CHARLES BLOMQUIST. - The great valley of the Mississippi and the states bordering on the Rocky Mountains in this country are deeply indebted to many varieties of citizens of foreign birth for their development and the progress they are making toward the full usefulness of their resources, and they appreciate the fact. One of the leading factors in their growth and expansion in material wealth, industrial activity, commercial greatness and mental and moral force is the Swedish element in their population. Charles Blomquist, who is a member of the leading tailoring firm in Kansas City, Kansas, belongs to this element and works for the good of the city and county in which he lives with the characteristic enterprise and prudence of his race.
Mr. Blomquist was born in Sweden on December 3, 1856, a son of Jonas and Christina (Nelson) Blomquist, also natives of that country and descended from families domesticated there for many generations. The father was a soldier in the Grenadiers and faithfullly[sic] served his country for a number of years in that capacity. He owned a small farm, to which he retired on being mustered out of the army in 1855 and on which he lived in ease and comfort until his death in 1871, at the age of about seventy years. Two years after his death the mother followed her son Charles, to the United States, whither he had come the year previous and she lived with him during the last years of her life, dying at his residence in Kansas City, Kansas, in 1910, aged ninety-five years.
Their son Charles was but fifteen years old when he came to this country in 1872, and the step was one of great daring for him. He knew but little of the world, but was well informed as to his own powers and faculties, and the knowledge gave him faith in himself and courage for the future. He had obtained a limited education in the state schools of his native land, and he had acquired self reliance and independence of thought and action by depending on himself from boyhood. He was therefore well qualified to win success in this country, and from the time of his arrival on American soil he has not failed to do it.
His first location was in northeastern Illinois, where he remained fifteen years, working at his trade as a tailor, most of the time in a town named Sandwich, about twenty miles from the larger city of Aurora, and the last five years he lived in Illinois he was in business for himself in Sandwich. His brother John, came to Kansas City, Kansas, in 1884, and established himself in the same business here. In 1877 Charles became convinced that he could do better in a larger field, and he joined his brother in Kansas City that year. They formed a partnership in the tailoring business and have ever since been carrying it on together, expanding their trade and enlarging their operations from year to year, keeping abreast of the times in all respects and meeting in the most satisfactory way the exactions of their growing business. Their establishment is located at 607 Minnesota avenue, and is the leading merchant tailoring house in the city.
Mr. Blomquist was married in Sandwich, Illinois, on December 27, 1883, uniting himself with Miss Amanda Christence Johnson, a daughter of Nels and Ingre Johnson. A native of Sweden, she came to America in 1870, two years after her father landed in this country. She and her husband have had seven children, five of whom are living: Charles Edgar, Arthur, Mabel, Carl and Ruby. A daughter named Hilldur died at the age of nine, and a son named John, at the age of five.
The father is prominent and very active in the Masonic order, having been made a Blue Lodge Mason in Sandwich, Illinois, and a Knight Templar in Kansas City, Kansas. He also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in both Lodge and Encampment, having united with these organizations while living in Sandwich and transferred his membership to Kansas City since his residence in that city began. He is prominent in the Nordes Venner Swedish Society, of which he has been president several times and in which he has filled acceptably all the other offices. He and the members of his family belong to the English Lutheran church, and he and his brother have united their business firm with the activities of the Commercial Club of Kansas City in zealous and loyal membership.
The Blomquist brothers are great promoters of the welfare of their city and county, fostering and aiding every undertaking that will advance the interests of the people or contribute to their convenience and enjoyment. They are firm believers in American institutions and have an abiding faith in the future of the region in which they live, making their faith practical and beneficial in their daily lives by giving to the community around them excellent examples of good citizenship in the faithful performance of every public and private duty. They are everywhere esteemed as most estimable and truly representative men.
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