(1848 - ?)
Erik Jansson was an immigrant from Sweden who established his own religion in which he represented the second coming of Christ. He and his followers fled Sweden to pursue religious freedom. His followers were mostly poor, but the wealthiest members of the group sold their own goods and personal belongings to fund the purchase of land—the Bishop Hill Colony (the “utopia on the prairie”)—and to cover travel expenses for the immigrants. With little funds left, they erected a water grist mill and a saw mill; however, these were never powerful enough and could also be driven by horse as back-up. In 1848 they erected a more reliable wind grist mill for their grinding needs. The mill has since been destroyed.
-Adams, Herbert. Church and State: Columbus and America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1892.