I have always been deeply interested and curious about where my grandparents came from. I didn't even have know the names of my Mormor (grandmother) Ida Nickander-Swanson's parents. My own mother, Betty Wall, didn't either. We had their picture hanging on the wall, but who are they? The journey and thirst for our family history soon began. I have spent four years of time and two trips to Sweden to research this vast project. I myself am 51% Swedish and proud to say that I am! I had always heard of some Swedish towns, but because we so poorly mispronounced the cities, could not find them because the spellings were incorrect. I discovered more facts than I thought would be possible. A fact that American readers might not know, is that when a grave is felt abandoned, no cost for up-keep as been given for fifty years, the grave site is reassigned. At one point or another, everyone is buried in the church cemetery. However, if no one maintains the grave, it is taken back by the church after a period of time.
The long lost relatives were thrilled to think that someone would care enough to look them up! We will never allow time to slip away again. The enthusiasm and commitment to stay in touch is shared by everyone and they will continue to be an important part of our lives always. Family bonds are forever...
Many of you will be surprised with the numerous details I was able to uncover. Some facts were sad to discover, but it is our heritage! The past is unchangeable. It is very self-fulfilling to manifest our true beginnings.
The Nickanders and the Swansons were together long before Matt Nickander and Ida Swanson were ever married. The two families were together from the very beginning of their arrival here on America soil. There was always a strong bond between Nickanders and Swansons. It just got stronger with the marriage of their children, Matt and Ida. So their lives should be told and shared in one book. When reading Erick Swanson's diary, you will see the two families living and working together.
I have covered the lives of Kjel and Anna Nickander and also Sven Olof and Karin Swanson, along with their children. What a feeling of exhilaration to have this very intensive project completed. All of you in my family and friends have been extremely supportive and have also made sacrifices to help.
Thank You to all for allowing me the needed time to finish this search! It has now been over 100 years after the events described in this book. I have done everything humanly possible to ensure that the facts, photos, and details reported within are truthful to the best of my knowledge.
The name Nickander is a military name assigned to a person in the Swedish army. The government had to assign names to the servicemen because everyone had the same last names (such as Olofsson, Svenson, and Kjelsson). Kjel Kjelsson was assigned Nickander, and he kept it when he left the service. He served in the military for 15 years. Those dates were from 1869 to 1885. I found out that a man could get someone to serve in the military for him. He would "hire" another to fulfill his term. It was a feasibleway to earn a living. Kjel could have been serving the time in the military for someone. There is no easily found records for this. Kjel was a Corporal in the Army when he left.
Kjel Kjelsson-Nikander (notice first spelling of Nickander) was born November 17, 1846 in Klövsjö, Jämtland, Sweden.
He was the fourth child in a family of six boys. Kjel married Anna Mattiasdotter on April 25, 1875. Anna was born on March 7th, 1857, also in Klövsjö. Anna's brother, Jonas Mattsson, her only sibling, is pictured here with family on page 57. Jonas Mattsson was born March 21, 1855, and married Anna Zakrisdotter on April 23, 1882. He died on January 24, 1932.
They had two children. Their first child was Ida Jonsson-Fahlen, born on June 8, 1882 and died on November 11, 1975. Their second child was Sara-Lisa Jonsson-Kjellsson, born on June 4, 1885 and died on August 20, 1918.
Now let me take you on the families' journey to America. We will start with Kjel Nickanders' older brother, Olof. He took the name Kelly. Olof came to Minnesota in July of 1887. He chose Minnesota because so many of the Klövsjö immigrants came here to Minnesota. Over 400 people came from Klövsjö to the United States, and most settled in Aitkin County, Minnesota. Olof sent money home, and one year later, in June of 1888, Kjel Kjelsson-Nickander and his younger brother, Paulus Kjelsson (Kalander-Nickander), came to settle and blend their lives together. All three brothers worked together and started homesteading in Nordland Township. They built a small house and Paul went out to the woods and started lumbering.
On July 10 of 1889, Kjel's wife, Anna Mattiasdotter and their four children came here to meet Kjel to start a new life. The four children's names were Mattias, Ida, Anna, and Marta (Martha). Traveling with them was also Kelly's wife, Anna Jonsdotter and their four children. Their names were Kjel, Jonas, Anna, and Olof. Incidentally, Anna Nickander and Anna Kelly, along with Anna Sjödin, were all first cousins. Anna Nickander and Anna Kelly were sisters-in-law and first cousins simultaneously. (Anna Sjödin's parent's Olof and Ingrid Olson, who also came to America, were their Aunt and Uncle.) Kjel and Anna Nickander were second cousins and Olof and Anna Kelly were also second cousins. So here we have two sets of second cousins marrying.
The two wives and eight children traveled from Klövsjö to Trondheim, Norway by train. In Trondheim, they boarded a small ship named Cameo, and traveled up the East coast of England to Hull. From Hull, they took a train across England to the west coast to Liverpool, to board a large steamship to North America. They boarded the ocean liner named the S.S. Vancouver of the Dominion Shipping Line. The journey took eight days. They landed in the port of Quebec on July 18, 1889. (Olof Kelly, Kjel and Paul Nickander, all traveled this same route, with the same ships on their journeys to America. So did the Sjödins.)
They went on to Montreal by ship where they boarded a train which brought them to Aitkin, arriving on July 20, one day ahead of schedule. Thankfully, they were befriended by Paul Engquist (who was also from Klövsjö, and is pictured in Erick and Mary Swansons's wedding picture), who could see they were obviously stranded at the station. He took them to the Olof Nordean family to spend that evening. The next morning they were reunited with Mr. Nickander, who had walked the 12 miles from the homestead to Aitkin, with Olof Kelly, to greet their families. In the afternoon, they started the long trek towards the homestead in Nordland Township, riding as far as Lone Lake with Ole Bodin, who was fortunate enough to have a team of horses. Continuing their journey on foot, they made the rest of the trip along an old deer trail and finally reached the homestead at midnight, as a rainstorm broke above them. It was nine years after arriving at their homestead before Mrs. Nickander ever saw Aitkin again (or any town).
They celebrated their Golden Anniversary on April 25 of 1925. It was the largest gathering of friends and family that the tiny village of Glory ever saw! Kjel died on February 21, 1929 at the age of 83. After his death, Anna stayed on the homestead. On Feb. 24, 1931, she sold the farm to the National bank of Aitkin, for $5,000. For the rest of her life she stayed at her children's homes. Anna died on July 17, 1948 at the age of 91. They raised a family of 14 children. Kjel and Anna Nickander, along with their two children, Carl and Olof, are buried at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church at Glory in Nordland Township, which is seven miles southeast of Aitkin, Minnesota. Both graves are well marked. If you have never visited the site, please go someday and experience the little church "in the vale" that our ancestors built in 1891.
Kjel and Anna's Children-
Mattias--born on June 4, 1875 in Klövsjö, Jämtland, Sweden. He married Ida Swanson on November 7, 1903. He died on January 2, 1969 in Aitkin, Minnesota, buried at Maria Chapel Cemetery in Nordland Township, Aitkin, Minnesota. The grave is well marked. Their children: Berthel, Alfhild, Isabelle, Carl, Linnea (Nicky), and twin daughters Lois Elaine and Betty Jane (Randy Wall's mother).
Marit--Born in Klövsjö on October 13, 1876. She died on June 16, 1882 from diptheria. Her grave plot was reassigned.
Ida--Born in Klövsjö on May 24, 1878. She married John Forsland on November 11, 1898. She died on June 1, 1932. She is buried at Lakewood Cemetery in Crosby, Minnesota. Their children: Edythe, Oscar, Myrtle, Ruth, Ella, Minnie, Ida, Harold, Myron, Elwood, and Donald. The grave is well marked.
Kjel--Born in Klövsjö on October 17, 1880. He drowned in a family well on May 20, 1889 just two months before coming to America. He was physically and mentally handicapped. Grave plot was reassigned.
Maret--Born in Klövsjö on July 16, 1882. She died June 20, 1884. The cause was unknown and grave was reassigned.
Anna Kristina--Born in Klövsjö on January 18, 1884. She married Andrew Peterson on June 10, 1903. She died on December 14, 1961. Their children: Brynolf, Anna, Sylvia, Ruby, Elvina (Allie), Vivian, and Eileen. She is buried at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Aitkin, Minnesota and the grave is well marked.
Martha (Märta)—Born on February 23, 1886 in Klövsjö. She died on November 25, 1970. She is buried at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Aitkin, Minnesota. Martha and Edward Edlund are the parents of Evelyn Carlson. Her grave is well marked.
Bessie--Born on July 10, 1890 in Glory, Minnesota. She married George Larson, Jr. (her second cousin) on October 10, 1914. She died of complications of a miscarriage on July 17, 1918. She is Buried at Monson, Maine in the town cemetery. Their children: Romelle and Sherwood. The grave is well marked.
Minnie—Born on February 18, 1892 in Glory, Minnesota. She married Alfie Olson on February 22, 1914. She died June 21, 1978. She was buried at Hill Cemetery at Hill City, Minnesota. Their children: Robert, Ruby, Ferdinand, Harold, Marion, and Anna. The grave is well marked.
Hulda--Born on March 20, 1894 in Glory, Minnesota. She married Gust Dahlgren on January 18, 1922. She died November 19, 1986 and was buried at Crosby Lakewood Cemetery. Their children: Mabel, Warren, Helen, and Irene. The grave is well marked.
Olof--Born on November 26, 1895 in Glory, Minnesota. He died from pneumonia on May 17, 1906. He is buried at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Aitkin, Minnesota. He was mentally handicapped. The grave is well marked. The stone marker for Olof and Carl's grave's was provided for by Evelyn (Nickander) Carlson and Elsie (Larson) Mooers.
Esther--Born on May 10, 1897 in Glory, Minnesota. Her first marriage was to Gust Larson on February 19, 1919. Her second marriage was to Wilford Sandstrom. She died on June 10, 1987. She is buried in Crosby at Lakewood Cemetery. Her children with Gust: Elsie and Lorraine. The grave is well marked.
Carl Theo--Born on January 18, 1899 in Glory, Minnesota. He died on July 20, 1899 and is buried at Bethlehem Lutheran Church Cemetery in Aitkin, Minnesota. The cause of death is unknown and the grave is well marked.
Emma--Born on May 7, 1900 in Glory, Minnesota. She married Karl Lindahl on July 10, 1924. She died April 20, 1978 and is buried at Crosby Lakewood Cemetery. Their children: Shirley and Alice. The grave is well marked.
Olof Kelly, our first ancestor on the Nickander side who came to America, was Kjel Nickander's older brother. Olof was born on Aug. 2nd, 1843. He came alone to Minnesota on July 21, 1887. One year later, in 1888, his two brothers Kjel and Paul Nickander came here to Minnesota. A year after that came his wife, Anna Jonsdotter, and their four children as well as Kjel Nickander's wife, Anna Mattiasdotter, and her four children.
Anna (Jonsdotter) Kelly was born in Klövsjö on July 31, 1847 to Jon Kjelsson and Anna Jonasdotter. She came from a family of three children. She had a brother, Kjel, who never married and a sister, Brita, who inherited the family farm. Brita married Zakris Dillner. Their grandson, Zakarias Dillner and family, came to Minnesota in 1981, looking for the Kelly's, and they met with Evelyn (Nickander) Carlson. Anna Kelly died September 6, 1909 and Olof Kelly died May 30th, 1929. Both are buried at Maria Chapel Cemetery in Aitkin County, Minnesota. Their graves were marked by Randy Wall.
The Kelly children:
Kjel--Born in Klövsjö on January 19, 1875. He died after arriving in Minnesota sometime after July 1889 and before 1895. He was missing in the state census of 1895. He was mentally handicapped.
Jonas--Born in Klövsjö on September 10, 1876 and died on February 17, 1911 at Fergus Falls State Hospital for the insane and was also buried there. The grave was marked by Randy Wall.
Anna--Born in Klövsjö on June 5, 1879 with mental disabilities and died on August 2, 1916 at Faribault Regional Center for the feeble-minded, and buried there. The grave was marked by Randy Wall.
Olof--Born in Klövsjö on January 31, 1885 with mental disabilities in Sweden and died on April 13, 1919 at Faribault Regional Center for the feeble-minded, and was also buried there. The grave was marked by Randy Wall.
Emil--Born in Glory, Minnesota. They used many different spellings for their last names, so it may have also appeared as Kally or Kelley in different records. Emil was born on February 12, 1891 and died November 13, 1937. He is buried at Maria Chapel Cemetery in Nordland Township, Aitkin, Minnesota with his parents. He has a military gravestone. Unfortunately, the Kelly family did not experience a very happy ending. Out of six children born to them, four were mentally handicapped and one was declared insane. It is unknown why they were besieged with so much mental illness. Mr. and Mrs. Kelly were second cousins, and their grandmothers were sisters who also married second cousins. In studying the Family Tree, I found many instances of cousins marrying each other, and they may have been second and third cousins to first cousins. Also keep in mind that proper nutrition and doctors were rare for that time. Two of their children died in a treatment center for the feeble-minded (known as mentally handicapped today, of course). Jonas, another son, was declared insane and was sent to Fergus Falls State Hospital, Minnesota.
The Kelly house and farm was always immaculate. They were very hardworking people. We have a few pictures of them. Their son, Emil, who was born here in Minnesota, went on to become a World War I hero! After locating his obituary in the November 19, 1930 Aitkin paper, we found that he served in Company D of the 325th Infantry, 82nd Division from February 22, 1918 to May 24th, 1919. He participated in some of the most notable battles of World War I, such as Verdun, Muse Argonne, St. Mehiel, and was wounded shortly before the Armistice was declared. He was awarded medals for bravery from French, American, and Allied forces. I tried to get his military records, but they were destroyed in a fire. He was buried with full Military Honors at the Maria Chapel Cemetery. He has a military stone marker at the cemetery.
Rough times came upon the family when Mrs. Kelly died on September 6, 1909 from stomach cancer. Without Mrs. Kelly, Mr. Kelly was unable to care for their two mentally handicapped children, but then something happened to Jonas. A kind loving individual, who, for the last few years prior to his mothers death, had became withdrawn and afraid of everyone. He was known to recite poetry and was a very hard worker who spent a lot of time with Matt Nickander and Erick Swanson working at the lumber camps. He was so proud of being in America that he had his picture taken with his "ship" pin. He was well-versed in reading and writing and spoke both English and Swedish fluently. Without him, his mother would never have been able to cross the ocean with three mentally handicapped children.
Mr. Kelly, Olof Sr., buried his wife and just one week later was in court to decide the fate of Jonas. In probate court, Jonas was declared insane and sent to Fergus Falls. They were fearful he would hurt either himself or someone else as well. He was very religious. At that point, he stopped talking. He hid in total darkness and withdrew totally. Everyone knew that Olof could not care for the two mentally handicapped children, so they were brought to court and declared "not insane" and sent to the Faribault State Hospital in Minnesota. All of this happened within a few short months, and certainly took its toll on Olof Kelly. His wife died, and then he lost one son to Fergus Falls Hospital and two children to the Hospital for the Feeble-Minded in Faribault, Minnesota. It was a very sad and lonely time for Olof Kelly.
When Emil went off to World War I, Mr. Kelly sold the farm and lived with neighbors. After Emil came home from the military he bought a house in the town of Aitkin, Minnesota. Later, this house would also serve as home to Matt and Ida Nickander. Emil took care of his bedridden father for two years.
What pioneers the Kellys were! They risked everything they had to come to a promised land and brave a new life. Because of their courage and endurance, they helped a community grow and become a pure and honest place to raise a family. Everyone worked together and the community served as their family. The Kellys, even if posthumously, now have some meaning to their lives. We can empathize with them and feel their experiences come to life through photos and the written word. The Kellys did not live in vain. Their graves someday will all have markers with their names on them. I have visited all of their final resting places.
At the cemetery where Anna Kelly's (the daughter), rests next to her brother, Olof, Jr., in Faribault, Minnesota, a deer was lying on top of her grave when I drove up. As I approached, it stood up, turned and stared at me for several moments. Then the deer leaped in the air and ran away. I felt the deer was a messenger, welcoming me to a forgotten place and time. Now the Kelly names have wings--their memories will live on. For so long, there were always so many unanswered questions. At least now, we know the final chapters in their lives, and because of this research, they have a place in time.
The little house in AITKIN!
The histories of the little house in Aitkin that everyone lived at, or at least visited at one time. It was located on the “out skirts” of Aitkin, in Andersonville, or Dog Town, as it was known by different names. It was a small home filled with many Nickander/Swanson/Kelly history and memories.
The house and land was first bought by Olof Kelly from Per & Gertrude Person, on the 15th of April, in 1922. Olof deeded the house to his son Emil, on Jan. 31st, 1927. Emil left the home and land to Carl Nickander in his will. It went to probate court and Carl & Carrie Nickander inherited the estate on April 14th, 1938. (At one time in this period, Anna Nickander, and her daughter Martha, and her daughter Evelyn (Carlson) Nickander, also lived at this house.)
Carl & Carrie sold the home to Edwin & Emma Midthun on Nov. 6th, 1942. Edwin sold the home to Matt & Ida Nickander on April 10th, 1944.
On Aug. 29th, 1967, Matt & Ida turned the place over to Dennis & Patricia Rian. (No relation.) Matt & Ida moved to the Gables Nursing Home. There is no one relative on either side of the family that doesn't have a memory about this house.
Paul was the youngest of the Kjelsson brothers to come to America. He was born in Klövsjö on March 15, 1854. He never married, and lumbering was his vocation. He first took the name KJELS--this is recorded on his papers to become a citizen of the United States. Unfortunately, he never became a citizen. Later, he took the name Paul Kalander. On the 12th of June, 1893, Paul purchased a very important piece of property from the railroad for the amount of $320. Paul had plans to settle down. Something happened (we're unsure exactly what), but Paul never did build the house he was supposed to have. He then sold the land to a dear friend, Erick Olof Swanson, on September 22, 1896, less than a week after Erick's parents and his sister Ida came from Sweden. The land sold for $500. We are unsure if there was a building on the site at the time of sale.
We have reason to believe that Erick built something quickly for the approaching winter, or expanded what was there, because his parents lived with him then. Ida worked in town. (In the Swanson section of this book is a picture of the homestead place known to us as the "Glory Store.") Paul was responsible for the site of the Swanson home and store. He never became a United States citizen. At the start of World War I, the government sought all aliens in the country. They were afraid of German spies and possible sabotage in Aitkin County. Paul was one of the aliens questioned at great length and had to fill out papers about his allegiance to the United States. He could speak English, but lacked writing skills. He was working in a Lumber Camp. The date was February 27, 1918. Paul, of course, was innocent, but imagine how it would feel being abruptly awaken to be intensely questioned! Paul was living in Shovel Lake, Minnesota. Years later, he moved to Duluth, Minnesota and lived with Charles Linder, his nephew, until moving in to the Cook Home on November 14, 1932. Paul died August 11, 1937 and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery. We were able to find his grave by the number assigned to him and have now placed a stone on his grave to honor his strength and courage by Randy Wall. Paul, you will not be forgotten. He was a sweet, kind, and loving uncle. You can make a trip to where Paul is resting on the hill side of Cook home. The Cook home is now called the Chris Jensen Nursing Home. The current address is 2501 Rice Lake Road, Duluth, Minnesota 55811. The phone number is 218-720-1500. You must drive around to the back and park off the road. You will see an iron gate. Beyond an old wooden bridge, follow the pathway up the hill. You should be able to see the stone. There are only two stone markers for 4,000 graves. Take your picnic lunch and explore.
Kjel Nickander came from a family of six boys Anders Kjelsson, Lars Kjelsson, Olof (Kjelsson) Kelly, Kjel , Paul (Kjelsson) Kalander-Nickander, and Sven Duva Kjelsson. Three of the brothers stayed behind in Sweden in Klövsjö. The oldest brother, Anders, had seven children. The next brother in line is Lars. He had nine children. Five came to America. Two of his children, George Larson, Sr. and his sister Martha, went to Monson, Maine. (Bessie Nickander married George's son, George Jr.) Another son of Lars, his name was Kjel also, took the name Charles Linder, settled in Duluth, Minnesota. A daughter of Lars, who stayed behind in Klövsjö, was Lisa.The youngest brother in Kjel Nickander's family, is Sven Duva. He was a deaf mute.
We know so little about Bessie because she died so young. After school, she went to Aitkin and worked at the Foley Hotel. Then she moved to Duluth. On one of her trips back and forth to visit the Nickander Farm in Glory, her train derailed close to Kimberly (in the little town of Ude, please see map). The train wreck occurred on Sunday, the 6th of February in 1910. A few hours after the accident, lying in a Duluth Hospital, semi-conscious, a railroad agent burst into her room and had her sign a paper releasing all claims and settled for $50. Weeks later, her family and friends were furious at such behavior! Weak, delirious, and in severe pain (her hip had been crushed), how could she have known what she was signing? There were two trials, but it was settled out of court.
In June of 1912, she ventured to Sweden with her cousin Ruth Larson and visited relatives. She broke her arm in Klövsjö skiing. It is unknown how long she was there, but when she was returning home, she stopped in Monson, Maine and visited her first cousins, George Larson and his sister Martha. She fell in love with George's son, George Larson, Jr., who, of course, was her second cousin.
Bessie made a few trips back to Minnesota after marrying George Larson, Jr. She developed a serious staph infection from a miscarriage and died on July 17, 1918 at the age of 28. It broke her mother's heart. I made a trip to Monson, Maine in July of 1995 and visited with her grandchildren Darlene and Skip.
AITKIN AGE--TUESDAY, FEB. 8th, 1910
(-from the front page-)
SUNDAY PASSENGER TRAIN WRECKED AT UDE
AITKIN PEOPLE INJURED
Trainmen and Passengers assist in rescue from overturned coach. Claim Agent arouses public indignation here.
The Sunday afternoon passenger on the Northern Pacific leaving here at 3:21 for Duluth was wrecked at Ude while running at high rate of speed. A broken wheel on the rear coach caused the car to leave the track and it was dragged for about 700 feet when it struck the Ude switch and was overturned. The smoker was partially derailed.
The most seriously injured was Miss Marie Hudson of McGregor who had been in the hospital at Brainerd for an operation for appendicitis and was returning home. Her injuries were dangerous and she was taken back to the Brainerd hospital Monday night.
Miss Bessie Nickander of this place was thrown into the baggage rack and a heavy woman thrown on her so that she was very badly bruised, her back and hip being especially injured. She is suffering from nervous shock.
Some of the other people injured were Alice O'Neil, Nina Berry, Nellie Madden. The passengers were first taken to McGregor in the baggage car and later to Carlton where a physician examined the injured. Miss Nickander and Miss O'Neil were taken to a hospital at Duluth.
Conductor Reed was in charge of the unlucky train and he and the trainmen did all in their power to care for the passengers and get them to a comfortable place.
Miss Nickander was unable to be moved Monday morning but she was brought home Tuesday night and was taken to the Foley Hotel under the care of a physician and is confined to her bed.
The Train has had problems with some of its cars. Just a short time ago it lost another wheel from a car. The company is being criticized for its poor condition of the train cars, but the friends of Miss Nickander are highly indignant at the treatment by the claim agent of the road, which got her to sign a release and paid her $50 before she knew what she was signing. She was in the hospital and the claim agent would not let an attorney in to see her. Her friends will see to it that the settlement is set aside and some justice is shown her.
AITKIN AGE, AUG.1st, 1911----FRONT PAGE
Nickander case is to be Recommenced!
Young Woman injured-on Railway may get the amount of damages asked for!
The personal injury case of Miss Bessie Nickander against the Northern Pacific Railroad for injuries received in a wreck near Ude in February, 1910, was on trial in Duluth before Judge Page Morris and a jury last week, reaching a point that made it necessary to start the case over again. This will be done immediately and for $20,000 by her attorney, F.W. Hall of this place.
The company browbeat her into accepting a settlement for $50 at the time of the accident and the court gave her the right to repudiate the settlement, but after a day and a half of argument held on motion of defendant for an instructed verdict that the $50 received should have been returned or tendered, the plaintiff's attorney in order to avoid an instructed verdict and save the case moved for dismissal without prejudice to be recommenced immediately. This point will be covered by the tender of the $50 to the company by attorney Hall, after which the case will again be opened. Owing to lack of library facilities here, Spencer & Marshall of Duluth were retained to assist Attorney Hall in the first trial but he will conduct the case himself in the next trial.
BÖNDER, TORPARE OCH KNEKTAR I DET GAMLA KLÖVSJÖ
AV (by) GÖSTA ULLBERG
TRANSLATION-Farmers, Crofters (Tenant Farmers), and (Foot) Soldiers in old Klövsjö. Published in 1933. This is a two part collection of the people who lived and farmed in Klövsjö.
The books deal with most of the residents of the small farming village. They are still sold today. There is a second volume now available from the church. In this volume is the family of Matt and Ida Nickander (Randy Wall's grandparents). The main reason why we were included was that we always kept in touch with the Fahlens and Matt and Ida's great grandchild was there when the second volume was published (1992). Her name is Kirsten Johnson. (Her parents are Robert and Sue (Nickander) Johnson. Kirsten was going to school in Norway and went to see the Fahlens. They were putting together the material for the book and she gave them all the genealogy births and deaths on the Nickander family. Matt was born in Klövsjö with three of his sisters, Ida, Anna, and Martha.
From the first volume, which is in two parts of the Klövsjö books, I have taken some of the material that deals with our ancestors. You will see a chart number telling you where they go on the chart. Some of the people on the chart are listed several times, meaning that siblings' children married, or first and second cousins married.
Some facts from the books are Olof Sjodin (D: 137-- Klövsjö book #) became the first person from Klövsjö to settle in Aitkin on a homestead approximately 10 miles south of town. The Sjodin farm is pictured in the book (photo by Emanul Haglund).
Jonas Goransson (John Morin) (A: 82) emigrated to America in 1889 with his family. He first settled in Maine, but moved to Aitkin after a few years there. He was involved with farming and a boarding house. His wife, Kristina, was a midwife in Klövsjö, and she became a legal midwife in Aitkin. John Morine was a faithful and active member of the St. Paul Church, a lay worker there his entire life. His home was a welcoming spot for the newly arrived emigrants. (This is Carroll Heft's grandfather, and Kimberly Cook's great grandfather. Also Jonas's sister Lisa, married Matt Nickander's uncle, Lars Kjelsson in Klövsjö.) Next to John's home were the homes of Kjel Olson, Anders Karlstrom, and a daughter of Jons Jonsson (Anna). This was "Swede" Corner (a little piece of heaven). It was a gathering spot for all Swedish families to come together in town (Aitkin). This corner is pictured in the Klövsjö books. Also pictured in the books are scenes of the Aitkin train station, Olof Hanson's House, First Street in Aitkin, the St. Paul Church, and the homes of Lars Jonsson and Anders Dahlberg. If you ever travel to Klövsjö, there is a section in the town museum that features the town of Aitkin, Minnesota.
I would like to add a note here for Emanul Haglund of Glory, MM. Because he was living here in the Aitkin area, he was able to photograph this entire County and take wonderful pictures of our ancestors. He would sell them for a living. His equipment was the kind that you would cover your head with the cape and use a "flash" explosion to capture his images. Tack sa mychet, Mr.Haglund, for preserving our past in photo's. We would not have had those images captured on film, if it wasn't for you and your camera.
The following has been translated from Swedish to English from the Klövsjö books. 1930
In a foreign land.
One cannot illustrate a complete picture of Klövsjö’s history, during the 1800's, without mentioning one particular event of great influence in the lives of the parishioners--the emigration to America.
People led a crowded and poor life here at home. Through numerous divisions of the farms, the fields had become smaller and smaller. The best land had already been cultivated, and the land that could still be farmed was barren and full of rocks.
Furthermore, jobs were hard to come by in this small and secluded village. As a result, there were many difficult years when the harsh climate forced people to eat bark bread or starve to death.
Due to these circumstances, it was no wonder if one's thoughts wandered to the large and wondrous country on the other side of the Ocean, which one has heard so many wonderful things about. There was land, good land, which was practically given away. There was gold in massive amounts, just waiting to make its discoverers rich. One did not need to starve or fight for the last piece of bread there. One was told that many had already left and became rich men. Just imagine, if one had the guts to leave!
It was not until 1869 approximately 20 years after the longing for America had begun in Sweden, that someone from our parish was bold enough to brave the trip over the big blue Ocean. This was the year when the first Klövsjö family made the long trip to America. They were: Crofter Göran Morin (A: 124--George Morin) with his wife and children, and a farmer’s son, Sven Kristensson Eklund (A: 187). The latter came back after 2.5 years, but returned, accompanied by Per Eklund (A: 115), in 1875. The following year, Olof Jonasson Modin (D: 294) emigrated, but later returned to Sweden. (The number after the name is the for the Klövsjö books.)
Thereafter it was calm for a few years until 1883, when Olof Sjödin (D: 137) emigrated with his wife, children, and in-laws. In 1886, the longing to travel had also captured the hearts and minds of a few teenagers, Karin Olofsdotter (B: 79), Märta Linde, Olof Göransson (A: 217), and Hans Hansson (D :78). The emigration of entire families began the next year, 1887, when 21 persons left. Among them was Olof Kjelsson (F: 179--This is Olof Kelly), the Jöns Jönsson family (A: 350) and the Mattias Zakrisson family (J: 151--This is the Mathsons, Charles and John). From this year on, there was a never-ending flow of people traveling across the Ocean. In 1888, 21 persons emigrated, in 1889 the same number left, and in 1890 six persons traveled to the land of opportunity. This rush to America reached its peak in 1891, when 57 people left this part of the country, 32 of which in a group. The leaders of this group were Olof Hansson (D: 77) and Kjell Olsson (D: 106). Most of these people settled in or around the city, which had become the city of preference for the emigrants from Klövsjö, namely Aitkin, MN.
Olof Hansson writes upon request about the trip: I do not remember much. I do, however, believe that I was some sort of a leader. We received cheap tickets, along with railroad contracts from Quebec to Aitkin, when we were in Trondhjem (Norway). The boats have long wooden boards as beds for us to sleep on, just like in an old fashioned tree house. We had to provide bedding ourselves. It took 13 days to travel from England to Quebec, and we stayed in Montreal for 3 days. When we received our railroad tickets, we realized that they were written in English--this caused confusion, since none of us could understand or read the language. Luckily I noticed one word, via steamer, and at least I knew that steamer translated into a steam engine boat. This made us somewhat suspicious. Our representative could speak Swedish, so we discussed it with him to clarify if we were going to be traveling by rail or water. At this point, he wanted our contracts from Norway, but we refused. He said: You must not be so upset, you must be patient. When they did not receive our contracts from Norway, they finally gave us different tickets. A stranger came one night on the train and wanted to exchange a $20 bill. Had any one of us helped him, then we would most likely have been cheated out of that money.
25 more people emigrated in 1892 and another 22 in 1893. Since then, the emigration rate has decreased somewhat. The greatest number to depart after 1893 was in 1903, when 18 people emigrated. From 1869 to this day, a total of approximately 370 people, or roughly one-third of the present population of Klövsjö, emigrated.
John Berglund (J: 131), an Aitkin resident from Klövsjö, writes about Aitkin, the city in which the majority of the Klövsjö emigrants settled. Aitkin is a small city, approximately 50 years old, and located in the northern part of Minnesota by the Mississippi River. The city forms a judicial and administrative unit for the Aitkin County. They say that the Mississippi is the world's longest river, 677 Swedish miles long. The name is Indian and means The Water’s Great Father. When the Northern Pacific Railroad was built in 1871, from the east coast to the west coast through this part of Minnesota, this part of the country had then only been inhabited by Indians and hunters, who over the years had moved north along the Mississippi and its tributaries. These were the years when felling of the old primeval forest began. The Mississippi became the main transportation channel for lumber, which was led down to the large sawmills in Minneapolis and to some other cities along the way. A paper clipping from 1883 states that 175,000,000 cubic feet of lumber passed by Aitkin, where 8,000,000 was kept and sawed at the saw mills. Aitkin played a major part in the felling process, and the city grew fairly rapidly, due to the steady stream of laborers. The same clipping states that in the summer of 1883, there were 50 new homes built. After approximately 40 years, Aitkin had become a city based on the forest industry, where a few sawmills processed a small portion of the forest. There were also about 14 saloons, where most of the workers spent their earnings.
The forest was soon cut down, and today the area is mostly cleared--at least of pine trees. Agriculture has now largely taken over to a degree, where that the city counts on it for its livelihood. Aitkin’s population today (1930) is approximately 1,700. This number has not risen in several years due to the above mentioned forest industry stagnation. The city has, however, made certain major improvements. It is represented by most European nations, but about one-half of the population is of Scandinavian decent. There is 1 college, 9 churches of different religious denominations, 3 banks, 2 hotels, 3 hardware stores, 3 restaurants, 3 butcher’s shops, 3 large and 4 smaller repair shops, 3 clothing stores, 3 pharmacies, 2 magazine print shops, 2 dairy produce stores, 8 department stores, 11 gas stations, and a few other stores.
There are approximately 25 families from the Klövsjö parish here in the city, of which about half are married with others from Klövsjö and some with members of other nationalities.
The first settlers from Klövsjö occupied homesteads and began to breed livestock. There was plenty of land, the grass was cut with a scythe and when the spring came, the cattle were released to graze--there was no lack of pastures. When the evening came, a family member was sent to locate the cattle and bring them home. Today each farmer has his pasture fenced in, and all of the cultivation is performed with modern methods.
The elders have not held any political positions due to their inability to speak English. Their children, however, who were educated, are now distinguished nurses, teachers in public schools, and bank assistants. The Swedish reputation in this country is at the top of the list. They do not lack anything in any area.
The beginning of September is the time when the people from Klövsjö can meet and socialize the most. This is because of the annual county agricultural fair. This is when one is given the opportunity to show off what one has produced during the year--both crops and animals. Such a fair or meeting usually lasts for three days. On the last day the judges hand out rewards--first, second, and third. This is a time of excitement! (They're talking about the Aitkin County Fair--Have you ever been there?)
The religious inheritance from our Swedish forefathers has not been squandered. In 1888, Aitkin’s first Evangelistic-Lutheran Congregation was formed by Pastor P. Sjöblom. We knew that in America, religious freedom was practiced--religion was one’s own choice, not supported by the state. The name of the congregation is the Maria Church. Two years later, a wooden church was built. The church is located between two lakes, 5 miles south of Aitkin.
Every male married member of the congregation used his ox, and delivered his estimated share of lumber needed for the completion of the church. Then everyone joined in to actually build the church.
There are two more churches in the area. The largest church is the St. Paul Congregation, founded in 1892, and located in the city of Aitkin. Its church was built in 1898 by Jöns Jönsson from Klövsjö and its exterior resembles Klövsjö Church.
The Bethlehem Congregation was funded in 1891. The church was built in 1897, and is located 7 miles south-east of Aitkin. (This is the church that Kjel & Anna Nickander helped to build and are buried at. Their grave stones are on the next page.)
THE NEXT SECTION DESCRIBES SOME STORIES AND FACTS ABOUT THE PEOPLE ON THE TWO CHARTS. MATCH UP THE NUMBER WITH THE NAME TO SEE WHERE THEY FIT IN.
----AND REMEMBER... “IT'S NOT THAT PEOPLE HAVE TO HAVE DONE GREAT THINGS. EVEN ORDINARY THINGS ARE INTERESTING TO FUTURE GENERATIONS.” a genealogist
SWANSON CHART NOTES
CHART # 11-SARA CATHERINA FRIBERG
This is Erick and Ida Swanson's great grandmother, on their father's side. Sara's story was a challenge of the heart, for it was a lot of despair. Her father was Johan Ersson Aberg-Friberg (Ersson was his birth name, Aberg was his father's military name, and Friberg was his own military name). Johan was in the military like his father before him. Johan's military name was part of his assignment in the Batsmanskompani of Stockholm (City
Mariner Company of Stockholm). He was stationed, which had the name Friberg. The name went with the job. He kept Friberg after he left the position. Johan was born October 22, 1739 in Lulea (located up the far Northeast side of Sweden) to Erik Aberg and Barbro Lax. His parents, Erick and Barbro, were married on March 12, 1728. Erick died young at the age of 37, leaving seven children for Barbro to care for. Johan was the baby and never knew his father. When he was old enough, he signed on with the military, and somewhere in his travels he married Anna Magdalena and settled outside of Stockholm. He took the post of a Mariner in the city of Stockholm, Station #40 which had the name Friberg. He served on the post from March 30, 1773 to July 6, 1779. When he left this station/post he was disabled with one arm. Anna and Johan Friberg moved around a lot and it was quite difficult to trace them. In the records of the Public Maternity Hospital (Allmanna Barnbordshuset), Sara Catherina Friberg was born on August 27, 1788. Then on August 8, 1790, a sister to Sara was born. Her name is Beata Christina. The family somehow tried to survive. There were six children to feed and Johan had lost the use of his left arm. Nine years after Sara was born, on March 1, 1797, Johan Friberg came into Stockholm from an outside parish (unknown) and had pleaded with a priest at the Hedvig Eleonora Parish to help him get his two children, Sara Catherina and Beata Christina, into an orphanage. The cause for his plea was his family's great poverty. Their mother, Anna Magdalena, had died and Johan had remarried Barbro Nordstrom, who had just had a baby. According to the priest, Gustav Brostrom, the Fribergs were known to be good Christians.
So Sara and Beata were taken into public orphanage (Allmanna Barnhuset). Sara's orphanage number was 2322. Because of this number, we have been able to piece together her life. At least, for the time, Sara and Beata had each other, if nothing else. Beata being only seven years of age, was adopted in January, 1801 by Olof Ersson' s family in Byn, Borrsjo Parish in Medelpad, but she was brought back to the orphanage since she suffered from dropsy (what we now call high blood pressure) in March of 1801. She was returned to her sister Sara and they were together again. Happiness was short lived. Beata Christina Friberg died on May 1, 1801. Sara was all alone again. When a child became older in an orphanage, her chances of being adopted were very slim. No one wanted a older child, especially a girl. One must believe that something was controlling her future, for a letter from Johan Persson, a farmer in Northern Sweden, came in search for an older girl to help his wife and to perform farm chores. Sara was sent to Finnsjön, in the Province of Medelpad, in August of 1802 at the age of 14. Please remember that this little girl had been sheltered and was unaccustomed to much of the countryside. What an experience it must have been for her. She had been raised, for the most part, in the city. I am quite sure the journey took a few weeks. We presume that she sailed to Sundsvall and then took a ride by horse or ox in a wagon to Finnsjo. What excitement she must have felt! Sara had a new home! She loved her foster family, for they gave her a new life! Sara grew up and married a soldier and had two children of her own. One of the children was Sven Olof Olofsson-Swanson's mother, Catherina, and the other was another little girl that she named Beata, after her sister. Her childhood was full of pain and suffering. She never had much of a home life 'till she was 14. Life in an orphanage in the 1780's had to be an ordeal. We are now aware how Sara was given a better life. The name Friberg means “free mountain.” This is where Sara ended up: at a free mountain!
CHART # 14-SVEN MICHAELSSON-
(This is Erick & Ida Swanson's great grandfather on their mother's side). Sven Michaelsson's background is troublesome. His father was married three times and they were always moving. His father and Sven's brother were punished for burglary. There was always a great deal of family turmoil (even Sven's Grandfather was in trouble with the law). Sven was caught stealing potatoes from his neighbor, the old widow Golin Larsdotter. These were potatoes she grew herself. He was whipped on November 26, 1811. He had also taken money from Erick Mansson and was convicted of robbery. He had help in his wrongdoing by a friend named Sven Wall. They had to pay back the money, of course, plus a fine. They also had to stand one Sunday in church and then in the court yard, endure 21 lashes of the whip. The minister wrote a paper stating that Sven had repented for what he done and was driven nearly to madness over his crime. Sven also had a reputation of overindulging in liquor when in the company of people who negatively influenced him. His work was always good and he was well liked. The minister wrote, "He has cried and shown much regret for what he has done. He is married and has three small children to support."
Signed: Anders Sundvall-Priest of Färila-December 7, 1820.
Sven Michaelsson was sent back to court on November 29, 1820 in Ljusdal. The Supreme Court in Stockholm passed sentence that he would be sent for three years to prison at Kristianstad. He was supposed to go to prison in February of 1821, but two of his children were ill. They allowed him to nurse the two children back to health and then was admitted the following month. Sven left home, which was by the city of Ljusdal, in the Village of Färila, March 6, 1921 for the Kristianstads, the country prison. It is located in Skåne, southern Sweden. It is noted in the church books that his wife and two of his children followed the horse drawn carriage for several miles. (As noted by the Minister Sundvall again.) It took Sven 24 days to travel from the middle part of Sweden to the tip of the country where the prison was. Conditions for traveling were slow and we are certain they were chained together as well. The worst was yet to come. Prison conditions in the 1820's were horrible and inhuman! One would describe them as a rat infested hell hole. He lived in sewage. In the roll call in May of 1823, when Sven had only 11 months left of his sentence, he became ill. In December, on the 27th, being only seven months after the first bout of illness and only four months before his release, he died. There is a Swedish movie that portrays life in Sweden during the 1820's titled "The Ox." The story tells of a man who kills his neighbor's ox to feed his own starving family. When he was caught, they sent him to prison for life! If this movie is ever on television, I would strongly urge you to view it. It really portrays the poor living conditions in the 1820's in Sweden. Please notice the scenery and all the buildings. Sven Michaelson almost made it home. He had only four months more to serve. Perhaps he has, through this story about his life.
Chart #6--Erik Persson. See Separate Sheet.
Chart #11--Sara Catharina Friberg. See Separate Sheet.
Chart #14--Sven Michaelsson. See Separate Sheet.
Chart #20--Olof Lonn. He was a soldier, although we have not been able to find his birth name yet.
Chart #26--Erik Olofsson, was blind for his last 20 years.
Chart #30--Anders Olsson, On April 26, 1744, Anders, who was ten, was fishing with his brother Olof (born Ocotober 28, 1719) in a small boat when it capsized in the River Ljusnan. Somehow Anders made it to shore, but Olof drowned. He was 25 years old. Anders father, Juryman Olof Larsson, was a very high ranking official in the church. On July 18, 1806, Anders was killed by a falling tree.
Chart #32--Jonas Jonsson Tidman, was a soldier for 23 years and one of his tours of duty was in Finland.
Chart #42--Sven Svensson-Hasselberg. He was a militay man who died in the service at age 22.
Chart #43--Helena Larsdotter. The youngest of 15 children.
Chart#54--Anders Olfsson. He had a stroke and was bedridden for eight years.
Chart#66--Soldier Mattias Mattsson-Long. He died on the front, fighting for Sweden.
Chart#68--Olof Ersson-Svedstrom. He was also a soldier who later farmed.
Chart#70--Anders Persson-Holm. He was also a soldier.
Chart#88--Nils Eriksson. He lived to 102 years of age. His mother, Lisbeta Nilsdotter, was 93 years of age when she died.
Chart#100&101--Jon Mansson and wife Golin Simonsdotter. They had twins, Simon and Karin, on January 29, 1722. Both children died one month later. The cause was unknown.
Chart#105--Kerstin Jonsdotter. She lived to be 98 years of age. She died on February 2, 1760 in the village of Tegeljar. She was married twice. She had three sons and one daughter from the first marriage. Unfortunately, all four died. She was a widow for six years, then she met and married farmer Anders Ersson. They had three sons together, and they remained married for 37 years. He died, leaving her widowed again for 23 years. She lived the last of her life ill and bedridden from old age for six years.
Chart#110--Lars Olofsson. Was a solider and died on the battlefield at a Norwegian mountain in 1718.
Chart#112--Michael Mårtensson and Margareta Jonsdotter. They had 15 children. Michael died March 19, 1744 in the village of Storhaga.
Chart#117--Ella Ersdotter. She was born in 1676 at Ersmasso Time (a very special market held only once a year in May. Everyone comes to town (Ljusdal) for a large celebration to welcome Spring and Summer. This is a very joyful occasion. Her parents were in town for the market when Ella arrived. Later, Ella and her parents took over a farm in 1681, which was given to them by her uncle, Olof Persson. In the year 1691, when Ellas was 20, both of her parents died one day apart. She carried both bodies to the town cemetery in Ljusdal, and both were buried in the same grave. The next year she married Olof Ersson. They had 50 years of peace and love together. They had five sons and three daughters. She was a widow for 30 years of her life, 22 of which had been spent being blind. She lived to be 101 years old. Note: Ella's great greatgrandfather, Olof Hanson, had seven cows in 1585. This was considered having great wealth. Remember Ermasso Time in May, when the great market is on, that a little girl named Ella was born.
Chart#118--Olof Olofsson-Malm. A Soldier. On Sunday, November 7th, 1725 he was on his way to church and drowned in the Hyttebo River. He was just 25 years of age.
Chart#172--Tomas Palsson. He lived to be 95 years of age.
Chart#174--Olof Johnsson. He drowned at the age of 84, and was a soldier from Munktrop.
Chart#344--Pal Andersson/Anders Palsson were Finlanders.
Chart#348--Joran Joransson/Olof Jonsson. Were also from Finland.
-NICKANDER CHART NOTES-
Ostbacken--Name of a farm, in the village of Klövsjö. There is no question that Ostbacken and the other homesteads by the lake are the oldest. In the oldest register from 1545 there were seven farmers in Klövsjö. One of them has most likely lived on the farm Ostbacken (East Hill) the other was probably a farmer in Vastbacken (West Hill).
Olof Nilsson (D: 1 number from the Klövsjö book of the person), Chart #288 (from Randy’s Linage charts), 1628-1675-The years when one farmed the farm. He was also called Olle Backe, ancestor to the family that has ever since owned the farm Ostbacken. Today's owner, Lars Larsson, is a decendant in a direct line from Olle Backe. The homestead has gone from father to son for 300 years. Olof Nilsson was also a church Warden from 1632-34.
Lars Olson Morberg (D: 19) #52 from chart number, farmed from 1740-1768. Served as "dragon" (horseman) in the military for his fathers homestead and is why he has the name Morberg (sometimes written Nordberg). Assistant Vicar Marten Njuren had his living quarters with Lars when he served in Klövsjö. Vicar Njuren happeneded to be the godfather to Lars Olsson's youngest son, Marten, who got his name from the priest. This Marten, who became a remarkable and influential man as a farmer in Skalam, has many desecents alive today.
Goran Unesson (A: 1) Chart numbers #292, #306, #324, #362, #420, #452, #474 . It has not been established who Goran Unesson, ancestor to a widely branched family, the largest in Klövsjö. descends from. Most likely he was born in Klövsjö, the name Goran, as well as Une, is not known before him. Goran Unesson was a true hero. Once, when the enemy came to the country side making it an unsafe place, people left with their belongings. Some time later, Goran went back to see if the enemy had been there; just as he got there, a stray enemy corps came through. Goran hastily picked up a cross tie from the floor of the barn and hid beneath it. He was found by one of the enemy dogs and was taken prisoner and tortured to reveal where the people were hiding, but he refused steadfastly. The enemy then tied him to the tail of a horse and dragged him behind until he was dead. There in the village of Vemdalen he was buried and later a cross was raised there to remember him by. So tell the tale about Goran from Norgarden. This is a true story. History tells about how Norwegian, led by Jorgen Bjelke, attacked in Jämtland between 1657-58.
Nils Jonsson (E: 120) c.1680-1715, Chart number #66--For more than 30 years, Nils Jonsson was the sole owner of a homestead/farm, Norgarden. His step son, Hans Unesson Rehn, the true owner of half the farm, was a soldier for 24 years. In 1715, he wanted his share of the farm because he felt Nils, his step father, was doing a poor job. They went to court and the farm Norgarden was divided between them.
Olof Larsson (D: 87) 1768-1814, Chart number #20 & #104. Olof Larsson stayed at the farm Ostbacken. He cultivated the grounds together with his brother Kjel. He also cultivated the southern side of the farm by himself (1802) which before was all forest. In 1761-1767 he was a horse-man in the military, like his father was.
Grubba-Name of farm in the village Klövsjö
Lars Olsson (D: 92) 1814-1850, Chart number #102 & #52-- Son to Olof Larsson. Lars Olsson built what is now called the farm, Grubba. He was a good worker continuing his father's cultivation. He also cultivated a large area toward the lake (one of those areas was known as Lussetackta). Lars was unusually strong and healthy working in cold or rain. Even if everyone else left, he would never leave, merely because of rain. He expected his children to be like him. Early in the morning, he would come and pull his boys and girls--he had four of each--by the hair. "Get out of bed and out to work!" But even Lars Olsson had once been young. Once he was fined for illegally shooting fire-arms at a wedding celebration.
Kjel Larsson (D: 26) 1768-1802, Chart number #18 & #26-Nothing more is said about him than that he, like his father, added more ground to the homestead. His sons cultivated the wooded hillsides south of the farm. According to the estate inventory made after the death of Kjel Larsson's wife, Brita Hansdotter, who died giving birth in 1785 at 45 years of age, the livestock consisted of: 1 mare, 4 cows, 4 young beef cattle, 4 calves, 10 goats, 10 kids, 14 sheep, and 10 lambs.
Klövsjöbyn--Name of farm in the village of Klövsjö.
Olof Bagge (F: 1) 1600-1611, Chart number #256--The first tenant on this farm. He was possibly, as his name suggests, from Norway.
Jon Olofsson (F: 3) 1611-1627, Chart number #256--Son to the former. He also owned a farm in the section Garde, in Hede.
Pal Jonsson (F: 6) 1627- c.1645 (1655) Chart #128--Son to Jon Olofsson above the first Pal in "Pals." Church Warden 1632-1634. Died before 1645 after which his widow, Golin, is registered as owner of the homestead.
Jon Palsson (F: 13) 1655-1695, Chart number #64--Son to Pal Jonsson above. In the year 1696, Jon Palsson's sister, Marit, demanded from him an inheritance from their brother Mikael's estate, who was a soldier and died unmarried, which Jon Palsson has received and Marit wanted her part of. This is what Jon Palsson received 11 shock of barley, some meat and fur, 2 Rigsdaler & 8 Ore copper coins (money), and two cows. Since they had not been able to get along for over one and one-half years--he having apparently treated her badly and she having said bad things about him--it was settled in court that Jon should return and compensate some of those things. In the year 1698, two years later, Jon Palsson died. He had been sick for most of his 73 years. In the year 1720, his wife Anna Olofsdotter was buried, a God-fearing and meek woman who lived for 90 years.
Pal Jonsson (F: 16) 1695-1747, Chart number #32--Son to Jon Palsson. Two distinguishing qualities for the Pal family were their long lives and also their musical talents. In 1930, the oldest living person in Klövsjö is the 92 year old who came from the same family, and she is one of the five siblings whose age together adds up to 424 years. Pal Jonsson also had the family characteristics. He was the parish clerk and organist. He reached the high age of 91 years and his youngest son Nils was born when Pal was 71 years old. Pal Jonsson is also father to Jonas Granberg, the famous sculptor.
Pal Palsson (F: 71) 1747-1792, Chart number #16--Son to Pal Jonsson. There are a few things that needed to be taken care of before Pal could take over his father's farm. First, he was serving as a soldier and he was not married. The terms for him to take over the homestead stipulated that he has to be married and free (no military). On November 26, 1751, Pal hired another man to do soldiering, and on June 6, 1753, he married Elin Andersdotter from Vemdalen. Finally he could claim his share of the farm. He was very profitable. One can see, in the old days, how restricted they were to a person's ownership of the farm.
Anders Palsson (F: 77), 1792-1827, Chart number #8--Son to Pal Palsson. On September 19, 1793 the homestead was valued at 32sk (Swedish Crowns). In the year 1805, Anders Palsson requested a plot for cultivation outside his domain since he had neighbors on all sides and no land to cultivate. He received a plot south of the brothers Halvar and Olof Jonsson's grounds. Anders Palsson was married twice. His first wife was Marit Olsdotter who died in 1807 and was only 40 years of age. She was bitten by a snake and died in a few days. Anders Palsson then married Marit Kjelsdotter (Kjel Nickander's grandmother). When he died, the homestead was divided into two parts for the sons Erick and Kjel.
Kjel Andersson (F: 141) 1827-1843, Chart number #4--This is Kjel Nickander's father. Because of great debt, he had to sell the homestead to his brother-in-law, Olof Zakrisson.
Jonas Granberg (F: 33) 1747-1762, Chart number #48--The son of Pål Jonsson in Påls. Jonas Granberg, at the time the foremost church sculptor in the province of Jämtland, is without any doubt the Klövsjöian whose name has become most famous outside the Klövsjö parish. In the following, the County Antiquarian,
Eric Festin wrote about Granberg’s artistic activities and his importance as an artist.
Leading the group of outstanding artists from the province of Jämtland during the 1700's was the sculptor, Jonas Granberg, from Klövsjö. He was the early master of rococo and a remarkable person, not only through his excellent production during 40 years, but also as a teacher for Johan Edler Sr., who later on overcome his teacher and became this century’s foremost sculptor in Jämtland--and in the entire northern Sweden. Whether Granberg received any training by Master Anders in Hållborgen, Revsund, as one tradition claims, is highly uncertain. It’s more likely he received his early training in Trondhjem, Norway.
Granberg was quite old before he became a professional artist. We do not know of any major work of his until 1732, the year he began working on a retable in Haverö Church at the age of 36. He was also involved in other various interior projects in this church such as the vault in 1738, pyramids, and altar enclosure in 1740. Thanks to the fact that the altar group’s details are preserved, it’s been possible for the Architect, Erik Fant, to create the following reconstruction drawing. At the top is Christ with the banner; in the middle, the crucifixion with John and Mary as side figures within the same field; and at the bottom, the last supper--all sculptural. Granberg was soon called upon to create major ornaments, particularly in churches, and during the following 20-30 years, he was the leading local artist--until his former student, Edler, used his skills and took over Granberg’s position as the leading sculptor.
Granberg then concentrated on interior projects and well known monumental pieces in the churches at Berg, Klövsjö, Rödön, Aspås, Oviken, Kall in Jämtland, Älvros (the vault and the altar group in 1744), Tännäs, Vemdalen in Härjedalen, Dal and Indals-Liden in Medelpad, Torsåker in Ångermanland, and finally, Särna old church in Dalarna, where he worked in 1775 at the age of 79 only a few months before he died. Furthermore, Granberg has left behind an excellent example of his artistry in Oviken’s bell tower, which he built in 1751. It has also been documented that he built a bell tower also in Klövsjö, but we do not know what it looked like. It was probably destroyed during the building of the current church in the 1790's. The Oviken bell tower is preserved and was restored and conserved in 1933 (I have a decorative box (for keys) made from the wood of some of the boards from the old bell tower. Randy Wall). It’s quite unique, and similar to what Pehr Olofsson had introduced. It is significant that Pehr Olofsson, the outstanding bell tower builder, was not asked to build the tower in his own home parish! However, at this time he was qualified to build the beautiful bell tower at Hackås, and later on--following some controversies--he rebuilt the Ovik Church where he and Granberg worked together in creating this quite remarkable temple.
The magnificent altar group at Rödö is considered by many to be Granberg’s best and most skillful work. Unfortunately, it was destroyed in a fire in 1923. The altar group was designed by the very skillful Jämtland painter, Captain Carl Hofwerberg, who was in partnership with Granberg at this time, and he had also painted the altar in addition to the three altar pieces. It should be mentioned that in 1933, the old paintings on Granberg’s altar group in Oviken’s Church seem to suggest they also were painted by Hofwerberg. The sculpture work at Rödö altar group, which were to be finished by 1750, were finished already in 1748 by Granberg.
In 1750, while working on the altar group in Indal, Granberg was back to his old style, although still under the influence of Hofwerberg, and the result is a cheap copy of the Rödö group. But in 1755, when he was decorating the Indals-Liden Church, he was back to his old form again. In 1759, he finished the altar group in Torsåker’s Church. He then immediately started to work on the Oviken Church altar piece, where the fully trained Edler now appeared to have entered into a partnership with Granberg and created the pulpit all by himself in 1760. Granberg then continued in Älvros, where he finished the pulpit in 12 weeks, assisted by his son. This was an excellent work, for which they were paid 920 “dalers” and 16 öre, of which 192 dalers was room and board compensation. The following year, Granberg and Edler worked together again. The Rödö Church had received an organ, purchased by the Alderman Carl Holm from Uppsala, which Edler sculptured pictures for and Granberg decorated the front with foliage. In 1764, Granberg made the pyramid sculptures in Älvros Church; in 1769 he made the altar piece in Tännäs Church at the age of 74.
His final work was done when he was 80 years old, decorating the Särna Church. This church had been restored in the 1760's and was painted in 1771. But the Särna villagers wanted the church a little fancier, as we can read in minutes from a parish meeting dated February 26, 1775. We can read that they wanted a new altar piece and that it should be done by Granberg, whom many of the parishioners and the pastor were familiar with and admired. The same church was also decorated with a new pyramid gate by Granberg. He started in the month of April, assisted by his son, Pål. The total cost for this work amounted to 1,950 dalers, of which the painter, Anders Berglin was paid 192 dalers.
Granberg also decorated his home, and occasionally we find remains from his artistry. (I have a LION carved by him from about 1750 we figure. Randy Wall)
Granberg’s artistic contributions are significant, and he is second only to his student Edler, as far as church arts is concerned in northern Sweden in the 1700's. At the church of Klövsjö, in the front, is a huge stone marker for Jonas Granberg. It is pictured in this book Nickander-Swanson, under the section of the church of Klövsjö, on page 56. Jonas Granberg was Anna Nickander's Great Great Grandfather.
Jonas Mattson (F: 58) 1804-1819, Chart number #12--We are now talking about the well-known Uren of Menuren, as he was later referred to, when he became the farmer of the section Mena. (A section of farmland, in the village of Klövsjö.) He was a good worker, energetic and pleasant, but unfortunately drank too much liquor. Once when the priest had come for a parish meeting, Uren was not present. The priest guessed what had happened and went to fetch him. He found Uren sitting on a bench rocking, having had too much to drink. "Why isn't Jonas Mattson at the meeting?" "Well, I am sitting here enjoying the day as you can see." But at the next church meeting, Uren was present. He never missed another one. On January 4, 1816 Jonas Mattsson put the remainder of his homestead up for sale. It was bought by Hans Kjelsson, except for a croft (small cottage), and some land for cultivation for the owner and his descendants. The small farm received its unusual name Mena, from the 1820's when a road worker from the village of Mena built a small cabin on this spot. This was later passed on to his son, Matts Jonsson.
Matts Jonsson (F: 64)-Chart number #6--Son to Jonas Mattsson and also Anna Nickander's father. This farm was later passed on to Jonas Mattsson.
Jonas Mattsson (F: 66)—Chart number #12. Son to Matts Jonsson above. Anna Nickander's brother.
Goran Hansson (H: 96) 1726-1752, Chart numbers #90 & #118-- Goran Hansson on the farm on the hill was, after six years, discharged from his military service which he had faithfully maintained." Like his father, he had been married twice, first to Kerstin Anders daughter, mother to his three children and who died after a long illness September 24, 1747. She had lived a good Christian life for 53 years. The second time, he married his own god-daughter and cousin, Brita Goransdotter from the village of Mora.
Axel Olsson Moberg (H: 104) 1752-1783, Chart numbers #44 & #58--Axel Olsson Moberg, the first Axel in Klövsjö, became farmer in the section of farmland in Vastbacka by marrying Goran Hannson's daughter. This daughter, Lisbeta Goransdotter, was first married to a soldier who went out to war and died. On his deathbed, he called his best friend over and asked him if, in case he ever returned to Sweden, if he would give his last farewell to his wife in Klövsjö. The friend's name was Axel and he was from Brunflo. When he got back home, he went to Klövsjö, looked up the young widow, and gave her the last words from her husband. This was the start of their friendship. And a year later this was her new husband, Axel Olsson Moberg.
Olof Axelsson (H: 113) 1783-1822, Chart number #22--Son to Axel above. He used to walk over to the village of Nybuan, west of Klövsjö. During his walk he noticed a bird that flew up with a howl when he passed by it. He didn't pay too much attention to it at first, but after a while he started to wonder what it could be. One day he stopped to check it out. He found a nest made of moss and sticks. When he lifted it up, he found bones from a newborn child. He took them to a cemetery and there buried them. After that, the little bird was gone. His wife, Marita Sundvis, from the village of Rätan, was a particularly remarkable and good woman. Once when she was out with the goats, she chased a bear away with a pine branch. Another time she was suddenly surprised by a big windfall so she was up to her knees in snow. She cut up the two sacks and made snowshoes from them. When she got back to the village, she heard music and went directly to a dance at the neighbor's farm. She could play an instrument called an "kouka." Two fishermen nearby were so touched that they thought the music was something from heaven.
Olof Hansson (H: 20) 1726-1745, Chart numbers #76, #84 & #108--Like his brother, Goran, he was a "church sexton," the person who kept an eye on the parish morality. However, in 1737, he was fired due to laziness. His wife, Brita Nilsdotter was a sturdy and strong woman! In 1772, when she died at the age of 95, it was stated that she had never been sick in her entire life until a couple of days before her death.
Hans Olsson (H: 26) 1745-1774, Chart numbers #54, #42 & #38--Was a Calgary soldier. Later he was elected into the congregation's elder assembly.
Per Olofsson Skalberg (D: 242), Chart number #56--In 1760, he paid taxes for one horse, two cows, two sheep, and two goats and he also grew barley. The old Grennberg's farm was a bit farther northeast than the present. Per Olsson Skalberg received a piece of land that his grandfather Per Goransson (#210 on chart) had before. Per's wife's grandmother, Kerstin Jonsdotter, chart #231, got fined for brewing hard liquor and selling it. She denied this, and with not enough evidence, was set free. The husband, Olof Samsson, Chart #230, was forced to admit he had stolen hay, a small wagon, and other things from his brother-in-law. He was fined and had to pay half of its worth while returning the items stolen.
Olof Persson (D: 253) 1775-1807, Chart number #28--In 1785, Olof Persson had one steer, two cows, two sheep, and four goats. In 1807, he owned three cows, one oxen, eight goats, eight sheep, five lambs, and three kids. In 1766, when only 19, he was freed from state taxes because he was wounded in battle. He did recover from his wounds, and was cultivating some land. He was also a church "sexton."
Sten Persson (E: 1) c1566, Chart numbers #264, #308, #436, #498, #502--"Sten in Skalenn" (name of the farm) the first ancestor to a large branch of family, was in the 1500's a much talked about person. Apparently, he was a thief and a clever man. The farm he had is two lots of the Skalan farm section, No. 2 & 4 together. His sons, Per and Sven, owned the whole farm until 1615 when the unmarried sisters got parts of it.
Sven Stensson (E: 81) 1697-1712, Chart numbers #264, #308, #436, #498, #502--Former farmer in Mora , but switched homestead with Per Goransson in 1679 in Klövsjö. His wife, Ingrid Jonsdotter, died on May 10, 1740 "after having lived as a good Christian for 95 years."
Olof Hansson Palm (S: 5) 1727-1767, Chart number #124--Brother-in-law to Sven Stensson. Olof Hansson was in the beginning poor and owed lots of money. In the year 1741, he put his whole homestead up as security to his wealthy neighbor Per Goransson. He had bad crop failures and had to ask for help to pay his debts. Times got better and he became more capable. In the year 1750, he became one of the elders in his parish. In 1759, he became the church warden. From 1769, he himself became a creditor.
Sven Olsson (S: 9) 1767-1805, Chart number #62--Son to Olof Palm. "Sven in Skalan" (name of farm) was a good worker, trustworthy and well to do. When his first wife died in 1780, he was 48 years old and owned two horses, 11 cows, one oxen, four calves, 14 goats, 17 sheep, and one pig. He also owned lots of cultivated land.
The name Swanson was an end development of many other names, and was also a mispronunciation of Svenson. It all started with Svenson Olof Olofsson, Erick and Ida's father. In the church books of Torp, it is recorded that he was called Svensson, but in the church books of Ljusdal, they noticed this mistake and corrected it. His last name was Olofsson because he was the son of Olof. In the household, there were Sven Olof Olofsson, his wife Karin Ersdotter/Ericksdotter, his son Erick Olof Olofsson, and his daughter Ida Kristine Olofsdotter.
In the 1880's, in Sweden, the government wanted everyone who resided in the same household to carry the same last name. Some people took their military names, while others made up a name to use. There was no order in name taking, but the use of many different names in one household would surely have been confusing!
The family started using Svensson for everyone. Erick filed the name Svensson on his official papers to become a United States citizen. Everyone thought that he was saying Swanson because of his accent, so he just started using Swanson as his last.
When Sven Olof, Karin, and Ida came to America, they took his name. When Sven Olof died, he had two obituary cards. One read Swanson (in English) and the other read Svensson (in Swedish). He did use both names. On their graves markers, which were bought by Nicky and Walt Franzen, Sven Olof and Karin have the last name Svensson. We will always know these people as our first Swansons.
Sven Olof Olofsson was born in Stormörtsjön, in the parish of Torp, in the county of Västernorrland, in the province of Medelpad, in Sverige (Sweden). The towns that his family lived in were Finnsjön, Storulfsjön, and Stormörtsjön. The cities were all south of Stöde and Fränsta, which is directly west of Sundsvall.
His parents, Olof Eriksson and Katarina Svensdotter were farmers all their lives. The dates of their births, marriages, and deaths are listed on the Swanson chart. I hope that you go and drive around to the towns and villages, but please don't drive off a cliff like I did!
These are Olof Eriksson and Katarina Svensdotters' children:
1) Stina Olofsdotter--Born June 14, 1838 in Störmortsjön. She was married on April 30th, 1861 to Erik Olof Andersson-Strandell (born March 5, 1828, and died October 26, 1895). Their children were Anders, Karin, Erick-Jonas, and Kristina. Stina died September 28, 1904 in Lillmortsjön.
2) Sven Olof Olofsson-(Swanson in America). Randy Wall's Mor Mor Far (Great-Grandfather). He was born July 30, 1842.
3) Johan Erick Olofsson-Söderland--Born July 22, 1844 in Stormörtsjön and he died on December 4, 1913. He married Maria Nordin-Ersdotter and they had nine children--Olof, Erick, Per, Emma, Johannes, Gottfrid, Alma, Otto, and Gunnar.
4) Jonas Olofsson--born December 14, 1846 and married Katarina Goransdotter. He died May 13, 1920. His children are Brita, Olof, Lars, and Ida.
5) Sara Cajsa Olofsdotter--born April 10, 1850 and died October 25, 1863. The cause was unknown and the grave was reassigned. She was born and also died in Stormörtsjön in Torp Parish.
6) Anders Olofsson (Andrew Edlund in America) was born on June 15, 1853 in Stormörtsjön. He worked as a laborer and farmed on several local farms. His wife Stina Andersdotter was born February 20, 1851 in Hassela. They were married on March 23, 1876 at the church in Fränsta, Torp parish. Andrew Edlund left for America on October 23, 1887. His family came on September 30, 1888. Christina Edlund's mother, Brita Andersdotter (Bessie Nelson), came to America on April 8, 1882. She lived her last years on the Edlund Farm in Nordland Township. Bessie Nelson was born March 28, 1831 in Hallasen, Sweden and died December 18, 1909. She is buried at Maria Cemetery in Aitkin County (her grave was marked by Randy Wall). Andrew and Christina Edlund were the reason Erick O. Swanson came to Aitkin County. He decided to come to live near his aunt and uncle. The Edlund's farm was in Glory, Minnesota. In January of 1912, the farm and livestock was sold and the whole family moved to California. Andrew died October 9, 1934 and Christine died November 22, 1929. Christine Edlund's daughter, before her marriage to Andrew, was Anna Oliva, born August 28, 1872. She married George H. Cleary on December 24, 1893 in Aitkin County. She died in childbirth on May 13, 1897. They lost their first daughter Ada, from influenza. Anna was buried at Maria Cemetery in Aitkin County. Both Anna and her two children's graves exist, and were marked by Randy Wall. The second child's name is unknown.
Andrew and Christina Edlund's children: Brita Caterina (Bessie) was born November 11, 1875 in Sweden. She married William H. Bond on November 10, 1896. Their three children are: Eva, George, and Olive. Bessie died on August 16, 1901 of Tuberculosis. She is buried at Lake View Cemetery near Aitkin, Minnesota. She has a log stone marker, and was loved by all. She was a founding member of the community of Aitkin.
Olof was born January 13, 1878 in Sweden. He fought in World War I for Canada. Amanda was born April 5, 1880 in Sweden, and she went to California. Sophie was born May 15, 1882 in Sweden. She died April 28, 1899 in Nordland Township from influenza at age 16. She is also buried at Maria Cemetery in Aitkin County. (This information was written in Erick Swanson's diary, which, in part, is included in this book. He talks about her death.) She has a large stone marker at her grave.
Edward was born July 15, 1884 and died May 6, 1951. He went to California to live. Karolina Maria (Lena) was born October 28, 1886 in Sweden and went to California. The Edlund's last two children were born in Glory of Aitkin County in Minnesota. Alma was born on December 22, 1891 and Esther was born November 12, 1894. They also went to California to live. Andrew and Christine Edlund lost three daughters and two granddaughters while living in Minnesota. They went to California and took with them their granddaughter, Olive Bond.
7) Ingrid Brita Olofsdotter was born June 28, 1856 in Stormörtsjön. Early in life, she worked as a maid and was married on February 24, 1876 to Lars Erik Norin (born July 1, 1851 in Hassela Parish). They were married at the church in Stöde. Children born in Sweden in the Village of Ulfsjö-Gessåsen, in the parish of Stöde: Anna Brita was born on May 28, 1876. Olof Alfred was born January 7, 1878 and Paul Erik was born January 24, 1880. In 1881 Lars Norin (Noren) came to St. Cloud, Minnesota. Then on May 15, in 1882, the rest of the family migrated to America. These were the first settlers from Sweden on the Swanson side to come to Minnesota. Two more children were born here in Minnesota in the city of St. Cloud. Clarence was born February 22, 1891 and Ethel was born October 30, 1897.
Ingrid Britta, or Auntie Noren as the family of Ida (Swanson) Nickander called her, was a very cherished Aunt, especially since Ida lost her father (Auntie Noren's brother) in 1908. The family enjoyed a very strong bond and they were always very close.
Auntie Noren died February 3, 1945 and is buried in North Star Cemetery in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. Her grave is well marked.
8) Lars Olofsson was born July 6, 1858 in Finnsjön. He married on July 18, 1881, Anna Brita Ericksdotter (born May 18, 1964 and died August 14, 1940). Lars worked as a farm hand. He died from pneumonia on March 3, 1891 in Gessåsen. Their children were Anna-Katherine, Brita-Khristina, Olof-Alfred, Lars-Erick, and August.
I have a story/memory I would like to add about Lars Olofsson's decendents. His great grandson, Torsten Åhlund, was at the Mall of America, Bloomington, Minnesota at the same time I was playing the piano at Nordstrom's department store for the Grand Opening. He stood next to me and listened for awhile. One year later, I was in Sweden and Allan Holmberg took me to a paint and hardware store in Fränsta, Sweden. I walked in and a man pointed at me and said, "Mall of America piano player" in broken English. Here, on the other side of the world, is someone who recognizes me and turns out to be my cousin, Torsten Åhlund. When in Fränsta, shop at his store. We were right next to each other a year before we met, and we never spoke. It is a small world.
Karin Eriicksdotter (Sven Olof Swanson’s wife)- She was born March 2, 1839 in the Village of Lock and later lived in the Village of Mållång in the Parish of Ljusdal, County of Gävleborg, in the Province of Hälsingland, Sweden. Mållång is a few miles from the town of Ljusdal, a little northeast. It is located on some maps, and you can drive there and it is marked. Karin's parents, Eric Pehrsson and Ellas Svensdotter had another child named Per Ericksson Blomquist. He was born August 13, 1845 and the only one who took the name Blomquist (meaning "flower of the branch"). Per later took over the farm in Mållång. His father, Eric Pehrsson, had a blacksmith shop. I have been there. See the section about the Swansons beginnings in Sweden. Per Blomquist died on November 3, 1921. He was buried beside his parents in the church cemetery in Ljusdal. Unfortunately, too much time had passed before I visited and there was no family there to pay for upkeep of the grave sites. They were dug out and the graves were reassigned. This was approximately 55 years after his death in the 1970's when all this was taking place. I visited the area where Per and his folks were laid to rest. Uncle Per was a sheriff for his community at one point in his life. After Sven Olof and Karin were married in the Ljusdal Church on May 7, 1871, they lived with her parents for awhile in Mållång. (Sven Olof had moved to the Ljusdal area on October 7, 1870.) Here Erick was born, but for some reason they were back and forth up in Storulfsjönwhere Sven-Olof's parents were. Maybe he was helping with his parent’s farm. In Storulfsjön, Ellida and Ida were born (Ellida died there on July 26, 1877, one year and 24 days old). In the year 1878, they officially filed moving papers that stated they were staying in Storulfsjön. They remained there until 1885 when the whole family moved to the Parish of Stöde and lived in a small village called Ulfsjö. It was here that Sven worked in the coal mines.
Now allow me to take you on the journey to America with the Swansons. It all starts with Erick Olof Swensson. He left the Parish of Stöde on November 1, 1893 and traveled by train to Göteborg. Erick left Göteborg on November 17, 1893 on a small ship named Ariosto. He then sailed up the west coast of England to Hull. He traveled by train across England to Liverpool and got on the S.S. Majestic Steamship. He arrived in New York harbor on November 29, 1893. He then took a train to Minnesota. He decided to come to Minnesota because his aunt and uncle, Ingrid Brita Noren and Andrew Edlund, were already here. He spent at least one year in the Scandia/Lindstrom area and then, by 1895, he was at Aitkin County in Nordland Township. He bought land there from Paul Nickander, preparing for the arrival of his parents and sister. Finally, Erick had saved enough money to send for them to come to America from Sweden.
Sven Olof Olofsson and his wife, Karin Ericksdotter, along with their daughter Ida, left the parish of Stöde in Medelpad, Sweden on August 10, 1896 for a new life. From Stöde to Trondheim, Norway, they traveled by train. From Trondheim, they left on the ship Juno, a small cargo/shipping vessel, and sailed up the east coast of England. Eventually they took a train across England to Glasgow, Scotland on August 26. At this point, they boarded the S. S. Ethiopia of the Anchor Shipping Line and sailed to Ellis Island, New York. They landed on American soil September 14, 1896. (There must have been a layover between Glasgow and New York because the average trip from there was one week.)
Sven Olof and Karin, along with Ida, made their way across country via train. Greeting them was a very devoted and loving son, Erick O. Swanson, at the train depot in Aitkin, Minnesota. The family was now completely reunited and stood together as a whole! They had lots of land to spread out on, countless opportunities, and great aspirations for a new and rapturous life!
Sven Olof was 54 and Karin was 57 when they left for the new world. They packed everything they owned, contained in three trunks, and made an incredible journey around the world. Imagine starting over at the age of 60! What pioneers these people e were! They did not know the language and had left behind their family and friends, never to see "home" again. Sven Olof left behind one sister, and three brothers with their families and Karin left behind her father, brother, and her two aunts.
They wished for their own two children to have a better life. Wanting this, they knew that America would be the answer for them. It would have broken their hearts to be without their son, Erick Olof, and daughter, Ida Kristina. They had to travel to America to be with their children. What brave ancestors we have! Sven Olof and Karin never became citizens. Sven Olof died on October 10, 1908 and Karin died on December 14, 1922. Both passed away in Glory, Minnesota and are buried at the Maria Chapel Cemetery in Aitkin County.
Sven Olof Olofsson-Swanson and Karin Ersdotter-Swanson's children were:
1.) Erick Olof Olofsson-Svensson-Swanson--He was born on February 26, 1873 in Mållång, Parish of Ljusdal, County of Gåvleborg, Province of Hålsingland in Sweden. He attended school and church in Frönsta and Stöde. He arrived in America at the age of 20. Erick married Mary Kolin (Colin) on September 18, 1884 and she died April 17, 1962. Mary was born in Klövsjö, Sweden on August 16, 1884 and she died April 17, 1962. Erick died April 23, 1948 in Glory, Aitkin County, Minnesota. Erick and Mary are buried at Maria Chapel Cemetery in Aitkin County and their graves are well marked. Their children: Eleanore, Alice, Edna, Alton, Adeline, Walter, Edythe, Gilbert, Wallace, Gloria, and Colleen.
2.) Ellida Kathrina Olofsdotter--She was born on July 2, 1876 in the Village of Storulfsjön, the Parish of Torp, in the County of Våsternorrland, Province of Medelpad, Sweden. The church is located in the town of Frönsta. Ellida died on July 26, 1877, one year and 24 days from being kicked by a horse. "Tina" was buried in the church cemetery, but the grave was reassigned many years later.
3.) Ida Kristina Olofsdotter-Svensson-Swanson-Nickander--She was born January 15, 1878 in the Village of Storulfsjön, Parish of Torp. The church is located in Fränsta, in the county of Västernorrland, Province of Medelpad, Sweden. She attended school and church in Fränsta and Stöde. Ida arrived in America at the age of 18 and married Mattias Nickander on November 7, 1903. (Mattias (Matt) was born on June 4, 1875 in Klövsjö, Sweden and passed away on January 2, 1969.) Ida died September 6, 1967 in Aitkin, Minnesota. They are buried at the Maria Chapel Cemetery in Aitkin County, where both graves are clearly marked. Children: Bert, Alfhild, Isabelle, Carl, Linnea (Nicky), and the twins Lois Elaine & Betty Jane (Randy Wall's mother).
The earliest known Swedish settlers in America arrived in 1638 when Sweden, then a great European power, established its colony on the Delaware River. By the 1840's, there was grave concern over growing impoverishment in Sweden. Even with improved farming methods and new land bought under cultivation, it could not keep up with the growing population. The population figures doubled between 1800 and 1900, most rapidly among the poor, landless classes of the countryside.
Farmland became even scarcer in the 1870's. Sweden was suffering inhumane conditions of overpopulation, no food, and no proper medical help. Epidemics of disease were raging through the country and no one was allowed to practice their own religious beliefs. The above combination of factors led to the mass migration of large numbers of immigrants to seek better lives in America. Immigrants from the British Isles, Ireland, and Germany were already migrating to America, too. Immigration from Sweden reached an all-time high in 1888, when over 45,000 sons and daughters departed. Chicago was considered the second largest "Swedish" city after Stockholm.
It has been said that the great migration created both a "Sweden in America" and an "America in Sweden." In the most direct sense, it brought over one and one- quarter million Swedes to the United States, some four-fifths of whom stayed.
By 1910 it was commonly estimated that one Swede out of five was in the United States. America's "Swedish element", officially described as the first and second generations, peaked in the 1930 census at over one and one-half million, but ever growing numbers of Americans of later generations have Swedish blood in their veins. They are currently estimated at anywhere from eight to twelve million.
The Swedish Americans brought with them their religious and cultural traditions and values, which found expression not only in their personal lives, but also in a multitude of Swedish-American religious organizations, schools and colleges, newspapers, publishing houses, business enterprises, societies, and clubs of every kind. Since the end of the great migration in the 1920's, many of these--oriented as they were to the cultural needs of Swedish-born and Swedish-speaking immigrants--have gradually died out. But this by no means has ended the lively interest of their descendants in the land, culture, and traditions of their ancestors. This is amply proven by the constant establishment, from at least the 1920's, of new "American-Swedish" organizations fostering ethnic pride and identification with the old homeland. Swedish Council of America, established with three participating societies in 1972, presently includes over 160 Swedish interest groups and continues to grow. The old-country values which Swedish descendants today hold in special veneration have continued to serve well in areas of our national life.
Already by the 1880's, appeals were heard in the homeland to "bring America to Sweden"--that is, to adopt America's political democracy, social equality, economic and technical proficiency, optimism, initiative, and work ethic--to counterbalance the fatal lure from across the sea. With time, American values, practices, and innovations have become so strongly rooted that it is now claimed that the United States is the second-most Americanized country in the world--after Sweden!
From the beginning.
The Larsson family is Kjel (Kjelsson) Nickanders (F185) brothers’ family back in Sweden/Sverige. Everyone mentioned here was born at Klövsjö, in Jämtland, Sweden. Easily found on maps. You will find Oviken north of Klövsjö.
Lars Kjelsson (F168) was born (född) on Feb. 18th, 1841 to Kjel Andersson (F141) and Marget Larsdotter (F152). They had six children (barn). All boys. Anders (F159), Lars (F168), Olof (F179), Kjel (F185), Sven Duva, and Paulus (F158). Three of the brothers came to American (Minnesota). Olof (Kelly), Kjel (Nickander, Randy Wall’s Great Grandfather), and Paulus (Paul Nickander).
Lars Kjelsson (F168) married (gift) on April 8th, 1867 to Lisa Göransdotter (F169). Pictured here. (Lisa was born on March 27th, 1848 and died on Feb. 24th, 1935 Oviken, Jämtland, Sweden.) Lars died (död) on March 26th, 1922. They had nine children. Six came to North America, one returned later on.
The numbers in (parenthesis) after the name is a number from the Klövsjö books.
With the Nickander/Swanson Book, there are two charts on the lineage of the Nickander (Kjelsson) and the Göransson families that document the generations back to the 1400’s, with histories of those ancestors on the charts.
I will put in these notes, a brief description of those children and tell you a little about their lives. I can’t do all of it. This was a massive project. But I’m always here to help anybody with anything on family research or what ever you need. This is the first time all the children have ever been accounted for.
The nine children of Lars Kjelsson and Lisa Göransdotter.
1. Göran Larsson (F170) George Larson--born June 27th, 1867. Left for America on May 18th, 1889, age 22. He settled in Monson, Maine (ME), after living in Brownville, ME for a while. Married in Monson on Nov. 20th, 1892 to Hedda Maria (Hattie) Gustafson born July 2nd, 1857 at Råneå, Norrbotten, Sweden and died on March 9th, 1936 Monson, ME. (Hedda left for North America, destination Maine, on June 28th, 1883, unmarried. Blomquist was her maiden name. She had four other children before she married George Larson, her third husband. First husband married on March 7th, 1884, was *Lars Henrikson, children; Gustaf Hendrickson (born July 14th, 1885), Leo Hendrickson (born May 15th, 1887), and second husband married on Sept. 26th, 1889, was *Nils Gustavson, children; Annie Gustafson (Curtis-Peavey) (born 1890) and Nils Oscar Gustafson, who died at age three months, on May 19th, 1891, about a month after his father’s death.
George died on July 3rd, 1938, Monson, ME and both are buried there in the city cemetery (kyrkogård). He loved sports of all kinds (including hunting and fishing) and was a champion ice skater (åka skridskor). Crowds would gather to watch him skate on the ice (this was taken from his newspaper obituary). He worked in the woods; cutting and hauling timber and in the slate quarries (slutta skifferbrott). (Slate is a hard rock which can be split into thin, smooth layers. It is used mainly for shingles, which are very durable and fireproof. Maine has some of the largest slate quarries in the United States. Slate from Monson was used for President John F. Kennedy’s memorial stone in Arlington National Cemetery, and for the roof of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.) George and Hedda had four children all born in Monson, ME. Children: George William Larson, born March 28th, 1894, (married Bessie Nickander, his second cousin and Kjel Nickanders’ daughter. Sometimes refer to as George Larson Jr. Bessie was Randy’s great aunt), Frank Anton Larson, born April 25th, 1896, Jennie Elizabeth Larson (Lindahl), born Jan. 10th, 1899, and Sadie Larson (Bennett), born April 21st, 1904. (Both Jennie and Sadie died young. Sadie at age 22 and Jennie at age 25). From George Larson descendents we know today Anton (Tony) Larson and families of Dexter, ME (Tony’s help really made a big difference in this family’s history. Tack Så Mycket Tony!), and Darlene Andrews and Skip Larson, who are the grandchildren of George Larson Jr. and Bessie Nickander.
*I want to include here Hedda’s first two husband obituaries. They tell us what she endured here in this new country that she immigrated to. At times, it was very challenging and sad for Hedda, and the children. She was left with four children, under seven years of age, after her second husband died. The obituaries were original written in Svenska. (Picture here is Hedda, with Gus and Leo. Monson, ME. 1888.)
It is to be declared that god with His all-wisdom has chosen to call my dearly beloved husband, LARS ARON HENRIKSON, born in the parish of Råneå, the county of Norrbotten, Sweden, died by drowning under log-driving on the 27th of may 1888 at the age of 27 years, 11 months and 27 days, deeply mourned and missed by me, two young children, a brother and sister and brother-in-law. Monson, Maine, the 29th of May 1888. Hedvig Maria Henrikson, born Blomqvist (Lars left for America/Maine from Sweden on Sept. 7th, 1881.)
DECEASED, with these words we inform relatives and friends that the Lord has chosen to call my dearly beloved husband, NIL Q. GUSTAVSON, at the age of 26 years, 7 months and 6 days. He was hit by a stone block in a mine on the 17th of April this year (1891) and died the same day, 4 hours later, and is now missed and mourned by me, his wife, 2 children and two step-children, all children under the age of 7, and one brother and friends here and parents, brothers, and sisters and friends in Sweden. He was born in the parish of Råneå, the County of Norrbotten, Sweden, the 11th of September 1864. Monson, Maine in May 1891, Hedda Maria Gustavson, born Blomquist.
2. Märit Larsdotter (F171) Martha Larson, born Sept. 22, 1870, age 20. Left for American on June 18th, 1890. She also settled in Monson, ME after living for awhile in Bangor, and Brownville, ME. Martha married on Jan. 23rd, 1892 to August Sanfred Larsson--Fred Larson (no relation). Martha died on July 30th, 1931, Monson, ME and is buried there in city cemetery. (Fred Larson was born on Dec. 5th, 1867 at Flistad, in Västergötland, Sweden and died on April 7th, 1932 at Allston, Suffolk Co, Massachusetts. Fred also worked in the slate quarries of Monson.) They had eight children all born in Monson, ME. Pictured here are the children, with Martha and Fred, at home in Monson, ME, 1907. Children: Mary Elizabeth, born March 21st, 1893, Ruth Geneveva, born April 28th, 1894 (went to Sweden with Bessie Nickander in 1912.), John Emil, born Aug. 24th, 1896 (we know John son’s today, Sanford Larson and his brother John of Maryland), Hjalmar Timoteus, born Oct. 23rd, 1897, George Clarence Emanuel, born Nov. 9th, 1901, Elsie Madeline (Powell), born Feb. 6th, 1903, Blanche Gertrude Victoria (Bubb), born March 4th, 1905, (her daughters, Elizabeth Schuetz and Geraldine Holmstrom with their families, have visited the Sivertsson farm in Oviken), and Vanner Timothy, born-May 24th, 1906 (We found Lisa Larson Palchick, Vanner’s daughter, in Kalamazoo, MI. She has the rag rugs that Martha weaved.) Anton (Tony) Larson, George Larson’s Grandson, tells us that this family’s home had a baseball field in the front yard. And also the traveling circus use to set up there. You could see the circus from the front porch. Did anyone run away and join the circus? The original house (hemma) is still in the family today, owned by Blanche’s daughters, Elizabeth and Geraldine.
3. Lars Larsson (F172) born on Jan. 4th, 1873. Left for North America on Oct. 6th, 1918, age 45. Settled in Vancouver, British Columbia (B.C.), Canada. He lived out his life on *Quadra Island B.C. in a small community called Quathiaski Cove. Absolutely beautiful country. Look for it on the internet and see some of the pictures of this area. Web site: http://www.quadraisland.com/
He never married. Died on Dec. 5th, 1944 and is buried in the cemetery, at the town of Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada, which is right across from the island that he lived on. (Campbell River is a town on the east coast of Vancouver Island. Quathiaski Cove, a small community on Quadra Island, is just a short ferry ride from Campbell River.) Lars grave is not marked with any kind of a stone but it does exist there in the cemetery.
*The largest and most populated of the Discovery Islands, Quadra Island is nestled between Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia. Quadra is a popular destination for visitors from around the world, and is best known for its natural and beautiful wilderness scenery, and its excellent salmon and freshwater sport fishing. Quadra Island has three main communities: Quathiaski Cove, the commercial hub of Quadra and the most populated; Heriot Bay, the picturesque gateway to the Discovery Islands, and Cape Mudge (Yuculta), home to the Kwagiulth First Nation. Its sheltered coves and inland lakes are home to an incredible variety of wildlife including black-tailed deer, river otters, harbour seals, sea-lions, cormorants, snowy owls, the great blue heron and the elusive peregrine falcon.
4. Gertrud Larsdotter (F173) born on Oct. 9th, 1875. She lived her life in Rätan, Jämtland, Sweden. Married on Nov. 24th, 1901 to Per Person (A454). Per was born January 24th, 1855 and died on March 15th, 1933. Gertrud was his second wife and she died on Oct. 1st, 1943. Both are buried in Rätan. Children: Frida Elisabeth (Jönsson), born Sept. 12th 1902, Per-Emanuel, born Aug. 15th, 1904, Jenny Birgitta (Eriksson), born June 14th, 1906, Sigrid Gunborg (Andersson), born April 9th, 1908, Augusta, born April 4th, 1910, Lisa Amanda, born Oct. 1st, 1911, and Lilly Margareta, born March 8th, 1913.
5. Kjel Larsson (F174). He changed his name to Charles Linder because they got his paycheck mixed up one too many times because of the similarity in names with others. So he just became Charles Linder. He was born on June 19th, 1879. He arrived in America in June 1902, age 23, at New York, NY on the Steamship Campania. Charles first went to Monson, ME and then later on to Two Harbors, Lake County, Minnesota by June 1906 (Two Harbors is on the shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota, 30 miles north of Duluth). He married in Virginia, St. Louis County, MN, Feb. 4th, 1913 to Brita Sabina Elfrida Larsdotter--Bertha Larson, born on Oct. 28th, 1892 in Nyhem, near Rotsjö, (southeast of Östersund), Jämtland, Sweden and she died on Dec. 4th, 1974, Duluth, MN. Bertha arrived in America in June 1912. Charles died on Oct. 4th, 1953 Superior, Douglas Co., Wisconsin (which is next to Duluth, MN across the state line) and both are buried in the Sunrise Memorial Park, Duluth, MN. He was a barber (cut hair). Paul (Kjelsson) Nickander (F158) lived with the family for awhile in Duluth, Minnesota. Paul was Charles’s uncle. They had seven children and all born in Duluth, Minnesota. Children: Louis Edward, born Dec. 9th, 1913 (his grandchildren Lee and Linda, and their families, are part of our family today. Lee has Uncle Paul Nickanders pocket watch), Emil Clifford, born Aug. 4, 1915, Elsie Christine (Lindsey), born July 30th, 1918, Gladys Elizabeth (Buckeridge), born Feb. 17th, 1921 (Halvard Sidebo, from Lisa’s family below, visited this family while here in 1998 and we must thank Nancy Faulkner, Gladys’s daughter for helping on some of the history on this side of the family), George Russell, born July 19th, 1924, Robert Carl, born Jan.11th, 1926, and Ruth Marie (Campbell), born Jan. 14th, 1931.
6. Lisa Larsdotter (F175) born on April 17th, 1882. Married on June 25th, 1905 to Sivert Olsson (A173). This couple moved to Oviken, which is about an hour north of Klövsjö, to a place called Side (the farm). Sivert was born on July 5th, 1879 and died March 3rd, 1964. Lisa died on August 16th, 1960 and both are buried in Oviken. Graves are well marked. They had ten children. Two of the son’s listed below; used last names that are not the Sivertsson family name (ask Bertil why). Lisa was the first bride to wear white for a wedding ceremony at Klövsjö. Before that the bride wore black. Pictured here are Sivert and Lisa on their wedding day. Children: Olof, born May 13th, 1906, Lars, born March 26th, 1908, Sigvard, born April 12th, 1909 (we had the privilege to attend Sigvard’s granddaughter Görel’s wedding in Sweden in 1997, the daughter of Bruno and Inger Paretao. What an experience for us to be part of an authentic Swedish wedding with all the formalities, especially the horse drawn carriages. One was for the bride and groom, and the other for the fiddlers, on route to the reception). Lars (first one died), born Sept. 9th, 1911, Erik Sidung, born Nov. 11th, 1913, Georg, born Nov. 3rd, 1915, Halvard Sidebo, born Nov. 20th, 1918, Kjell, born April 17th, 1921, Helge, born June 27th, 1924, and Anders, born May 28th, 1929.
We know this family well, Helge Sivertsson’s. They have been to the States. Some have been our guest here in Minnesota, as we have all been guest with them through out the years. We have all stay at the farm in Oviken, which is run today by Bertil Sivertsson, Helge’s son. We can not thank the Sivertsson’s enough for keeping the family connection between us and them alive and well. And it will always be that way. This work on the Larson’s is dedicated to the Sivertsson family. Halvard Sidebo has also been to Minnesota, with his trip around the world at age 80, in 1998. Please come back!
Some of the Sivertsson’s made a trip to the States to visit other relatives through out the years. We didn’t know about each others families, until we started our family genealogy, back in the early 1990’s. The Helge Sivertsson family is picture in the Nickander/Swanson book on page 35.
We must not forget the trip here to Minneapolis and Aitkin Minnesota by Göran and Ragnhild Kronvall. Ragnhild is the daughter of Olof Sivertsson (the oldest boy from the family). Göran and Ragnhild even lived in Minneapolis for two years while Göran was working on his internship as a doctor and none of us knew each other. We were just a few miles apart back then. Small world! We had a reception for them and their children, Anders, Magnus, and Gunilla, here in Mounds View (Minneapolis) and one of their old neighbor’s came by. She even baby sat the children years ago. What a surprise for Ragnhild.
7. Brita Larsdotter (F176) born on April 17th, 1885 (Lisa and Brita shared the same birthdays.) Never married. She also moved to Oviken with her sister Lisa’s family. Died on April 20th, 1924, and is buried at Oviken.
8. Johannes Larsson (F177) born on June 26, 1888. Left for America in 1910, age 22. Never married. Died on Dec. 13th, 1927 near Aitkin (Deerwood), Minnesota and is buried at Aitkin. Here is a newspaper/tidning obituary on Johannes found by Debra (Hagman) Janzen. Debra and her sister, Terry Sylvester, have published a book that brings the Nickanders and Swansons families up to date, titled Memories.
(Anything in italic has been added for clarification purposes.) I was told by family members, that George Larson of Monson, ME, Johannas brother, came to Aitkin at the time of his death. After seeing this obituary, he had to have come. There is so much information in this obit that only he would have known of the family relatives and history. Aitkin Independent Age Newspaper. Dec. 17th, 1927-page 4. Aitkin, Minnesota. Johannas Larson (Larsson)
Johannas (Johannes) Larson, 39 years of age, died Dec. 13 (1927) at the Deerwood Sanatorium (near Aitkin), where he had been a patient for three years. Mr. Larson was born in Sweden (June 26th, 1888) and came to Maine (Monson) in 1910. Two years later he came to Aitkin County and has worked as a woodsman until his health failed. On the 1920 U.S. federal census, John Larson (Johannas) is listed with his brother’s family, George Larson, of Monson, ME.
Mr. Larson was a nephew of Olof Kelly (Kjelsson) of Andersonville (a community on the south side of Aitkin), Kjel Nickander of Glory (Nordland Township, Aitkin Co. MN, Randy Wall’s great grandfather), and he was a cousin of George Morine (Aitkin. George’s father was John Morine. In Sweden his name was Jonas Göransson (A82), a brother to Johannes’s mother. The other child of this family was Jenny Morine who married Fred Heft. Both John Morine and Jenny died in 1918. From this line we know Carroll Heft and his children, Maurine Ellen Heft (Barkley), Terri Anne Heft (Charlsen), Aitkin, The twins/tvilling: Kimberly (Kim) Joy Heft (Cook), Aitkin, and Pamela Sue Heft (Andell), and Barden Randolph Heft (Randy), Aitkin.
Other surviving relatives of Johannas, are the mother (Lisa Göransdotter) and two sisters in Sweden (Gertrud and Lisa. Lisa married Sivert Olsson. They were Bertil Sivertsson‘s grandparents); a sister in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Sigrid); three brothers, Charles Linder of Duluth (Minnesota), Lars Larson of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; George Larson* and a sister Mrs. Fred (Martha) Larson residing in Maine (Monson. Martha’s maiden name was Larson and she married a Larson). Funeral services were conducted Thursday afternoon by Rev. J. E. Carlson at the Seavey undertaking rooms and burial was made in Lakeview Cemetery (Aitkin).
Matt Nickanders name is on the cemetery records for bringing Johannas’s remains there for burial. Johannes was born at Klövsjö, in Jämtland, Sweden. His grave was marked by Randy Wall (Matt’s grandson).
*Footnote: Bessie Nickander, Matt’s sister, married George Larson’s son, George Larson, Jr. Bessie and George Sr. were first cousins. Johannas was her first cousin but through this marriage he became her Uncle. George Larson Jr. became Matt’s brother-in-law. Confused? 9. Sigrid Larsdotter (F178) born on April 26th, 1892. Married Fritiof Gärd--Fred Gordh on Sept. 7th, 1919, Oviken. Fred was born on Jan. 15th, 1896 Oviken and died on June 30th, 1970, Östersund, Jämtland, Sweden. Fred worked on the Side farm in Oviken (this is the farm owned by Sigrid sister Lisa and husband, Sivert). They moved to the States for a while (1920’s). But eventually they both moved back to Sweden. Sigrid died on Dec. 4th, 1960 and both are buried in Oviken. Children: Karin (Boström), born May 29th, 1922, Lars, born Sept. 5th, 1923 and Rut Elisabet (Humble), born Oct. 1st, 1927. Pictured here are Fred and Sigrid. From Ragnhild Kronvall (she is from the Sivertsson’s in Lisa’s section above). Fred made money as an arm wrestler during the depressing (maybe boxing?) in the States. He was a very strong man. In 1957 or 58, he won large sum of money from the Irish Sweepstakes. In Johannes Larson newspaper obituary, it tells us they are living in Brooklyn, New York in 1927. When Sigrid came over to States, she visited in Monson, Maine and met her oldest brother and sister, George Larson and Martha Larson, for the first time. She was born after they left for American.
I have many fond memories of my Grandpa and Grandma, Kjel and Anna Nickander. I used to walk over to their farm in the Glory Community quite often, and stay over night. I never minded the four mile walk, but didn't like to walk through the "Indian Woods" to get there. There was an Indian burial grounds
there and it was scary to walk through. I suppose it is still there.
I had great respect for Grandpa Kjel. He always seemed so stern. He was an avid reader. I can still picture him sitting by the table before his bed time reading the "Svenska Amerikanska Poster." His ritual before retiring was winding the clock on the wall. Grandma was a gentle person. How she ever managed all that work raising a big family I'll never know. No conveniences of any kind. She had to milk the cows by hand. I don't think the Swedish men at that time ever milked a cow. She still had time to knit mittens and stockings for the family. She even spun her own yarn. It seemed like she was always knitting in her "spare" time. I have her old knitting basket. Their summer kitchen I will never forget. It was wallpapered with the "Svenska Amerikanska Poster."
One time when my Grandma was entertaining the Ladies Aid, several of us girls were in the summer kitchen washing dirty diapers and throwing the water out the back door. When it was my turn, Grandma came walking by the door and she got it right in her face. She didn't scold me, but my Aunt Esther sure did! I felt terrible and my afternoon was ruined!
Grandma never spoke English, though she did understand it. My Swedish was terrible. Grandma always told me she understood my English better than my Swedish. Grandpa Kjel also delivered mail between Attica (at Lone Lake) and Glen for awhile, about three times a week. In the winter he would stop in at our place to warm up, and I am sure he had coffee and some of my Mother's cookies. I remember the big fur coat he wore. He had heated bricks to keep his feet warm!
Now I would like to say some things about my parents, Anna and Andrew Peterson. My father always worked so hard. His hand was crippled in a butchering mishap, so he couldn't open his left hand. My Mother helped with all the work. She could stack grain and hay as well as any man could. She canned everything, hundreds and hundreds of quarts! She was famous for her molasses and sugar cookies. Her recipes are still in use today.
My Mother always did a lot of knitting and embroidered crocheting. We still have a lot of items in use today. She performed chords on the organ and played the guitar at one time.
Mother stayed on the farm for many years after my Dad died. Gene Westenberg, a young man and newcomer from Sweden, was her faithful hired man until Mother's health failed.
One special memory I have is Kjel Nickander's small wooden trunk. It had a rounded top that my Mother, Hulda, had. She said that her father carried his food in this on his voyage to America. On the side was a big hole which looked like it had been chewed. Mom said a rat chewed through to get at the food on his trip here to America. My grandmother, Anna, always wore gold hoop earrings in her pierced ears. My mother, Hulda, said they were a gift to her from Kjel on their engagement. After Kjel died, Anna sold the farm during the Depression. She would take turns staying at children's homes. She would come with her spinning wheel and knit all day. I have one of the last pair of
mittens she ever made. I always remember she wore an apron and always had the round white mints in a pocket. It was fun to help her "card the wool" to be made into yarn.
It was great going to see my Aunts. Aunt Annie's was a great adventure. She lived on a farm. I loved to watch them milk the cows and have milk squirted in the mouths of cats. We enjoyed the best family gatherings at Aunt Annie (Peterson's) Hemma (Home). Another place we used to go visit was Hill City, where Aunt Minnie and Uncle Alfie Olson lived. Back in those days, it was an all day trip. I will always remember Aunt Minnie's son Marion. He would take us to the school yard and put us up on the swings. He always had time for us! I had such a crush on him! He died very young, this special man.
My Mother, Hulda, married Gust Dahlgren from Dalsland, Sweden. He served in World War I. NOTE: The trunk Helen talks about is now in the Aitkin County Museum. With the trunk is a portrait of Kjel and Anna Nickander. These items were willed to the museum by Mabel (Dahlgran) Buchite, daughter of Hulda (Nickander) Dahlgren.
My Mother, Esther Nickander, married Gust Adolph Larson, in February of 1918. Ma had been working in Crosby at the Spalding Hotel with her sister, Hulda. Pa had come to Crosby in 1916 from Virginia, Minnesota, where he had been living since
1910. Pa had come from Sweden to Virginia because his older brother Fritz had come two years previously. Earlier, an Uncle, Ben Anderson, had settled in Virginia and consequently sent for Fritz and then Pa. How Pa came to Crosby, I don't know, but I suppose with all the building of a new town, he had heard of work for a Master plasterer and bricklayer, which was his vocation. He worked on most of the brick buildings of the area, as well as the schools and High Schools. My father was a real craftsman and many of the buildings still around today bear the testimony of his work.
I was born in Glory at the Nickander farm and in years to come, spent my Summers there with Mormor and MorFar. It was then that I learned to speak Swedish and to somewhat learn to read the language. In the evenings, we would read "Psalmboken" and also the "Svenska Amerikanska Tidningen." I can still see MorFar sitting in their identical rockers given to them by their daughter Annie, in the living room of the farm house. Mormor usually was spinning or knitting and Morfar was sitting in his rocker reading.
Esther and Gust set up housekeeping on 4th St. N.W., Crosby, Minnesota, and there I grew up. We were a typical second generation Swedish family, keeping up the Swedish traditions of Christmas and Pask, entertaining Swedish acquaintances and relatives from the Aitkin area when anyone had a car to get them around to visit.
My parents lived on 4th St. until about 1945 when they moved to the country. My Father bought a 20 acre piece of land and built a house about five miles from Ironton. My mother never really liked the country, for she felt isolated there, but my dad thoroughly enjoyed living out there.
The Kjel and Anna farm was fascinating to me. I loved the summer kitchen where we pretty much lived during the warm weather. There was a long table with benches where we ate, and, of course, the wood range where Mormor baked her Kaka brod. I also remember making butter in a tall wooden churn. She would scoop the butter into a mold and use her finger to get all the butter out of the container and then lick her finger.
I remember the grot or valing we made for supper. The grot usually was on a large platter in the middle of the table. We all ate from the same platter, dipping our spoon into the butter, the grot and then, our mouth. For the valing, we had our own dish.
Mormor had a stiff leg and one hip shorter than the other. But she got around very well, milked the cow, hoed in the garden, walked to Swanson's store. She did have a "kapp" (a cane,) which she used when she walked any great distance. I loved going to the store. It was fun to visit with the Swanson children and go back into the house for coffee with Mary Swanson.
One of the things that I will never forget about the farm is the well where we got our water. It was about two blocks from the house when we got to the woods, we had to walk on a narrow plank to get to the well. It was a spooky place and I hated to go get water. For some reason or another, there was no pump or well at the farm. I honestly don't remember if we drank that water, but it was dark and brown and God knows what creepy things were in it. Further on in the woods, we came to a small creek, near the Swing farm. We would swim there and play in the water. My mother Hulda told us that they used to swim there too, along with Indian children. Hulda said that Martha almost drowned once but the Indian children pulled her out.
There were two or three large willow trees on the west side of the farmhouse where I could climb into the limbs and there I would sit and read. I loved to read, even then, and Ma would send me her True Story magazines off and on throughout the summer. I still remember the plot of some of these stories.
Morfar was always there to talk to, and we did talk a lot. As I recall, he did not do very much around the place at that time. He was already quite old and I don't suppose he could do very much. I remember once I came racing into the "4 holer" and he was sitting there! What a shock! I turned to go out and he said, "Ja, kom du, det ar inte fallet." There was no shame in doing what comes naturally! When Uncle Andrew died, Morfar and I sat on the porch and watched the cars go by on their way to Bethlehem Church. There was a rumbling bridge about a mile down the road and any car that went over it could be heard at the farm. We always tried to guess who might be going by, or if they were coming to the farm.
Mormor and I would sit and talk for hours about Sweden. I would ask the questions and she would tell about her life there. She was a tiny woman, probably not more than 100 pounds. How she managed to produce a family of 14, I will never know. She said that she had had red hair as a young girl and that she sold it three times, with the money going to her father. She told of going to the Summer place with the cows, "op po Fjellet" so the cows would have grass. The fields in Klovsjo could then be saved for hay. When we went to Sweden, it was one of the greatest thrills of my life to actually walk up there, as she had done, and see the place I had heard so much about.
After Mormor left the farm, she moved into a small house on the outskirts of Aitkin. I stayed with her and Evelyn one summer when I was 16, and working in a cafe. She still was knitting...I guess I will always see her that way.
And I will always see Morfar dipping his spoon into the "grot" for the evening meal or sitting in his rocker.
My mother was Martha Nickander. I have many wonderful memories of Grandma Nickander on the farm where my mother and I lived for several years. She was a very active lady, from cooking, milking (Swedish men do not milk cows), feeding chickens and pigs, she still found time to make rugs, knit sweaters, mittens and stockings which certainly kept me warm! Especially when I was walking over two miles to get to school.
Milk was our main dish. When it was separated, there was cream to churn to butter, which was traded for staples at the Swanson store. Our milk could be used to make two or three different kinds of cheese dishes. She also made Messmor. It looked like peanut butter, but was not!!!!!
My Mormor always had the coffee pot on and welcomed everyone. She was handicapped with one leg shorter than the other, so she had to walk on tiptoe with that foot. She lived to be 96 years old. She was a true pioneer.
My Mother was a lot like her Mor. She never complained and always had such an even temper. She was always there to help everyone. Mother was such a sweet good natured
My parents were Anna Nickander and Andrew Peterson. They lived their entire lives in the Glen-Malmo area, on their farm. My dad was a Lumberjack and worked in a lot of different camps. One that I remember was at Bain, Minnesota. My Mother
was the cook there. She became ill and had to go home. I wasn't very old, but I remember the ride on the train. From Bain to Aitkin took us quite a while and it was a rough ride. I think it was a freight train. When my dad quit being a Lumberjack, he became a full time Farmer. He never learned how to milk cows. My sister Anna and I would have to help my mother with the milking. It really is a fact that Swedish men do not milk cows!
My Mother made the best bread and Molasses cookies. She also made some kind of cheese from milk, Messmor, which was very good, and also a spread was made for the bread from the milk. It was kind of sour. She tried to tell us it was peanut butter. It was brown in color, but one taste and we knew it wasn't peanut butter, but the older Swedes liked it. We always had neighbors and relatives over.
My mother was always a busy person. When she sat down she had handiwork in her hands. She made many quilts and crocheted, too. I have a bedspread she made that I treasure very much.
My Mor Mor, Anna Nickander, was a small person, but she was tough. I used to walk over to there a lot as my cousin Evelyn Nickander lived there. We had many good times together. We used to sleep in the hay mow. Today, when I go by the old farm, nothing is left of the original buildings and a new house has been built there. My Mor Mor had great sugar cookies. I will always remember her sitting in a chair and crocheting rugs.
My mother, Anna Nickander Peterson, was a kind, loving and hardworking person. My father, Andrew, died before I was five. I don't remember much about him, except that he sang Swedish songs to me. One song was "Nikolena." After he died, my Mother carried on with work on the farm.
On Sundays, she always cooked a large meal, complete with pies and waited for company to arrive. I remember my Uncle Matt and Aunt Ida Nickander. She was a feisty woman and he was a big teaser! We were in awe of the twins, Betty and Lois, a s they grew up. How could two people look exactly alike? It was a mystery to us.
My Aunt Esther I have always associated with baked goodies. She was a champion bread maker. Even after I was married she would bring me loaves of bread. I also liked to visit them and play the old upright piano. "Beer Barrel Polka" was my theme song. My Uncle Gust always requested that.
My Aunt Hulda was another great cook. In her later years, she was quite a socialite at senior citizen dances. Sometimes she went to dances three times a week. She always complained there were not enough good dancing men and that the women had to dance with each other! Through the years, my cousins have always been a joy to me!
My mother was Esther, daughter to Kjel and Anna Nickander. My father, Gust, was also born in Sweden. He came from a remote area. He was very intelligent for not having any formal education. He spent his life working masonry jobs.
My mother, Esther, was a midwife to many women in Northeast Crosby, as they had babies those days at home. She would return to the house and take care of the mother, newborn, and other children, plus perform household chores. A midwife-maid-babysitter all in one! She had a big heart and was very fun loving person.
She loved to dance and taught me when I was only four. I am glad she came from a large family. My aunts, Annie Peterson, Hulda Dahlgren, and Martha Nickander, were most familiar to me and I loved to visit all of them when I was growing up.
Martha was gentle, kind, and always willing to let us cousins come and play at her house. We liked to play with her old gramophone. Many times, I would tag along with Helen and Irene after Sunday school when we would go to their home.
Their mother, Aunt Hulda, never minded. She and I remained very close until her death at 92. She was still sharp and very mentally alert at that age. Everyone loved to go visit Aunt Annie Peterson in the country. She was so gracious and hospitable. You always got a big dinner or a large afternoon coffee spread.
I would stay for a vacation in the summer to play with Vivian and Eileen. It is one of the fondest memories I have of my childhood. Aunt Annie was always busy and hardworking. I don't ever remember hearing a harsh word from her. I was always so happy to have a large network of cousins and never more so than when one of them,
Vivian Peterson Anderson (Aunt Annie's daughter) came forth in 1969 and gave me one of her kidneys, for mine had failed. This was the gift of life from my cousin in the Nickander family. Tack Sa Mychet!
Ma was a midwife for the neighborhood in Crosby. She would accompany the doctors to the homes to deliver a baby. She not only took care of the mother, but also her other children and all the household chores. She was a god-send. Another job Ma did was washing clothes for others. She would wash the clothes on the scrub board with the copper boiler on the stove and use the wringer washer. She washed, starched, and ironed shirts for Gus Olin at the restaurant for ten cents a piece. My sister, Lorraine, and I had to go get the washing in a little red wagon. I used to take all the back streets so my friends would not see me. I did not realize then that honest labor was nothing to be ashamed of.
My mother loved to dance, sing, and play the piano and the harmonica. She taught us and the neighborhood kids all how to dance. Boy, did we love that crank up phonograph. Many nights we would roll up the rugs and dance. Ma also would wear great costumes for parties. No one would ever recognize her.
She could play any song by ear on the piano or the harmonica. I remember her playing "Carolina Moon," and "When its Spring time in the Rockies." Even in later years when she couldn't remember anything, she could still play "Johan Pa Snippen" on the mouth organ and schottische at the same time.
Footnote-There is a recording of Esther on the harmonica and Randy Wall on the keyboard, recorded live at Evelyn Carlson's. I was there!
Ma and Hulda always loved to go berry picking. It gave them time to reminisce about the days of long ago. They would always take a lunch. That was the best part. It's hard to think that my mother and her sister would sneak out the window when their parents were in bed and go to a dance. I never think of Ma and not also think of Hulda.
Aunt Annie and her husband, Andrew, lived on a farm in Malmo near Glen, about four miles from the Nickander farm in Glory where I was born. Annie's house was always so neat, and she made the best cookies anyone ever made!
Her hair was always in a bun, and she wore an apron. There were always flowers blooming at Annie's and I thought her wren houses were the greatest I had ever seen! She had old shoes and boots hung from the pine trees and there were birds nesting in all of them.
One time when I was walking back from the Nickander farm with Eileen and Vivian, we stopped at the lake to swim. It turned out to be a disaster, for we came out of the lake covered with blood-suckers! What a scramble to get them off; we were covered with welts.
As a child, I always got a gift at Christmas. One year, she sent a china cream and sugar set; I still have it. Another year I got a cup and saucer that said Merry Christmas. But one year we got a big, fat chicken in the mail. She shared the farm's bounty with us and I sure was amazed that it came through the mail O.K. It was our Christmas dinner.
Aunt Emma was my mother's youngest sister. She lived with her husband, Carl, on the same street a few blocks from us. They had two daughters, Shirley and Alice. Carl was a gem of a husband. He helped with all the household chores. He did everything for Emma. It was difficult for her after he died. She had to learn to go out in the world. She had deep feelings about joining the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. She always had a good cup of coffee for us with some homemade bread.
Aunt Ida died when I was only 12 years old. It was a treat to go visit with her large family. I guess I remember her gray hair, always swept up in a pompadour style. Her daughter, Ruth, said that Ida could waltz with a glass of water on her head and not spill a drop. Like all of us, the Forslund children were great dancers.
Aunt Minnie had tuberculosis of the bone in her childhood. The treatment cured her, but it left her leg stiff and shorter than the other one. She was a brave soul. Minnie cooked in the lumber camps where her husband worked. She and Alphie got along so well, and for Alphie, there was no one like his "Minna." One time when Aunt Bessie came back from her visit to Sweden, Minnie couldn't get over her trunk and all the lovely things she had. Bessie bought tooth pick holders for everyone. I have the one she brought my mother. She thought the world of Bessie, as everyone did. Aunt Minnie, in later years, spent time in Crosby, lived with my mother for a short time, and was at her son's.
Like her Mor, Minnie loved to knit and crochet. She was so even tempered. I will always remember her sweet smile for all.
Aunt Martha was so kind and gentle. She never raised her voice or said anything unkind about anyone. She kept house for Pete Lawson, who lived only three blocks from where we lived in Crosby. Pete had a Dray business. I was over there a lot. Sometimes I would spend the night. What bliss it was to sink into her feather bed. Then she would read to us. Aunt Martha always said "don't scrub your face, pat it dry and you won't get wrinkles." I still pat my face today and I'm 77 (1996) and have very few wrinkles!
After Pete died, Martha and Grandma Nickander lived in a small house near us. Martha had bought from us our old Edison phonograph with the cylinder records. We kids would crank up that phonograph and play those records endlessly. We must have driven her out of her mind. She never said a word.
Aunt Martha would sit for hours and tell us of the "days of old," what they wore and all the chores they had to do. They did all the work that the men would. One thing about Aunt Martha, she was the motherly figure to all. She always had time to listen.
Uncle Matt and Idy Matts. I only had one uncle on my mother's side of the family. Uncle Matt was the oldest in that family of 14. He was the only male to reach maturity. (Three more boys were born but died.) So understandably, Uncle Matt was very special. His sisters loved him. Anytime there was a picture to be taken, they would gather around him like the proverbial hens around the rooster. My earliest recollection of Matt was at what we called, The Poor Farm. Today we know these places as a nursing home. At the Aitkin County Home he was the administrator. We would visit on Sundays, stopping on our way from or to Glory, to visit Grandma and Grandpa Nickander. We were all very close; so we saw a lot of the relatives.
Uncle Matt was always smiling and affable. I loved hearing him talk. He had a quiet voice with a slight Swedish accent. It was a voice quality I can still hear today. I can see him wandering around the home and talking to the old gentlemen who were sitting around. For all the folks who lived there, he was all these people's only company. And he always had time for us kids. It was fun to hear about the olden days from Uncle Matt.
Aunt Idy Matts, as we called her, was always busy. We called her this because we had an Aunt Ida Forslund too, and it was our way of differentiating between them. I say she was busy because I will always remember her best in the kitchen of the County Home where she was always cooking. What a job it must of been to cook for all those people and still care for a large family. The twins were quite small, as I recall, because I can see them trying to get her attention, pulling on her dress while she was at the stove stirring. And there seemed to be a lot of company. But she was always smiling and made us feel so welcome. She could whip up a meal in no time. Aunt Idy told us the funniest Swedish joke I had ever heard. Ask me about it sometime. Later on we would stop and see them in Aitkin at the old Kelly home. Sure enjoyed Uncle Matt and Aunt Idy Matts reminiscing about their lives together. I'm so glad that I had at least one uncle on the Nickander side of my family. And Matt was the best.
Everyone should have an Aunt Hulda. My earliest recollection of Aunt Hulda was seeing her driving their Model A Ford 2-seater open touring car. She was probably one of the first women drivers on the range. We were on our way to Deerwood where the old sink hole used to be, and when the car went over a bump, the door flew open and out I bounced. I picked myself up, the car came back for me and I climbed in. We went on our way. It would have taken more than that to take a child to the Doctor in those days to see if the child was O.K.
As we got older, we went fishing quite often at Rabbit Lake. We would fish, swim, hang from trees, and drop into the water. It seemed that Hulda's four kids and my sister and I could swim well enough so no one worried about whether we would come up or not. When enough fish had been caught, Hulda would clean them, get out a battered frying pan, throw some bacon grease in it, fry the fish, and we would have a meal fit for a king! Nothing ever tasted so good, unless it was her fried salt pork with new potatoes and cream gravy when we would come home from a berry picking trip. And those berry picking trips were the best. We would pick berries and make a picnic out of it. I just loved those times when we would sit and listen to the forest and the birds, and Ma and Hulda would talk about the "old" days, when they were young on the farm in Glory. They would imitate the old Swedish ladies of Grandma's generation and we would laugh as they recalled humorous incidents. Even as Hulda grew old, she loved to go berry picking.
Aunt Hulda was a wonderful dancer. All of us would go to the Finn Hall Dances together. To the Nickanders, especially to Hulda and Esther, dancing was as necessary as air to breathe. Hulda even danced in her nineties. I was taught to dance as soon as I could walk. I can't forget to mention her wood range. That range went with her out on the farm from town and it really took up a huge area in the kitchen. It was the most beautiful range I had ever seen. It had nickel plated frame work and when it was shined up, it was really something. I can smell the bread being baked in it now. Wonderful Swedish rye bread!
Sometimes we would take trips. One of them was to Lake Vermilion to see Uncle Fritz. We loved to stop and explore old buildings along the way. My mother wouldn't go in because she was afraid she might fall through the floor. But Hulda and I loved to see what the owners left and to see what treasures we might find. Old dumps were our delight. Another time we would drive to Duluth. Aunt Hulda had worked in Duluth as a young girl at the Russell Creamery Co. where she packed ice cream. We would drive around and she would point out places of interest. When she had lived there, she had witnessed the hanging of three black men who had been accused of murder. We also drove up the north shore of Lake Superior a bit too. We always had a car full of driftwood and sacks of agates.
My Aunt Hulda sure had a zest for life. There isn't a day that goes by without thinking of her and my mother, and I laugh at all the fun we had. And remember, it's our heritage that we were born to dance.
I did not know my MorFar, Sven Olof, but Karin lived with Uncle Ole and Aunt Mary so we saw a lot of her. She also came and stayed with us a few times. We always giggled together about Grandma Karin, because instead of going out to the outhouse toilet, she would walk around the side of the house and stand and say "GANG TIL GA PINKA." And she would just stand there. We kids always thought this was funny. It was so special to get to go over to the Swanson's. Aunt Mary had such beautiful hair. Isabel would comb it for her. Iszzy also would sit and rock Gilbert. He was so sick. We were so lucky to grow up with our family so close. Some Sundays when there was not a minister, Uncle Ole would do the preaching. He could have just as well been the minister all the time. He always made sure we had a penny for the offering plate. One Sunday, "Tootsie" (Adeline) and I were matching our pennies and one fell on the floor. Well, you could hear that all through the church. After the service, Uncle Ole sure gave Tootsie and me a second sermon. Needless to say, were sure didn't do any penny "flipping" in church after that.
I knew my grandparents on the Nickander side the best because they were younger when they came to America.
Kjel Nickander was a very somber and stern man. I loved going to see them because there were always goodies. After FarFar (Kjel) had died, Grandma would stay with her kids. I remember "Little Grandma" would speak to us in Swedish and we would answer back in English. I still can see her there sitting in her rocker and knitting. She, too, could be funny when she felt like it and my aunts, especially Hulda and Esther, were always up to something. Grandma Anna accused me of being like them both. I'm proud of that.
A few memories about my parents, Matt and Ida Nickander: They had lived at many different farms around Glory. We kids were born at different places. For the first five children, Ida just had midwives. When the twins were born at the county home, she had Dr. McHugh and was also in Mrs. Beecroft's Maturity Home. Ida had known Dr. McHugh before the birth of the twins, because she herself was a midwife.
I remember the last place we lived before they managed the county home was the Edlund place. The original barn is still on the farm, but the house burned down. All the children, except me and the twins, went to the Glory school. When we moved into town, my sister, Alfhild, and my aunt, Martha Nickander, helped my mother and father to run the county home. They ran the home for about 12 years. They cooked, washed, and cleaned the whole place for $350 a month.
Then the folks moved back to farming in Kimberly at the Oppegard place. Years later, Matt and Ida moved into town to the Emil Kelly home. This is where all the members of the family gathered on weekends and for all holidays. We were all so happy to be with Ma and Pa in those golden years on the outskirts of Aitkin. Their final place of residence was at the Gables Nursing Home. They had more company there than anyone. It was like a hotel, with people always visiting them. We were always celebrating a special osscasion. Sometimes on weekends, we would take them back to their home on the outskirts of Aitkin for a supper and an evening of visiting with all the friends and relatives. Ida lived to be almost 90 and Matt was 93 when he died. Matt was eating a bowl of cereal and told Ida that he really liked it and was the best he ever had. Ida got the box and discovered it was dog biscuits for Bert's dog.
They were Swedes--100%. Life was not always easy for them. My memory of Ida is her milking many cows by hand. The barn in Kimberly was a long way from the house; when a snowstorm came, it was a struggle to get chores done. It was the worst getting the cows chased to the river to get a drink of water; first someone had to go and chop holes in the ice on the river for the cattle to drink. Horrible winter days for chores! There was not much money around--a trip to town was rare. We would take the cream in and buy some groceries; maybe in the summer, we'd make a trip to see a movie. Matt always liked to play cards, and if Uncle Ole and Aunt Mary Swanson coming to visit, the cards had to be hid! When they had the county home in Aitkin, we twins had many sitters. Rumor is, we were actually spoiled badly!
I don't remember Kjel Nickander, but I do remember Anna. A very courageous Swede, she walked with a limp. She always spoke in Swedish. Our family always cherished our family gatherings.
Matt's birthday and wedding anniversary meant a lot to him. Ida never complained about the hard life of making aliving years ago; it wasn't easy for them, moving 13 times. The last time was to a nursing home, but they were content with their life and their many friends. Ida's stomach would "jiggle" when she laughed. She, I'm sure, was lonesome for her Sweden; at times she would sing a lullaby in Swedish, Hälsa Dem Därhemma (Greet the folks at home, BYES-SO-BY).
Jolly, hardworking Swedes-- I'm glad they were my heritage! And I am thankful that in 1925, at their middle age, that abortion wasn't an option, and that they had twins! Lolobet!
“Long live the Swansons & Nickanders!”
My grandmother, Anna Nickander, was the only grandparent that I knew. My twin and I were born late in life to Matt and Ida Nickander, my parents. I am the youngest of the twins by five minutes. We called our FarMor, "Little Grandma," as she was a small lady. She usually spoke only Swedish and had a very warm smile. Then she would reach out to hug us with her little arms. She was always knitting something.
My parents, Matt and Ida, were very special to all and everyone who knew them. You were a stranger only once when you met them. There was always enough food for an extra plate at the table. They farmed until they became Superintendent of the Aitkin County Home, which is like a nursing home. Here is where the twins were born. Just think, having twin girls at age 47 in 1925! Mother was afraid of having babies at her age. When the twins arrived, there was concern for the health of both the mother and children. Doctor McHugh said, Look, Mrs. Nickander, blue birds on the fence; it's a sign of good-luck." Ever since, the blue bird has been our symbol of hope and good luck. Mother could not handle the patients and the twins, so they went back to farming. We settled at a farm in Kimberly.
Growing up, we became the baby-sitters of our nieces and nephews. Our brothers and sisters would leave their children in our care when they came home to the farm. This little group became known "Pump House Gang" (and it still exists today). The older we get, we realize all the sacrifices our family made to raise the twins. Before the start of World War II, a lot of unemployed young men "rode the rails" looking for work. It seems like the farm house in Kimberly was a magnet for them to stop and have a meal. Mother had them split wood or carry water for her in return.
I remember Mother getting matching feed sacks and making blouses for us. We always had matching clothes. Ma and Pa lived to see the babies grow and marry and have children of their own. A handful of pennies, special pancakes, a trip to town for a show, taming a horse named Queenie, and raising an owl by the name of Eddie, are just a few memories of our days growing up in Kimberly, Aitkin County, Minnesota. We will always answer to the name "LOLOBETT."
My Father, Bert Nickander, was the first Swanson Grandchild to Sven-Olof and Karin. But because his grandparents on the Swanson side were so much older they were long gone before I came along. But I have lots of memories of the Nickanders.
My Father, Bert, would be asked by his grandfather Kjel Nickander, to hitch up the horse to the buggy and they would go fishing. They would catch 60 to 100 Sunfish. That was the fun part. The not so fun part was cleaning all those fish. Kjel would make my Dad clean all fish and then take what they didn't need to all the neighbors.
Anna Nickander was always to us "Little grandma". She knitted mittens for all of us. On one visit she noticed I had a spot on the back of my hand without pigment. She told my Dad in Swedish to have me spit on the floor. I felt odd spiting on the floor. It took a little convincing for me to spit in the house but if the grown ups said to spit, I went ahead and spit. After I spit, I was to put the part of my hand with the white spot, in the spit, and walk around it three times. (I'm not kidding.) I did what they told me to do. There is no white spot on the back of my hand today!
Harriet (Sergent) Gutzman, the first grandchild, and I the first grandson of Matt and Ida Nickander, were both born in 1932. My grandfather Matt always referred to me as Bert's boy. Once when I was playing cards, which he loved more than anything, an Uncle would walk in and he'd say, "Get up now Larry, the men are going to play. (I was in my thirties.) He loved to play cards. In later years with his friends dying off, he had to reduce himself to playing cards with woman and even children. (God forbid!)
My grandmother, Ida (Swanson) Nickander, milked 23 cows at the Kimberly farm. (The last farm they lived at before town.) It is true, Swedish men do not milk cows. (That’s why Matt never milked cows.) She would let me milk the first cow in the barn. This was fun. She then would milk all the other 22 cows and come back to strip the cow I was milking (the finally process in hand milking of cows. It’s usually done by two fingers to release the last of the milk from the cow). It was rare to see Ida sit. Certainly not at meals, everyone was served first before she ate. She enjoyed the visit, and seeing all the items from the "Watkins Man" each time he came by. I will always remember her sitting by the radio, listening to Cedric Adams at 10 P.M. and at 10:15 was H.V. Kalkinborn.
One of my fondest memories is waking up, early in the morning, feeling the heat from downstairs, smelling the fresh coffee Papa (Erick) always made. Then I would hear Papa reading from the Bible out loud, especially in the Psalms.
Another favorite memory of my parents is going to a picnic on the fourth of July, and how much fun we had with Papa shooting off Roman candles for us kids. We would make homemade ice cream, and it would involve the entire family! Freedom meant a lot to Papa, especially on the Fourth of July!
I have many wonderful memories of my growing up years at the Swanson farm and store, but will only mention a few of them. Many mornings, I woke up to the sound of my father (Erick) shaking down the ashes from the stoves and starting the morning fires and then I knew it wouldn't be long and the smell of coffee would drift up to the upstairs bedroom. We knew when the coffee was done. He would lovingly carry a cup of fresh coffee to Mama (Mary) to enjoy in bed along with a rusk (scorpa). Then you could hear the radio voices--news and perhaps a radio preacher--then silence, and we knew Papa was reading from his many periodicals and books. He was always reading a passage from God's word and a time for prayer. What a way to start the day and what a memory for me!
Mama and Papa loved their yard--always planting a new tree or starting another flower bed--often surrounded by special rocks they had picked up somewhere. In the evening they would walk around the yard together--admiring, watering, and weeding. I can see them on Sunday morning carrying a pretty glass vase and filling it with the choice flowers to bring to church to enhance the morning worship service. They loved the little Glory church and their friends there. (They donated the land for the church and were instrumental in getting the church built and started.) I am so thankful for my Christian heritage and that they brought the best flowers to the House of God.
Erick Olof was a very patriotic man. He loved his new adopted country. The 4th of July was a very exciting day around our place. He decorated the store front, our play house, and the radiator of our car with flags. We kids each got a bag of fireworks. We often went to Mille Lacs Lake for a picnic and then on to Garrison for the 4th of July celebration there. In the evening we made homemade ice cream and invited the neighbors over. Papa would set off sky rockets and give the kids sparklers. It was a far cry from the fireworks of today, but we thought it was awesome.
Three of my brothers, Alton, Walter and Wallace were in the military during World War II--helping to preserve our country and the freedoms Erick Olof so strongly believed in. We had lots of company and went visiting--often to visit the Nickanders, and maybe twice a year to visit our relatives in St. Cloud. Sunday dinner was always shared by someone, a neighbor, a relative, or a traveling preacher or missionary.
I have fun memories spent with the Nickander twins. We used to ride bareback on our old horse Maude--all three of us.
I remember hunting with our faithful "bee--bee" guns in the woods near their house at Kimberly and climbing trees, too. We played softball and croquet.
In my father's diary, dated from 1899 and 1900, he mentions playing croquet. It's a game we still play today. There were hard times for my parents, too--the Depression years, the hard work, the death of their parents, and the death of their eight year old son, Gilbert Wesley. He died from Diptheria. The night he died, they laid his body out on the back porch. They could not have a public funeral because of the contamination. Papa told someone later that it was a dark, dark night and our hearts were just as dark.
I was one year old at the time and also had Diptheria-but life went on. They did not lose their faith.
My parents were older than most parents when I came into this world. Papa (Erick) was 57 and Mama (Mary) was over 45. This would be a bit frightening by today's standards. Papa called me Betty and Mama called me Colleen. For a while I went by both.
I did many chores for the family. One of my tasks was as a stock person for the store. I loved stocking the candy counter. (I got to sample everything.) My niece, Beverly (Stone) Gower, and I, would each receive a box of crackerjack for hoeing the sweet corn patch.
My father was proud to be an American. He was very patriotic. Our 4th of July picnics were the best any family could ever have. He was proud of his heritage.
When my father first came to America, he worked in the logging camps cooking. His best recipe was for stew and he also made wonderful coffee. I would love to dunk rusks (toast), in my cup but part of them would fall into the coffee, so I ate the rest by spoon. He would sit and tell us about things when he first came over to America. It was exciting to hear about the "old" country, too (Sweden.
One reason why Papa left Sweden was for his religious freedom. He gave part of his farm for the church building. He could have been a preacher himself. He made the Bible come to life. Papa was a very generous man. Mama made sure she attended church conferences with him as he could easily give more than they could handle. For Sunday dinners, we always had a visiting pastor or missionary. It was exciting to hear about their travels. (Papa would slip outside and fill up their gas tanks.)
I went with my Father to collect outstanding bills. We went to this one home where they had promised chickens in payment for their debt. When we got there, all that was left was empty buildings. My brother was so mad. He said," How could you give them so much credit. It's no way to run a business." But Papa couldn't let a child go hungry, and he couldn't refuse. He had a tender heart for mankind.
I lost my father when I was only 18 years old. You may think that was a short time but he taught me a life time of devotion and love for people and our Lord.
Many people from all over came to his funeral. He had given so much to this world. I will always remember the Sunday school class, in that little town of Glory, with my Papa as the teacher.
I remember sitting on Granpa Erick's lap Saturday mornings in the dining room, and we'd listen to programs on the radio. I loved it when he talked about his logging days and the "old" country. Sometimes he would even let me sit on his lap in his 1939 Chevy and let me steer. We would go fishing at Lone Lake with a cream can in the middle of the boat to throw fish in that we caught. It was a lot of fun to help with the store chores. I would get to pump gas with the old time hand crank and glass globe gas pumps. Other store jobs were getting kerosene and oil for customers. It was always exciting to meet all the people who came to the store. Each one had stories about the olden days.
Papa (Erick) had a carved yoke he made put over your shoulder and carry a pail of water on each side. We kids thought this was great fun. He also made bird houses. When ever people came over to the store, they always got invited to the summer kitchen for coffee.
On the farm at Glory, he had a steam tractor with big iron wheels. With it they used a thrashing machine. In the early days, before the tractor, I got to drive a team of horses with the hay wagon.
One story that comes to mind is about Erick and his first car. He was returning home from town where he just bought the car and was heading toward the ditch and he said, “WHOA” like he was going to stop a team of horses. But he hit a pole in the ditch and banged up the fender before he got home on his first drive.
On the Fourth of July, Papa had fireworks and gave me and Rollie some smaller ones of our own. We had so much fun setting off our own fireworks.
In the fall, when the corn was ready for eating, area farmers would get together at Spoon Lake. The kids would go swimming and everyone would fish. At night we would have a fish fry and throw corn in the husks on the bonfire. When the ears of corn were ready, we would take them out and dip them in big jars of melted butter. Add a little salt and pepper and you had a meal "out of this world." DELICIOUS!!! Boy, what the kids miss out on today!
Before going to the Glory church, Papa would shave in the kitchen using his straight edge razor and sharpen it with a leather strap. Then it was time for pancakes. Papa's was the size of the whole griddle. Lastly, I will never forget the store fixtures and all the fun we had exploring the old things that were around.
I would like to tell you about two stories that happened to me during my research.
The first one is about the descendants of Sven Olof, my MorMor Far (my Great Grandfather). I had found members of his brothers' and his one sister's family. The church, in the Torp Parish, helped me find the relatives.
One relative who they found for me was Ove Westin. He is a genealogist in Sweden who had worked on our family tree long before I started. Ove had found in the church records that Christina was not Sven Olof's sister as it had been reported to me. I received a letter from the church and yes, there was a mistake. This had never happened before. The records revealed that a minister had written down the wrong information, and they couldn't figure out why they had not caught it before.
So here I was, going to Sweden in a few weeks, and the main people whom I was going to stay with and show me around, I had just lost as relatives. We had been writing back and forth for over a year. What a nightmare! I wasn't sleeping very well. I felt so bad for the relatives.
The new/lost relatives were Harriet, Allan, and Stefan Holmberg. We had so many plans. They were really thrilled that relatives were coming from America. They were just as heart broken as I with the news.
But they said to go on with our plans. They were not going to give me up. Ove and Märta-Stina Westin and the Holmbergs had never known each other before I came along with my research and they were cousins.) They lived just a few miles apart. Everyone was disappointed, but we were still going to have a good time when I came for my visit.
Then entered the picture my own genealogist, Phyllis Pladsen, who came over to my house and started digging through all the records. We found in a letter my MorMor, Ida (Swanson) Nickander, wrote back to Sweden in 1900 asking about "Aunt Stina"--not Christina, but Stina. So we searched, and sure enough, they used the wrong names with the wrong dates in the record books back then. The Holmbergs were mine, and I belonged to them. We were all related.
In less than a week, I went to Sweden for an incredible journey, back to my Grandparents' past lives. (This was first time there was ever contact, with the Swanson side of the family in Sweden.)
My second story about my genealogy research is on my father Calvin Wall's side of the family. While researching Dad's ancestors, I was put in touch with a cousin right here in Minneapolis that we never knew existed. Her name is Cheryl Wall. Her Great Grandfather Sam Wall and my Great Grandmother Sadie were brother and sister. Well, one thing led to another and Cheryl found out I play the piano. "Randy, you must come over here to my house and see what I have." At Cheryl Wall's house is her great grandfather's piano. Its the same piano that my great grandmother also played on. What a thrill for me to "tickle those ivories" with so much history behind it! I never dreamed I would play a piano that Sadie played on (a note: Sadie Wall married George Wall [no relation], so her name never changed.) Check out your genealogy and see if you find any dreams or lost in time relatives.
We all have roots, and the ability to trace those roots is not just for ourselves, but for the posterity of all mankind. There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children--one is Roots, the other is Wings! I have tried to do both in all my books.
HÄLSA DEM DÄR HEMMA! (GREET THE FOLKS AT HOME)
ON THE DECK I STAND AT NIGHT,
WHERE THE STARS ABOVE ARE BRIGHT,
FAR AWAY FROM FRIENDS AND HOME,
LONELY HERE I ROAM.
SWALLOWS ON THEIR WINGS SO HIGH,
NOW IN SPRING THEY HOMEWARD FLY,
TO THE LAND WHERE SUNLIGHT BEAMS,
INTO MY CHILDHOOD DREAMS.
GREET MY DEAR OLD MOTHER,
GREET MY FATHER TOO,
AND MY LITTLE BROTHER,
WHEN HE WELCOMES YOU.
HAD I WINGS TO FOLLOW,
HAPPY WOULD I BE.
DEAREST LITTLE SWALLOW,
GREET THEM ALL FOR ME.
FINAL THOUGHTS---Someday, will you please write to me and tell me what your thoughts are about this research? I don't care if it's one year or 20 years from now, or even if you're not the original owner of this book. I would love to hear from you! I am very interested in your responses concerning this book. This way, I'll be able to keep a file and send out updates on names that are found on the two charts. I hope to find a few more pieces to the puzzles. RANDY C. WALL
Sometimes, I think of the song “Moon River.” You see, my mother (Betty), talks to the moon as if it is my sister, Nancy (Wall-Fedor). When the moon is full, Mother says she is smiling down and watching us. So, as we travel down the river with the "Moon Glow" we encounter many adventures in life, some good and some bad. We never know what's waiting for us "round the bend." For we are like Huckleberry Finn, exploring our lives to the end.
My river of dreams was to put together this story of my heritage. It was so thrilling for me to see the magic bonding of all the relatives, on both sides of the ocean, during this project.
Each person or family has lost someone too early. After Sis died, for a very long time, I felt as if I were floating down the river by myself. There were a lot of rapids and fallen trees. Little by little, the waters were calming down. Obstacles that were in the way were soon disappearing. I began to see...by the light of the full moon. That moon shines brighter all the time, but it will never be able to outshine the sorrow that is seen from time to time in my parents' eyes. But my final thoughts are not about pain, but about life...and it goes on and on. Already Nancy has a grandson (Jared Gray).
There will be more genealogy and more research someday. I hope my book ends up in a time capsule, or even on the moon itself. Just think, Moon River and me...
"Sometimes you've got to put your plain faith in what you can't see. Sometimes you just have to believe in what you wish. But remember to put your "HOPES" someplace where they're safe, and can never be lost." Randy
……I'll be looking at the moon, but I'll be seeing you.
A diary from 1899 and 1900-Aitkin County, MN.
a little look into life in northern Minnesota and the lumber camps.
This is the Diary of Erik Olof Swanson, born February 26, 1873 in the village of Mållång, parish of Ljusdal, County of Gävleborg, Province of Hälsingland, Sverige/Sweden. He came to the United States arriving in New York harbor on November 29, 1893. He moved west and settled in Minnesota at Aitkin County where he bought a farm near the town of Glory in Nordland Township, Aitkin County, Minnesota.
Erik kept a diary from 1899 and 1900. Erik became the postmaster and owned the general store in the town of Glory. He married Mary Kolin on Sept 18th, 1904, Glory, Nordland Township, Minnesota on the Swanson farm. Mary was born on August 16th, 1884 at Klövsjö, Jämtland, Sweden to Erik (Larsson) Kollin/Kolin and Caroline Hansdotter. Erik and Mary Swanson had 11 children; Eleanore (Stone), Alice (Johnson), Edna (McCready), Alton, Adeline (Roseberg), Walter, Edythe (Bergstrom), Gilbert, Wallace, Gloria (Copley) and Colleen (Loos). Erik passed away on April 23rd, 1948 and Mary on April 17th, 1962 and both are buried at Diamond Lake Cemetery at Maria Chapel, Aitkin County, MN and have gravestones.
Erik's diary is a glimpse into the early life of the Swedish settlers in Aitkin County. Many of them worked in the lumber camps. Erik was a camp cook and made the best blueberry pie in the whole county. The diary reveals real life at the turn of the century in northern Minnesota to a Swede who was newly arrived in America and was just learning the new ways. After he saved up the money, he brought his parents, Sven Olof and Karin Swanson and his sister, Ida Swanson (she married Matt Nickander), from Sweden in 1896.
There is a story about those three (Sven, Karin and Ida) in a New York hotel room. Sven Olof wanted to turn off the gaslight so he blew out the flame in the gaslight that was mounted on the wall and went to bed. Luckily, neighbors could smell the gas and came running to find the source. They turned off the gas and got everyone out of the room. Sven had always before just blown out the flame when he used a lantern and he didn't know that with a gaslight one must turn off the stem valve and not just extinguish the flame. UFF-DA, that was close. So, Ida was able to live to become my grandmother (Mormor).
Ida Swanson who was my Grandmother (it was Olofsdotter at first and then Svensson to Swanson here in America) was born July 2nd, 1876 in the village of Storulfsjön, the parish of Torp, in the County of Västernorrland, Province of Medelpad, Sweden to Sven Olof Olofsson and Karin Eriksdotter. Ida arrived in New York on September 14th, 1896 with her parents. They traveled by train to Minnesota and eventually arrived in Aitkin County. In Aitkin County, Ida married Matt (Mattias) Nickander on November 7, 1903. Matt who was from the village of Klövsjö, Province of Jämtland, in Sweden, and was born there on June 4, 1875 to Kjel (Kjelsson) Nickander and Anna Mattiasdotter and had seven children: Berthel (Bert), Alfhild (Sergent), Isabelle (Kehoe), Carl, Linnea (Nicky Franzen) and the twins, Lois (Hagman) and Betty (Wall). Ida died on September 6, 1967 and Matt died on January 2, 1969. They both died at the nursing home, "the Gables", and are buried well-marked graves in Diamond Lake Cemetery at Maria Chapel in Aitkin County.
Attica (address for the diary where it was written) is gone today. It was on the shores of Long Lake in Nordland Township. Kjel Nickander delivered the mail for this route in the 1890’s.
The diary was originally published in the book titled, The Nickander-Swanson Story; from Sverige to America and back to Sweden. It came out in 1996 by Randy Calvin Wall. All rights reserve.
The diary was brought into our lives by Beverly (Stone) Gower. She is the daughter of Erick and Mary Swanson's oldest child, Eleanore (Swanson) Stone. Apparently Eleanore had it with her things in California. The diary was found in some old boxes. Beverly gave the diary to her Aunt and Uncle, Colleen (Daughter of Erick and Mary) and Donald Loos, on their 40th Wedding Anniversary.
Joe and Gloria Copley (Another daughter of Erick and Mary) saw the diary, and decided to have it translated into English (this was done by Percy Hanslin of St. Paul, MN).
Diary for 1899;
Starting on January 1st, notes from the year 1899.
In the winter of '98, I worked in Masten's camp 4 miles from my home. In the spring, I worked at the log-rafting camp on the Mud River (Ripple River today) for 66 days as a cook. On July 4th, Ole Edlund, Amanda Edlund and I went to St. Cloud, and we came back on the 7th. The next day I went to Kimberly (also in Aitkin Co) and worked for J. P. William. He was involved in taking up railroad ties from the Rice River. I made $1/day for 12 days. Then I went back home and stayed there until September 15. I worked for a while with Mallberg, helping him breaking ground, and also at Hans Bodin's, so we had 3 acres plowed. On September 15, Matt Nickander and I went to Cloquet and worked for North Paper Mill Co. Matt returned home about a month before I did. I stayed until December 29th when I got a letter, in which they asked me to come home and cook for the Swanson Brothers in a camp not far from my home. I came back home on December 30th. In Cloquet, I made $28 for 2 months of work. Cloquet was a terribly cold place in the early fall, with temperatures down to -28 below. On December 29th, the morning temperature in Aitkin was -36 below.
1898 has been an unsettling year. An American war ship, Maine, was blown up by the Spaniards, which forced the US to defend her right to arm. It led to a glorious victory. But many lives were lost to a fever that hit many young and healthy soldiers. In the fall of the same year, Indians at Leech Lake killed six soldiers. But they had to surrender when reinforcement arrived. We had hardly any forest fires in '98, and it turned out a good year for the farmers, who filled their store houses.
Clough was the Governor of Minnesota, and McKinley was the President of the US, and both probably had a lot to deal with. In 1899 we have a Swedish Governor in Minnesota: John Lind. This is the first time a Swede has held this position.
1 Sun. I stayed at home. During the day, Sievert Swansson visited me during the day and wanted me to cook for him. He offered me $30/month. I went with him to Edlund's, where we spent the evening having fun. Helen and Carolina Kolin were there, as well as Anne Nickander, Sophie Edlund, Ole Edlund, Matt Nickander, Ole Sjödin and Pete Persson. We stayed until 10PM.
2 Mon. Not too cold. I have written to my sister Ida and sent her a memory card. Dad went to town earlier today. I stayed at home all day and enjoyed the peace. I sent for two magazines: The Youth Companion and Farm and Home, but also a barometer and a thermometer.
3 Tue. In the morning, I went to Swansson Brothers and cooked. Dad drove me there. Pete Carlsson was the cook before me. It was a cold and windy day.
4 Wed. Cold and windy. I made bread and cooked. Swanson visited.
5 Thu. Cold and clear. Three new men arrived here. I don't feel too good. I got one of the men to help me in the cooking camp.
6 Fri. Cold and clear. Edlund stopped by for dinner. In the evening, a scaler came and stayed over night.
7 Sat. Cold and windy. Jack was here and rented out.
8 Sun. Clear but not so cold. Pete Linder and one of his workers stopped by. They drove the water tank together with dad. Östman came here to work.
9 Mon. John Swanson went to Aitkin and hired a cook, but he left already the same evening.
10 Tue. I had to go home because I felt weak. Later on, I went to see Edlund and Nickander.
11 Wed. Matt Nickander and I went to Aitkin, where we arrived at 11. I went to see the doctor, who gave me medicine. I had a warm drink at Martin's. When we went back home, Mrs. Mallberg went with us. We came home at 7PM. I had spent $5. I loaned Matt $1. I went to Morin's for dinner. It was windy, but not too cold. I sent a letter to Edholm in Cloquet, and I sent for a book about the War.
12 Thu. Windy but not cold. I was out sawing some fire woods. We wrote two letters to Sweden; one to Lundell, and one to my childhood friend, Axel Svedberg. I sent for an 1899 calendar from Captain And. A. Lofstrom, Chicago, 113 Oak Street, Ill. - Andrew Hasselius stopped by. Some time ago, he shot himself in the arm with his Winchester, and had to spend a lot of time in the doctor's office.
13 Fri. Fine weather in the morning. Dad and I went out and sawed, and made some [railroad] ties. After supper, I went to the Post Office and mailed six letters, of which two went to "the old country". I ran into Maggie and Sophie Edlund, who brought my mail. I went to Elm Island Lake and bought fish for 35 cents. Carolina was there and invited us to a 20-day-after-Christmas party. I went there in the evening. We were only two boys and five girls: Matt and Anne Nickander, Bessie and Caroline Kolin, Maggie Mallberg and Sophie Edlund. We had a lot of fun, and I came home at 2AM.
14 Sat. Nice weather. We went out and sawed some ties. After supper we went out gathering hay. Then I sent for a Sear's Catalogue.
15 Sun. Nice weather. Mom and dad went to visit Edlund's. I stayed home, where Matt Nickander visited me. In the evening, I went to Edlund's. I ran into Anne Nickander and Caroline Kolin. We - Sophie and Ole Edlund, Kristin Newström and I - were invited to skate at Kolin's, where we went at 8PM. We stayed there until 10PM, and then we went home.
16 Mon. Nice weather. Dad drove to town with railroad ties. I went to pick up the mail at the Post Office. Sophie went with me home. I visited Nickander's in the evening.
17 Tue. Went to the camp and started cooking. Otto Svärd used to be the cook.
18 Wed. Good weather.
19 Thu. Good weather and thaw, so they had to quit hauling logs at 2PM.
20 Fri. Good weather and no one could haul logs.
21 Sat. Nice weather. Sievert went to town to shop. In the evening, some of us from the camp went to Edlund's for a meeting. Bergman was there. Sophie and I had cheese. I got a letter from her which she had gotten from St. Cloud.
22 Sun. Many farmers have left for home, and many are at a meeting at Peter Linder's. I have to stay home and be lonely. We had some rain in the PM, and we didn't have more than ten for supper. I went home in the evening to see mom and dad.
23 Mon. Windy and a little colder.
24 Tue. Nice weather. More horses arrived here, and they started to haul. We had nineteen men here. Mr and Mrs Kolin visited. They brought me milk, and Caroline helped me with the dessert.
25 Wed. A little snow. Andrew and Sievert are home chopping wood. I received the thermometer in the mail that I had sent for and two letters. One of the letters was from Hans in Aitkin, and one from Chicago. It's getting colder, and it started to snow and storm in the evening.
26 Thu. Windy in the morning and rather cold, but things calmed down in the evening. They hauled lumber only half the day today, and the scaler came to visit. Ole Edlund stayed at home in the afternoon.
27 Fri. A cold and windy. New arrivals today. I asked to get Otto Svärd, the cook, to help me, so we could finish the dessert quickly in the evening.
28 Sat. Got a letter from Schroeder. Dad visited, and so did Jonas Kelly. I got a cook to help me, Andrew Swanson was his name.
29 Sun. Many of the farmers have left. In the evening, Jan Wallin, Andrew Dahlberg and I visited Kolin's and had a lot of fun. We came back to camp at 12:15AM. We had had fun, but the walk home was cold and rough.
30 Mon. Cold and clear. I'm tired, due to lack of sleep. Two new men came today; C. Ekman and Frank. The temperature in Aitkin was -43B the 29th and the 30th. This was the coldest in a long time.
31 Tue. Cold and windy. Three new arrivals from Mud Lake came here to work. We got a sack of flour. January has been both mild and cold. We reached -43 degrees, but also so mild weather that they couldn't haul any logs. Today I received two letters. And two catalogues, one from Engberg and one from Sear's Roebuck.
1 Wed. Cold in the morning. Ole Edlund is in bed because he has a back pain. Andrew Dahlberg got hit in the eye by a branch, so he cannot work either. Kolin stayed here all afternoon. Jacobsson stayed home, too, because he broke the harness.
2 Thu. Not so cold. Sievert has been back home for potatoes; 10 bags.
3 Fri. Ole Edlund went to help his father. Not so cold. Edlund and Edvall visited for supper. They brought my overcoat.
4 Sat. Cold and windy. Hägglund visited. A scaler was here. Many farmers have gone home.
5 Sun. Cold. Pete Carlsson visited. Dale's son was also here, and so was Sjödin, who stayed for supper. Then I went back home with him and stayed at home for two hours. Then I had to return to camp. It was 11PM when I got back.
6 Mon. Cold. Sievert went to town for supply: three bags of flour, forty lbs. of sugar, and fifteen lbs. of assorted fruits.
7 Tue. Cold. Six men left the camp: Wallin and two of his boys, Sandberg from Mud Lake, and Johansson, so now there are only 13 men here.
8 Wed. Colder! Aitkin had -45 degrees.
9 Thu. Cold. Four men stayed in. Ole Edlund and Andrew Dahlberg stayed in all day and played cards. Dad visited and brought me some clothes. Edlund stopped by for supper.
10 Fri. A little better weather.
11 Sat. Cold and many went home because it was too cold to be outside. Sandberg visited from Johnstone camp.
12 Sun. A little better weather, but we have had -50 degrees days and worse. We have had this kind of weather for more than two weeks, and we were only four men at the camp this afternoon. Nicer weather in the PM.
13 Mon. Better weather. Andrew Newstrom from Aitkin visited with a subpoena to Ostman, Olsson and Jim Swansson. He told us that Ida Nickander (Forsland) was pregnant (not Erik’s sister but Matt’s sister. Ida Swanson became Ida Nickander and Ida Nickander became Ida Forsland. There were two Ida’s in the small village, that lived side by side). Olsson stopped by and picked up the things he had left after quitting here. The scaler was here and the grinder's boy.
14 Tue. Snow in the morning. But later it got quite nice, although a little cloudy. Edman visited for supper, as well as scaler Nyman. Everybody was at home at 7PM.
15 Wed. Nice weather. It's thawing, and the workers stayed at home. Mother was here visiting me. The weather is mild and hard on the snow.
16 Thu. Rain between 3 and 4AM. I got up and lighted a fire. Then I got back to bed and stayed there until 5AM. Today we could not haul. Sandberg stays in because he has been ill for two days.
17 Fri. Nice weather; a little snow, but it was gone by 10AM. They hauled the entire day. Ole Olsson arrived here in the morning from Mud Lake.
18 Sat. Clear and nice in the morning. Ekman and Ostman planned on going home early, but they stayed for supper. Then they left. Nice weather. Only six men here for supper.
19 Sun. Nice weather. Only six men for breakfast. Andrew Gould went to Andrew Swansson, and I went to Matson's Camp where I met many people that I worked with last year in the camp. We got to ride with Annie and Kristin Swing down to their farm. Then we went home and dad gave us a lift back to the camp. There were some farmers who were having a meeting about crime. Among them were Pete Linder, Anderson, Olsson, Löfgren, Nickander. They stayed until 8PM. It was nice weather, so the roads were fine. There were only three men here for supper.
20 Mon. Nice weather. Ed Bowes was here, and Månsson, a scaler. We had only four men for supper. The workers brought their own dinner.
21 Tue. Nice weather, but it looks like rain. Häggkvist and Kjellberg quit today. Arthur Dopai was here and borrowed a shovel. Andrew Swansson went to the Post Office in the evening.
22 Wed. A cold wind. It looks like we're in for snow. Charlie Ekman stayed over night. John Swansson went to Aitkin for a meeting on crime. Fjell visited, and so did Edlund, who came to see if Häggqvist was here for supper. The Eklund boys were here, and so was Grindell's boy. The people in the camp stayed inside, except for Andrew Gould, Svedberg and Ole Olsson.
23 Thu. Cold and windy, but no snow. Ole Edlund went home, so there were only 5 men left for supper. Sievert came home in the evening.
24 Fri. Cloudy and a cold wind. A little snow before the sun went up. Dele was here in the camp for supper. I sent for a magazine by the name of Good Literature. I enclosed 10 cents worth of stamps for a six-month subscription of the magazine, and 20 books. John Swansson returned from Duluth. He and Pete Eklund had been there and found a lawyer to look into crimes at Long Lake.
25 Sat. A little snow. Andrew Gould went to Aitkin to rent some horses. Sievert drove here, but there wasn't enough snow. Ostman visited, and stayed until Sunday. Olsson came, and so did Erik Mallberg. Andrew and I visited Pete Carlsson in the evening. It was still snowing a little. We came home at 11PM.
26 Sun. Heavy snow, and windy. Pete Carlsson stayed for supper. Mallberg visited in the afternoon. Ole Sjödin came to log - he started in the afternoon. Andrew Gould came home from town, and he brought two bottles. He offered everybody a drink. Ekman came to the camp. It stopped snowing in the afternoon, but the wind was cold.
27 Mon. Clear and cold. They had four horses for the sleds. Kjellberg and Häggqvist visited in the evening. A little snow.
28 Tue. Clear and a little cold. Månsson was here. Andrew Gould came back, and so did Svedberg. I got two letters; one from J. Wallin, and one with two nature magazines.
1 Wed. Clear and cold.
2 Thu. A lot of snow in the morning, but nice weather. They finished up at Noon. Olsson is going home.
3 Fri. Häggqvist and Kjellberg finished their sawing. Nice weather. Andrew Gould is helping them hauling logs. Edlund stopped by to pick up Olson's clothes. Nice weather in the afternoon. Only one man for supper.
4 Sat. Cold in the morning. Ole Sjödin is going home. Dad visited in the morning, bringing me clothes. Ekman's boy was here with a letter for Ekman. Dad has sold 5 hay-stacks for $10, and he said that he had hauled in ties for $17.
5 Sun. Windy and cold. They are skidding and hauling today. Svedberg has left. A tough wind today. Sivert visited Pete Carlsson.
6 Mon. It's a terribly cold wind, and also cold air. Today they will finish the skidding and hauling in 9 and 10. Ed Daley and Bill Prince were here.
7 Tue. Today we moved to Swanson Brother's home. It was cold and nasty in the beginning. Ekman was with and hauled a load. We spent the night on the floor at the cooking camp, and we froze a lot.
8 Wed. We worked at the sleeping camp, putting up a roof and a floor. We slept there when Andrew and I had found ourselves a spring mattress. We slept quite well. Gus Pederson was here and asked about some hauling jobs.
9 Thu. Nice weather. I stayed at home, hauling hay. The Swansson Brother's took down the camp where we had been last winter. Masten finished up at 2PM with hauling at the Clear Lake Camp. I stayed at home, hauling hay, but I went here and made supper. Andrew Swanson was at home, also.
10 Fri. Snow and windy. Swanson hauls on 25. Eklund and Andrew are skidding. Erik and Bessie Mallberg brought some flour and eggs. Only 3 for supper. Ole Jonson was here, en route to Aitkin to collect his winter earnings. Bernhard Peterson was here for supper.
11 Sat. Cloudy and cold. John and Sievert went to town today, as well as Ekman, Hallman and Peterson. Mallberg and John came home at 6PM, and Sievert at 8PM. Mallberg was drunk - he had been in town for almost a week. Then John had to bring him home.
12 Sun. A little snow during the night, and windy. I had a toothache, so I could not sleep. Mallberg returned early in the morning to pick up his horses. He stayed until 10AM. I got two letters; one from Fred Barker in Duluth, and one from Andrew. I went home in the afternoon. I was accompanied by Swing and Nickander's girls. I stayed until 6PM, when I had to go back home again. The Swanson's boys, from Rabbit Lake, came then, as did Pete Peterson and Ole Sjödin. Nice weather in the evening.
13 Mon. Cold wind and cloudy. Andrew and I chopped wood. Hellman was here. We are only 5 men working here now.
14 Tue. Town meeting. John and Sievert have left, and I have hauled wood. Mrs Hellman was here, and in the afternoon, John and Sophie Hellman brought some eggs. Hans Bodin visited. Sievert was elected Council Chairman. It started to snow rather hard in the evening.
15 Wed. A lot of snow; windy. John went to Farm Island Township to buy lumber. Sievert went to Pete pick up the sheep. Visited Bill Carlson's in the afternoon. Nice weather in the PM.
16 Thu. Clear and nice weather. Today I quit at Swanson Brother's. I had worked for 51 days, so I got a check for $65. Jonas Kelly was here and helped dad hauling hay. I visited Kelly’s in the evening. I met Andrew Hasselius.
17 Fri. I bought some lumber from Peterson, and I picked up my things at Swanson Brother's. We went to Clear Lake in the afternoon to pick up some lumber. We had a load of 700 feet pulled by one horse. We spent the evening here.
18 Sat. Cold in the air. I went over to Matson's Camp and tore down Pederson's old camp. I bought it for $6. Dad went to Clear Lake for more lumber, which we had left there. Pete Linder hauls the logs. We hauled hay for Lingroth, and in the evening, we went for a load [of hay] for ourselves.
19 Sun. I stayed at home until Erik Wallin came. I picked up some orders that we had sent for with Kelly. In the evening, Erik, Jonas and I visited Nickander and had fun. We got a cow, but she is pretty difficult to milk. We stayed up the entire night. We had to walk home. Cold weather.
20 Mon. I tore down the camp. We got a lot of lumber. Dad went to Clear Lake for more lumber. Cold weather.
21 Tue. Went to Olson at Clear Lake looking for a chip-work (from saw mill). I went to Lundin and borrowed a plane. I came back home in the evening. Then Andrew Gould, Jonas and Erick Wallin came, so I had to go out with them. I went to Peterson and paid him $10. It snowed all day.
22 Wed. Dad and I chopped wood for railroad ties, which we then hauled home. Very cold!
23 Thu. Cold. Dad and Edlund went to Aitkin with ties. Dad bought flour and bread, an ax and a milking stool, and a pair of pants. He came back at 7PM, and brought Sophie Edlund. I built the fence work.
24 Fri. Dad hauled hay for Lingroth. I stayed at home and wrote two letters. I sent for two books for 46 cents. I went to the Post Office and picked up the mail for Nickander, Edlund, Pete Linder, Kelly and Kolin. I got a picture of Ida Nickander, and I had dinner at Edlund's. I got two letters; one from Alfred Norin in St. Cloud, and one from Barker in Duluth.
25 Sat. A lot of snow - 7". It ended in the afternoon. We hauled the fence work and wood.
26 Sun. Clear and nice weather. I went to see Wallin. Erik Wallin visited me, and then we went to the Swing farm. Norin's folks visited us in the evening with a friend from the old country. His name is Jan Selon. Then we went to Nickander's, and then to Louis Swing, where we had a lot fun. Sophie, Annie and Ida Nickander, and Eva Hedberg visited too, and we had a lot of fun. We came back home at midnight.
27 Mon. Clear and cold. We sawed tongue-and-groove. In the evening we went to Hasselius. We got 3 inches of snow.
28 Tue. Cold. We sawed wood. Ida's sister came home. She had bought a sawing machine. Korby drove her home.
29 Wed. Cold. Sawed wood.
30 Thu. Cold. Finished the sawing. In the evening, we went to Edlund's, visiting Sophie. I went with her and visited Edward.
31 Fri. Cold. Good Friday. John Lundin, Ole Edlund and I visited Edholm's. We stayed until 7PM. The we went to Nickander's for supper. The Sjödin boys were there also. We stayed until 1AM.
1 Sat. Cold. We chopped wood for a while in the morning. In the evening, Matt Nickander visited.
2 Sun. Ida and Annie Nickander visited. Then Annie, Ole Jonson, Olle Sjödin, Arne Matson, Emmanuel and Pete. Peterson, then Jonas Kelly and Martha Nickander. Then we went up to Nickander's for supper. Ole Jonson and Andrew Hasselius visited us for s short time. We stayed at Nickander's until 1AM.
3 Mon. Ida and I went to town. Lundin went with us, and so did Edlund's. I met many people that I know. I got money from Foley, $92. I bought 7 chairs, and some other things. All in all, I spent $22. I got home late in the evening. I brought home some 'stuff' for Kolin.
4 Tue. Brought some 'stuff' to Kolin. In the afternoon, we did some carpentry work.
5 Wed. Went to Edlund's and to Kolin's and had a knife made. I also went to Matt and he cut my hair. Had supper there. A little snow.
6 Thu. Started working on the porch. Good weather. Went to Lundin's in the evening. Worked a little more on the porch. The weather is getting even better now.
7 Fri. Nice weather. Worked on the porch. Matt Nickander visited in the evening, and he brought the mail.
8 Sat. Nice weather.
9 Sun. Edlund's visited, and the Ida and I visited them. Ole was there, and he went home with us later. Linder was here and asked me to man the Post Office. In the evening, Annie Nickander, Matt Nickander, Erik Wallin, Andrew Hasselius and Jonas Kelly visited. We had a good time. Then they all left.
10 Mon. Cloudy and quite windy. Ida and I were invited to Jonas Kelly. We stayed until 10PM.
11 Tue. Nice weather. Worked on the porch.
12 Wed. Worked on the porch. Sophie Edlund visited, and we had fun. In the evening I went with her home. I brought Annie. We stayed until midnight.
13 Thu. Nice weather; a little rain. Began some ground work. Went to Linder's for a carriage.
14 Fri. Ida and I went to town. I bought oat and hay seeds, and picked up some other seed packages. Came home at 8PM.
15 Sat. Snow in the morning. I went to Linder's with the carriage. Then we worked, building on the kitchen. Ida went to Edlund's. I got a letter from Matthew.
16 Sun. Matt visited, as well as Ole Edlund, Jonas Kelly and Anna Nickander. We played croquet. Then we went to Edlund's, where we ran into Ole Jonson and Andrew Hasselius. We stayed there until 8:30.
17 Mon. Thunder today, although it was quite cold. Later on it turned milder. Andrew, Ole Jonson and Ole Edlund went fishing. Nickander stopped by and wanted me to witness a mortgage. Edlund and I signed [the statement]. Mr and Mrs Kelly were here, and so was Mrs. Edlund. Matt and I went fishing, but we didn't catch anything. We ran into Erik Wallin. I put up a bird feeder. Edlund went to town to see the doctor. Ida is with Sophie.
18 Tue. It looks like rain. Matt went to the Post Office. I got the book about the war. Went fishing - got two.
19 Wed. Ida and I visited Edlund's and met Sophie. She is quite ill. Doctor Grave was there. We were tired, because we didn't get much sleep. In the evening I spent the night away from home.
20 Thu. A little rain in the morning. I went to Edlund's to see Sophie. She was unconscious. All she could do was to squeeze my hand. Ole took Amanda home. In the afternoon, we built, and in the evening, I went to Linder's and logged.
21 Fri. I was building. Ida went to Edlund's and stayed there until Sophie died. She died in the afternoon, at 3 o'clock. She was 17 years old, almost 18. Matt was here in the evening, when Ida came home and told about Sophie's death. She was one of my best friends - always so cheerful and content. She will be missed by me and all her young friends.
22 Sat. I went into town and bought a black suite for the funeral. I cost me $12.50. In addition, I bought gloves and a hat for dad. I got some money back from Porter's, because one of the clerks had cheated me. We came home at 9PM. I bought medicines for Matt, which I delivered later in the evening.
23 Sun. Went to Linder's in the morning, and saw Ida. Lena Edlund and Annie Skenk came back here with me. Matt visited us.
24 Mon. Funeral at Edlund's. 17 horse teams and rigs were there. All related to Sophie. A lot of people came from all over.
25 Tue. We worked on building the kitchen.
26 Wed. I plowed today. Matt went to town and bought me a pair of shoes.
27 Thu. We did nothing today! Nice weather.
28 Fri. Very windy in the evening, almost stormy.
29 Sat. Better weather. Went to see Kristina Swing.
30 Sun. Cold wind. Didn't do anything.
1 Mon. Windy and cold. I stayed inside half the day. Matt and I were at home.
2 Tue. A cold wind and rain. Took it easy today.
3 Wed. Matt, Ole and I went home because of all the rain. I was driving, so I didn't write anything between the 4th and the 17th of May. On the 13th, there was a party at Sjödins, and many log drivers were there. I got Annie Nickander and a Danish girl, so I had two. On the 13, 14, 15 and 16 of May it was cold and rainy. We were at Sjödin's dock for 6 days. I was home on the 14th and 15th planting trees in the garden. I planted 100 of them.
16 Tue. Rain. Matt and I dressed up [in funny clothes] and walked around in the neighborhood. Many people did not recognize us.
17 We arrived at Aitkin with the logs [they were log-driving]. We were all laid up for 17 days.
18 Ole, Erik, Matt and I went home today. Ingrid, Britta's [paternal] aunt was here. Many other girls came, too: Eva, Annie Swing, Anne Lingroth, Minnie Lingroth and Ida Linder. Ole Edlund and Louis Swing were here. In the evening, I went to Linder's with Ida, and stayed there until 11PM. On the 25th, all eight of us were invited to Dahlquist, but Ida Linder came here and wanted me to stay at home. And I did. I stayed at home until mom and dad came back from Edlund's. Then I went home with Ida, and stayed there until 9PM.
I stayed at home the entire time. On the 4th, there was a party at Pete Linder's. A lot of people were there. Alfred Norin was visiting from St. Cloud. In the evening I sent up a balloon and a few rockets. We were at Nickander's in the evening and had a good time. On the 5th, Norin went back home, and so did my aunt, Inga-Britta. I was paid $2.25 for the log-driving a day. I got $76. I was home working on the kitchen the entire summer, and I had a really good time. It's been dry and hot for a while. We went fishing at Long Lake many times: Ida, Nickander, and sometimes Kelly and I.
On August 1st, we began harvesting dry and nice hay. We had good weather until the 7th. Then it rained almost every day until the 21st. We keep the hay outside. We went to Kolin's and harvested on the 16th. On the 13th, Erik Vallin, Ida Linder, Eva Hedberg, Minnie Lingroth and I went to a party at Clear Lake. I had the opportunity to ride with Ida.
On the 18th, the lightning struck our barn.
We have a lot of nice flowers this summer.
20 Sun. Rain and thunder during the night. I went to Lingroth. In the afternoon, Erik Wallin came visiting, and then I left with him to visit Ling's, because Eva Hedberg was there. I visited Nickander's at night. Annie went with me home to pick up the clothes she had left here on May 18th. Ida had toothache, and I gave her two kinds of medicine.
21 Mon. Nice weather. In the morning we worked on the kitchen, and in the afternoon we harvested the peas. It's a nice and beautiful evening; the moon is shining on the verdant earth.
22 Tue. Nice weather. Kolin visited, and so did Eklund's. In the evening, I visited Linder's.
23 Wed. Kolin came here to do some masonry. We had such a terrible weather, that the road cracked. We had to fix it. John Sjödin visited when Kolin had left. In the evening I visited Linder, and had him help us with the road.
24 Thu. Nice weather. We are working on the road, Eklund, Nickander, Linder and I. I went to pick up the horses in the morning. Mrs. Eklund visited. Kelly visited in the evening. For the first time we used our nets in Lake 36.
25 Fri. Cloudy, warm, no rain. We only caught two fishes during the night. In the morning we finished the work on the stable. In the afternoon, mom and dad went out and picked blueberries. I went out and gathered the cows. There is more water now than in the spring in Mud River. I ran into Lindgren's from Martin Lake.
26 Sat. Nice weather. Kolin is here and doing his masonry work. I helped dad. Kolin and Edlund visited. Erik Bodin, Nickander, Jonas Kelly and I almost finished the chimney. We have only five more to go.
27 Sun. Nice weather. I stayed at home almost the entire day, reading. Mr and Mrs Linder visited. Dad picked up the horses. I went to Nickander's for a short visit. There was Jonas Kelly. We had coffee. Ida and Annie were at home, but the 'old folks' were at a meeting on Sec. 10.
28 Mon. I went to town. Stan Lingroth came with me home. I sold some roots for $2.25. I bought lumber from Tack. Nils Ole came out here
29 Tue. Nice weather. We stacked wheat. Kolin was here and finished the chimney. In the evening I went for hay. Jonas Kelly was here.
30 Wed. Rain in the evening. We cut oats until the rain started. Then I went to Swing's with the kerosene I had bought in the city. They met me with their boat. I went with them inside and met John and Annie. Nickander was out gathering his cows.
31 Thu. Cloudy. We finished cutting the oats. We got 63 sheaves with oats, and 75 sheaves with wheat.
1 Fri. Mild and no rain. We worked on putting in windows and doors in the kitchen. Mr Edvall and Lina Edlund stopped by on the way home from picking cranberries. Jonas Kelly visited. Windy tonight.
2 Sat. Quite windy during the night, and I could not go to sleep until after midnight. It was thundering, also. We worked on the kitchen. Nils Ole was here, and so was Kelly. In the evening, we set out nets. It's been a nice day today.
3 Sun. Good weather. We had a meeting at Edlund's, with quite a few people. There we heard that Ida Linder was engaged. Erik went home with me. Then Jonas Kelly came, followed by Ida and Annie Nickander and Eva Hedberg. We all went out with Eva on the 30 Lake. The boat almost sank, and we were all quite scared. Ida cried, but we made it back to shore. It was very strange how the water leaked in, but we don't know from where. In the evening we went to Kelly's and had water melons. From there I went home and read Farm and Home.
4 Mon. We worked on the kitchen, building the roof. We put out the nets again, but didn't catch more than two fishes. In the evening, I visited Kelly's.
5 Tue. We went to the march-meadow and checked the hay, but there was too much water, and we couldn't do anything. So we worked with the kitchen. In the evening, Edlund visited.
6 Wed. It rained almost the entire day. And it was thundering from yesterday night until tonight. In the evening I went to Linder's. Nils Olof was there. Kelly came here. We moved into the kitchen today. We fixed the kitchen porch. Nickander stopped by.
7 Thu. Nice weather. We made a kitchen table, and a box for fire-wood. Then we painted the chimney. In the evening I went to Kelly's and sent for a glass for the oil-lamp. I also sent a letter to Ida.
8 Fri. Nice weather. We worked on the kitchen porch. Erik Bodin was here. Ida went to the Post Office. I went and gathered the cows at Lillsjön [the Little Lake].
9 Sat. We worked on the kitchen porch. Kelly was here. We went out and released the horses. In the evening, we went fishing in Long Lake. We caught 18 fishes in our net, and quite a few with our poles. We spent the night at Skarin's. We talked until 12:30AM!
10 Sun. Warm weather. We returned from Long Lake at 10AM. Erik Wallin visited. Then came John and Ole Sjödin when we played croquet. Ida Nickander went to town yesterday to work at Foley Hotel.
11 Mon. We cut hay on #1; three haystacks. Then I gathered the cows. Mother was feeling weak when we got home. Nice weather.
12 Tue. We planted on #1. Kolin stopped by.
13 Wed. I gathered the horses at Norskpackarnas [The Norwegian Packer's] Camp. Then we stacked the oats in the morning, and in the afternoon, we picked corn. Nickander visited in the evening.
14 Thu. Nice weather. We were out stacking the last of our hay. Edlund and Edvall were here, and so was Mrs Louis (Anna) Swing. I went out to gather our cows.
15 Fri. I helped Kolin cut the large march-meadow. 'Old man' Sjödin was there also, and he had a lot of funny stories to tell. It rained in the evening. Dad gathered the horses, because we were going to Aitkin. Nickander visited.
16 Sat. Rain and windy. Dad and I went to Aitkin in the morning. It was fun! In spite of rain and storm, we rode the merry-go-round a few times. We saw some people we know. We came back home at 9PM.
17 Sun. Nice weather. I went to see Jonas Kelly, and then we went to see Nickander. When we got there, Mrs Kolin and Mary Kolin were there, and all of them went back home with me. When we got home, mom had gone to visit Lingroth, so I had to entertain them all the best I could. In the evening, Jonas and I went to visit Wallin and Swing's.
18 Mon. Nice weather. I went to town with Kelly's. They brought some cattle. I went home with Linder. Nils Olof and Ida walked around in the town for a long time.
19 Tue. A little rain. We removed some tree-trunks. Later, Kelly and I brought some sugar corn to Long Lake.
20 Wed. I went to Nickander's and picked sugar corn. Lingroth was there with a Council petition, which he wanted us to sign. The children were in town having their pictures taken.
21 Thu. I was in town, where I met Paul and many other friends. I bought a plow and some lumber.
22 Fri. I picked corn at Nickander's. Dad is at Edlund's. Annie and I had a long discussion about "a little bit of everything".
23 Sat. I burned the outhouse and measured up some land. Dad was at Edlund's. I visited Kelly's in the afternoon.
24 Sun. Lundmark and Nickander were here, and so were Jonas Kelly and Kolin. In the afternoon we visited Eva and ate so much water melon and musk melon that I almost got sick. We stopped at Nickander's on the way home.
25 Mon. I went to town, and I brought Annie Nickander. We had a lot of fun. I brought Mallberg and Kolin back from town. I also brought my lumber home.
26 Tue. We went to section #10 (Land) for confirmation. There were 26 children. There were a lot of people. I hauled Edlund's lumber.
27 Wed. We dug up mangel beets and potatoes. In the evening, I went to Mallberg's for the plow. Mr and Mrs Kelly visited us. Windy.
28 Thu. Cold wind and snow in the morning - the first of the season. I went to Nickander's and had the mare plowing. We have plowed today. A cold wind the entire day.
29 Fri. Cold overnight, and the ground is frozen deep. I used Nickander's horse to plow.
30 Sat. We dug up all the mangel beets, onions and carrots - quite a nice harvest with roots and garden "stuff"! We had one root which weighed 10 lbs. Jonas Kelly visited us. Today is Michaelmas [a church festival celebrated on September 29 in honor of the archangel Michael].
1 Sun. Erik Wallin, Jonas Kelly, John and Ole Sjödin visited, as well as Annie Sjödin, Ida Linder and Annie Nickander. We played croquet. Erik Mallberg and Edlund were also here, and Hägglin, J. Haglund, Edvall and Martha Åsberg visited from town. In the evening, I visited Nickander's and Kelly.
2 Mon. I plowed. Linder was here. Martha Åsberg went home. I had supper at Nickander's, and we talked for a while. Mom and dad picked up potatoes.
3 Tue. A little rain in the night, but it cleared during the day, so we had nice weather when we picked up the last potatoes; and hauled in the corn. We got approx. 100 bushels of potatoes - a rather good harvest, because we've had so much rain. Jonas Kelly was here, and Lingroth left for town with the Lindberg's.
4 Wed. Nice weather. We stacked some hay which had been left outside for more than a month. We also picked up the cabbage - it looked quite good.
5 Thu. Nice weather. George Linder was here and inquired about a cook. I promised to work for him. In the evening I went to Edlund's and Nickander's and I got back home rather late.
6 Fri. I went to Mallberg and sent a letter to Aitkin, with the scaler, telling that I would come and cook. Then we used Nickander's mare and plowed. Mallberg wanted to hire me as a cook.
7 Sat. We plowed and trussed. It was a nice day, and we were sweating. I brought the horse back to Nickander's in the evening.
8 Sun. John Sjödin visited and told me that he had heard that they wanted to hire me as a cook for $40/month. Dad and I went to town. I got a letter from Fredrikson. We went to the Baptist Church for a meeting.
9 Mon. Rain. Dad went back home. I went to town and took hire for John Thompson - $40/month plus a (female) cook. I met Ida Nickander. She wanted us to go up to the hotel room. In the evening, I met many friends from Kimberly and Rice Lake. I visited Åsberg's.
10 Nice and clear. We were in Aitkin until 2PM. We went up to Tamarack and got there at 4PM. Then we went towards Thompson's Camp, 6 miles from Tamarack. We had to walk through mile-long swamps, with water up to our rear ends. We did not end up in the predetermined spot, so we had to stay on the road. We went in to Swanson's homestead shanty and made a fire. Then Gene Taylor came home and he let us stay in his camp. We slept on the floor, and we had no supper.
11 In the morning, without having any breakfast, we went up to the camp. After we [finally] had something to eat, we went to bed and slept until supper time. Then I started to cook and made supper. We had a lot of rain today. Only 7 men here. Charles Criss is the boss.
12 Thu. Cloudy the entire day. And lightning. But the men were out working. Lightning during the night between 11th and 12th. In the evening, the 12th, we had a lot of thunder. I have written four letters: one for dad, one for mom, one for my sister, and one for Ida Nickander.
13 Fri. Clear weather, windy. A team from Aitkin arrived. I wrote a letter to Alfred Norin.
14 Sat. Cloudy. A state teamster was here from Arngrer's camp. I wrote a letter for Nils Persson to his father. We got a barrel of cranberries, cabbage, carrots and potato-soup.
15 Sun. Rain. Thompson came up here. It rained the entire day, and we had heavy thundering. Tamarack has risen above flood water level.
16 Mon. Cloudy. Thompson went down to Aitkin for a boat to bring X back to the camp. A man was here, who was to work for Green. He had dinner here. I sent four letters to Aitkin.
17 Tue. Clear and nice weather. They started to build the camp. We're waiting for Thompson to return. It's a beautiful evening. Tonight, the moon will shine over the surface of our earth. I don't feel too good.
18 Cloudy. Wednesday. A little snow in the air. I was quite homesick. They are putting in a floor in the camp.
19 Thu. Nice weather, warm and sunny. They were building on the camp.
20 Fri. Nice weather. Ed Shriver went to Aitkin. Two deer ran across our camp. I wrote a proposal letter for Nils Peterson.
21 Sat. Cloudy and foggy.
22 Many dinner guests today. Frank and Charles went to Green's to see a girl, but she wasn't there. George Hansson's came up here by boat.
23 Mon. Cloudy in the morning, but it cleared in the afternoon. We had a (timber) cruiser here (lumber appraiser for the cut wood). Gene and Charles didn't come back until 8:30PM. I have done a lot today. I have baked and I have put paper [in the cupboards] in the camp.
24 Tue. Cloudy. Jim went to B. Wright. The first day we loaded. 3 men came from Aitkin, and another man stopped by for lunch.
25 Wed. They worked on the other camp today. Charlie cut himself [with an ax] in the foot. It was bad. I made him a pair of crutches. We put up paper in the cooking camp. I got 35 cents worth of stamps.
26 Thu. Cloudy. The cook went to Wright for a saw. I got a letter from Ida's sister. Sven Jonsson was here looking for log drivers.
27 Fri. They finished the camp today, and moved in at night. Nils Peterson came in, and we talked about girls and other things. I got 10 cents worth of envelopes.
28 Sat. They built a basement. Nils Forselius was ill, so he didn't attend supper, either. Nice weather. We put up paper in the cooking camp.
29 Sun. Nice weather. Ed and Charley were out hunting for deer. The day progressed as usual - nothing new. I wrote a letter to John Sjödin.
30 Mon. Nice weather, not cold. The cook brought out lunches 3 miles into the woods. There were only five men who had lunch. Ed went out looking for deer. He saw one bear and two deer. I made bread in the cooking camp, and brought in one water barrel. I made yeast.
31 Tue. Windy and a little cold and cloudy. James Thompson came up from town. He was so drunk he had to go to bed when he got here. We had a flood, which stopped all the sawing in Aitkin. The first days of this month I was at home, breaking. Then I went to the woods to cook, to James Thompson in Aitkin, to Tamarack, to a camp 6 miles from the station. There were only six men, and I did the cooking. So I had a lot of free time. But we had a hard time getting there. We had to stay in a camp along the way, and there were water up to our knees. Towards the end of October, the weather was nice, and mild. Still no frost.
1 Wed. Clear, a little windy. Ed went to Wright for some stuff. Jim was ill, and didn't eat anything until supper. Some shanty-men passed by here on their way to the prairie.
2 Thu. Nice weather, but I was a little cold during the night. Jim stopped by for breakfast at 10AM. I made a chair.
3 Fri. Nice weather. Ed returned from Wright. He brought me five letters: two from home, one from Erik Wallin, one from Matt Nickander, and one from a company.
4 Sat. Nice weather. I wrote a letter for Nils Peterson and one for myself to Matt Nickander.
5 Sun. Nice weather. Two hunters visited. They were from Aitkin. The cook and the boss went over to Green's. James went to town after supper.
6 Mon. Nice weather. The cook got lost when he brought the lunch. He was rather mean when he got back. In the evening, Nils was here, and we had a nice talk.
7 Tue. Nice weather. Ed Douglas came here, and he stayed overnight. I was complimented for my cooking.
8 Wed. Nice weather. John Sjödin and another man came up. I heard that Ida Nickander was getting married. I bought a bottle of medicine from John Sjödin.
9 Thu. Nice weather. Charley was home and made new benches and tables. Ed was out hunting for deer, but didn't get any. Tonight, I have spent a month here.
10 Fri. It snowed a little in the morning and then it rained. They began to skid.
11 Sat. Cloudy. Nils visited in the evening, and we talked about girls, etc.
12 Sun. Cloudy. John Sjödin was out looking for deer in the afternoon.
13 Mon. Cloudy and foggy. Charley was working outside today for the first time since he cut himself in the foot [with the ax].
14 Tue. Cloudy. Johan stopped with a letter from Thompson.
15 Clear and nice weather. Charley Church and Charley N. went for hay. Ed went out in the evening and looked for deer.
16 Thu. Cloudy and foggy, and rain in the afternoon. We had two people for dinner: Tom Wiggen and Lettman.
17 Fri. Cloudy. Charley Church went hunting.
18 Sat. Cloudy. Donald got lost on his way home in the evening.
19 Sun. Clear and nice weather. Everyone was out deer-hunting the entire day. They didn't get any. John Sjödin cut my hair. I wrote to Erik Wallin. I ordered stuff from Aitkin.
20 Mon. Cloudy and rainy, but it cleared in the afternoon. Ed went to Wright for stuff. Some of the men got lost in the woods this night.
21 Tue. Clear and nice weather. Ed came back when Ole Månson and a partner came up. They, plus Jim, brought some corn and other things. I got a letter from home.
22 Wed. Cloudy and a little snow. Ed went to Wright for stuff, and Jim went with him.
23 Thu. Cloudy. Ed returned from Wright. He brought potatoes and pork. I got a letter from L. N. Loman, and John got one from Kristin, which I read for him. I felt weak today.
24 Fri. Cloudy in the morning, but it cleared in the afternoon.
25 Sat. A man from Little Falls visited, looking for spruce timber. He had lunch here. Charley went down to Aitkin to have a tooth extracted. Then Charley, the boss, also went to Aitkin. I sent for postage stamps, stationery, a shirt and suspenders. I also sent a letter to Loman and one to Cambridge for John.
26 Sun. Charley returned home from town. He brought me a pair of shoes. Nice weather. Ed went to Wright to meet Charley.
27 Mon. Charley Church and Ed came back from town. They were drunk, and they brought three bottles. I got my stationery, suspenders and a shirt, which Paul Elmquist sent up to me. Nice weather.
28 Tue. Nice weather Billy was here and made a good dinner. Charley and I went out hunting for deer, but we didn't see any. Ed went to town to buy a drill. I wrote a letter home to my parents. Nice weather.
29 Wed. Rainy and cloudy all day. Billy Hay came up, together with someone from Minneapolis; a teamster with only one arm. Ed came home. We were 12 men for supper, 14 with us.
30 Thu. Cloudy and rain. [Someone] went to pick up the box they had left along the road, and then returned to Wright.
1 Fri. Nice and clear weather. It's starting to get a little colder. Jim Thompson came up, and some men from Wright. Nothing is frozen yet. Ole stays inside almost every night, and talks.
2 Sat. They started to build a barn. It was a little cold, and it started to freeze.
3 Sun. Snow in the morning, then cloudy and cold. It snowed for almost 2 hours.
4 Mon. Clear and rather cold. The river started to freeze. Jim went up to Angese's Camp. They worked and built a barn.
5 Tue. Clear and cold. Jim returned from Angese's camp. Billie Hay went down to Aitkin. I sent a letter home with him, and asked him to exchange my shirts.
6 Wed. Nice weather. A cruiser was here from Little Falls. Jim was out building a road. Billie Hay came up here. I got a lot of magazines and books. Jim said that I was a good cook.
7 Thu. Nice weather. Jim went to Aitkin. A man from Wright stayed over here. His name was William.
8 Fri. Nice weather, and the snow is melting. Jim came back from Aitkin. He brought a man, a German. A boy from Wright came, and he stayed overnight. Ole Månson was in, and we talked for a while.
9 Sat. It started to rain at 3AM, and kept on all day until night. Ed and Jim Thompson went to Wright for hay. I got a letter from Ida's sister.
10 Sun. Cloudy. James went to Tamarack to meet some (lumber) sawers. Ole stayed inside and talked about history, and we laughed when we talked about my first night here. George came up. Charley Church and Billie Hay and Frank Sears went to town. Clear in the afternoon.
11 Mon. Clear and not so cold. James came back from Tamarack. I got a letter from Erik Wallin. John Sjödin got a letter from Annie Nickander.
12 Tue. A little snow, clear and cold. In the evening, Ackee Boswell came up to sell x. He sold three here. Jim went up to Frank Angese's camp. Two men from Gabbor's camp came here, and three from Marfx's camp who had quit.
13 Wed. Pretty cold, the ground is freezing. Jim came here from Angese's camp. Ed Douglas was here for dinner. The cook went over to Gabbor's camp. Billie Hay went down to Aitkin. He was homesick, and wanted to see his girlfriend. He went with Ackee Boswell.
14 Ed and Jim went to Wright for stuff. (Thursday). Everyone was out for dinner. Pretty cold weather, so the ground freezes more and more.
15 Fri. Clear and cold; hard freeze. George and James Green were here. Ole and John Sjödin stayed in all night. Jim and Ed went to Wright for hay.
16 Sat. It snowed 2 inches today. Jim went to Aitkin, and we sent for lamp oil.
17 Sun. I didn't feel so good during the day. Cloudy and snowy.
18 Mon. Jim came up and I told him that I had to quit. So Jim had to go back to Aitkin, because I was sick. I had 2 1/2 months salary to collect: $88.
19 Tue. Charlie took me out to the depot in Tamarack, where I met L.B. whom I know from Kimberly. I arrived at Aitkin at 11AM, where I had my check cashed. Jim went with me to the bank. I paid Knox and Anderson: $18 at Knox and $35 at Anderson's. Then I went home.
20 Wed. Nice weather. I was at home, reading magazines. Dad was at Kolin's, cutting wood.
21 Thu. Nice weather. I went to town, and got a ride there with Eklund and Louis Swing. I met some friends in Aitkin. I met Anna Swing and Annie Nickander, and got a present from them. I bought them each a present. In the evening I went to Brainerd to see a camp. I got there at 11PM. I got a room at Hotel Gloobe. I went to bed, and slept until 10AM.
22 Fri. I went to look at the camp. I met G. Martin and many other people that I know. I went up to the Hospital and bought some medicine. I also went to look at a farmer's saw. I met Clary and Gust Peterson, and we went together to Aitkin and I went to Skenk's.
23 Sat. Town of Aitkin was busy. Many farmers were in. Ole Eklund was in, and so is Ole Sjödin, Matt and Torslund. I got a ride with Matt and Forslund. I got some presents, and I gave some. Nice weather; the snow melted to slush. In the evening, it was getting windy and cold.
24 Sun. Cold wind. The Sunday school was to be held at our place. Ms Edlund was the Sunday school teacher, and there were many people here. In the evening, Matt Nickander, Mr and Mrs Forslund were here until it got dark. Lena Edlund stayed overnight. I gave Edlund's little girls some Christmas gifts on this Christmas Eve.
25 Christmas Day. Clear and cold. Matt came here, and we went out together towards Wallin's, since Erik had to make coffee. He gave us a lift home. In the evening, we went to Nickander, where we had a Christmas tree with candles lit. We stayed until midnight.
26 Tue. Clear and cold. I went to see Edlund's. I was [actually] on my way to the Post Office, but I didn't go there. I had dinner with Edlund's.
27 Wed. Clear and cold. We went to the harsh-meadow and collected the hay that had blown around there. Mrs Edlund, Ole Edlund were here and so was August Lundström.
28 Thu. Clear and cold. We were out, clearing. Mom went to Kolin's and Mrs Edlund, Ida and I went to Kelly's in the evening.
29 Fri. I was about to give Ida a lift to Östman's, when John Newstrom came to meet her. Then I went out and cleared truss. Dick Teller, from Aitkin, was here and wanted to hire Ida at Willard Hotel.
30 Sat. Cold and clear. Matt, Ida and I went to Aitkin. Annie went with us home. We had both coffee and food at Nickander's. I bought and sent away knitting yarn and medicine to Ida. The weather turned windy and cloudy, and it started to snow in the evening.
31 Sun. Windy and cloudy. I stayed at home in the morning, and in the afternoon, I took all the girls skating. We went up to Kolin's for coffee, and then back to the ice. Sjödin's boys came, and Ole Edlund. We went home for supper. Then we went to Kolin's and had fun until midnight. In the evening we had some coffee, and finally we all went home. There were many people: Jonas Kelly, Matt and Annie Nickander, Ole Sjödin, Mary, Martha, and Caroline Kolin, Annie Swing, Erik Wallin and Reinhold Peterson. It was New Year's Eve, so I had the opportunity to wish them all a Happy New Year! We still have some snow, and it is very cold. I have been out working for three months, and I have made $40/month. I have cooked for James Thompson at Tamarack River. Ida's (Nickander-Forslund) sister has gone out with the Newstrom boys.
1 Mon. The New Year's Day. Windy, but not very cold. I stayed at home during the day. At night, I went to Kelly's. There, Linder was visiting, and we stayed until 8PM. Mrs. Kelly visited us.
2 Tue. Good weather. We slaughtered a pig. Matt visited, and Jonas Kelly. Dad and I went to Kelly's. In the evening, we went to Wallin's, where we had coffee. We stayed until 9:30PM, Matt Jonas and I.
3 Wed. Nice weather. We cut down some truss on the marsh-meadow in the morning, and in the afternoon, I cut some truss here at home. It got cloudy in later on. I read the paper, and wrote two letters.
4 Thu. Nice weather. We cut some timber, for the (hay) barns, on the harsh-meadow. In the evening, we went to a party at Sjödin's. Quite a few people were there. One of the Danish girls fell in the lake when we were out skating. I pulled her up!
5 Fri. Nice weather. We built more hay-barns. I got two letters; one from Jan Sjödin and one from Nils Peterson in Cambridge.
6 Sat. Nice weather. We built hay-barns.
7 Sun. Matt stopped by at 10AM. Then Ole Sjödin and Erik Wallin came here. We all went to visit Kolin's, and we got the girls with us. Then we went to the Sjödin Lake, and, later on, on our way home, Erik and I stopped at Wallin's. Then we got Annie Swing and Eva Hedberg to tag along. We all went to Kolin's, and then the girls went to Aitkin. We then went out on the lake and skated; Annie, Eva, Brita Kolin and Maria.
8 Mon. Dad and I were at Kolin's chopping truss. The weather was nice. We got some rain in the evening. I went to see Edlund's, Eklund's and Nickander's, asking them for mail. I had only gotten two magazines.
9 Tue. Rain in the morning, but I got colder in the PM. In the afternoon, we cut truss at home.
10 Wed. We cut truss. It was cold and cloudy. It started to snow in the evening, but we had nice weather in the morning again. I went to Nickander's and sent for coffee and sugar with Matt He was going to Aitkin.
11 Thu. It was snowing, but not much - nice weather. Kelly visited. We chopped and hauled home hay.
12 Fri. Nice weather. Dad went to Kolin's. I cut truss, sawed some fire-wood and picked up hay. In the evening I went to Nickander's for some stuff Matt had brought me from Aitkin.
13 Sat. Nice weather, but it started to snow around 10AM. It snowed for 2 to 3 hours. Dad and I shoed the horse. Then we hauled home some wood and sawed it. Edlund was here.
14 Sun. Nice weather. I went to Linder's in the morning. Then I went back home and wrote a Road Petition for Kolin. Erik Wallin stopped by, and so did Kolin and John from Dalarna. We went to Nickander's for supper. Then we drove with Matt Then Erik went with me home, where we read ghost stories in the evening.
15 Mon. Real nice weather. We hauled and chopped wood. In the evening, dad and I sawed ties. Later on I picked up the mail at Eklund's. We got a letter from Ida (his sister).
16 Tue. Went to Aitkin - traveled with Edlund. I helped him loading up at Eklund's. In the evening, I went to Skenk's, where I stayed over night. I met Pat Sander and many people that I know. Annie came up to Skenk's. Then I went with her home. I stayed out until 10PM.
17 Wed. Nice weather. Made a trip to town and back. Then I felt like going out again, but I waited for dad to come home.
18 Thu. Nice weather. Dad came to visit. I was going to go out. I have not yet decided where to go. In the evening we visited Grassman for coffee, and sewing circle. Then we went to see Annie Nickander. There was a fire at Willard's Hotel, and I was there helping the Kolin' girls to get their trunks out. Someone had left a burning cigar, which caused the fire. The fire department came, and so did a lot of people [to watch]. They extinguished the fire quickly.
19 Fri. Nice weather. The streets in the city were wet. We were up in town the entire day, Eklund, Jonas and I. Wallin and Erik came to town, too. Bodin returned from Nils Nilson's. In the evening, I went shopping for gloves, socks, a raw hide jacket for $3.50, and a shirt. The total was $6.60. Then we went back home to Skenk's.
20 Sat. We went to the forest. I paid $1.90 for board at Skenk's. We left Aitkin at 7:30. Joe Anderson went with me. We went up to Lons Serven, which was 14 miles up to Waldeck, 10 miles from Aitkin. Ida Okern or Ida Talborg was working as a maid at Serven's. We got there at 12:30, and we left at 2:00. We met with Åsberg there. Pete Peterson was there with mail. Then it was 14 miles to Pat Sanders, where we stayed overnight, since they had a wood stove there. They had a nice house. It was nice weather.
21 Sun. Nice weather. We left Pat. Sanders and went up to Dicksson's, where we had a good dinner. There was a fat lady. It was 12 miles up there. We left at 2PM for the camp, where we arrived at 8PM. We were served cold potatoes and cold ham. It was a BAD supper! And so is the cooking camp and the stripping camp. I have never seen anything as bad. In the morning we got the same kind of food.
22 Mon. Nice weather. We went out to work for Mr. X. But we were given food that was so bad, that we had to [spend a lot of time in the outhouse]. All the food we got was potatoes and salty ham. There were two soldiers working there, who had been out to Aitkin.
23 Tue. Today we went to the "old man" and told him that we could not keep on working if he fed us this way. He said we had nothing to eat, and that Jonas and I were not good enough to swamp. We were 4 men who went down, since all of us who went up for the camp, left at 8AM. We passed by Swan River's headquarters, and we had 10 miles up to Swan River, and 35 miles to Grand Rapids. We went to Dagrev's for dinner, where we met Andrew Söderlund. Joe Jonson stayed there, so we were only 3 left. We went to Lundin's in the evening, and could stay there. it was a nice and pleasant home where we could stay and work. Eklund and I sawed and Jonas swamped. The food is good, but we will never forget the pie we got at Mr. Herd's.
24 Wed. It started to snow this the first day of work, but all went well. We sawed 75 logs.
25 Thu. Rather cold day. We sawed wood in the morning and in the afternoon. Matt Åberg wanted to hire me as a cook. We got coffee in the afternoon. I wrote home.
26 Fri. Cold in the morning. We sawed lumber. Nice weather in the afternoon. Evald Peterson visited in the evening.
27 Sat. Rather cold in the morning. We sawed in the morning, and in the afternoon, we went skiing. It was gray and cold day, with a little snow in the morning. We skidded 50 logs.
28 Sun. Clear and cold. We studied Swedish History. In the evening, we went to Mallda Peterson to see how he's doing. He was fine, and had a nice room. We stayed until 8PM, and we got coffee there.
29 Mon. We skidded [logs] in the morning and in the afternoon we sawed 55 logs. I sent a letter to Ida's sister.
30 Tue. Cold weather. We sawed all day. Jonas was hauling hay. Eklund and I talked about this and that.
31 Wed. Cold weather. Jonas and I swamped, and Eklund helped Lunanx skidding logs. It has been a cold ending of this month.
1 Thu. Cold. I raised a hay-roll. Emil was invited to a wedding at Toby Carlsson's. In the afternoon, we skidded ties.
2 Fri. Better weather. We sawed.
3 Sat. Nice weather. Eklund and I sawed logs. Emil went to the wedding. It's nice to come home and find everything in good order - the floor has been scrubbed, a fire lit in the stove, and the beds made. Lundin stopped by and talked to us about our trips as emigrants to the 'big' country in the west. We are reading "Kunskapens Skolmästare" (The Teacher of Knowledge) in the evenings.
4 Sun. Cold and clear. I started reading Waldenström's book Resa i Amerika (Journey in America). I read four pamphlets the first day. Matt Åsberg, Karl and Johan Forslund stopped by, and we had afternoon coffee.
5 Mon. It snowed during the night. We sawed 118 ties. In the evening I read Waldenström's "Resebeskrifningar" (Travel Logs).
6 Tue. Good weather. We sawed in the morning. In the afternoon, Lundin went to town. Lonan was here for a meeting. We had a rather nice time.
7 Wed. Nice weather. We sawed. Eklund took my lamp in the evening and blew it out.
8 Thu. Colder weather. We sawed. Eklund and I were arguing a couple of times.
9 Fri. We finished the sawing - it was quite cold.
10 Sat. Jonas and I stamped lumber, then we swamped.
11 Sun. It snowed a little during the night. Eklund went to Pat Sander's. Ernst and I went out to Jonels' Jackson was there then, and we got a lift with him to Jackson's. They had shot a deer - a rather large deer. We had coffee at Jackson's.
12 Mon. Rather cold. I swamped. In the evening, I finished reading Waldenström's "Resebeskrifningar" (Travel Logs).
13 Tue. Rather cold. We swamped.
14 Wed. We coated a road. We saw a wolf that Tafs had shot. It had come up all the way to his house, when he shot him in the head.
15 Thu. We finished most of the work on the road. Then I swamped and Jonas did the sawing.
16 Fri. Nice weather. I swamped. Lundin went to Aitkin. I got mail from my parents.
17 Sat. I swamped. It was nice weather. Ed Peterson stopped by, and he stayed until 11PM. A teamster stayed here over night, he was going up to Martin's Camp.
18 Sun. Lundin came home at 1AM. It was not cold, but clear. Anderson stopped by in the afternoon, and we had coffee. Emil picked up the mail. I got a letter from Alfred Norin. Tafs was here. I stayed at home all day.
19 Mon. Lundin and I hauled logs. A little cloudy. Professor Eklund and Jonas worked on the road. Anderson stopped by in the evening, and he stayed until after 9PM. He had a lot of fun things to tell from Finland.
20 Tue. Good weather - thawing. Lundin and I swamped ties. The scaler were here and scaled. Ed Peterson was here visiting us in the woods.
21 Wed. In the morning, we sawed logs and tamaracks. In the afternoon, I swamped and then I started on some ties. Jonas and Eklund were skidding. They broke down the sledges for the first time. Eklund is said to have the flu. When he got here, he was better than both of us, but he got worse, and he needed help with putting on his pants.
22 Thu. Clear and nice weather - Washington's Birthday. Anderson was here today. Lundin and I cut ties. We did 55 in the afternoon.
23 Fri. We chopped wood in the morning. We got coffee. Lundin went hunting. In the afternoon, I chopped ties - 24 of them - and I cut them off. Eklund came up and quarrelled a little. He said that Jonas and I couldn't behave after we were in bed, so I had to tell him what I thought of him. Oh, such a fool.
24 Sat. Lundin and I chopped ties - 61 of them - and swamped them out. It was terribly cold, and windy. Ivarson went down to Aitkin. He had shot a moose. Lundin got some [meat]. We went home from the woods at 5PM, and had some coffee. Then we sawed some wood.
25 Sun. Pretty cold, but not windy. Lundvall was here. Ernst and Lundin are visiting Jones'. I got two Valentines in the evening.
26 Mon. Lundin and I swamped ties in the morning, and in the afternoon, we dug a well. We made some ties for an hour in the evening. In the afternoon, we had some coffee.
27 Tue. A little snow today. But although it snowed all day, it didn't amount to more than an inch or so. We cut ties. We sawed off 80 of them, and we made 51. Eklund didn't feel too well, because he couldn't sleep last night.
28 Wed. Lundin and I chopped ties. In three hours, we made 25 of them in the afternoon. We went home early and had coffee and cake. The horses ran away from Eklund. This month has been quite cold - not one really nice day have we had so far. Today, it was quite cold in the morning. Otto Martinson was here. He asked me to come and cook for him.
1 Thu. It snowed a little the entire day - and we got a lot of snow in the evening. We chopped wood, and we had coffee and cake in the afternoon. Then we were out sawing oak-logs. Ivarson's boys stayed here overnight. They said that Frank A. had taken some poison.
2 Fri. Cloudy. Lundin and I sawed down tamarack ties. In the afternoon, I made 26 ties.
3 Sat. It snowed almost the entire day. Lundin and I chopped ties. This was the worst snow storm we've had all winter. We went home at 4:40, when Mrs. Lundin had gone out.
4 Sun. A little cloudy, but it cleared in the PM. Ernst and Lundin went out in the morning, and didn't return until late evening. We had coffee in the afternoon, and then we looked through the album.
5 Mon. Cloudy and flurries - no thawing. Professor (joke) Eklund and Jonas hauled hay. Lundin and I chopped wood. In the afternoon, we worked on the road. Mrs Mallberg is here tonight.
6 Tue. We got 4" of snow over night. In the morning we hauled ties, and in the afternoon, we skidded ties. Eklund and Jonas had an argument. In the afternoon, Jonas and I worked with ties, and Eklund or the Professor gave Mrs Mallberg a lift up to Åsberg's Camp. Mrs Lundin went along, too.
7 Wed. The sun was warm. Jonas and I hauled ties. Eklund and Lundin were skidding. In the evening we prayed with professor Eklund that he would get well.
8 Thu. Nice weather; cloudy. Eklund stayed in, because he was ill. He probably had had enough of Lundin... Ernst X and is happy, since he has his discussions with professor Eklund. He always gets the best of him. It was wet in the forest tonight. We worked with logs, etc. Forslund stopped by with greetings from home. I heard that Matt had hurt himself - he had gotten his leg jammed.
9 Fri. In the morning we cleared an area where we will be logging ties. It was on the bank of the Mississippi River. The weather was nice. The sun covered the ice nicely. Eklund and I were at it again, but all he had to say was that I couldn't get along with my father. In the afternoon, Jonas and I cut ties.
10 Sat. Nice weather. Lundin and I hauled 145 ties. We saw Anderson in the evening, and Kuthelm. Not much snow left - we shovelled some of it.
11 Sun. Eklund went up to Pat Sander to pick up the mail. Jonas, Ernst and I went down to Jonel's, where we got coffee and good cinnamon rolls. He talked about this and that. We got a lift back with Ed and Mallda.
12 Mon. Cloudy in the morning. Lundin and I hauled ties. Eklund and Jonas sawed lumber. In the afternoon, Eklund stayed inside, and prepared for going home. Pete Östman visited Lundin in the evening.
13 Tue. Lundin is in Aitkin. Five men went down there with him: Jonas Kelly, Eklund, Anderson, Ernst, Larson. I cut ties. I met Hendre Buffalo, a chimney sweep. He stayed here overnight. It was terribly windy between midnight and 1AM, and cold.
14 Wed. I cut ties - 40 of them. It was quite cold. A weasel caught a hen. The guys came home from town at 12:30AM. Ernst got himself a homestead.
15 Thu. Cold. In the morning, I went home to Lund's with the wagon - then I cut wood. In the afternoon, we skidded ties and loaded up a load.
16 Fri. In the morning, we hauled ties until the sledges broke down. So I went up to Anderson's and borrowed one of Larson's [sledges]. I got some coffee and food there, too. Ed was at home. Extremely cold during the day.
17 Sat. Cold. We finished the oak ties [project]. We didn't finish until late night.
18 Sun. Cold and cloudy. In the morning we went to Mallda's, and in the afternoon, we visited Jackson's. We got coffee and good food in both places. Mr and Mrs Lundin were visiting Jackson's, so there were many people. I wrote a letter to Matt Nickander.
19 Mon. We hauled ties. In the evening, Lundin picked up a horse at Andrew's. We had 65 ties in one load. Cold and cloudy, and a little snow. Nolin visited in the evening. He told us that Bessie Eklund was fat.
20 Tue. I skidded 300 ties. Nolin stayed here overnight. Anderson came and swamped.
21 Wed. Clear and nice weather. The road got bad [from the thaw]. I skidded in the afternoon and then I shoveled snow. In the evening, a man came to skid.
22 Thu. In the morning I hauled ties. In the afternoon I skidded ties for Anderson, where I had the opportunity to see his large deer. Jackson was here in the morning.
23 Fri. I skidded ties, and I finished my work at Anderson's. Then I returned the horse to Jackson. Mallda went with me. It was nice weather. I sang my favorite song. Pete Östman was here in the evening.
24 Sat. We hauled ties - more than 100. In the morning, I went to Jonels' for the mail. His tie-cutters had caught an owl, which they kept in a cage. Nice weather - almost all the snow is gone.
25 Sun. Snowed a little the entire day. Jonson, Hazel and Mabel Lundin were here in the morning. In the afternoon, we went to Carlson's, where we had coffee twice. There we got to see the newlyweds. They seemed alright. There was a teamster here, en route to Ole Martinson.
26 Mon. We had 3" of snow. We hauled 29 ties. Later in the morning, the weather turned nice, and the snow started to melt. Ole Hanson stopped by.
27 Tue. We hauled in sticks in the morning. I checked for mail. I went to Jonel's. Nice weather in the afternoon, so we didn't haul anything.
28 Wed. We hauled two loads, but almost the entire road was gone. In the afternoon, we hauled in sticks.
29 Thu. Nice weather. My last day of hauling ties to the Mississippi River. Hans Peterborg came up here.
30 Fri. Nice weather, but the ground was frozen. In the morning, I started to haul ties to Little River. They started the log drive. In the evening, Ivar's boys came down from the camp and started to cut. I met Jan. He said they would go down on April 1.
31 Sat. Good weather. I skidded ties. I met Dahlgren. In the afternoon, the go-devil [a working sled] broke. Nice weather. In the evening, I cut some wood. It's been a nice month. We haven't had much snow, but there is still plenty in the woods.
1 Sun. I woke up early this morning. Nice weather. Ernst played an April-fool trick on me. Three men from Otis' Camp came down here. Among them were Nilson from Mud River. In the afternoon, Lundin and Mrs Lundin and I visited Pete Östman, Lindvall's and Swing's. I was alone in the evening. Ernst stayed over at Anderson's.
2 Mon. Nice weather. I hauled ties to the house. Tafs was here. Åsberg went down to Aitkin. Ole Månson, Pete and Karl Jonson, and John Johnson.
3 Tue. I cut ties and swamped. Lundin went up to Tafs and hauled lumber. Nice weather. In the afternoon, I went to Lund's. One of Jackson's workers was there. Lund didn't come home while we were there. Lundin is spending the night up there, so it's only Mrs Lundin and I here. Ernst is gone, cutting lumber for houses. I went out to Lund's to see if Lund was there. Lundin was up at Tafs', so Mrs and I were the only ones at home.
4 Wed. I swamped. Nice weather. Sophie was here for supper. In the evening, I went to Lund's and picked up my shoes. Östman was there.
5 Thu. Nice weather. First we put up tar shingle on the barn, and then I went to Lund's to pick up the carriage. Lund came home. Matthew went up with the lumber. Two men came down from Otto's camp. In the afternoon, we went for hay.
6 Fri. Emil, Lundin and I went down to Aitkin. We worked during the day with Larsson's ties poles. We arrived in Aitkin at 6PM. The road was terrible. I stopped by Skenk's. Jonas Kelly was in town.
7 Sat. Nice weather. I met Joe Andersson and many other acquaintances. Dad stopped by. Lundin was there, too. I got $71. I looked at many horses, but didn't find one I really liked. I took a drive with Chering, and we drove home at 4PM. Four of us left, Kolin, Jonas, dad and I. Kelly visited when we got home.
8 Sun. I stayed at home all day. It rained in the morning. Erik Wallin visited and then Matt and Ole Edlund, and finally Jonas, Paul and Andrew Hasselius. Paul stayed overnight.
9 Mon. I cut wood. It was windy.
10 Tue. We moved the straw-stack down to the stable, then we cut fence wood and sawed 10 ties. In the afternoon, we went to the hay meadow and burned. It went quite well.
11 Wed. Cut wood. It was snowing almost the entire day. We finished the sawing. Dad felt a little weak.
12 Thu. We cut fence wood. In the afternoon, we went fishing. We only caught two pikes.
13 Fri. Good Friday. I went to the Post Office and sent for some seeds. Nils Pederson, from Isanti, stayed here overnight. Erik Wallin and Jonas were here.
14 Sat. I was cutting bushes at Kolin's.
15 Sun. I went to see Kelly, and then Nickander's, where I had supper. Then more people came over to us, and we played croquet until late night.
16 Mon. We went to town - I stayed there, but Kelly went back home.
17 Tue. I bought [something] for $100. I came home at 7PM.
18 Wed. I went to Aitkin to return items. I rode [a horse] there, and got a lift back with Wallin. I had gotten $100 in the exchange.
19 Thu. We went to a meeting at Mud Lake Church (Maria Chapel today). It went well. We drove with our new horses. The weather is fine - no rain. We burned today; it burnt quite well. Ida Linder visited me.
20 Fri. I plowed, and it went well. We haven't had any rain, and it's getting dry.
21 Sat. Dad went to town to exchange harnesses. He brought ties there, and returned with bricks for Kelly. I went to 30 and picked up my nets. Then Kelly and I brought suckers to Wallin.
22 Sun. Jonas, Erik Wallin and Matt visited we played croquet. Then, in the evening, Matt, Annie and I went out to Sjölin's to fish. We caught 4 sucker-fish and lots of bullheads. We camped outside. Annie Sjödin joined us, so there were four of us.
23 Mon. First I cleaned the fish, and then I went to the Post Office. I rode there, and it went well. Then we planted some wheat.
24 Tue. I started harrowing the breaking. It was hot. Mrs Lundmark was here. It’s windy, as if we are to get some rain. Also very dry.
25 Wed. Harrowed. In the afternoon, Kelly and I went fishing. All we caught were 10 suckers.
26 Thu. Harrowed and sawed the new breaking. Matt was here, and we shoed one of the horses. The cows are away.
27 Fri. I went to town. Jonas Kelly was with me. I left town at 8PM and got home at 11:30PM.
28 Sat. Thunder, and some good rain. We burned the fields, and we planted flowers.
29 Sun. A little rain. I went to Lingroth's, and when I came home, Eva Hedberg was here, and Edlund. Then came over to visit was Erik Wallin, Pete Perler and Reinhold Peterson.
30 Mon. I picked up my mail. Then we harrowed [rotating soil] the new breaking. I wrote a letter to Ida.
1 Tue. We sowed the new breaking, and then I planted onions, red beets, tomatoes, and radishes.
2 Wed. Cold and windy. Dad was here. Plowed and harrowed. I planted several kinds of corn seeds, mangel-beets an turnips, melons and carrots, and cucumbers. I went to Edlund and picked up a knife and a fork which we had sent up there.
3 Thu. A cold wind. We had frost last night, so the ground was frozen. Dad plowed, and I took up stubs.
4 Fri. We worked on what we were supposed to plant, and we gathered hay. We were asked to go to Edlund's because there was something going on. Edlund's were gone. A cold wind.
5 Sat. We sowed the hay-seed, and harrowed. Dalquist was here. He came from the log driving. I gathered the cows.
6 Sun. Nice weather. Mother and I went to a meeting. Matson's were here. We went to see Wallin, where we had coffee. Then I went to Nickander's. Then Erik Wallin, Jonas Kelly and I went to a meeting. Nils Olof and Ida Linder were there, plus the Kolin' girls. Fred Karlsten stayed overnight with us. In the morning, we went out.
7 Mon. We planted oats, and harrowed. It rained. Mrs Kelly was here to pick up some seed.
8 Tue. We planted some potatoes, and did some grubbing. Lingroth was here, asking for some help, and we promised him to go there. He stayed and we grubbed. Jonas and I picked up the cows.
9 Wed. Dad is with Lingroth. I planted roots and carrots. Then I grubbed. Mom is visiting Edlund's.
10 Thu. A little rain. Lingroth was here and we grubbed, and fixed the potato lot.
11 Fri. Warm. We worked on digging up the stubble. (Stubble is what is left over from the wheat that was cut; what was left behind on the flied.)
12 Sat. Same as above. Dad spent 2 1/2 days at Lingroth's.
13 Sun. Nice weather; warm. Nils Nilsson and I went over to Kolin's, and to Nilsson's, where we got coffee and Hoffman's Drops. Then I went to Kolin's and to Nickander's. We had a little rain.
14 Mon. I went to Aitkin, with Ole Edlund. I met Maggie Mallberg. I picked up nail boxes. We didn't get back until late, because our carriage broke.
15 Tue. I planted corn and sugar corn. It was cloudy and looked like rain.
16 Wed. We were breaking the entire day. It was cloudy.
17 Thu. We gathered roots. A cold wind.
18 Fri. We sharpened fence posts the whole day. A cow buyer was here. Mary Kolin and Edlund were here, too. A cold night.
19 Sat. We sharpened fence posts. It was warm today.
20 Sun. Warm. Ole Edlund and I went to church, and then to Kolin's, where we stayed until 1AM. Brita Mårtenson was here.
21 Mon. I harrowed the new breaking, and then we worked on the carriage box.
22 Tue. Dad is weak. Cloudy. It looked like rain, but we only got a few drops. I went to Kolin's, and we planted pumpkins amongst the corn.
23 Wed. We planted beans.
24 Thu. We had Krister here. I went with Eriksson to Kolin's where I had supper. Kelly and I let out the horses.
25 Fri. We finished the planting, by planting the last of the potatoes. We got some rain and thunder in the evening. Andrew Hasselius was here, and C. Northrup. It was a nice evening, with a cool wind.
26 Sat. We started to work on the fence around the pig-sty. There was a town meeting. Ole Edlund visited in the evening. It was very hot today. Hasselius was here, as well as Lundin, Lundmark, Jonas and Matt.
27 Sun. I was at home all day. Mrs. Kolin was here, and then went to Lingroth. Hot again!
28 Mon. We finished the pig-sty fence. Then we cut a line for the fence.
29 Tue. We chopped and put up the line, and went out raking on the hay meadow, but the ground was hard.
30 Wed. Hauled out fence lumber. Nice weather.
31 Thu. Went to Aitkin together with Ole Edlund. Kolin came home with us. A few raindrops in the evening.
1 Fri. We did some fence-work around the potato lot. A warm day, but a cool night.
2 Sat. We hauled fence lumber from the swamp. The ground was still so hard, that the water only covered our feet.
3 Sun. A little rain in the morning, and windy. We went to church. It was cloudy. In the evening, John Mattson and Annie Nickander were here with an invitation to a birthday party. We stayed there until midnight, and we had good time.
4 Mon. We started driving posts and working on railroad ties. Andrew Åberg was here, and stayed over night. We got involved in lengthy and complicated discussions about children, etc.
5 Tue. We nailed some railroad tracks.
6 Wed. We worked.
7 Thu. We hauled. Cloudy and a hard wind that blew sand in our eyes.
8 Fri. Dad went to Kolin's and worked on the coach box. I cut more railroad ties. I met Nils and Pete Linder.
9 Sat. Windy and thunder, but no rain. We started hoeing the garden, and then we cleared a little.
10 Sun. Warm. Erik Wallin was here and we played croquet and other things. Ole Edlund visited, too. Then we went up to Kelly's.
11 Mon. It was so cold, that our corn, potatoes and beans froze. We brought in our corn, and then cut firewood.
12 Tue. We picked up the fence lumber. It was cloudy, and looked like rain. We got some rain in the evening. I went to see Erik Bodin.
13 Wed. Dad was at Kelly's, doing carpentry work.
14 Thu. I cut brushes. Then I went to Kelly's. Kolin's girls were visiting Nickander's.
15 Fri. Mom and dad went to Aitkin. Sievert visited here. Matt, Jonas Kelly and I went swimming.
16 Sat. Did some fence work in the afternoon, we went to Long Lake, fishing. We caught 50 fishes. In the evening, Lundin showed up [at the lake], and he went back home with me.
17 Sun. We went to church. Blom and Dale preached.
18 Mon. We went out to look at Andrew's place. Then we went to Kolin, and went fishing with him late in the evening.
19 Tue. Lundin went home. We did some fence-work. I went to Long Lake to pick up an axe.
20 Wed. We fenced in the afternoon. Then we went to Nilsson's to extinguish a fire. Today it looked like rain, but we got none.
21 Thu. We fenced. Warm and windy.
22 Fri. We fenced in the morning, and then we went to Kolin's to extinguish a fire very close to his house.
23 Sat. We were working on the fire when Ida came home. We went to a party and stayed there until 10PM. There were plenty of people, and we had a good time. Martha was my partner. We went out rowing on the lake.
24 Sun. There was a mission meeting. We were extinguishing a fire. And in the evening, we went to dinner.
25 Mon. I went with Kolin to Aitkin. We brought some animals there. We were quite tired.
26 Tue. Extinguished another fire. Hot weather.
27 Wed. We started to cut the timothy [hay] and the sweet corn. Extinguished another fire in the afternoon. Today the temperature was 100B in the sun.
28 Thu. We stacked the hay. We had some rain, and a lot of wind. We x in the afternoon.
29 Fri. We fenced in the morning and in the afternoon. Later on, three of the Kolin girls visited, plus Mrs. Kolin. We were out cutting ties.
30 Sat. I went to Aitkin with 8 ties, which I hauled for Nilsson. It started to rain, and got so cold that we froze on our hands. It turned to frost, and our potato plants froze.
1 Sun. We stayed at home until 3PM. First Mr and Mrs Edlund came here, and then Bernard Petersson, Erik Mallberg, Matt Nickander and Erik Wallin. Then we went to Kolin's and had lot of fun.
2 Mon. I was out looking for the horses, but I couldn't find them. We hoed the garden.
3 Tue. We looked all day for the horses, but couldn't find them. We went towards the "Skrå" area and the section 20 Lake and Lake Mille-Lac.
4 Wed. Still looking for the horses. We went back to Mille Lac and found them in the evening. We have had three days of rain now.
5 Thu. Went to Farm Island (township). We had coffee at Jonson's. Rain in the morning and the evening. We came home before it started to rain in the evening.
6 Fri. We drove fence posts. Ida and I went fishing - we caught only a few. It was too windy.
7 Sat. We finished up the fence-work. Mom and dad went to Mille Lacs, to Jonson's. The three Kolin girls came and stayed over night. Matt and Annie visited in the evening.
8 Sun. I stayed at home all day. Louis Swing was here, as well as Erik Wallin, Otto Mattias Matsson and the Kolin girls. We were here until midnight, and Lena stayed overnight.
9 Mon. Chopped brushes and fire woods. We had a little rain.
10 Tue. Hoed potatoes. Mom and dad came home.
11 Wed. Annie stopped by and wanted to go fishing, so we went to Long Lake. We went to Norin's and had coffee. Maggie was at home. We caught some very small fishes.
12 Thu. Hoed potatoes. Clear and warm. In the middle of the night we had a terrible thunderstorm, and lots of rain. The lightning struck in seven places around our home, and five times in the pasture.
13 Fri. Hoed potatoes. Kolin came here and wanted me to leave tonight. Helena and Matthew went in, and so did Hilma Lundmark.
14 Sat. Went to Aitkin. It was nice. Met Helena Kolin.
15 Sun. Went to Clear Lake to a Sunday school party. Ole drove, and we got a lift with him. We had a good time.
16 Mon. Went to a Mission's meeting - lots of people there. There were three pastors, [among them] Dalström and Lingroth.
17 Tue. Went to a meeting. Nice weather. In the evening, we went to Kolin's, and had a good time. Fred Carlsten was here, and he stayed overnight with us. The Kolin girls were here for coffee.
18 Wed. We cleared today, and I hauled corn. Nice weather.
19 Thu. Went to Nickander's and did some carpentry work. In the evening, we went to Linder's and visited Nils Olof. I had the honor to accompany Annie Matsson.
20 Fri. I was doing carpentry work at Nickander's. Then I went home and made ties.
21 Sat. I went to Aitkin. A little rain in the evening.
22 Sun. we went to a meeting in the school building, and then we had coffee with Erik. We spent the evening at Kolin's and had a lot of fun.
23 Mon. We cut down brushes, and we went to Petersson's to get at document [paper verification] that we worked with fire extinguishing. Then we went fishing.
24 Tue. We cut down brushes. It was hot.
25 Wed. We cleared and prepared the breaking. Bromel was here, and we sold 2 steers for $25.
26 Thu. We cleared in the pasture.
27 Fri. We sowed oats, and harvested corn. It was nice weather.
28 Sat. Dad and I went fishing in Long Lake. We got 125 sunfishes. We drove there.
29 Sun. We went to Linder's for a meeting. Annie Swing went with me there, and then Helen went with me home. Amanda Edlund and Annie Swing were here for supper. In the evening, we went to Sjödin's and had fun. We stayed until 1AM. Martha accompanied me home.
30 Mon. We started to make hay. It was quite hot.
31 Tue. We made hay all day. It was hot, but nice. It's very dry now - it has never been this dry before when we've been making hay.
1 Wed. Hot. We gathered the first hay-stacks.
2 Thu. We cut and gathered hay. Then I went to Nickander's.
3 Fri. We made two large hay-stacks. Ida was here and helped us gather the hay.
4 Sat. We cut down more hay, and then we stacked it in 8 hay-stacks. It rained in the evening, and we had some thunder.
5 Sun. It rained almost the entire day. In the evening, August Lindstrand, Andrew Hasselius, Amanda Edlund, Erik Wallin, and Jonas Kelly came. We stayed up until midnight. Then we went to bed upstairs. Jonas, Andrew and Amanda stayed overnight here.
6 Mon. We cleared, and in the afternoon, I harnessed the horses.
7 Tue. It rained hard during the night. Ida and dad were planning on going to Aitkin, but they didn't. We cleared. Ida and I went to Swing.
8 Wed. It rained. Ida and dad went to Aitkin. I cut down underbrush.
9 Thu. We cleared in the pasture. Then I went home with Mary Kolin. It was fun.
10 Fri. We harnessed the horses, and started breaking.
11 Sat. We were breaking. It was cloudy and cool. We have had rain now every night for a week.
12 Sun. We stayed at home until noon. Then came over Matt, Erik Wallin, Agnes Lindström and the Kolin girls. We went to Lundmark, then to Sievert and Gus Andersson, and then we went home. Then Sievert came, and we got a lift with him to Peterson's, where we stayed until midnight. Then Mary and I went home.
13 Mon. We cleared land. It was hot.
14 Tue. We cut [underbrush]. Then we went fishing, Ida, Maggie Mallberg, Amanda Edlund and I, in Long Lake. Maggie and Amanda went with us home afterwards. Then I drove them home. Wallin's came and cleared, and then went fishing.
15 Wed. we cleared land until night. Then Maria Kolin and Carolina came. We had fun. They sang and played, and stayed until late evening.
16 Thu. We went to the hay-meadow to stack hay, but it rained too much.
17 Fri. I harnessed the horses and went to Edlund's to pick up the double box. Then we were visited by Hasselius, Otto Jonson, Erik, Jonas Kelly, and Anne Lingroth.
18 Sat. I went to Aitkin with two steers. I hauled them in the carriage, and it went well. Andrew Swing went with me. I paid Knox, and let Andersson keep $10. In the evening, I went out to Kolin.
19 Sun. Went out to Mille Lacs. There were 4 of us. We had nice weather. Annie Skenk rode with me, and so did Mary Kolin, Caroline Kolin and Lena Edlund. We got home at 5PM.
20 Mon. We harvested oats. It rained.
21 Tue. I went to an auction and got myself a horse for $10.10.
22 Wed. It rained a lot. Amanda, Ole Edlund and Hasselius visited. In the evening, we went to Nickander's.
23 Thu. Ida went home with Annie Skenk. Amanda (Edlund) went with them.
24 Fri. We harvested the oat. It was raining and wet.
25 Sat. We did some breaking. We used Kelly's horses, too.
26 Sun. We went to a meeting at 10AM. Then we went to Zackrisson's for supper. In the evening, we went to Kolin's. There were many girls and boys, and we stayed until midnight.
27 Mon. Linder was here. We harvested wheat. It was hot.
28 Tue. I cleared in the pasture.
29 Wed. Dad felt weak. I cleared. It was hot. We went to Kolin's to have a seat forged in the carriage. In the evening, I took a ride with the new horses.
30 Thu. I cleared and cut down [brushes] in the pasture. Went to see Edlund.
31 Fri. I went to Edlund's and cleared. Then I helped Lind. Nice and warm weather.
1 Sat. Gathered the wheat and the oats. In the evening, I visited Kolin's, with Andrew, Ida and Anne Lingroth.
2 Sun. We stayed at home all day. In the evening, Matt Nickander came here first, and then came Jonas, Ole, Andrew, Annie Swing and the Sjödin boys.
3 Mon. We cleared, and so on. Nice weather.
4 Tue. I went to Aitkin and bartered. i gathered 4 sacks with roots. Matt went with me, and so did Andrew Lind and Lena Edlund.
5 Wed. We cleared today. Nice weather.
6 Thu. Cleared.
7 Fri. We cleared. Lind was here.
8 Sat. We went to a town meeting, and it was fun to listen to. Åsberg went with me home.
9 Sun. In the evening we went to Wallin's where we had a good time.
10 Mon. Åsberg was here. It rained. Some went to Clear Lake. We had a school meeting at our place.
11 Tue. We started harvesting the corn. We have a good harvest.
12 Wed. We stacked hay today.
13 Thu. We looked for the horses.
14 Thu. We finished the clearing on the meadow.
15 Fri. We went to Aitkin in the morning. Ida came along. I showcased my roots, and I won first prize.
16 Sat. Rain. I borrowed $150 from Duluth to pay a pledge. We went home in the evening. It was cool and windy.
17 Sun. I delivered flour to Lingroth, and then sill to Swing's. Paul came here, and so did Jonas, Edlund and Kolin. Mom and dad visited Åsberg's. Mary, Eva, Annie and Anne Lingroth were here. We went to Clear Lake and then back here, where we had fun.
18 Mon. Nice weather. We finished our work on the meadow with one horse.
19 Tue. We started to cut down the sugar corn. George Morin picked up Ida.
20 Wed. I went to Aitkin and paid my pledge (Kolander), and a note in the bank. I had dinner at Skenk's. I hauled for Lingroth. Lind visited us.
21 Thu. We hauled sugar corn to the mill at Long Lake.
22 Fri. I started plowing. In the evening, I picked up the syrup at Long Lake. We cut the timothy a second time.
23 Sat. I went to Farm Island (Township) and picked up wood shavings for Lind and, ordered sidings for the house.
24 Sun. In the morning I went to Linder's. Then they drove me to Kolin's with their wild horses. Lind was here, and so was Olson from Clear Lake. Then I went to Lingroth's, and in the evening we went to Swing's. We then went to Eva's, where we were treated to water-melons. Hilma Lundmark was there, too. We had fun in the evening. It was Erik Wallin and I, plus Annie Swing, Eva, and Hilma Lundmark.
25 Mon. I began to plow. It started to rain. Dad started to take up the potatoes.
26 Tue. Went to Farm Island Township to get some lumber for Lind, and to order some for myself for $8.
27 Wed. I went to Aitkin to pick up lumber for Kelly. We went to Skenk's for dinner. I sent for a belt for dad.
28 Thu. Hauled in the corn and the straw, and plowed.
29 Fri. Plowed. Nice weather. Hauled in hay.
30 Sat. We plowed.
31 Sun. Nice weather. Warm. Michaelmas Day. In the morning, I visited Kolin's. When I came home, Erik and Jonas came, and we went to Nickander's. Ole Sjödin was there and he then went to Kolin's. In the evening, I went home with Erik. Then I went to see Annie Swing, where I stayed until midnight.
1 Mon. Nice weather. Oscar, dad and I made hay out at the swamps, and hauled it home. In the evening, I went to Swing with lanterns.
2 Tue. Dad went to Farmer's Land for lumber, and I dug up potatoes. In the evening I went to Linder's where I had a conversation with Mrs. Linder. Thunder and rain all night.
3 Wed. I plowed. It was hot. Dad dug up potatoes. We now have all the crops indoors.
4 Thu. I plowed. It was nice weather. I used three horses.
5 Fri. I plowed. We picked up some hay we had harvested at the meadows. Nice and warm but rain in the evening.
6 Sat. Thunder and rain, and windy. I did some plowing.
7 Sun. I went to Edlund's, and after that I ran into Eva, Anne Lingroth and Erik Wallin. We went to Hallberg's, and then to Petersson for a meeting. Finally we visited Sjödin's, where we stayed until the middle of the night. Then I went with Anne Lingroth home.
8 Mon. Nice weather. We picked up the hay. Mrs. Sjödin was here.
9 Tue. Dad visited Kolin and dug up potatoes. I finished the plowing.
10 Wed. We cut some wood. Nice weather. I got a letter from Helena.
11 Thu. Nice weather. I went to Aitkin where I was paid for my fire duties and the rutabaga, too.
12 Fri. We were breaking. In the evening I went to Sievert and Jan Swanson, and then I visited Annie Swing.
13 Sat. There was a meeting at Edlund's. In the morning, we burned roots and stubs.
14 Sun. Nice weather. I went to Annie Swing, where I stayed until 5PM. James, Erik Wallin, Reinhold Andersson, Andrew Hasselius and Jonas Kelly were there, too. we then went to Bodin's and had a good time. I got home at 4AM.
15 Mon. We worked with the breaking, and did some burning.
16 Tue. We cleared the breaking.
17 Wed. We were breaking, and we used 4 horses. I went with Hilma Lundmark to Hägglund's.
18 Thu. We finished the breaking. Nice and warm weather.
19 Fri. We began putting up the siding on the kitchen. Ida got home. Mom was in Aitkin with Kolin. Pilström held a political rally for the Republicans at Louis Swing's.
20 Sat. We put up the siding. In the evening, we went out to Long Lake to listen to Trulson, but he wasn't there.
21 Sun. A little rain. We went to Kolin's in the afternoon and had a lot of fun. Many people were there.
22 Mon. I went to Aitkin to get some fruit trees. Ole came along, and Nilsson got a lift back with me. I met many people I know, and we had a good time.
23 Tue. We worked on the kitchen.
24 Wed. Rain. We worked on the kitchen.
25 Thu. We went to Long Lake for a political meeting. There were many speakers.
26 Fri. Rainy and cloudy.
27 Sat. We went to Mallberg's school class and listened to Mr. Tru and good music.
28 Sun. I stayed at home all day. In the evening, I went to see Annie Swing. Anne Lingroth visited here, as did Matt and Ole Edlund. We had a good time.
29 Mon. I went to Aitkin. Ida went with me.
30 Tue. We worked with putting up the sidings.
31 Wed. We went to Mille Lac fishing, but we didn't catch anything.
1 Thu. We came back home. Then we swamped.
2 Fri. We did a little bit of everything. We have nice weather.
3 Sat. We planted trees half of the day.
4 Sun. Charlie Jonson came home with Ida. Erik Wallin came also. Hägglund also came here and took some pictures. In the evening, we went up the creek. Then we visited Swing's and then Hedberg, where we stayed until 11PM.
5 Mon. Anne Lingroth and I went to Aitkin, where there were a lot of politics going on. Later on, in the evening, there was a meeting in Long Lake School, and we were there. Matt gave us a lift there. We had a good time.
6 Tue. Meetings again. We went to Long Lake. I drove.
7 Wed. We slaughtered the pig. It was a cold and windy day.
8 Thu. We went towards Mille Lac to fish, but we turned around.
9 Fri. We cut lumber for a stable.
10 Sat. Dad and Ida went to Aitkin.
11 Sun. I went to Hägglund's. In the evening, I visited Hedberg's, where we had fun. Ida and Maggie went to a meeting at Mallberg's School and listened to Salstrom.
21 Wed. We cleaned fish. It was snowing in the evening.
22 Thu. We started to haul manure. Cold and snowing.
23 Fri. We finished the manure project. I sold fish for $7.50.
24 Sat. I went to the Post Office, and then I visited Kolin and had a forgery job done. The weather was better.
**Miscellanies notations from back of Diary:
1900 - May 18, April hasn't been this warm since 1870, 30 years ago. Not have much snow. On May 12, we had 92° in the shade.
Wanamaker's in Philadelphia has a store that occupies an area of 14 acres. 4,000 people work there. He is a Christian man, and a Sunday school teacher.
The largest street in Philadelphia is 110' wide, and the longest street there is about 12 miles long.
In 1624, the first Swedish settlers came here.
Yale University has 129 teachers and 15,000 students.
Harvard University has 160 teachers, and it covers an area of 22 acres. Its total budget is $250,000.
The hot air balloonist, Howell, was married in a balloon to Mrs. Andrews.
On the 24th, I started working for Mr. L. Eklund. I sawed and Jonas swamped. We like it here. He has a good wife. She is religious. On January 15, 16 and 17, the weather was good, but it's been cold ever since.
On May 13, we visited a fine family and got some butter, and milk to drink. They didn't speak much English.
We worked only one day for Homan Potato King and then we had had enough of him. It was a bad camp. Jonas and I swamped that day. On the morning of the 23rd, we packed up our things and left for Aitkin, to thank Mr Hurd for the horse ride he gave us up to Swan River, through oak and the elm forests. We had 10 miles up to Swan River and 35 miles up to grand Rapid, and we were three miles north of Swan River's headquarters. We carried our bags on our backs, and started to walk. We talked about how stupid we were to go up here with this old, little man.
We had a good dinner at Mrs. Dahlgren's, where also Joe Jonson stayed. We then went to Lundström's and worked, and that was much better; good food, a nice, comfortable room, and other nice things.
On October 11, I went from Aitkin to walk to Thompson's Camp. We got there on the 11th. It was a mean road to walk, with swamps and water holes, so you had to wade up to you knees in water.
On December 18, I had to leave, I was sick. I received $96.
Then I stayed at home until January 16, when I went to Aitkin. I stayed there until the 20th, when Eklund, Jonas Kelly, Joe Jonson and I went out for Hurd 50, up from Aitkin. We got a lift most of the way. There wasn't much snow, so they used a carriage. The first day, we went up to Pete Sanders, and we had dinner at Hovie's Home Farm. The second day we walked up to the camp. We had dinner at Wilson's. But when we arrived at Mr. Hurd's Camp to have supper, all we got was cold bacon and cold potatoes, which made us quite pale.
Bicycle Race--In December, of 1897, a Miller from Chicago won the 6-day's bicycle race, covering 2,093 miles. He beat the next man by 185 miles, and he covered 348 miles a day.
Wheat Prices were 98 cent. By January 29, it was $1.10
Warship Marine was destroyed on February 15, in Havana harbor. 260 men perished.
The most severe snowstorm in the western US occurred on March 25, 1898.
Calumet and Heda Copper Mines are the deepest on earth. Every day, 5,000 tons of copper is brought up from a deep of 3,800'. The deepest spot is 4,900'. There are 5,000 men working there. Of the material extracted there in 1898, 48,879 tons were pure ore.
In 1898, the total deaths and injuries on railroads amounted to 47,741, of which 6,859 were deaths.
On September 28, 1899, it snowed and we had a cold wind.
The old man Backin died on June 26. He was buried at home on their own land.
Nickander's baby died on July 20. He was buried on Section 10, by the church (Bethlehem Church).
On the July 22nd, Mrs. Jakob Hansen died in Aitkin. She was buried on Section 10.
Ger Petersson had a child who died in June. Buried on Sept. 10.
On August 18, the lightning struck our barn.
My cousin, Sophie Edlund, died on April 21, 1889, in the afternoon. Ida was with her during her last seconds. I visited her on Thursday. She was conscious, and she bid farewell to everybody there. Her last words were, "You have been a child of God and returned. Isn't it better to be a child of God?" Doctor Grape visited her, but it was probably too late. She had been sick for one week, in pneumonia. On the 10th, a Sunday night, she told us she would visit us next Thursday, and she said she was looking forward to all the fun we would have. On the 12th, Sophie was visiting us, and we had fun. But that turned out to be the last time she visited us. She is deeply missed by her childhood friends.
Number of newspapers being printed-12,000,000,000 papers are printed annually around the world. For this, 781,250 tons of paper is needed. All these papers lined up next to each other, would cover an area of 160,000 sq. miles, or twice the size of Minnesota. If they were piled on top of each other, they would reach a height of 850 miles.
The world's most expensive book is a book about the American Civil War will cost about $3 million. It consists of 112 large volumes, with 171 pictures depicting important fortresses and battle fields. The printing and binding has cost $1 million.
The world's largest man is Canon Berg St Dennis St Matoe, Paris. He is 6'1" tall from his feet to the top of his head. He weighs 520 lbs. He has a brother who weighs 350 lbs. Canon Berg has small hands and feet.
Sweden has 50,000 telephones and 63,000 miles of cable.
Every week there are 40 million people using trains.
In 1897, 80,000 pianos will be manufactured in America.
1.5 million clocks and watches are sold in the US annually.
The Wictoria Rubber tree is the tallest of them all - 300 feet.
In Brussels, Belgium, there is a clock which never needs winding. It uses wind power.
The people in the US read more papers than those in England, France and Germany.
In Washington DC there are 20,000 book-keepers and clerks. One third are women.
Addresses: The Land of Nordenskjold
Nilson and Norlander, Northwestern agents
Dominion Steamship Line, 14 Wash. Ave., South Minneapolis
Map of Minnesota-Svensk-Amerikanska Posten's Bookstore
53 S., 4th St., Minneapolis
-In the year 1901
Jan. 1. We went up to Pete Hanson's Camp. It was cold.
Jan. 11. The first day I peeled 125 posts (fence). Nice weather.
April 11. Maria Hägglund celebrated her birthday. The Damefalser's were here and others. We stayed up until midnight.
Trip of Discovery---Cal and Betty (Nickander) Wall
By Randy Calvin Wall
In July of 1997 my parents, Betty and Cal, went back to where mother’s parents came from, SWEDEN. Two of their children, myself and Mike went with. Mike brought his special friend, Cathy Rannels. When the relatives heard Betty and Cal were going, they jumped on board. Their Niece Sue (Nickander) Johnson and her husband Bob and daughter Kristen went; Sue’s two brothers also came with, Gary and Joan Nickander and Rod and Kay Nickander. Then Joe and Gloria (Swanson) Copley also came along. We were 14 total. A group of Nickander’s and Swanson’s bonding to go to Sweden. Back to their roots. Since the first book came out on the two families and found all the relatives and birth places of the ancestors, everyone knew it truly was a “Trip of Discovery.” We spent 21 days there and everyday was perfect. Low 80°’s and no humidity. There were three family reunions, a formal dinner party with musicians and a cousins’ wedding we were able to attend. Betty’s mother, Ida Swanson, came from Medelpad, by Fränsta and her father, Matt Nickander, came from Klövsjö, in Jämtland. What a thrill to see mother at the birth place of her parents, especially with so many of her own family members along. There were stories not only in the newspapers here in Minnesota; Aitkin Age and New Brighton Bulletin, but also in four newspapers in Sweden, from the areas that we visited. Well documented journey.
I will never forget the moment Gloria step in front of everyone and stood on a rock ledge that was once the doorway to a home that was built there. This home is the place where her father was born, Erick Swanson and Gloria came back to Sweden, and traveled many miles across country, to Mållång, and turned to all of us at this special place, and welcomed us to her father’s home. None of the buildings stand anymore but a man who knew where it was, marked it on a tree the spot where they lived. You should have heard the quietness that came over the forest when Gloria started to speak to all of us. And we were a big group there at her father’s home, 24 of us at least, with a minister and a newspaper reporter. The sun broke out as she spoke and she said he is watching her today and is so happy that she had made this journey. Tears were in everybody’s eyes. As my mother Betty stepped on the rock ledge, she said, “we came for coffee.” Then the man that marked everything told the interpreter (the local minister from the village) about the house and farm. How it used to be. What a great day for all of us. What a day for Gloria.
I hope our journey inspirers others to go to Sweden. We have so many relatives there today, that we found from doing research, who will Välkommen you into their Homes. You must go!
The Wall family also just put out a history on Cal. His ancestor’s came from England and Ireland and one family line has been here through all the war’s in America history. We found the family farm in Ireland (Four Ash Trees) and where Cal’s great grandfather carved his name on the Oregon Trail.
Today it is known as the Diamond Lake Cemetery at Maria Chapel. The cemetery was started in 1891 and the church was built in 1889. In the past it started out as the Mud Lake Cemetery after Mud Lake and Mud River. Later in the 1940’s, Mud Lake was renamed Ripple Lake and Mud River became Ripple River. Also the cemetery was known as Maria Cemetery. It is so confusing when you see many references to the same place, with different names. I’m glad they got rid of the name MUD.
Being buried here you have eternal fishing rights for Diamond Lake and Ripple Lake and River. Visit it soon and see the beautiful cemetery and church, nestled on the waterways there.
Special Thanks to Randy Wall of Mounds View, in the "Twin Cities" of Minnesota, USA.
for supplying the above information
If you have any information please contact Randy Wall
your questions or comments to Jude at
Jude's Family & Local History