Sunday, August 31, 2008

More Early Swanson Farm

I found a couple more early photos of Charley and Anna Swanson's house. The kitchen/pantry were on the right side of this photo and the parlor was on the left with the smaller step entrance. I wonder why the steps were different widths on each side?
The top photo shows three children, so from their appeared ages I would guess this was taken in 1901/02. The youngest child would be my Grandmother Phoebe Carolina born, Jan. 19, 1900.The bottom photo was taken in the winter of 1903/04 because Grandma Anna is holding baby Elmer, born May 10, 1903. On the far right is Aunt Tilda Swanson, I believe holding Lawrence, who was born Nov. 24, 1903. Uncle August is standing behind Aunt Tilda. I wish I could identify everyone in the photos, here's an attempt. Front row: ? Mable, Emil, Charley, Phoebe, Anna, Elmer Swanson, ?, ?, ?, Tilda Swanson, Lawrence. Row two: ?, ?, ?, ?, Adolph Swanson, August Swanson. I don't know anyone for sure behind the front two rows, I imagine lots of Swedes! Great-great Grandmas Greta and Carolina Swanson are probably two of the older women in the front row. Remember you can click on the photo to see an enlarged version.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Back on the Farm

Right: Charley and Anna Swanson's (my Great Grandparents) farm in the early 1900's. Today it is home to horses from Novartis Animal Health.
Built in 1901 along a valley on the north side of Blood Run Creek, this house had 5 bedrooms upstairs, and a parlor, living room and kitchen-dining room, 16 by 16 feet, with large pantry, and 2 bedrooms downstairs. Later the house was remodeled with a bathroom upstairs, a sleeping porch added on the east side, a hot air furnace put in, and electric lights. Charlie built a large horse-cow barn, sheds and chicken house west across the road on section 20. He made a feedlot area south of the house with various sheds, feeders, corncribs, grainary and a hog house. At one time he farmed and grazed about 2000 acres, cutting wheat and some oats and barley with four binders, and in corn-husking time had up to 6 men picking corn. He had a well, grounded in an artery of water, which watered hundreds of feeding steers, hogs and calves.
Left: A group outside the kitchen door. On the far left is my Grandma Phoebe. This is a picture of her that hauntingly looks like my sister Deb. Phoebe's sister Mable is two down from her and the three on the right side are Grandma Anna, Uncle Emil and Uncle Elmer.
No one lived in this house during my lifetime, but I was able to explore in it a few times before it became dangerous and was eventually burnt to the ground. I have the flour bin from the pantry, an old medicine bottle I found as a child in the basement and many granite rocks from the foundation that we retrieved after it was burnt down. My Dad and his sisters have so many happy memories from this place, Christmas gatherings, sleeping with quilts piled high on top of them and always the memories of cookies and treats from their Grandma Anna. Dad even remembered once they got ice cubes and were happy with the rare treat. (They had a refrigerator that ran on 32 volts and made ice cubes.)
Right: My Grandma, Phoebe Carolina Swanson (Johnson), she must have been in her early teens in this photo? Grandma was born in 1900 and on her Golden Birthday in 1919 there was a party with approximately 140 people in attendance! I wish I had photos from that party.
Left: Windmill climbing on the Swanson farm, I'm sorry to say the only one I recognize in the photo is Uncle Elmer, who is the highest on the windmill. We have the pump from this windmill in our yard at Mom and Dad's.

Right: Cutting silage at Charley's.

Left: Fishing in Blood Run Creek with a net.

Below: C.T. & Anna Swanson home.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Sorrow reaches our hearts this morning as news of the passing of a neighbor and friend, Carl Dieters, reaches us. Mom and Dad were at the Dieters home last night so we knew the end was near. Our Sympathy and God's Blessings to Tracy and family.

Right: Dad and Carl visiting with John Deer.

Below: Tracy and Carl on the bench in front of Grandview Covenant Church, 2007.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones. ~Author unknown, attributed to a 4-year-old named Lauren

I used to call her Bebber, my version of Deborah I imagine. I still call her Bebber at times, old habits are hard to erase. She is the one who I share childhood memories with, my older sister, my playmate, my protector, my teacher, my forever friend. She chose the occupation of teacher first, I followed. I wonder how people without a sister cope not having that confidant. They don’t know what they are missing. Have you talked to your sister lately?

A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost. ~M. Garretty

You keep your past by
having sisters. As you get older, they're the only ones who don't get bored if you talk about your memories. ~Deborah Moggach

I love you Deb...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Keep in Touch

It’s easier to stay in touch with family and friends than ever before. Cell phones and e-mail are wonderful ways to communicate. My immediate family all have video on their computers so we often talk while being able to see each other through video conferencing. It’s just like they’re in the next room although they may be more than a thousand miles away.
Currently my cousin’s daughter is a volunteer nurse doing mission work on a Mercy Ship in Monrovia, Liberia, Africa. Her mother, my cousin, will be joining her this next week as a volunteer nurse herself until early October. They both have blogs to keep everyone informed of their adventures. Since starting my own blog, I’ve found out other friends also have them.
My interest in genealogy has put me in touch and allowed me to meet new friends and distant cousins in Sweden and Norway. Then there are e-mails with my student exchange family from 1975 in Sweden and our own exchange student sister from 1972, now in New Zealand. So the world gets a little smaller the more we communicate with each other.
Time melts away as friends who have passed through my life stay in touch or reconnect. I am the administrator on a web page for my high school graduating class that we started 3 years ago. Where most of us used to only see or hear from each other every five years, we now e-mail frequently and stay updated on each others lives. The Caringbridge websites also allow people to connect and support those going through illness as I’m reminded as I check on people currently maintaining a Caringbridge or Care Pages site.
Even you, either family or friend, are reading this now keeping us connected. Today and every day I treasure and celebrate the opportunities we have today to stay in touch.

Left: Here I am touching the Cloud Gate sculpture at Milennium Park last spring when another art teacher and I took 50 students to Chicago. We left lots of fingerprints.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sioux Twnshp. sect. #16, Lyon Co., IA

I wrote the following back on June 7, 1989, while taking an Iowa Writing Workshop through the University of Iowa.

Everything has to start somewhere at sometime and a home is not an exception to this statement. The former generations of my family came over from Sweden in 1869. My Great-greatgrandfather bought 160 acres in what was then Dakota Territory and built a one-room log cabin and a hay stable for the cow and horses. His land adjoined the Big Sioux River, and from those timbered slopes he received wood to burn and build with.
My home had its beginnings back the the 1920's when my grandparents, Joe and Phoebe Johnson, were starting their family in Lyon County, Iowa in the extreme northwest corner of the state. What was once just a cornfield was about to become a building site. It was a time of strong family ties, religious beliefs and community closeness. People took on enormous responsibilities and were rewarded by the lifelong friendships formed and respected.In 1923 my newlywed grandparents lived with great-grandpa and grandma for a couple months until their temporary structure a quarter of a mile away was built. A farm was being built starting with the barn, the most important structure, by two men Sievert Thompson and Otto Lund. They mixed the cement by hand and painted the wood red twice, once on the ground and the second time while the barn was all erected. The 60 feet long by 40 feet wide structure complete with bunks and a full length hay mound was built at a cost of $500. for labor charges plus the cost of supplies. To celebrate the completion of the round roof barn, they hoisted a piano up into the hayloft and a barn dance was held for those friends and relatives from both near and far. The church ladies aid group also held a meeting in the hayloft to commemorate it's completion. To this day the crowd that attended that meeting was the largest crowd to assemble of the Grandview Covenant Ladies Aid. Imagine the hymns floating through the windows after ladies young and old climbed the stairs, especially built for that occasion, or ladder to the loft and sat on fresh bales of hay to share God's word. Other buildings appeared soon as my grandparents attempted to complete this farmstead. The "little garage", a white two car garage, was built before the large house to provide shelter for my grandfather's Franklin car and 1916 Luverne truck.
Right: Grandpa Joe with his Franklin in the driveway in front of the house.
My father was born in what has now become known as the chicken house on our farm. It was a home at that time with ruffled curtains hanging in windows that welcomed the south breezes in the summer and fought against the cold winter winds. Grandma fixed her two room home up with little touches like flowers, pictures on the walls and clean linens and cloths covering furniture arranged carefully in the close living quarters. Dad's bed was a bassinet seated upon the piano bench, a simple start to a life spent calling the same address home.
Moving into the big house came about three weeks after dad was born. Imagine a young wife and mother of two children, Joyce at 1 1/2 years and Calvin only 3 weeks old overseeing such a transformation of environments and lifestyles. It was December of 1925, and the young family was in the new house by Christmas. The house was a large two story yellow stucco structure with white wooden trim. It was positioned on top of a hill overlooking Blood Run Creek and family farmland. Paths were still in nearby fields where the stagecoach trails of not so long ago transported passengers to their destinations. Trees had been planted to accompany the driveway up the hill. They also provided windbreaks and shelter for wildlife and for the house and family within. Many of the groves surrounding the buildings were planted by Grandpa Joe and his young son.
Right: the Johnson Home in 1957.
Grandma Phoebe was a magician with flowers and transformed the yard into a showcase of colorful flowers on all sides of the house. There was a hedge around the front yard with a white picket fence standing next to it. Rows and rows of flowers added backdrop for many family pictures taken outside the home over the years. Lilac bushes now ran the length of the little two room home that had by now been turned into a chicken house, dividing it from the large house and yard.
Uncle Carl, grandpa Joe's older brother, joined the family of five in 1931. At one time Grandpa fed cattle with farmers on 13 different farms, splitting profits on up to 1200 head, the bookkeeping tabulations he must of performed at his desk without the benefit of modern aides. The time came to add cement to the barn floor and troughs. The youngest Johnson at that time, Carol Ann, lent her feet for footprints into the yielding wet cement. In 1936 the first Johnson owned tractor came on the farm; before then grandpa had rented the land to others because he also farmed by Tea and Flandreau, South Dakota. In 1938 the "big garage" came after the purchase of two Diamond T trucks on the farm. The farm was growing out of necessity and progress. Grain needed to be weighed and stored so a scale house and corn crib appeared as did feeders for the feed lots and buildings to house hogs. The set of buildings started to surround the family as if to provide for and protect them.
Left: An early view of the farm from around 1940, looking west from the pasture.
When dad went to the army, grandpa rented the land out again selling off some equipment; any changes awaited the return of the only son. Upon dad's return home he and Uncle Carl lived together in the big house. They bached it from 1948-1950 while Grandma and Grandpa moved to Sioux Falls, leaving their home in the hands of future generations.
My parents, Calvin and Darlene Johnson, were married in 1950 and added their own touches to the Johnson farm. Uncle Carl lived with mom and dad for five years after their marriage, sometimes resisting changes they wanted to bring about. Starting their own family brought about changes to the grounds. The picket fence was removed when Dad thought my oldest brother Joe would hurt himself after he was found climbing back and forth over it. The hedge disappeared also, bringing about change in the landscape that had grown so familiar. Vines have grown up the side of the house adding character to the stucco and shade. Cool green leaves of the vines fly in the breeze to make you feel refreshed and protected. Mom took over grandmas love for flowers and adapted the gardens with care and patience.
Right: In 1961, the Cal Johnson Swap Meet was held on the farm.
As four kids, Joe, Deb, Steve and Diane, grew up on the farm we managed to explore and utilize all areas of it. There were the games of hide and seek where we'd climb onto the roof of the chicken house and jump back and forth to escape being caught by those on the ground. We inhabited the big old tree back by the garden when dad transformed an old garage door into a two story tree house. The big house lent old green and black screens to enclose the "upstairs" to intruders while a child's imagination supplied other necessities. The corn crib and the barn were places to explore and defend, where plans were made and secrets told and shared. With a young family on the farm again, the barn's hayloft lent itself to a Halloween party for the neighborhood. To clean a 40 year old barn is not an easy task; but shovels, brooms, mops and buckets along with helpful hands transformed it again into a party sight.
Modernization brings about change and the farm soon outgrew it's storage capacity, and again it was time for a new building. It was the early seventies and the need for a machine shed location overshadowed our childhood treehouse, family garden and some favorite trees. The machine shed was to know dances like the barn had known; but it also has held neighborhood rummage sales, family reunions, grain, machinery, antique and modern auto storage. It has become a dry refuge to stand and watch rare summer rains and rejoice in their arrival. Its utilization still continues as it acquires memorable events as the years go by.
A huge tree that provided shade to the front of our house was cut down in 1988. Its day had come and gone. Dad remembered jumping over the newly planted tree as a boy and was standing with remorse as the family gathered to watch the old elm being cut down. Three log chains gave the length needed to provide safety to the driver of the tractor as he pulled the tree over. It had reached it's branches toward the sky for over 60 years. Dutch Elm disease took its toll on much of the grove. Trees started to turn leafless and gray as their branches broke in defeat. This spring a skidloader operated by dad and a bulldozer came and leveled the ground where they once stood. Seventy-five trees stand no more. Now the barn must accept defeat after a full life of usefulness. The weather elements have not been kind. Tornados toyed with the structure weakening it's supports. It has not aged as gracefully as dad, its closest living kin. Now it comes down ever so slowly, board by board, as if it's slowly saying goodbye. What has come to be known as a friendly joke, about when the wind would allow it to completely lie down, has refreshed memories of days long since past. Gone now are the days of cousins coming out to the farm to hold shooting practice in the hayloft with unsuspecting pigeons as the targets. Memories are the only place where baseball games will be played in front of the barn and automatic homeruns will be declared when the ball flies over the top. I long to see what the barn has not allowed anyone to see for over 65 years, a view to the east. A large morning shadow has vanished forever.
Certain changes over the years have been brought about by the changes in our environment, the people living there and the deterioration age brings. The memories will live on forever if only we share them with others. Home... many places will earn this title throughout a person's life, but specifically it is a place that is full of acceptance and welcomes you with open arms. I am accepted there without question and allowed to give and take in situations that will form memories and direction for those to come.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tired as a Baby

With the change in schedule from Summer vacation to the school year, the Olympics going on late into the evening, my early morning alarm clock and duties at school, I'm tired.
I must be getting old. I have to take a nap after school so I can stay up to watch the Olympics! :-)
I was always able to fall asleep easily, as this picture shows me with doll in hand and conked out against my tin toy barn.

Monday, August 18, 2008

1st Day of School

Left: Joe, Debbie and Steve on their first day of school, 1962.

Everyone's going back to school... I remember when it was my first day of school in my youth, the biggest thing was deciding what to wear and bringing those new supplies. Then there was always the photo opportunity for Mom to take our picture. There were feelings of excitement and nervousness over what was ahead of us. Meeting your new teacher, finding out who was in your class, and of course riding the bus route in elementary and junior high.
I remember riding the bus in Kindergarten with Ann and Tony Kerkvliet, sitting on the seat behind our favorite bus driver, Harry Stettnichs. Harry would give us money at Christmas and stop at his store in Larchwood where we could buy our favorite candy or what not. Who could forget the last day of school when he'd stop at his farm and let us fill bottles with water for the annual water fight on the bus. But I'm getting ahead of myself, this is the first day of school talk...

Right: All four of us are headed for school in 1963.

I went to Larchwood for Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade, Alvord for 3rd grade and the new West Lyon school between Inwood and Larchwood from 4th-12th grade.

I've been back to school for a week now with inservice for teachers. Tomorrow is our first day of students. There will be lots of meetings, homeroom and shortened class periods. At our school high school, students still have the chance to change their schedule this week so it will still be a chaotic week getting everyone and everything adjusted.
Tonight I go back up to school for 6th grade orientation. Let the school year begin!

Left: Steve, Debbie and Diane heading to school in 1968. Steve would be an 8th grader, Deb a 9th grader and Diane in 5th grade. (Mom made both of the dresses we're wearing.) Notice all three photos were taken on or near the front steps of the house.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

College Friends

Thirty year plus friendships are the best. I went to the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls to college. I have kept friendships from those days with a group that is near and dear to me. Over the years since going our own way, we have tried to get together each year to relive those crazy days and make new memories.

Left: At the Casino Belle on the Mississippi River at Dubuque, IA in 1991.

We've been there for each other through marriages, births, loss of parents and sibblings, divorce, moving, job changes and the ups and downs of life. Imagine the diversity of different occupations, lifestyles, and family, yet the 30 years seem to fade when we get together. With a little variety in the numbers in our group, we've traveled to different locations in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, North Dakota and Nebraska to reconnect.

Right: 1992 Reunion

This weekend we met in Clear Lake, IA for the weekend. It was the perfect time for me, right before a new school year starts. Coming from three different directions we arrived within an hour of each other and the relaxation and quality time together began.

The girls, Beth, Janine and I headed to Garner, IA to Country Threads, a quilt shop. I've proclaimed myself sewing disfunctional (my mom and sister were the sewers in my family so I didn't need to sew) so while the two quilters chose materials and patterns, I found other crafts to add to my collection of "things to do". Advertures in cloth that I plan to take will involve weaving material and mini punch craft. Stay tuned for the results...

Right: Beth, Janine and Diane at Country Threads in Garner, IA

Time spent watching the Olympics, gazing over the lake as the sun set, time with extended family and friends and of course eating (when on vacation rules go by the wayside) filled the time until we headed to the historical Surf Ballroom. On stage was Deuces Wild! Dueling Pianos. I have to admit when Janine first told me we were going to Dueling Pianos I envisioned two Liberace style pianos on stage and two men would play duets of classical music. I told her this proved we were really getting old (we all turned 50 this year). I was so wrong. My first trip to the Surf was filled with fun as this duo managed to entertain all ages from kids to seniors in the crowd. Singing, dancing, audience participation and great music kept our attention for hours.

Above: The 2008 Group; Diane, Beth, Dave, Janine and Mike.
When we get together the years of separation melt away and it's like we're still roommates. These people matter to me, I matter to them, what more can you ask for?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Steve's Caringbridge

Left: Yosemite National Park

I sent my blog URL out to different people when I started doing this and one person I sent it to was our former exchange student, Carmen from Chile. She lived with our family back in 1972. Carmen and her husband Dennis live in New Zealand now, where they own a translation business. She summed up my enjoyment of writing this blog in an e-mail I received from her this morning. She said my writing on Steve's Caringbridge site for so long gave me lots of practice. How true she is, also reminds me of how tough it was to stop writing once he died. I had written on that for 2 1/2 years so it was also a kind of therapy for me, being able to connect with everyone and share the joys and struggles our family went through with Steve's battle. The best part of a Caringbridge site is the number of people you can keep informed of things. You start to forget who you've told something to and I know people don't want to bother you by asking, especially when things aren't going well. The guestbook messages were special to our whole family including Steve.
Anyway, I said I'd pass on some photographs Steve took on the blog, so here are some for you to enjoy and if you knew him, remember him by.

Right: Kings Canyon National Park

Below: Mirror Lake at Yosemite National Park.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rural School Days

As I prepare for school to start, I thought you'd enjoy seeing some photos from school days in Sioux Township, Lyon Co., IA. My great aunt Mable was the teacher around 1916, in Sioux No. 3, in the extreme Northwest corner of the state of Iowa. One can only imagine how prepared a teacher had to be in those days to deal with all the different ages of students in her classroom. Below: L. to R.-Muriel Grotewold, Frances Grotewold, Sylvia Bennett, Ethel Larson, Louise Grotewold, Bernice Bennett, Teacher Mable Swanson, Harry Sorenson, Virgil Bennett, Donald Larson, Art Johnson, Laurence Grotewold, Melvin Sorenson, Berneice Grotewold. In Front: Herbert Larson. Remember to click on a photo to see an enlarged version.Below: Sioux No. 2. This school was on the section our farm is on. It was the first of two schools built on this location along what is now Hwy. 9 and the Elaine Snyders home. My Dad attended this school until he went to Sioux Falls for high school.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm an Olympian

I don't know if you enjoy watching the Olympics like I do, but today more history was made. I won a team bronze medal in the Denver Staff Olympics! We divided the staff into 7 groups and were put through different tasks ranging from a hoola hoop pass, spelling bee, trivial pursuit, lifesaver pass, talent show, Are you smarter than a 5th grader test, and speed hot dog eating. My team of 8 came in third and we all received a bronze medal in a medal ceremony.
Of course that's not all we did today but it was part of getting back in the swing of things and meeting the new staff.

Monday, August 11, 2008

More on the ship Orlando

The "Orlando" of 1876 was a 1,473 gross ton ship, built by C & W. Earle, Hull, England for Thos. Wilson, Sons & Co. of Hull England. Her details were - length 260.4 ft x beam 32.2 ft, one funnel, two masts, accommodation for 44-1st, 36-2nd and a considerable number of steerage class passengers. Launched in Dec. 1869 and used on the Baltic and North Sea routes and Hull where passengers could board a train direct to Liverpool for transatlantic steamers. She was lengthened to 274 ft, 1,610 gross tons in 1878 and re-engined in 1897. Sold to French owner Paul Castanie, of Oran in 1909 and renamed "Algerie", again renamed "Dzezair" in 1913, and sold to J. Avranitidi, Constantinople in 1914 and named "Velissarios". In March 1914 she was laid up at Constantinople and in Nov.1914 was inspected by German and Turkish Naval officers for possible use as a transport, but rejected as being in too poor a condition. In 1916 she was taken up by the Turkish navy due to heavy losses of Turkish ships and placed under the management of Osmanli SS Co. Renamed "Umit" she was again laid up in 1919 until 1922 when she was used as an army transport in the Black Sea. In 1923 she was sold to Turkish owners and renamed "Umid", and on 17th Mar. 1924 was wrecked on the breakwater at Carodia while on passage to Crete to rescue Turkish refugees.[Wilson Line by John Harrower] Wilson Line did run a service from Hull to New York from 1875 and from 1896 in conjunction with the Furness-Leyland Line from London. They were never very successful as a transatlantic passenger company and ceased this service in 1916. Their ships used on the Hull - Southampton - New York service in 1876 were:- Othello, Virago, Columbo, Navarino, and Hindoo.- [Posted to The ShipsList by Ted Finch - 17 October 1998]

Here is what the 1887-88 Lloyd's Register of Shipping lists for the ship. ORLANDO. Call sign : JPVG. Official registration # : 60199. Master : Captain F. Dossor. Rigging : iron single screw steam Schooner; 2 decks; 2 bulkheads and 3 partial bulkheads. Tonnage : 1,581 tons gross, 1,197 under deck and 1,031 net. Dimensions : 274 feet long, 32.2 foot beam and 19 feet deep ; Forecastle 29 feet long; ship lengthened in 1878; major repairs in 1873. Built : in 1869 by C. & W. Earle in Hull. Propulsion: compound engine with 2 cylinders of 38 & 76 inches diameter respectively; 300 horsepower; new boilers in 1878; engine built by the same company as the hull. Owners : T. Wilson, Sons & Co. Port of registry : Hull. - [Posted to The ShipsList by Gilbert Provost - 22 October 1998]

Johnson's to America in 1881

On the Swedish CD Emigranten - A.P. Jansson (Jönsson), 35 years old, w. Albertina, 31 years old, d. Emma, 6 years old, s. Carl, 4 years old, d. Ullrika, 2 years old, and nephew C. Carlsson, 19 years old, are listed as leaving from the port of Göteborg on June 3, 1881, coming from Ljung parish, Östergötland county and they had a ticket for New York. Source code: 17:795:11818
According to the passenger lists in the Police Chamber of Göteborg vol. EIX:17:795:11818, the ship was "Orlando", destinated for Hull, England. The shipping agent was Frederick Nelson. The Orlando belonged to the Wilson Line of Hull. She sailed between Baltic and North Sea ports and Hull where passengers could board a train direct to Liverpool for transatlantic steamers. The Wilson Line, Hull, ran the traffic between Göteborg and Hull. As the agent was Frederick Nelson, our ancestors probably continued their journey from England to America on board an Inman Line ship.

To find the ship they arrived in America on one has to estimate on the date of arrival. It takes roughly three weeks from the time they leave Sweden.
They left Ljung parish, Östergötland, Sweden, 27 May 1881, for North America with their family of then 3 (and a pregnant wife Albertina). Landed in the U.S. around June 28, 1881, also stated - to Canton, SD 22 June 1881.
(Calvin Johnson has the original immigration document with Swedish and English translation below.)
Brukaren/Farmer Anders Peter Jönsson
och hans Hustru/and his Wife Albertina Gustafsdotter
blefvo vigad d 31/10 1873/got married on 31 October, 1873

was born 1835 (Trettiofem/Thirtyfive)
in Ljungs församling/parish
of Östergötl. Län 6 Maj/County the 6 of May
Har haft skyddskoppor/Has been vaccinated against smallpoxes
Läser innantill/Can read from a text: PASS
Kristendomskunskap/Knowledge of religion:
Bevistat förhören/Been present at the test:
Oförhindrad att begå H.H. Nattvard/Free to partake the Communion
Åtnjuter medborgerligt förtroende/Has a good reputation

was born 1849 (fyrtionio/fortynine)
in Stjernorps församling/parish
of Östergötl. Län 25 April/County on the 25 of April
Har haft skyddskoppor/Has been vaccinated against smallpoxes
Läser innantill/Can read from a text: CONSIDERABLE
Kristendomskunskap/Knowledge of religion
Bevistat förhören/Been present at the test:
Oförhindrad att begå H.H. Nattvard/Free to partake the Communion
Åtnjuter medborgerligt förtroende/Has a good reputation

Afflytta till/Moving to Norra Amerika/North Amercia
före mantalsskrifningen här till nästa år/before the registration here next year.
Betygas/Certified: Ljungs försmling af Östergötl. Län
den 27 Maj 1881 (Åttioett)/27 of May 1881 (Eightyone)
L.B. Frieberg
Reverend pto

Omstående Makar åtföljas härifrån av icke konfirmerade barn: /The Husband and Wife overleaf are accompanied by the not confirmed children:
Daughter Emma Petronella, born in Ljung on 31 May 1874, vaccinated
Son Carl Johan, born in Ljung 15 ? 1876, vaccinated
Daughter Ulrika Mathilda, born in Ljung 4 July 1879, vaccinated
L.E. Frieberg

Andrew became a U.S. citizen Nov. 3, 1888, registered through Clerk of the District Court for Lincoln County, Dakota Territory (as stated in his citizen of US papers in possession of Calvin Johnson)

12/2000 Calvin Johnson relayed these insights of the Johnsons:
Anders Peter Johnson was known as quite a gardener. Joe Johnson would take some of the produce into Sioux Falls coming in from the tea farm by buggy to sell when he was a young man. Dad (Calvin) said when he was a kid he went with his Dad (Joe) into Sioux Falls and stopped at the Lyon home down by now Lyon Park near the statue of David and post office and he remembers looking at the old cars in the garage there (Calvin always had a fascination with old cars) and the maid came out and told him it was time for lunch and Mrs. Lyons told Calvin she remembered his Dad coming in and selling vegetables to her when he was a young man.

Before marriage Anders Petter lived with his parents in cottage Slättmotorp in Ljung parish. He moved in 1854 to the farm Djupsjö in Ljung parish and worked for the farmer Bengt Jonsson. 1855 he moved to Tjällmo parish and came back to Ljung parish in 1859. He worked for farmers in the village Slättmon and 1860 he moved to Bänorp. There he was living and worked on a farm when he married Albertina. Albertina had lived together with her parents in the cottage Nybrofallet until she married. Together they were living in a cottage Fredriksberg that belong to the Bänorp farm in Ljung parish. Albertina and Anders Peter moved in 1874 to cottage Nysätter. In 1880 they move to Grönkulla. 1881 to N. America. They settled on a farm near Canton, Lincoln, SD in Dakota Territory in June 1881. In 1903 Andrew and Albertina, with 3 of their children (Carl, Lena, & Joe), moved to a farm near Tea, SD. Anders died 13 Sept 1920. Berniece Haas Long told me in 2002 that Albertina lived with her daughter Emma and John Long, probably after Anders died, until her death (14 Feb 1935). Although I have her death listed as in Lincoln Co., SD? They are buried at Grandview Covenant Cemetery, Rural Larchwood, IA.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Road Trip

I've grown up with Dad and Mom's love of antiques and old cars, something that's been passed down to us kids. Dad restored a 1928 Chrysler Roadster Model 72 and Mom and Dad have driven it to Kansas City, KS, Medora, ND, The Black Hills, Norfolk, NE, as well as locally. Right: Deb and I went along on a local trip to Pipestone, MN, over 20 years ago, with the folks via the rumble seat. Below: I drew this view of the Chrysler in our yard on the farm. We had our family photo taken after driving the car to the Grandview Church yard for the shot on the lower right.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Hands + Head + Heart = Artist

I worked up at school today, preparing my classroom for the new year. I came across this quote I often post on a bulletin board by my desk to share with students and now I'm sharing it and an old drawing I did with you...

"He who works with his hands is a laborer.

He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.

He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”

- St. Frances of Assisi

Friday, August 8, 2008

More Fallhemmet to share

Fallhemmet was the home built by my Great Great Grandfathers Karl and Adolph Swanson in the woods behind Brohemmet in Sweden. I had posted a photo I had created digitally earlier but found these notes I forgot about and thought I should share with the relatives checking in.

Henry Lundström, grew up in a place called Gunnarstorp, in Ljung parish, and as a child and teenager he used to walk around a lot in the neighbouring woods and he said he recognized the house very well. (by the photo of Fallhemmet) He also remembered that he had been inside the house. It was then empty, no one lived there. He remembered that the walls were covered with old papers and of course he could not stop himself from tearing down some of these newspapers and behind some of them he found letters from America, Must have been sent by your relatives, don't you think? One could only wish that he would have saved them. (Inger Nyberg 8/2000)

We visited the site in 2001 and there was an apple tree and two cherry trees along with remains of a cellar but because of the thick moss everywhere it was tough to see exactly where the buildings were.

Counting Heads...

The Johnson's and our neighbors the Dieters family celebrated many birthday's together. Tracy and Mom's birthdays are a couple days apart, Carl and Dad's are also a couple days apart. As far as the kids go; Evelyn and Steve share the same date, one year apart and Glen and I share the same date, one year apart. Of course there are other close dates in the group but more often than not we shared the same birthday parties year round.
We lived 3 miles apart, rode the same school bus, went to the same country church, so it was natural that we also enjoyed family trips together. I remember taking off after church often with neighbors and church members for a picnic and afternoon of fun at Okoboji.

Here are some photos from 1959 of a Johnson/Dieters trip to Wall Lake, SD. Picture this: 12 kids, Two mom's swimming with the kids in the water, Two dad's with the babies and toddlers on the beach, everything wet, sandy and hungry. In my Dad's words, "We'd be constantly counting heads in the water". Not a relaxing day at the beach for the adults... but fun watching the kids have a good time.
In 1967, our parents were even brave enough to rent two campers and pull them out to Yellowstone via the Black Hills for an adventure we still reminisce about. Our car had to be put in for repairs on a buldging tire so the whole gang crowded into the Dieters station wagon for a trip to the Dairy Queen. On the way we pulled over for a hitch hiker to see if he wanted a ride... Imagine that, he turned us down! Well, there really wasn't any room with 15 people packed in the car already! I wish we had a picture of that, but I can still picture us in my mind. Here are the kids with a days catch after going fishing in Yellowstone.


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