Louis M. ELK, who for three years has resided in Henry, prior to which time his life was devoted to general agricultural pursuits, was born in the southern part of Sweden on the 24th of October, 1844. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Morton LARSON, are both deceased. In the land of his birth Louis M. ELK was reared and educated and when a young man of twenty-four years he determined to seek his home in America, for the business outlook in his native country was not as favorable as that offered in the United States. Accordingly he crossed the Atlantic and on the 20th of June, 1869, landed at Quebec, Canada. He at once made his way to the middle Mississippi valley and became a resident of Princeton, Bureau county. Having but limited capital at the time of his arrival, it was necessary that he secure immediate employment and he found work as a farm hand, being thus employed for several years or until his labors had brought him sufficient capital to enable him to engage in farming on his own account. He first rented land in Saratoga township, Marshall county, in 1878 and resided thereon for three years, after which he removed to another farm, which was his place of residence for sixteen years. He then removed to the northwest, settling in Douglas county, South Dakota, where he purchased two hundred and eighty acres of land upon which he lived for eight years. His entire life has been devoted to general agricultural pursuits until in 1899 he retired from active business cares and is now enjoying a rest which he has truly earned and richly deserves. He has resided in this part of the state continuously since 1869 with the exception of the eight years passed in Dakota and is well known in agricultural circles.
Mr. ELK was married on the 24th of March, 1885, to Mrs. Ursula M. TANQUARY, widow of Milton TANQUARY, and a daughter of J. P. and Mary (FOSTER) SWIFT. Her father was a farmer in Bureau county, but both he and his wife are now deceased. Mrs. ELK has two children by her first marriage, Curtis and Ethel E., now the wife of Andrew KELLY. Mr. ELK is independent in his political views and affiliation. He belongs to the Modern Woodmen camp at Henry, Illinois. Both he and his wife are devoted members of the Methodist church, in which he has served as steward. Mr. ELK has no occasion to regret his determination to come to the new world, for here he has found a good home and many warm friends, while through the improvement of business conditions he made substantial advancement and is now in possession of a very desirable competence as the reward of his industry and perseverance.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.