Ekman, Knut Otto, banker – Portland – born in Vexjö, Småland on Oct. 23, 1870. He studied six years at the High School in Vexjö. He moved to America in 1887, where he worked for his brother Carl’s general merchandise store in Lindstrom, Minnesota, for one year. He was then employed by Scandinavian American–Bank in St. Paul, Minnesota. He stayed there for three years. The day after he left his position there he was employed by the Swedish–American National Bank in Minneapolis, where he started out as manager of the collections department. He advanced through the various positions (clerk, assistant bookkeeper, teller) to assistant treasurer, a position he held until the merger, in 1908, with Northwestern National Bank. In May of 1909 Mr. Ekman, together with some Swedish associates, established the Scandinavian–American Bank with an initial capital of $250,000 which soon increased to $500,000. Mr. Ekman became the treasurer of the bank.
In the spring of 1910 he went on a trip to the West Coast, during which he was offered the position of Vice President of the Scandinavian American Bank in Portland, Oregon. In September the same year he accepted the offer and moved to Portland. Mr. Ekman is an accomplished singer, especially of Swedish glunt songs, and has always belonged to several singing groups both in Sweden and in America. He is a member of the Freemasons, the Odin club in Minneapolis, and belongs to the Columbia Male Chorus in Portland. He has financial interests in fish canning operations in Alaska, rice farming operations in Texas, as well as in mines. He married Frances Anna Stowe from Minneapolis on Feb. 19, 1910. They have two children (twins), born Nov 27, 1910.