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Anna Dalander

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Anna Larsdotter was born on September 1, 1792, in Asarp, Vikingstad Parish, Ostergotland, Sweden. Her parents were Lars Svensson, a public charge, and Anna Pehrsdotter. Anna died at Swede Point, Boone County, Iowa November 28, 1854, and was buried in Dalander Cemetery.

Anna was married in Sweden to Erik Eriksson, a farmer, and they became parents of eight children. Erik and two children died in Sweden before Anna came to America.

In 1845, a man named Peter Cassel immigrated to America and founded New Sweden in Jefferson County, Iowa. Soon, his letters were widely read in Sweden, and many people, including Anna, considered immigrating to America to join Cassel's settlement. The decision was reached, and Anna received passports in Linkoping on May 15, 1846, for herself and her children. Anna was living at that time in Gillestomten in Vasterlosa Parish of Ostergotland, and she gathered her children and friends together into a group of 42 people who had decided to leave.

Friends and neighbors hauled the party and their belongings in wagons to Motala, a city on Lake Vattern. From Motala, a barge took them across the lake and down the canal to the port of Goteborg, a trip that took nearly a week. When they arrived there, they found their freighter ship in the harbor being loaded with iron bars and ingots.

On the way to the ship, Anna and the others bought herring and other supplies to insure them enough food on their journey. The group boarded the ship "Augusta" and left port in May, 1846. On the long trip to America, a young man in the party, Johannes Jacobson, died and was buried at sea. The long, monotonous voyage was broken up on Sundays, when worship services were held by the Swedes. Jacob Nilsson (Nelson), a devout layman, led these services, and read from a Swedish translation of "Postilla," Martin Luther's book of sermons. The "Augusta" finally landed in New York harbor on August 12, 1846, after a voyage of two and one-half months.

Once in New York, they met Rev. Olof Gustaf Hedstrom on the Bethel Ship. He was a Swedish Methodist missionary, who worked among the incoming Swedes there. The Swedes attended services there, and each person received a Swedish New Testament from him.

In America, Anna Larsdotter and her children changed their last name to Dahlander. This name was also spelled Delander by some descendants, and Dalander by others.

Hedstrom advised the immigrants to take the train westward for part of their journey, but upon learning that the flimsy contraption traveled at a dangerous 15 miles per hour, Anna decided against it. Instead, they bought a large barge and covered it to keep out the sun and rain and went by water routes, since they were much more familiar and felt safer on water. From New York, the group was pulled up the Hudson River to Albany, then on the Erie Canal for 360 miles to Buffalo. Next, they were pulled by a paddleboat on Lake Erie to Toledo, Ohio, and then, reportedly, by canal to Cincinnati, 220 miles away, by way of Defiance and St. Mary's. At Cincinnati, the immigrants floated down the Ohio River to Cairo, Illinois, and from there they were pulled up the Mississippi to Keokuk, Iowa.

At Keokuk, they bought teams and wagons, and supplies, and started West, following the eastern bank of the Des Moines River. For years, it had been believed that Anna and her party erred in following the Des Moines River instead of the Skunk. A letter recently discovered shows that Peter Cassel intended to move west to the banks of the Des Moines River in 1846, and thus, Anna was following the instructed route.

Near Agency, Iowa, where Indians were dealing with the government in transferring land to the whites, the party was less than 25 miles from Cassel's New Sweden.

The immigrants arrived at Oskaloosa during a pouring rain in the evening, and could find no shelter but in an old leaky log shed. Every person met was asked the location of Peter Cassel's settlement, but no one had heard of it.

Finally, the settlers arrived at Fort Des Moines, a log fortress surrounded by a few log cabins. Here, they bought salt, and they wanted flour, but the only other supplies available were tobacco and whiskey, which sold at 30c per gallon. The soldiers there urged the Swedes to buy the land on which the State Capitol is now located for $1.25 per acre, but the group still wanted to find Cassel. The Swedes were told that about 30 miles north of the fort there lived a white man by the name of Gaston. It was thought perhaps he was Cassel, as their names were somewhat similar.

The immigrants decided to try once more to find the Cassel settlement and continued north along the Des Moines River valley to the southern edge of what is now Boone County. There, the oxen began to hurry, as they had smelled water from a spring. The settlers stopped and cleaned out the spring and obtained fresh, clean water for themselves and their teams. It was in this area that the weary group, now in September of 1846, found Charles Winfield Gaston, a former soldier, living alone on his claim in the woods. Gaston was Boone County's first "permanent" settler, having moved there in January, 1846.

But, Gaston was not Cassel, nor had he heard of Cassel or New Sweden. Gaston had produced an abundance of corn and potatoes. He offered to sell these to the lost Swedish party, and to help them settle there if they wished. The immigrants held a conference to decide what to do, and Anna spoke in favor of settling in that area with Gaston. Since it was getting late in the year, that's what they did. Most of the settlers, since they had come there by mistake, later left and joined the Cassels at New Sweden. Four families remained: Anna Dalander and her six children, Magnus Anderson, his wife and their six children, Anders Adamson and his wife, Maja, and Jacob Nelson and his family. These pioneers built their cabins on the timbered point extending out into the prairie from the four- or five-mile belt along the river, and named their settlement Swede Point.

Anna took a claim on that land, and eventually became the owner of the west half of the northeast quarter of section 36, of what is now Douglas Township. It was here on a small knoll that, with Gaston's help, Anna and her children built her log cabin. According to a story handed down through the years, two Indians with long knives appeared at Anna's cabin when she later lived alone, and pointed towards Anna's cupboards. Understandably, frightened and fearing for her life, Anna began bringing out cups, dishes, etc., one at a time, in an attempt to please the Indians. The Indians, knowing she was terrified, began laughing as she brought each item down. Anna was up to items on the cupboard's top shelf and brought down a big plug of tobacco. With that, the Indians drew their long knives, frightening Anna even more. However, the Indians used their knives on the plug of tobacco. They each cut off a small piece, and quickly left. It is believed that this cabin stood on the south side of Second Street, across from the frame house later built by C. J. Cassel, now the home of Jonas and Mabel Cleven.

Anna decided that her land would be a good place for a town, so she called the first county surveyor, Thomas Sparks, on May 20, 1851, and at the end of the third day, the first plat for Swede Point, containing nine blocks, had been completed. It was filed for record February 25, 1852. Anna had a second plat surveyed by S. C. Wood on June 6, 1853, and it was filed for record December 9, 1853. This plat added three blocks on the north side and four on the west, making a total of 16 blocks.

After her death in 1854, Anna's son-in-law, Charles Gaston, was appointed the Administrator of her estate, on December 30, 1854. This was most likely because he was a minor county official, and was more familiar with the English language. Gaston had a quarrel with the Dalander brothers, and, since it was time for a third survey of Swede Point, and also since as administrator he had the power to do as he wished with the estate, he changed the name of Swede Point to Madrid. Because of the quarrel, or because Iowa had long been a Spanish territory, or because his hired man was Spanish, all of these are possible reasons for the change. At any rate, the third survey was on May 25, 1855, and filed for record July 16, 1855. The fourth survey was made September 14, 1857, and filed the same day.

Anna Dalander's children were as follows:

1. Maja Stina Ericksdotter, born Vasterlosa Parish, Ostergotland, Sweden, March 18, 1812, and died in Sweden April 25, 1815.

2. Erik Eriksson (Dalander) born Vasterlosa Parish Ostergotland, Sweden November 25, 1814, died in Madrid January 29, 1893; married Anna Christina Nelson, who died in childbirth; then married Eva Elizabeth Svensdotter (Swanson).

3. Anna Catharina Eriksdotter (Dalander) born Vasterlosa Parish, Ostergotland, Sweden December 20, 1817, and died in Madrid March 9, 1879; married Charles Gaston.

4. Lars Peter Eriksson (Dalander) born Vasterlosa Parish, Ostergotland, Sweden, February 21, 1820, and died of cholera, Keokuk, Iowa, about 1853. 5. Ulrika Ericksdotter (Dalander), born Vasterlosa Parish, Ostergotland, Sweden, March 26, 1822, and died in Madrid April 30, 1891; married Carl Johan Cassel.

6. Anders Johan (John) Eriksson (Dalander) born Vasterlosa Parish, Ostergotland, Sweden, May 16, 1825, and died Madrid January 21, 1873; married Anna Marie Anderson.

7. Sven Eriksson (Dalander), born Stockeby, Ostra Tollstad Parish, Ostergotland, Sweden May 17, 1828, and died Madrid July 20, 1888; married Christina Anderson.

8. Magnus Eriksson, born Ostra Tollstad Parish, Ostergotland, Sweden February 4, 1831, and died in Sweden September 13, 1835.

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