At the age of 18, Jacob Malmgren was among the first waves of Swedish Immigrants to Central Kansas in 1869.  After working in Ellsworth County for a time as a Section Foreman for the Union Pacific Railroad, Jacob and his wife Emma settled on a farm near Falun in 1872.  Over the next few years, the Malmgren family grew to include four daughters and a son.   Swedish was his first language, and the language spoken in his home for his entire life. 

Jacob was a quiet man, but was very well liked by his neighbors.    He was encouraged to run for the office of Sheriff, and was easily elected in 1895.  During the 15 months he served as Saline County’s top law enforcement official, he was well regarded by area residents.  His responsibilities required extensive travel and coordination with other governmental agencies.

In early 1897, Sheriff Malmgren’s physical and mental health began to deteriorate.  Following a serious bout with influenza, he developed arthritis like symptoms and started behaving erratically.  On March 20, he boarded an east bound train to Kansas City.  He was found inside a box car on the following day, dead from a self-inflicted gun shot wound.  A final note to his wife, mailed from the train prior to his death, was translated from Swedish and printed in newspapers across the region.  His death marked a tragic end to his public service to the residents of Saline County.