"John August Johnson" was born in Karlstorp, Lyngsåsa, Hjortsberga (Kronsberg) SwedenHjortsberga (Kronsberga) Sweden. His family was very poor, so he spent the majority of his first thirteen years living and working on his maternal Aunt's farm. He probably was required to serve the compulsory military service in Sweden, where he may have learned the skills required for "Water Engineering and Irrigation" which he applied throughout his later life.
He came to America aboard a cattle ship, and upon his arrival (21 April 1881) he changed his name to "John August Hultquist" ("Hultquist” was the name of his Maternal Grandmother's Baronage in Sweden).
He came first to Chicago, where he worked around the stockyards and learned English. He then moved out west to Colorado, and was a farm worker near Boulder in May of 1882. Three years later, in 1885, he was the Foreman of the Windsor Ranch (6 miles north of Denver).
During the 1880's, John drove cattle up the Texas Trail to Ogallala, Nebraska, and during the Centennial Anniversary of Ogallala, his family was presented with the "Trail Driver Award" (10 June 1967).
John returned to Sweden in 1888, to visit his parents and brought back his younger brother Jonas and his sister Sophie who later lived near him in Laird.
In 1891, John was the Manager of the Excelsior (6,000 acre) farm in the San Louis Valley (Alamosa County, CO.) where his skill in irrigation work was very important. On July 29th, 1891, he married Jennie Cecilia Swenson, and they left Denver and moved out east to Laird, Colorado where John was the Foreman of the "C-Bar-C" (a 4,000 acre ranch along the Republican River in Yuma County).
John worked as the C-Bar-C Ranch Foreman for three years, and then resigned in 1895 and purchased his own ranch (160 acres) and homesteaded 160 more acres near Laird, Colorado. John had made considerable money since coming to Colorado, but “… it was all swept away by the panic of 1893, and when he purchased his farm in 1895, he was almost penniless.”
He became a Naturalized U.S. Citizen (District Court; Denver, CO.) on 27 July 1897 (Naturalized as "John August Johnson" Record 185; Number 577; vol. 1).
John was a Farmer, Rancher and Water Engineer, “…his chief capital was composed of persevering energy, untiring industry and a thorough knowledge of farming pursuits, which he utilized to the best advantage possible. In a short time he homesteaded 160 acres adjoining his farm and his enlarged efforts were rewarded by generous success. Subsequently he bought 160 acres more, making a ranch of 480 acres in all. He has 137 acres of irrigated land under cultivation, and he grows a fine crop of corn, oats, potatoes and alfalfa. He … achieved remarkable success, indicated by the fact that last season eight acres of potatoes yielded him $1,000 clear of all expenses.”
He started the Pioneer Ditch Company and served as water Commissioner for Yuma County for over 30 years. He was also very active on the School Board.
In 1912, he went back to Sweden to visit his mother before her death, and missed travelling on the Titanic due to arriving to late in Southampton for its departure.
He was also very active on the local School Board, and his eldest daughter Mabel graduated from Colorado Teachers College in Greeley in 1918.
In 1921, he and Jennie celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.
Tragedy struck the family in March of 1921 with the loss of his youngest daughter, Mary Victoria at age 10 from pneumonia and the loss of his youngest son Carl at age 20 in a tragic truck accident on September 23rd, 1922 while travelling home from CSU. In 1928, Jennie S. Hultquist filed suit in Yuma County against John for divorce, and for partition of property, and she was living alone in Denver as the owner of a school supply business, in 1930.
Following the Great Depression, John's eldest daughter Mabel Garton and her family moved back home and lived with John at his farm until the early 1940s when the Garton family also moved to Denver.
John Hultquist suffered a stroke on December 22nd, 1944, and remained in very poor health until his passing on February 18th, 1945.
Jennie Swenson Hultquist
1870–1946 (m. 1891)