Linus was born on his grandfather's farm, where his parents were living at the time. When he was about one year old, the family moved from the farm to a small house in Swedeburg, where they lived for a couple of years. The family moved back to the farm after Augustinus inherited it in 1912. Linus went to a one room elementary school near the farm for grades 1 through 8, and next attended grades 9 and 10 in Swedeburg. To finish high school, he then went to Luther Academy in Wahoo for two years. Linus spent his non-school time doing farm work. Mildred was born on her parents' farm. She went to a two room elementary school in Swedeburg for 10 years. She went on to attend the high school in Wahoo for the next two years, and graduated from that school. During her two years at the high school, she boarded with families in Wahoo from Monday through Friday and returned to her folks' farm near Swedeburg for weekends. To pay her board the first year in Wahoo, MMildred baby-sat and ironed for her host family. In addition, her parents provided that family with butter, eggs, and cream. During her last year in high school, Mildred's parents paid her board with that year's host family. After she graduated, she moved back to her parent's farm. She spent most of the winters for the next nine years working as a domestic for families in Omaha. The rest of the time, she helped with the chores on her parents' farm.
Linus and Mildred knew each other since childhood, as their family farms were only about three miles apart. They went together for seven years before they were married.
Linus was a farmer for his entire working life; Mildred was a housewife. Beginning a couple of years before their marriage, Linus farmed on some land he rented and raised livestock. After they were married, they moved to a farmhouse one mil west of Linus' parents' farm. Around this time, Linus began to farm his parents' land. In the fall of 1936, Linus' parents moved from the family farm to Ceresco; Linus and Mildred moved to the family farm where they lived for more than forty years.
Linus' father Augustinus had inherited the family farm debt free in 1912. Augustinus did not actively farm after 1912 and mortgaged the land over the years. After Linus began to manage the family farm in 1936, Augustinus was able to reducee mortgage substantially, using the income generated from the harvests. Corn and soybeans were the main crops grown, and occasionally milo and winter wheat. The farm was almost paid off when Augustinus and Hermanda died in the late 1940s. Durinng the next 20 years or so, Linus gradually bought out the equity of his brothers and sisters. At various time, Linus also had livestock, buying and raising calves until they were ready for slaughter. Linus and Mildred added to the home farm's 200 acres by buying an additional 40 acres in the 1960s. Their three children attended elementary school at a one room schoolhouse, which was a short walk from the family farm. At one time, the school teacher boarded at the farm.
Shortly after he took over management of the farm, Linus became concerned about the amount of soil in the fields that was regularly washed away. To reverse this loss, he tried contour farming. Although helpful, this technique did not ret with the full soil conservation he desired. His pursuit of effective conservation continued and he attended a demonstration on terracing, a new concept in farming. At this demonstration, he saw that terracing protected contour farming by coconserving soil and moisture. He began to construct terraces on the farm in 1945. He found that terracing along with contour farming kept the silt from washing away. He proceeded to protect all the fields with terraces and waterways, and farmemed on contours parallel to the terraces. In recognition of his pioneer efforts in terrace farming, the Saunders County Soil and Conservation District gave the family the Conservation Farm Family award in 1964. The Omaha Herald also recognized Linus' conservation efforts.
In the fall of 1941, Linus purchased a modern corn picker. He wasn't sure if he could really afford this purchase. His father-in-law and brother-in-law, C. O. and Norm Pearson, who jointly farmed nearby, agreed to buy a share of the corn pir. World War II began a couple of months later and the manufacturing of all farm equipment was suspended. The acquisition of the picker prove to be a wise investment and the envy of the neighboring farmers.
Except for the years Linus' brother Joe spent in the Army in World War II, Joe lived on the farm until he was married. Their brother Loyd also lived on the farm except for the time he spent in the Navy during and shortly after the War. Mild prepared meals, washed clothes, and kept house for the entire family. Linus and Loyd farmed jointly and usually worked around 700 acres - the home farm plus land they rented. After Joe was married, he and his family lived on their Uncle Herman's farm just west of the home farm and the brothers often farmed together.
Early in his farming career, Linus saw the economic advantages of farmers working cooperatively, and became active in the Ceresco Farmers Co-op. In the early stages, the Co-op purchased large quantities of fuel for its members at a rate lessan what the farmers would pay individually. Linus later joined the Wahoo Co-op and the Saunders County Co-op. He was active in all three Co-ops simultaneously. It was said that Linus did not talk very much at meetings, but his input was always worth listening to. He served on the Board of all three Co-ops and for several years was the chairman of the Wahoo Co-op. Under his leadership, the Wahoo Co-op expanded significantly. In addition to fuel, the Co-ops purchased fertilizer, seed, and other farm supplies and equipment.
When the children were growing up, family activities usually involved visiting relatives. Often on Sundays, they drove to Omaha to visit Linus' sister Nellie Ann and her family. At Easter, they would drive to Oklahoma and stay with Linus'ter Bernice and her family. During the 1950s, the family spent several summer vacations at a lake in Minnesota.
As with most farms during the 1930s, a series of droughts took their toll and there were several lean years. The crops were generally very good in the 1940s. During some bad farming years in the 1950s, Linus worked in construction in Lincolnd Mildred worked for a short time at a hospital in Wahoo. Weather in the 1960s was mixed and there was a crop failure in 1970. Around that time when Linus thought about retirement, he was concerned on how they would make it financially, as the farm was still mortgaged. He felt that he might have to find some part time work after he retired from farming. As things turned out, the early 1970s brought a few years of excellent weather and high crop prices. Linus was able to retire in 1974, with the farm completely paid for. He even bought a new car. Linus and Mildred lived at the farm for four more years. Shortly after Linus retired, Loyd married and moved to Wahoo. Linus kept up a large vegetable garden as a retiremenment project. Linus and Mildred sold the farm house with 10 acres of land in 1978, and bought and moved into a house in Ceresco. They kept the farmland, which Loyd farmed until he retired. Then Mildred's nephew Kent took over farming the land. Mildred continued to live in the Ceresco house after Linus died in 1982, and moved to a rest home in Wahoo where she has lived since 1996.
Beginning in the early 1970s, Linus and Mildred spent the Christmas seasons in California with their children, Jack and Ann, and their families. Lee would usually join them there. Most of the time, Linus and Mildred drove on these trips.y usually went through Arizona where they visited Linus' sister Nellie Ann, and stopped in Oklahoma to visit another sister Bernice and her family. They liked to travel and do different things when they came to California. They enjoyed site seeing and going out to restaurants. For several years, Linus, Jack, and Randy went deep sea fishing during the annual visits. After Linus died, Mildred continued to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas in California for several more years.
Linus and Mildred were both quiet and reserved people. They had mild temperaments and did not complain about things. They were both sociable and liked to talk to relatives, friends, people they had just met or even to strangers. They werery devoted to their family. Like his father, Linus read a lot and could discuss a variety of subjects. He read books, magazines, and newspapers, and also liked to do crossword puzzles. He enjoyed watching baseball games on television. Mildred was an excellent cook and dedicated farm wife. She liked to crochet. At one time, she was an officer in the Saunders County Good Neighbors Extension Club. They were both active members of Grace Lutheran Church, a church that Linus' grandfather co-founded. Linus served as church deacon and for many years was the treasurer of the Church's cemetery. Mildred was active in the church's women's group, serving in various officer posts, including president and secretary.
LINCOLN STAR - SEPTEMBER 30, 1982
ERICKSON - Linus J, 73, Ceresco, died Tuesday in Lincoln. Retired farmer. Born Swedeburg. Member, Grace Lutheran Church, rural Wahoo. Board member, Swedeburg Lutheran Cemetery. Survivors: wife, Mildred; sons, Jack, Rodego Bay, Calif., Lee,n Minn.; daughter, Mrs. Randy (Ann) McGregor, Walnut Creek, Calif.; brothers, Joseph, Ceresco, Lloyd, Wahoo; sisters, Hilda Erdahl, Tucson, Ariz., Mrs. John (Bernice) Mostrom, Bartlesville, Okla., Nellie Ann Erickson, Prescott, Ariz.; two grandchildren.
Services: 2 p.m. Friday, Grace Lutheran Church, rural Wahoo. The Rev. Richard Woolard. Swedeburg Lutheran Cemetery, Swedeburg. Memorials to the church or American Cancer Fund. NELSON FUNERAL HOME, Ceresco.
LINCOLN STAR - OCTOBER 1, 1982
ERICKSON - Linus J, 73, Ceresco, died Tuesday in Lincoln.
Services: 2 p.m. Friday, Grace Lutheran Church, rural Wahoo. Pallbearers: Lawrence Lindquist, Leland, Loren, Russell Swanson, Vernon Olson, Lyle Wedberg. Swedeburg Lutheran Cemetery, Swedeburg. Memorials to the church or American Cancer Fund.LSON FUNERAL HOME, Ceresco.