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Revised: 30 December 1999
Elias Erickson - 6 June 1824, Lerum, Alvesborg, Sweden - 26 August 1894, Steele County, North Dakota
Johan Ludwig Peterson - 11 July 1850, Raggard, Alvesborg, Sweden - 1 July 1893, Steele County, North Dakota

Maria (Emma) and Elias Erickson were married on 1 April 1850 in Bergum, Älvesborg, Sweden. He was born on 6 June 1824 to Eric Olafsson and Elisa Borgersdatter in Lerum, and she was born to Nils Andersson and Brita Maria Andersdatter on 31 June 1927 in Bergum. Before coming to the United States, they lived in Bergum where they had seven children: Emma, 4 August 1850; August, 20 December 1842; Britta (Betsy) Marie, 4 February 1856; Matilda, 23 March 1859; Augusta, 9 November 1861; John Edward, 16 May 1863; and Andrew, 23 February 1866. On 23 April 1868, they were issued a moving certificate from Angared parish in Älvesborg. The certificate states that they were taking Johan Edward, Anders, Britta Maria and Matilda to North America while leaving two children behind. He was allowed to partake of the sacrament, had attended a gospel exam and had a trustworthy status in the community. They homesteaded in Renville County, Minnesota where Otto M. was born on 7 September 1871.

Elias Erickson patented 80 acres on 15 January 1875 in the west half of the south west quarter of section 14, in Township 115, of Range 38 (Homestead Certificate 578).  On 1 November 1875, John Peterson patented 80 acres in the west half of the south-west quarter of section 34, in township 122, of range 39 (Homestead Certificate 2668).

On 27 February 1876, Betsy married Johan Ludwig Peterson in Renville County, Minnesota. He was from Raggard, Älvesborg, Sweden. He was born there on 11 July 1850 to Jonas Petersson and Britta Maria Andersdatter. Betsy and Ludwig homesteaded a number of years in Renville County, Minnesota where several of their children were born. Emma Josephine was born 31 October 1876 in Hawk Creek, Renville County, Minnesota. Carl Wilhelm was born on 14 February 1879 in Edison, New Posen, Swift County, Minnesota.

The 1880 census for Hawk Creek, Renville County, Minnesota shows the following:
Erikson Elias Farmer M 56 Sweden
  Ema wife F 53 Sweden
  Ema daughter F 29 Sweden
  Johan son M 17 Sweden
  Andrew son M 14 Sweden
  Oto son M 9 Minnesota

The 1880 census for New Posen (Edison), Swift County, Minnesota shows the family as follows:
Peterson John L. 28 Norway
  Betsy Wife 23 Norway
  Emma daughter 2 Minnesota
  Charley son 1 Minnesota

John L.'s parents are still listed in Hawk Creek:
Peterson Jonas Farmer 63 Sweden
  Brita wife 59 Sweden
  Gustav son 23 Sweden
  Alex son 21 Sweden
  Charl son 20 Sweden
  Pettri daughter (he is a son) 15 Sweden

John's brother Erik and his family are also listed in Hawk Creek.

Annie Christina was born in New Posen on 4 September 1880 to John and Betsy. John patented 40 acres in the north-east quarter of the south-west quarter of section 34 in township 125 north, of range 39 west of the Fifth Principal Meridian in Minnesota on 3 August 1882 (Homestead Certificate 5134).

Elias Erickson patened 80 acres on 1 May 1884 described as the north half of the north-west quarter of section 14 in township 114 north of range 33 (Homestead Certificate 2417).

The 1885 Dakota Territory census shows that the clan must have moved Steel County in 1884 as August's daughter, who is 8/12 old, was born in Dakota.
ED Name Age Relation Occupation Birthplace County
34-005-11 Erickson Elias 60 Head Farmer Sweden Steele
34-005-12   Mary 55 Wife   Sweden Steele
34-005-13   Emma 33 Daughter   Sweden Steele
34-005-14   John 22 Son Farmer Sweden Steele
34-005-15   Andrew 19 Son   Sweden Steele
34-005-16   Otto 15 Son   Sweden Steele
34-010-16 Erickson August 33 Head Farmer Sweden Steele
34-010-17   Anna 24 Wife   Sweden Steele
34-010-18   H. 8/12 Daughter   Dakota Steele
34-010-19 Peterson J. S. 35 Head Farmer Sweden Steele
34-010-20   Betsey 28 Wife   Sweden Steele
34-010-21   Emma 8 Daughter   Minnesota Steele
34-010-22   Carl B. 7 Son   Minnesota Steele
34-010-23   Anna C. 3 Daughter   Minnesota Steele
34-010-24   Martha(?) 1 Daughter   Minnesota Steele
34-010-25 Erickson August 28     Sweden Steele

On 15 February 1887, Johan Peterson patented the NW 160 acres in township 146, range 57, section 34 in Steele County. Emma Erickson, probably his mother-in-law, patented the NE 160 acres in township 146, range 57, section 34 on 30 October 1888.

The Erickson and Peterson clans moved to Steele County, North Dakota where all the children later made their homes except for Otto who spent a number of years in Montana and Edward who moved to Cuba and worked in a sugar factory. John and Betsy had several children in Steele County, North Dakota including Martin Arthur on 21 May 1884, Edward Ferdinand on 16 February 1886, Frans Albert on 2 July 1888 (he died December 1897), and Ida Wilhelmina Henrietta on 3 June 1891. Ludwig's parents remained in Renville County where there is a death certificate for Britta Maria for 26 April 1894.

Ludwig PetersonElias Erickson Ludwig and Betsy Peterson and her parents, Elias and Emma Erickson, were very dedicated pioneer people. In 1885, Elias organized a Sunday School. Then on 24 September 1888, a congregation was organized by Rev. Ryding at his home. Ludwig named the church "Hofva" after an area he was from in Sweden. At this time, the homes were mainly sod huts and dugouts. The congregation was received into the membership of the Minnesota Conference of the Augustana Synod. The original board members were Ludwig Peterson, Deacon, Elias Erickson, Deacon, H. Hendrickson, Deacon, Ole Anderson, Trustee, Gustaf Peterson (brother of Ludwig), Trustee, Andrew Carlson, Secretary. Among the charter members, there were many individuals from the Erickson and Peterson families including Elias and Emma Erickson, Otto M. Erickson, August and Anna Erickson, Andres Erickson, Ludwig and Betsy Peterson, Gustaf and Matilda Anderson, Gustaf and Sophia Peterson, Carl and Augusta Linden, Edward Erickson and Otto Anderson. Sunday School and church services were held in homes. A small roller organ which was cranked by hand to produce music was owned by John Peterson and was brought to their Sunday School and church meetings. In the year 1900, the congregation decided to build a church. The foundation was laid in the spring of 1900 and the church building was dedicated on 21 July 1904.

Johan Ludwig Peterson died at the young age of 48 years of pneumonia on 1 July 1893. The heirs of Johan Peterson patented the SE 160 acres in township 146, range 57, section 34 on 18 July 1895.

Elias Erickson died on 26 August 1894.

Betsy, a very industrious and ambitions lady, managed to raise her children and then to build a large, lovely home on her land. She also owned the first car, a Lambert, in the community. Annie and her sisters loved music and took organ lessons from an aunt, Mrs. Andres Erickson, who was the organist at Hofva Lutheran Church for over thirty years, and two of her brothers played violins. Music was also instilled in Annie's children.

The 1910 census lists Betsy as the head on her own farm in Greenview Township, Steele County, North Dakota.
Name Relation Sex Age Marital Status Birthplace Father's Birthplace Mother's Birthplace Year Immigrated
Peterson Betsy Head F 54 WS Sweden Sweden Sweden 1870
  Martin Son M 26 S North Dakota Sweden Sweden  
  Edward Son M 24 S North Dakota Sweden Sweden  
  Ida Daughter F 18 S North Dakota Sweden Sweden  

As years went by, her children married. Ida, Emma and Edward settled in North Dakota. Carl moved to Minnesota. Annie married Ben Christenson on 10 July 1908 at Sherbrooke, Steele County, North Dakota and then moved to Pondera County, Montana.