crossing the street by the First Lutheran church Sunday evening and as he moved into the center of the street observed a car coming from the north.  He dodged this car, only to step into the path of a second car coming from the south.  All the wheels of the car passed over his body, but not a bone was broken.  Mr. Lindquist was taken to Yocom's Hospital where he received treatment and was later removed to his home.

Mr. Lindquist has given two sons to the defense of this country in the World War.  Victor, the youngest, served in the army, while Wilbert Larson, an adopted son, served in the Navy.  Mrs. Lindquist shared the family with Wilbert Larson when the foundling was abandoned here by his parents.  Other children are Mrs. Josephine Hanson; Mrs. J.M. Persenius and Carl Lindquist.

Mr. Lindquist became a citizen of the United States during his stay in Des Moines.  He admits that his life might have been as complete in Sweden, but he has never regretted the move to America.  His life is a complete one in every respect.  He has served the church, his adopted country and his fellow countrymen well.  It is a life worthy of high commendation.
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