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Leafstedt Family History - Hawarden


Posted By: Wilma J. Vande Berg - volunteer (email)
Date: 5/2/2020 at 11:21:56

From the Hawarden Centennial Book 1887-198 – One Hundred Years on the Right Track
Pages 695 -698. Authored by: Don A. Leafstedt

Leafstead Family History

My paternal grandparents were Carl Johan Leadstedt (lofstedt) and Ida Charlotte Leaftstedt. Carl J. Lofstedt was born on Feb 27, 1837, in Westergotland Sweden. His parents died when he was 7 years of age and he was raised by neighbors and friends. In Aug , 1862 he moved to Vredstrop Sweden.

He married Charlotte Bengtson on Dec 12, 1862, and they had one son, Rudolph. His wife died in Mar of 1865, and he married Ida Charlotte Anderson on May 25, 1866. They had three sons, Edward, Fritz and Helmer and also one daughter, Ida Otilla who died when she was 6.

Ida Charlotte Anderson was born on Nov 22, 1843, in Welby Parish Sweden, one of seven children. She resided with her husband in Wredstrop Sweden and migrated with him to America, where on May 12 1888, they settled in Union Co. SD. In 1890 they moved to a farm within a mile south of Hawarden, IA. Carl J. Leafstedt died on July 18, 1911 at Hawarden and Ida Charlotte died on Apr 21, 19141 at Hawarden. Obits of Carl and Ida are at the end of this Bio.

My maternal grandparents were Charles August Ericson and Adelaide Marie Ericson. Charles August Ericson was born Aug 23, 1853 in Wrestrop, Nerke, Sweden. In June of 1872, he migrated to America with his parents and soon after that settled on homestead about seven miles SW of Hawarden in Union Co., SD. On Sept 21, 1877, he was married to Adelaide Anderton. They had five sons, Jalmer, Arnold Albert, Ted and Eldon and one daughter Mabel. Adelaide Marie Anderton was born on Mar 16, 1860 in Milwaukee, WI. She traveled with her family from Milwaukee by horse and wagon arriving in Union Co. (The Dakota Territory) on May1874. As their home was a stopping place for a Sioux City /Sioux Falls Stage, she and her sisters served meals to the passengers. C. A. and Adelaide lived in a log house on the land he had homesteaded for seven years before another house was built. In the fall of 1909, they moved to Hawarden and resided at what is now 801 Ave A. Carl August Ericson died on Sept 3, 1923, at Hawarden and Adelaide Marie Ericson died on May 18, 1941 at Hawarden.

My father, Helmer E. Leafstedt, was born on Jan 18, 1881, in Vrestrop, Sweden. At the age of 7 he migrated to the US with his parents and on May 12, 1888, they settled on a farm in Union Co.SD. In 1890, they moved to a farm just south of Hawarden where he attended the Dunham Rural School and Hawarden Schools.

My mother, Mabel J. Ericson, was born on Dec 3, 1884, in Union Co., SD. She attended the Ring Rural School and assisted her mother with household duties and chores. In the fall of 1909, she moved with her parents to Hawarden.

On June 29, 1910, Helmer and Mabel were united in marriage at her home in Hawarden. They had two sons, Don and Kay. After their marriage, they spent a brief time on a ranch he owned in Montana, where they encountered wind, dust and prairie fires that came too close to their buildings and very lonely existence with no close neighbors. They moved back to Hawarden and in Jan of 1911, he, along with his brother Fritz and Fred Vernon, started a men’s clothing store known as Leafstedt’s and Vernon.

My parents lived in a house at 1102 Ave. E. until they moved to a house owned by Helmer’s brother Fritz at 1105 9th St. in 1918 they moved into a new residence they had built at 111 9th St. where they lived until 1935, when they moved into a home at 301 Ave A with my maternal grandmother.

Leafstedt’s and Vernon clothing store was originally located in what is now the north part of the Ben Franklin Store on the west side of Central Ave. About 1920 they moved into a newly constructed building, owned by Fritz located where the Independent is now. On July 31, 1931 the business was sold to Charles Joels and John Boukans of Clarinda IA. Helmer traveled from 1931 to 1935, first as wholesale clothing and then insurance company representative, and then started Leafstedt Insurance Agency in Hawarden.

My father was an active member of Dale Lodge #456 and my mother a member of OES Loyal Chapter #204 both Masonic Organizations in Hawarden. They both were faithful and active members of Hawarden Baptist church.

I remember my mother as a very loving woman, very meticulous in everything. Her interests centered on the home, especially cooking, sewing and gardening. My father had a very friendly outgoing personality with made friends with anyone easily, a natural born salesman.

Mabel Leafstedt died on Sept 28, 1948 in Hawarden and Helmer Leafstedt died on Oct 24, 1964 in Hawarden.

I was born in Hawarden, Sioux County IA on March 16, 1919. My father was Helmer Leafstedt and my mother was Mabel Leafstedt. Kay Dean was my only brother and was born March 22, 1928. We lived in our home at 1111 9th St. which my father had built in 1918. In 1935 we moved in with my maternal grandmother at 801 Ave. A,, which I called home or home base until 1966 when we moved to 1224 10th St. and where we presently reside. The early years of my live were spent entirely in Hawarden.

The school I first attended was the Grand Old Red Sioux Falls Granite, three story building which was situated on Ave. I. between 12th and 13th Streets. I spent many hours there, starting with Kindergarten and continuing through grade and junior high school. Learning under the tutorage of some wonderful people such as Mary Willemsen and Inex Hilton. It was then on to high school where I spent four years with educators like Marion Meeter, and Lois Pierce and Herbert Britzman. I have special memories of being in the band, choral group, and the debate squat. During those years I was a Des Moines Register carrier and worked for R. W. Brown in his Piggly Wiggly and Gamble Store, and also worked at Burington Gravel on summer.

After high School I attended Sioux Falls College and worked at Owl Drug Co. in Sioux Falls, SD. In 1942, I entered the armed forces and served in the Army Medical Department as a Medical Lab Technician. Clerical Positions and Postal Services. I received my discharge in 1944.

On September 22, 1945, Margaret Jean Scott and I were united in marriage in Hawarden. Margaret Jean Scott was born on Feb 28, 1926, in Hawarden, the daughter of Herbert C. Scott and Ida Scott. She had two brothers Paul and Wayne and three sisters Evelyn, Dorothy and Madeline. Margaret lived her childhood on a farm about 5 miles SW of Hawarden and attended the Scott Dist. Rural School and was active in Union Co. 4H. She then attended Hawarden High School where she was an active member of the band and choral groups. After graduation she taught a rural school in Union C., SD and later accompanied her sister and family to Tacoma, Washington where she was employed in an Aircraft Defense Plant.

In the fall of 1945, I received an appointment as contract representative for the U. S. Veterans Administration. After spending several months in Des Moines living in Hotels as other living quarters were so limited, we were transferred to Waterloo where we found the same housing conditions and had to resort to hotel living again. I was then assigned to an open V. S. office in Sheldon where we managed to find a small apartment. In 1947, I learned the Sheldon V. A. office was going to close, so I resigned and we moved back to Hawarden staying with our parents until we could find suitable quarters.

We finally found a small cottage about 2 miles west of Hawarden on the banks of the Big Sioux River known as the “Wigg Place’ This was to be a memorable experience as there was no plumbing, electricity or other conveniences and our cooking was done on a wood coal range or a three burner kerosene stove. Our heating was a large beautiful hard coal heater and our water for drinking came from a spring through a pipe from the side of a hill.

During those years, I started the career of an Insurance Agent. After my mother’s death in Sept of 1940, my father and I formed the partnership of Leafsted Insurance Agency.

There were two bad fires at my father’s home with about a years time, so in the spring of 1950, after some remodeling and renovating, we moved into the first Floor and my father lived on the second floor of the home at 801 Ave. A. On Sept 2, 1952, we met and brought home our daughter, Wendee Jean and on Jan 19, 1957, our son Don Kirk came to live with us.. Wendee and Kirk brought much happiness to our family and we were all saddened by Wendee’s death on May 18, 1969.

In Nov of 1960, I was elected to the Hawarden City Council and served until Oct of 1963, when I was appointed to succeed Elmer Ericson as Hawarden City Clerk. I retired on Dec 31, 1981, after spending 10 years with the city of Hawarden and was then able to devote more time to the insurance agency and to squeeze in some time for my hobbies, and to serve as a trustee on the NW Iowa Regional Library Board.

Besides helping me in the Insurance Agency, Margaret was appointed executive secretary of the Sioux County Veterans affairs and is serving in that capacity at the present time. Margaret and I are members of the Hawarden Associated Church Boards, and have been active by both of us serving on church boards. We are both active or have been in the masonic order. Margaret served in several offices of Loyal Chapter and served as Worth Matron when I assisted her as Worthy Patron. I have been a member of Dale Lodge since 1948, and after holding other positions, served as worshipful master in 1954, I am also affiliated with the Hawarden chapter, Royal Arch Masons and the Sioux /city IA Consistory, Scottish Rite Bodies. From 1873 thru 1976. I was a director on the Sioux County Bicentennial Committee.

I have some memories of living through some rough times, such as the floods of 1926 and 1952, and the Depression and Drought in the thirties. I was seven years old in Sept of 1926 and can remember having to go to school in a rainstorm. School was dismissed in the early afternoon. We were all sent home because of the high water in dry creek. The creek was still containing the water but a couple hours later the water was on Ave. K, about a block west of our homes. About an hour later the water had risen to cover the street and into many homes, fulling their basements. The business places on Main St. had water on their main floor and filled basements. We were lucky as our home was far enough up the hill on Ninth St.,, but my father’s clothing store was flooded and he considerable damage.

The flood of 1952 was also a disaster. I can recall watching the water cross the railroad and start into the west part of town. In a few short hours the water was surrounding our neighbors’ homes just across the street from us.

The Depression Era of the Thirties was an experience that is etched in the memory of those that lived at that time. Due to the drought, the dust storms would come and no matter how a building was sealed, there would be a layer of dust on everything. My father was traveling and we rented all available rooms and slept on day beds in the living room. My mother cooked the evening meals for about twelve people, mostly teachers so we managed to eat, have clothes and etc. One of the first jobs I had paid three dollars a week and other jobs paid ten cents an hour.

There were other remembrances, but too many to elaborate on such as: The Hawarden Script, The fourth of July Celebrations, my uncle taking me swimming in the Big Sioux River, my years as a Boy Scout. The old Gladstone and Lilley Hotels, Seals Tavern, downtown Hawarden on Saturday evenings, and so on and so on!

Hawarden Independent of July 20, 1911
Death of C. J. Leafstedt
C. J. Leafstedt died at two o'clock Tuesday morning at the home of his son Fritz, two miles south of Hawarden. He had been quite feeble for several years and for the past year had been confined to his bed the greater part of the time. The deceased was a native of Sweden and was in his 74th year.
He came to Big Springs in 1888 and farmed there for some time. A number of years ago he came to Hawarden with his wife and younger sons and has made his home on a farm south of town since that lime.
The funeral was held at the home at 11 o'clock this morning and the body was then taken to the cemetery at Big Springs for burial.
Besides his aged wife he leaves four sons, J. R. and Edward of Big Springs and Fritz and Helmer of Hawarden, to mourn his death.
(from C. J.'s obit, his name was Carl, his wife was Charlotta Nilson)

Hawarden Independent of Apr 23, 1914
Mrs. C. J. Leafstedt died at the home of hef son, Fritz L. Leafstedt, in Hawarden, Iowa, on Tuesday, April 21, 1914, at 2 o'clock a.m. after a very brief illness and almost without pain, aged seventy years, four months and twenty-eight days, the immediate cause of death being a combination of asthmatic and pneumonic condition.
Ida Charlotta Nilson was born in Wiby Parish, Sweden,Nov.22, 1843. She was the next to the youngest of a family of nine, two of whom died in infancy and two, Frans L. Anderson of Union County, SD, and A. G. Anderson, now of Long Beach CA survive her.
She was united in marriage to Carl J. Leafstedt May 25, 1866, and this union was blessed with four children, three sons, Edward, Fritz L. and Helmer J. and a daughter, Ida O., who died at the age of six years. The sons, with a stepson, John Rudolph, whom she mothered almost from babyhood, all reside in this vicinity and survive to mourn her and bless her memory.
She resided with her husband at Wredstorp, Sweden, a small country town, where they were engaged in various business activities until May 12, 1888, when they emigrated to America at Big Springs. In 1890 they moved to the vicinity of Hawarden and continued to reside on their farm until this spring when a residence was acquired and remodeled in town, in order that
greater ease and more comforts might be secured in her declining years, but where only a few weeks were spent for she was destined for higher mansions.
Her husband, Carl Johan, preceded her in death, July 18,1911,and since that time her son, Fritz L., has tenderly cared for her and has been an almost constant companion to her. They had anticipated much joy in a continued companionship, with the comforts of their newly acquired home and her son, more than others, will miss her. At a very early age she made public profession of religion and became a member, while still in Sweden, of the Baptist church.
But irrespective of whether her name graces any church roll or not, her name was written in the Lamb's Book of Life and her fame indelibly inscribed with the impress of many deeds of love on the hearts of her children and numerous friends.
Throughout her life she endeared herself to all with whom she had relations by reason of her cheerful disposition, delight in doing kindnesses, more than ordinary store of information, gained through much reading, and
constancy in friendship.
She realized that she must die and stated, among her last words, that she was ready and willing to go. Let her memory be cherished
Funeral services will be at the home at 11 o'clock Friday morning. Interment will be made at the Big Springs cemetery.

Hawarden Independent of Oct 28, 1954
Helmer E. Leafstedt, 73, Hawarden business man, died last Thursday after an illness of six weeks. He became ill September, 12 and was bedfast from that time on.
A son of Carl J. and Charlotte Leafstedt, he was born January 18, 1881, in Vrestorp, Narke, Sweden, and came ,to America with his parents at the age of seven. They settled in Big Springs township, Union county SD,but shortly after they moved onto a farm south of Hawarden.
On June 29, 1910, he married Miss Mabel J. Ericson, who preceded him in death September 28, 1948.
He united with the Big Springs Baptist church and later transferred his membership to the First Baptist church in Hawarden and served as an active member.
He was a member of Dale Lodge No. 456 A. F. & A. M. and Loyal Chapter No. 204, Order of Eastern Star of Hawarden. In 1934 he served as worshipful master of Dale Lodge.
In 1911, he and his brother Fritz, and Fred Vernon formed the partnership of Leafstedts and
Vernon, a retail clothing store in Hawarden. This business was sold in 1931. He traveled as a
salesman for a few years and in 1935 entered the insurance business.
The partnership of Leafstedt Insurance agency was formed in 1948, at which ,time he took his son Don into business with him. He was active in his work until his last illness. Besides his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by three brothers, Fritz, Ed and Rudolph.
He is survived by two sons, Kay of Fort Madison, Iowa, and Don of Hawarden, and one granddaughter.
Funeral services were held at 2:30 Saturday afternoon at the Barnard Funeral home and at 3 o'clock in the First Baptist church with Rev. Paul Williams officiating. James Squier, with Mrs. J. E. Tiigner as accompanist, sang "Star of the East" and "Beyond the Sunset'' Members of the Masonic lodge attended the services n a body and conducted the Masonic rites at the grave with Everett Hamilton acting as worshipful master.
Out of town relatives and friends wiho attended the funeral included Scott Mdntyre, Harvey Lynch and Bernard Moore, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mr. and rs. Leslie Leafstedt and Misses Hulda, Della and Anne Ericson, Sioux Falls, S. D., Miss Ella Leafstedt, Sioux City, Mrs. K. C. Van Brammer, Denison, Iowa, Roy Ford, Storm Lake, Iowa, Mrs. Charles Reaves, Lake Andes, S. D., Mr. and Mrs.
Ted Ericson, Ruthven, Minn., and Mrs. Fred Meinjohans and Darlo, Florence, Minn

Hawarden Independent of Sept 30, 1948
Funeral services for Mrs. Helmer Leafstedt, 65, who died at the Hawarden hospital Tuesday afternoon will be held at 1:30 at the Barnard Funeral home and at 2 o'clock at the Baptist
church tomorrow afternoon. Rev. Leon Nelson will officiate and burial will be in Grace Hill cemetery.
Mrs. Leafstedt had been in poor health about two years and last January submitted to an operation. Later she sought medical aid at Denver. She was taken to the hospital about two and a half weeks preceding her death.
Mabel Ericson, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Ericson, was born in Union county and spent practically all her life in Hawarden and vicinity.
She married Helmer Leafstedt June 29, 1910.
When still a resident of Big Springs she united with the Baptist church and later transferred her membership to the Baptist church in Hawarden.
She was also a member of the Ladies Aid and the Good Will class of this church. She was a member of the Hawarden Eastern Star chapter.
Survivors are her husband and two sons, Don and Kay of Hawarden, and four brothers, Albert Ericson of Silverton, Ore., Arnold of Isanti, Minn., C. T. of Ruthton, Minn., and Eldon of Hawarden; She wis preceded in death in Union county by her parents and a brother Jalmer.

Don A. Leafstedt, 73 of Hawarden died Friday, Dec. 18, 1992, at McKennan Hosptial in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Services were Tuesday, at the Associated church in Hawarden with Rev. Fredrich Mellberg officiating, Burial was in Grace Hill cemetery, under direction of Porter-Dow Funeral Home.
Mr. Leafstedt was born March 16, 1919, in Hawarden, the son of Helmer and Mabel (Ericson) Leafstedt. He graduated from the Hawarden High School in 1937 and attended Sioux Falls (S.D.) college. In 1942, he entered the armed forces and served in the army medical department as a medical lab technician, clerical positions and postal services, until his discharge in 1944.
He married Margaret J. Scott Sept. 22, 1945, in while he was a contract representative for the U.S. Veterans Administration, returning to Hawarden in 1947. He and his father formed the Leafstedt Insurance Agency in September 1948. In November 1960, he was elected to the Hawarden city council and was appointed Hawarden city clerk in Oct. 1963. He retired Dec. 31, 1981. Mr. Leafstedt served as a trustee on the Northwest Iowa regional library board. He was a member of the Associated church, the Royal Arch Masons, Sioux City consistory, Scottish Rite Bodies and Dale Masonic Lodge since 1948,
Survivors include his wife; a son, Don Kirk and his wife, Rita of Mason City; a brother, Kay and his wife. Marilvn of Oelwein; two grandchildren, Emily and Katie; ana two nepnews, Mark and Jon.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and a daughter, Wendee Jean Leafstedt.
Akron Register Tribune
Thursday, December 24, 1992
Akron, Iowa

Margaret J. Leafstedt, 83, of Hawarden, IA, died Thursday, November 19, 2009 at the Hillcrest Health Care Center in Hawarden. Funeral services were held November 23 at the United Church in Hawarden with Pastor Dan Lozer officiating. Burial followed in the Grace Hill Cemetery.
Margaret Jean Leafstedt was born February 28, 1926 in Hawarden, IA, the daughter of Herbert C. and Ida Mae (Crowther) Scott. She received her early education at Scott School and graduated from Hawarden High School in 1944.
Margaret married Don A. Leafstedt on September 22, 1945 in Hawarden. They made their home in Hawarden where they raised their children, Wendee Jean and Don “Kirk” Leafstedt. Margaret assisted Don in the operation of Leafstedt Insurance Company. She served as the Director of the Commission of Veterans Affairs for Sioux County for many years until her retirement in December of 1994. Don died on December 18, 1992.
Margaret was an active lifetime member of the Associated Church where she served on boards and with the Women’s Fellowship. She was active with the Big Sioux River Historical Society and helped put together the Hawarden History Book. She was president of the Senior Citizens Center and a member of Eastern Star and the Mutual Improvement Club.
Margaret is survived by her son, Don “Kirk” Leafstedt and wife Rita and their two daughters, Emily and Katie of Mason City, IA; sister-in-law, Margaret Ann Scott of Hawarden, IA; brother-in-law, Ray Leafstedt and wife Marilyn of Sun City, AZ; nieces; nephews; and many dear friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Don A. Leafstedt; daughter, Wendee Jean Leafstedt; brothers and sisters and their spouses, Charles Scott, Evelyn Whitehouse and Lloyd, Paul Scott and Clayre, Dorothy Busch and Art, Madeline Bird and Max, and Wayne Scott.

Alton Democrat
September 11, 1915

Pictorial Edition of Sioux County's Business & Professionals

See Photograph of
H. Leafstedt
Leafstedt Bros. & Vernon
Hawarden, Iowa


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