Charles E. Hillstrom, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Charles E. Hillstrom

CHARLES E. HILLSTROM. It is not only the northwest that is greatly in the debt of the Scandinavian peninsula for some of the best citizens, but in the middle west also are to be found numbers of such ancestry who have added their valuable qualities of thoroughness of workmanship and high ideals of civic responsibility to the composite something which we term American character. As they bring to our shores the same traditions of family life, the same regard for education, and the same standards of living, they are able to compete with the flower of our civilization here, and so to enrich it. Mr. Hiillstrom's career is a typical one of a capable immigrant in a land yet rich in opportunities.

Born in Sweden on May 29, 1859, Charles Hillstrom, spent the first two and twenty years of his life in his native land. There were fourteen children in the Hillstrom family, of whom eleven are now living. All but one have come to America. The father still lives in Sweden, where his wife, Helena, is buried. Charles remained in the home until he reached the age of fourteen, and then set out to make his own way, as the needs of the large family made it imperative that he be self supporting as soon as possible. He went to work in a general store and remained there for seven years. After this it was necessary for him to perform his military duty, and after giving two years to the service of his country in that line he embarked for America on April 13, 1881, and on May 1st landed in New York City. He did not remain there, but went to Corning, Iowa, where he stayed for a part of the summer, and then came to Chesterton, Indiana. Mr. Hillstrom was first employed in an organ factory as a cabinet maker. His rise was rapid in this concern. He was first made foreman, then manager and bookkeeper. For a time he severed his connection with the factory to become inspector at Pullman, Illinois, but was induced to return on the offer of the position of manager of the establishment.

Mr. Hillstrom early identified himself with the Republican party and became one of the most ardent supporters of the party. In 1896 he was appointed postmaster, in recognition of his services. At the time he was acting as chairman of the township, and he entered upon his duties as postmaster on July 12, 1897. He is still holding the office and he discharges its duties to the satisfaction of Uncle Sam's many patrons, being a man of wide personal popularity, as well as a most efficient servant of the public.

Six years after coming to America. In the year 1887, Mr. Hillstrom was united in marriage to Miss Augusta Gustafson, a compatriot of his. The children of this marriage are: Estella, wife of E. X. Osborne, a railway mail clerk; Hazel, Mrs. Almer E. Greene, Mr. Greene being an accountant; and Elvira, who is a clerk in the Chesterton post office. All the family are members of the Swedish Lutheran church, and take an active part in the work of that body.

In the order of the Knights of Pythias, Chesterton Lodge, No. 442. Mr. Hillstrom is very well known, being a past chancellor and was grand representative. His loyalty to the Republican party is proverbial among his acquaintances, but it is characteristic of him to espouse with zeal and devotion any cause which appeals to him. He is one of the leading citizens of Chesterton, a self-made man in every respect and one who is ever on the side of any movement for the welfare of the community.

Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People and Its Principal Interests. Volume II. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 814-815

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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