|Cherokee County Biographies
On April 28, 1903, we said farewell to family and friends to go to America. We had a fairly good trip and felt we were under God's protection. We came to Chicago the 13th of May. This included the stay at Ellis Island. You could not leave there until you had a sponsor. So my mother waited while Father went to see about that. She was surrounded by five children and I'm sure they were tired of this long trip. We stayed in Chicago for two weeks. My mother had a brother there.
During this time we had a letter from Pastor Johanson in Iowa that we should come there because there was plenty of work. So on Tuesday, the 26th of May, we traveled to Meriden, Iowa. When Father was corresponding with him he was in Des Moines but now he had a little church in Meriden, which was a small place. There was nothing to do but go on to Meriden and see what advice he could give.
When we came into the state of Iowa we were astonished to see the fields covered with water. It was depressing. It rained the whole night we were on the train. When we reached our destination we were met by Rev. Gust Hall and he invited us to his home. Here we were made very welcome. Hall was a mail carrier at this time and Johanson had asked him to take care of us. I remember Mrs. Hall, a most gracious Christian woman. Pastor had not yet any home and his family would come later. Now we were in a new land and among strangers. I cannot put in words the feelings that came over us ! What shall we do next was a thought we could not escape.
Then, when Johanson came, he told how he was hindered by the terrible rain and hailstorms. Bridges had been washed out and he had to go around water a long ways to get to us. This made an unpleasant impression on us who had never seen such destruction. They comforted us that all would be well once the rain stopped and the water disappeared. He helped us buy some household necessities and some furniture. We knew we had to start housekeeping. We had no friends to turn to for advice and we were seven in the family. It became quite costly, about $100.00 plus the train ride which was $65.00. Papa now looked for work but found at this time there was none except to go and repair the railroad at $1.35 a day. This was very disappointing because we knew he could have found work in Chicago at twice the pay. Day after day he hunted for work but in vain. We had a good mind to go back to Chicago but the days went by and it was time for the crops to be ready for harvest. Then, we were told, there would be so much work you would have to work night and day.
Papa agreed with a farmer that he would work for him for two months. But after two weeks a hailstorm came and destroyed both oats and wheat. Then he gave Papa a ride home and said he had no more work for him. So instead of working day and night he was again without work. These were long, dark days and sleepless nights. Where should we turn now ? To think of traveling again was not an easy thing and how could we live on there with no work or pay. Some days he found work for two or three days and then it was to go without again. Gust was lucky in that he found work for a farmer for two months for ten dollars a month. Lesley also worked for a farmer a few weeks. Ethel, too, worked out sometimes. She received $2.00 a week and had to work very hard. At this time I became so weak and poorly, because of worry and anxiety, that Ethel had to come home.
Now they wanted that we should buy a farm of 80 acres for $7,000.00. This place was way off from any roads or neighbors. I went with Pappa to look at it but the impression I received was that I could never live there. From that time all hope that I would ever be satisfied there was gone. It was the only farm for sale, at least that we would be able to afford as the land was so high priced. We had thought of renting but the rents were so high that we would not pay.
Then Pappa decided to travel to Minnesota. He left once and came back because the rain had washed out the railway bridge. So he made a second attempt. We had corresponded with a Charlie Erickson there. He stayed with them for two weeks and it was decided that he should buy this man's farm for $2,000.00 without any crops. Then he came back to Meriden and worked on the railway for awhile. It was the worst work he had ever done and the lowest pay. But we could live on this pay because we were not so many at home.
The 16th of September we went to Minnesota and lived with the Ericksons for a month, after which they moved to a place they had bought. Then we could feel a little more at home. Now we had the long winter ahead of us and no crop so it sometimes seemed very dark. We had to buy food for ourselves and the farm animals. But the Lord has helped us through until now when I write these lines the 26th of January, 1904.
Ethel has been in Minneapolis for 3 months and Gust has been at John Dunders for 2 months. It has been a nice winter except for a few real cold days. Now our biggest concern was how we should get ahold of some horses. But we trust the Lord because we have seen proof of His faithfulness, help, and love during the past year.
March 7, 1904: Now Pappa has bought horses and harnesses for $180.00. They are brother and sister and young. So far it has gone remarkably well considering that we have found that some of our trusted friends have proved false. This winter has been unusually hard and cold.
April 14, 1904: We received a lot of snow which stayed on till now the 17th. Today Gust came home. He had been gone for four and a half months.
April 23, 1904: The anniversary of our leaving Sweden. We have planted an apple tree and 50 strawberry plants.
May 5, 1904: Today Pappa has planted wheat while I have planted vegetables of various kinds. Tonight we have rain.
June 14, 1904: Today Ethel came home from Minneapolis. We have now planted potatoes and beans. On the 18th we broke new land and planted more beans.
July 29, 1904: Pappa and Ethel went to Spencer Brook today and at the business meeting we left our church letters. At the beginning of August it was so cold we had to have a fire in our heating stove but by the 15th it was warm.
Sept. 17, 1904: Today Ethel went to Minneapolis to work for the Edwards. Now, by the 20th, the beans are up.
Sept. 21, 1904: Tonight we had a hard frost so there was ice on the water. We have now dug our potatoes, 800 bushels. The 25th we threshed the beans and got 103 bushels.
Nov. 14, 1904: Today Gust went to Spencer Brook to work all winter for Oscar Blomquist. Walter and Lesley started school today. Hanson and his brother visited us.
Jan. 5, 1905: Now another year has ended and the Lord has been good and faithful and helped us wonderfully through. The others are gone now and I am alone at home. I feel so thankful to God for His goodness to us the past year. Up until now the winter has been unusually nice in spite of a few storms. The 6th of January Ethel came home and stayed for 4 days.
Feb. 1, 1905: We have had 3 weeks of real cold but now the weather is like spring. The 25th and 26th we had good meetings in church in form of a revival. Louis Larson ended his work as Sunday School Superintendent and they voted for Pappa to take his place.
August 21, 1905: Now summer is almost over. We have had spells of real warm weather and plenty of rain so the crops have been really growing. Ethel was home for a week and over the 4th of July. Carl Englund and his brother August came. Gust has a good place and he comes home often. He has a good place to work.
September 3, 1905: It has been so cold we have had fire in the heater. We pulled beans Sept. 12. There has been no frost.
Oct. 29, 1905: We dug 960 bushels of potatoes. Now there is hard frost at night. Now in November we have had very nice weather. Ethel came home the 8th and stayed until the 25th. Then she and Carl went to Cambridge and were married. They went to Minneapolis the 26th.
Dec. 21, 1905: Pappa went to Minneapolis to spend Christmas with Ethel and Carl. He came home the 27th. We have had remarkably nice weather now for awhile.
The 7th of January, 1906, Gust began work for Fred Godwin. At the beginning of March J.G. Johanson came to visit.
The 29th of April, 1906, Gust moved to work for Louis King.
May 23, 1906: We planted pickles. Then we got rainy weather for several days. The 28th we had frost. Gust came home the 2nd of June. There had been a cloudburst so we had a real flood. We plan to break more land the 11th. In June, Amy and I went to visit Ethel in Minneapolis. In August, I was poorly.
Oct. 10, 1906: Today we threshed 97 bushels of beans. Now we have frost nights.
The 13th of October, 1906, Hall came from Iowa. He preached for the first time in Spencer Brook that next Sunday. Ethel came home the 19th of October with Lillie and stayed until the 31st. We dug 1,300 bushels of potatoes at this time.
Nov. 15, 1906: We received a letter from Aunt Johanna that Father had died the 12th of Oct. Nov. 1st Walter and Lesley started school.
1907: We have had a nice winter except for 3 weeks of extreme cold. In March we bought a separator. We planted oats in March. Then we had snow and cold so every night was frost. We had cold the 4th of May and nothing green has showed up yet. There was snow the 14th and 15th. The 3rd of June we planted corn. Gust went to Minneapolis the 6th. We have now planted potatoes and beans and are ready to break land. We received a letter from home that Mamma died the 1st of May. In July, Ethel and Lillie came home for 2 weeks. Claes Hultgren came to visit the 19th of September. The 21st we had fire in the heater. We now had taken up 1,300 bushels of potatoes and threshed 89 bushels of beans. Gust came home from Minneapolis the 1st of December.
1908: The 3rd of January, Amy and I went to Minneapolis to see Ethel who now had a baby boy born the 30th of Dec., 1907. The week after that we had a visit from Julius Hultgren. The weather has been nice. While we were in Minneapolis visiting Ethel, Pappa got money from Sweden. His inheritance from Igeljarna was $118.00. In March we bought a fine little mare, for which we paid $72.00. Now, March 31, winter is gone. It has been an unusually nice one but there has been much sickness. They closed the school because of measles but we have been well, praise the Lord. This sickness may also have included smallpox but the word was ' kopporna ' which the translator is not sure of. The 1st of April we bought a hay meadow, 20 acres for $190.00. The 15th we planted wheat. At the beginning of July Ethel came home with the children and stayed for 2 weeks. Elin Englund was with her. This summer has been dry so the crops were poor except the corn crop which was good. But we got a good price for the potatoes and beans.
1909: The winter has been cold and it seems like it will last a long time. In April we planted wheat and oats. Now, the 1st of May, we have had real stormy weather with snow and rain and much wind for 4 days. Gust is back at Louis King. The 20th of July he went to western Minnesota for the harvest. We harvested about 1,000 bushels of potatoes and 69 bushels of beans. Now, the 2nd of December, both Gust and Lesley have gone to the woods and it is so empty and lonely. I feel like weeping. Life becomes so empty when you must take leave of the dearest on earth.
1910: We have had nice weather for Christmas and New Years. We had good meetings in church. Earnest Hall has been home and taken part. The 10th of April I had to go to Cambridge for a tumor operation. I came home the 5th of May. July 9 Gust went to Minneapolis to work but left for Beardsley, Minnesota. Lesley also went west the 26th but came home and helped us with the potatoes, and to husk the corn. Then he went to Laverne, Iowa, to husk corn. He found a place to stay there so he remained for awhile. In August Englunds came home and bought a farm. In the fall Pappa bought a pair of 2 year old horses for $270.00. Gust went to Nebraska in the beginning of November to husk corn. He came home for New Years to see us and then he went to Minneapolis to go to Business School. He was gone from the beginning of January to the beginning of March. January was unusually cold. In February we had news from Sweden that Augusta Ogren, Axel Ogren's mother, had died. She left 4 children, the youngest 9 days old. In April we planted oats.
1917: Now several years have gone by since I wrote the last. Now we have lived here in Cambridge for 3 and ½ years, and they have gone fast. We have been comfortable and satisfied. But this winter has been very cold and much snow. In April Pappa began to feel ill and the Dr. took him to Mounds Park Sanitarium. Gust has been home and taken care of things so it has gone well. The 14th of April, Walter came home from Minneapolis to take care of the spring work as it was so costly to hire. The potatoes went for $2.50 a bushel but then the flour cost $6.75 a sack, the sugar $10.00 and bran $210.00 a sack. The prices have gone up since the war started. Yes, these are uneasy times and heavy and lonesome for me when Pappa is gone. Walter went to Canada the last of April. Lesley got married the 22nd of May and went to Wisconsin where he bought a farm. Pappa is beginning to feel better now. July 1st : Since I wrote last things have been changing. Pappa could not do any work this summer so Gust has had to take care of everything. Walter came home for Christmas.
1918: Very little snow this winter. Pappa feels a lot better but can't sleep at night without medicine. The 27th of February, Gust left for Camp Dodge together with 127 other young men. It was so difficult to see him leave and so empty and lonely without him. Walter has been home and helped us so it has gone this year, too. Nov. 11 : Today the war is over and to the joy of us all Gust wrote that he has come through it without loss of life or limb. Walter worked at the potato warehouse for awhile but he left there and went to Minneapolis the 11th of Nov. to work on the street car lines.
1919: In January, Walter went to Mounds Park for an operation after which he was home till the 20th of February. While Walter was home Pappa got worse so he went to Dr. Earl. But he would not take the new medicine he was given but took the old medication. Now things look dark again as we are alone and Pappa talks about going to the hospital. He had a letter that his brother Frederick and his youngest son had died in the Flu, in December. The 25th of February, Pappa went to Mounds Park and Amy and I were left alone. It has been cold and stormy and just a week after Pappa left I fell and twisted a knee and was in bed for 2 weeks. Amy stayed home from school for 3 weeks. Ethel came home. She was driving Sam and it was so much snow that he could hardly get through. It was so cold she had to stop on the way and borrow a fur coat. It took her 3 hours to come home. She stayed till the next day. Then Walter came home to help us. Pappa was gone for 4 weeks. The 20th of April, we heard from Gust that he could leave the service but it is now the 21st of May and we do not know if he has come back from overseas yet. Now Pappa is so much better that he can work a little days. The 21st of May we had a telegram from Gust that he had arrived in this country and all had gone well for him. The 30th of May he came home to us to our great joy and was in good health. June 18 he began to sell nursery stock for Nick Oslund. Walter is still home so all has gone well again. On Midsummer Day, Walter went to Minneapolis to work on the Soo Line. Later he went to Superior where he became a fireman which had been his wish for many years. He came home the beginning of August because of a strike and was home a few weeks. During this time we had revival meetings with Aldrich and Gust and Walter gave their hearts to the Lord. In September, they were baptized and welcomed into the church in Cambridge on a Sunday, the 14th of October, along with many others. 54 were baptized and 12 came by letter. It was an outstanding day in the history of the Cambridge church. Walter went to Minneapolis and worked as a carpenter until it got too cold and then he went back to the Soo Line again. They sent him to Gladstone, Michigan.
1920: Walter came home for a few days visit and got the Flu so he didn't go back until the 2nd of February. I got the Flu too so we were in bed for a week. Amy stayed home and took care of us. Gust went to Minneapolis to take a course in the Minneapolis Business College but he came home Sundays. He was there 3 months. The 3rd of July, he and Ellen Tiderman had their wedding. Walter is gone for the most of the time so we are only three at home. In September, we bought the Lindberg place. Amy is going to Normal School this winter. January 12th, I went to Mounds Park with Diabetes. I came home February 9th.
1923: Amy has taught school now for 2 winters and it has gone well for her. So Pappa and I have been home alone but Amy comes home often as does Walter. He was home for 3 weeks in May and helped us get in the crops. He was in Superior 2 months but came back to Minneapolis July 26 so he has been home a few days.
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