1st Edition 1918 – in Swedish
2nd Edition 1988 – English Translation
3rd Edition 2007 – WEB Translation
NOTE: This 3rd Edition 2007 does not contain the Family/Individual Photos and Text. Return to www.swedesintexas.com to Search for your ancestors. There you will find all the Photos and Text embedded with each Family/Individual.
WORDS AND PICTURES
WORDS AND PICTURES
formerly of Round Rock,
translator of this book. Christine is a native born Swede
is finishing her degree at
Andreason also of
text. He is a native Texan from
editor and reviewer of this work. He is an attorney and certified public
accountant and is presently the Chairman of the City of
This translation project is dedicated to those
Texas Swedish Pioneers who took the long
and dangerous journey to settle in a new place
businesses and farms. This project is further
dedicated to those Texas Swedish Pioneers
who had the vision in 1918 to preserve the
history of our Swedish ancestors so that future
generations may learn of their past.
celebration began in October 1987 with the signing of a State of
by Texas Governor William P. Clements. Representatives from
88 Committees in Austin, Dallas and Houston attended the signing ceremony in the governor’s reception room.
Numerous events were held beginning inDecember 1987 witha Santa LuciaFestival
Hundreds attended a Swedish smorgasbord held at the Balcones Country Club in
baseball coach Cliff Gustafson, and Caren Patman, former Democratic Committee woman
A highlight of the Jubilee year was the visit in April to Dallas and Houston by
Swedish King Carl Gustaf and his wife Silva as part of a Royal Cities tour in honor of New
annual Midsummer Day celebrations were held in
The jubilee year closed with a Hog Massa program at
and a Grand Finale program on New Year’s Eve at
These programs were not possible without a host of volunteers. The following individuals were members of the New Sweden 88 Austin Area Committee and deserve a special thanks.
Bert Magnuson - Co Chairman
Jim Christianson - Co Chairman
Robert G. Carlson
Julibeth Swenson Parrish
Valerie Hawkinson Armstrong
Alpha Gustafson Cannon
Pastor Karl Gronberg
Johanna 0. Wimberley
Carvin 0. Youngbloom
Mary Nell Carlson
Clifford W. Carlson
Ruth C. Bengtson Olson
original preface to the book Swedes of Texas In Words and Pictures first
published in 1918 states “it would have been more logical to publish this work
in the English language, but it was considered unfair to the many forefathers
who are still alive and who better understand the gamla mordersmal (the old
mother tongue).” For many generations following its publication this book,
book, however, preserves an important part of Texas Swedish history. Even though it included only a fraction of
the some 7,000 Swedes who settled in
this text we read the stories of eighteen and nineteen year old young men and
women caught up in “
This massive effort to translate this book took almost five years and involved scores of volunteers who help translate and review the text. The final product is far from perfect, and yes, you will discover mistakes, but the original text had many mistakes and in some parts were not well written. Sometimes the Swedish words in the text were no longer used, and we had to seek the help of a 1920 Swedish -English dictionary. But one thing can be said regarding this effort -no one can at least fault us for trying to translate this book and preserve its history for future generations. That is our legacy.
The idea for translating this text begin
money raised during
the translation was completed many volunteers coordinated by Jim Christianson
After the project was completed Bert Magnuson, the President of the Texas Swedish Pioneers Association, coordinated the effort to sell the book to those who were interested. At 85 years of age Bert had the enthusiasm of someone a quarter of his age. Bert died shortly after this text went to the publisher. For any project that promoted our Texas Swedish heritage, Bert was always there to volunteer his time and support the effort.
must also give special thanks to Carv^n Youngbloom and the Hutto State Bank who
faithfully kept the financial records of the New Sweden 88 Committee of the
Austin Area and the moneys raised in this translation project. In addition we
would like to thank Cheryl Rae of
Finally we cannot forget our many volunteers who participated in some way in this translation project, as translators, reviewers, or sellers of books. We say thanks to all of the following people.
E. H. Johnson
Ruth Bengston Olson
Alpha Gustafson Cannon
Dorothy Lax Dytrich
Virginian Lee Malmstrom
Hanna Bergstrom Sutton
Ann Mart Lindbloom
THE SWEDES IN
IN WORDS AND PICTURES
A HISTORICAL-BIOGRAPHICAL WORK
COLLECTED AND PUBLISHED
EDITED AND COMPILED
DR. ALF. L. SCOTT
PASTOR T. J. WESTERBERG
EDITED AND OVERSEEN
J. M. OJERHOLM
PUBLISHER AND EDITING STAFF
Pastor T. J. Westerberg Dr. Alf. L. Scott
E. Severin J.M. Ojerholm
“The Swedes in Texas”, which is hereby presented “in words and pictures”, is not a romanticized story of just a few or many, more or less famous personalities, or some scientific report about the Swedes’ economic, social and religious standing in this state, but simply a collection of facts and statistical information as well as true to life pictures and illustrations covering a timespan of over three quarters of a century of the Swedes’ common history in Texas, collected with quite some effort and printed so these facts would not be forgotten in the future.
Our Nordic forefathers took measures to preserve the memory of their dead for both their contemporaries and descendents with rock-carvings and rune-stones, which are now highly valued and appreciated, a thousand years after they were drawn. The value of this historical and biographical information shall be better understood as time goes on, when those, who with tenacity and determination in living actions, wrote the first chapters in the “History of the Swedes in Texas”, have passed on and joined their forefathers.
To better meet the linguistic needs of the younger generations, it would have been
more logical to publish this work in the English language, but it was considered unfair
the many forefathers who are still alive and who better understand the old
mothertongue than the language of our new country. When the need arises in the
future for a continuation of the history of the Swedes in
Physical Geography of
Area .................................................................................. 15
Sea level............................................................................ 17
Mountain Areas................................................................ 19
Climate Conditions........................................................... 19
Soil Conditions................................................................. 20
Industry in the State...................................................................... 22
Communication and Transport..................................................... 31
Form of Government.................................................................... 33
Political Division.......................................................................... 37
Camp Meetings............................................................... 109
The Epworth League ...................................................... 110
The Free Church..;.......................................................... 112
Swedish Colleges........................................................................ 131
The Pioneer Society, Aug. Anderson ............................. 142
Svea ................................................................................ 144
Gota ................................................................................ 145
The Southern Swedish Singing Society, J.M. Ojerholm 147
The Swedish Immigration and Earlier Conditions, Severin....... 151
First Swedes in
Texas-Swedish Communities and Biographies ..........................
The Austin Colony.......................................................... 182
The Brushy Colony......................................................... 444
The Taylor Colony.......................................................... 515
The Hutto Colony........................................................... 562
The Decker Colony......................................................... 605
The Ericsdale Colony ..................................................... 639
The Jonah Colony........................................................... 699
Elroy ............................................................................... 708
The Elroy Colony ........................................................... 708
The Kenedy Colony........................................................ 751
The Manor Colony.......................................................... 775
The Brady Colony .......................................................... 791
The Melvin Colony......................................................... 827
El Campo...................................................................... 886
The El Campo Colony.................................................... 887
The Kimbro Colony...................................................... 1043
The Manda Colony....................................................... 1057
The Ganado Colony...................................................... 1081
The Louise Colony....................................................... 1119
The Olivia Colony ........................................................ 1146
Swedonia ...................................................................... 1162
The Swedonia Colony .................................................. 1162
The Bishop Colony....................................................... 1165
The Lyford Colony....................................................... 1168
Our Boys Under the Flag................................................ 1175-1209
By Carl Fromen
French and Spanish competed over who would be the first to settle here. The
started the establishment of missions for missionary work among the
Indians. The first church in
is thought that the old ruin of a monastery,
settlers arrived. Around 1813 some adventurers tried to drive both Spaniards and
was undertaken eleven years after the death of Nolan. The one who headed the expedition was Lt.
Augustus Magee, who had resigned from the U.S. Army, but the one who had
actually planned the expedition was a Mexican, Bernardo Guiterrez. The reason
they gave was that they intended to help
Long was one of these. He succeeded in gathering three hundred men with whom he
this time, or in 1821, when
The man who was in charge of this effort was Moses Austin, who received
from the Mexican government, to move to
Moses Austin arrived in
journey through the wilderness from
was not successful, and he was ordered to immediately leave the province. On his
way from the governor, he unexpectedly met an old friend. Baron de Bastrop, from
help Austin received another audience, with
result that the governor,
first immigrants settled along the
was obvious that the Americans would not let themselves be governed by Mexicans
for long, and the Mexicans eventually started to realize this. While trying to
keep the recently arrived Americans under their rule, they gave them one reason
after the other to be first disappointed and then rebellious. Inexperienced and
incompetent at governing themselves, the Mexicans were even worse at governing
others. The two races were so different that under the circumstances that
existed, they could not live peacefully together for long. The white people
looked down on the Mexicans as a lower race. They were different in religious
beliefs and thinking. Their ways of life were different, and both groups considered
their language the best and they did not want to change it under any
circumstances. As they lived in the same
communities, disagreements often arose between them, and both appealed to the
authorities. If they judged in favor of the Mexicans it was considered, and in
most cases it probably was, a biased opinion by the authorities. This is how one of the colonists and an
impresario, Hayden Edwards, got the authorities against him. He started a
rebellion and declared
When the Mexican General Santa Anna rebelled, the white settlers took his side and
hoped to win him over to their side by this action. He accepted their support, but was
to crush them at the first opportunity. Since dissatisfaction had arisen, for
many reasons which we cannot enumerate here, the settlers called a meeting in
San Felipe in April, 1833, to discuss what should be done, but could not agree.
Some wanted to separate from
Let us remain for a while at this point in time. We are in the era of patriots and
heroes. Even though the troops were small compared to those of the Twentieth
Century, brave men fought even then for home and
and no country has more wonderful memories of noble men who sacrificed all in
the struggle against its country’s oppressors. When General Houston took
command, the small troops were spread out all over
Battle of Alamo has no equal in world history. Col. Travis arrived in
He immediately realized that it was impossible to defend it with only one hundred
fifty men against
Santa Anna’s approaching forces. Therefore, Travis wrote again and again to
Governor Smith for help, but he had none to send. A small troop of thirty-two men
from Gonzales made their way past the enemy and came to their aid on March 1. On
March 3, Travis wrote “a blood-red flag waves over Bexar’ s church and in the enemy
camp as a sign that this is a war of revenge against the rebels, but their threats don’t
scare me or my men. We are determined to die defending our country’s freedom and
our own honor.” On the following day, Santa Anna held a war council, and a decision
was made to storm the fort. Early at dawn on Sunday morning, March 6, orders went
out to begin the attack. At first they approached quietly but soon the trumpets
sounded, “No Pardon”, and the attack began. The fort was surrounded by an outer
wall, from which the Texans first
the defense. But the line of defense was too long for the few Texans to defend
and guard, so the Mexicans stormed the wall and the Texans in small groups now
started a deadly fight with their hated enemy. No pardon was asked and none
given. Travis and Crockett were fighting
as ten men, and
weeks after the fall of the
Houston’s Residence 1837-1838 in
But the day of revenge drew near. When General Houston received the message
about all these sad defeats and about the great forces of Santa Anna, he decided to
retreat, especially as he knew that his forces were too weak to attack or withstand such
force. During the retreat, he stopped where it was suitable to train his troops. The road
was filled with men, women, and children who had left their homes and all they owned
flee from the enemy. Santa Anna’s victory at the
and when he heard about another victory over Fannin, and the retreat of General
for San Felipe, where he arrived on April 7. The city already lay in ashes, so he
cabinet as prisoners. However, the government had been warned and fled to
had escaped, he burned the city and marched along Buffalo Bayou and the San
was the opportunity that General Houston had been waiting for. At a quick march,
set out after Santa Anna, and on April 20, the two armies met in the area of
GENERAL SAM HOUSTON
First President of the
the next day at three in the afternoon. Meanwhile, Santa Anna had received reinforcements,
so his force was now around thirteen hundred men, while
to General Houston’s own report it was a fierce but short battle, which lasted,
at most, eighteen minutes. But they continued to pursue the enemy until
dusk. It was a remarkable battle. Fannin
and Travis were avenged because the Mexicans lost six hundred dead, and seven
hundred and thirty were taken prisoners. Of those, two hundred were wounded.
The Texans had only lost two soldiers, and twenty three were wounded, but of
those, two later died from their wounds. General Houston himself got shot in
the ankle. This remarkable battle took place on
Santa Anna managed to escape, but was taken prisoner the following day. It was his disguise that saved him, because he was so hated that if the soldiers had known who he was, instant death would have been his lot.
General Houston and Santa Anna immediately drew up a peace treaty which was signed on May 14, by President Burnet and General Santa Anna, and was called the ‘Treaty of Velasco”. The conditions of peace were (1) that hostilities
immediately cease, and the entire Mexican army should retreat as soon as
possible across the Rio Grande River, (2) that Mexico should compensate or pay
for all private property that had taken from the Texans, (3) that Santa Anna
should be freed with the right to return to Mexico, where he promised to use
his influence to get the Mexican government to recognize Texas’ independence
from that nation. According to the
above-mentioned peace treaty. General Filisola, the successor of Santa Anna,
led the Mexican Army out of
Lamar was, in contrast to
the unsettled conditions, the animosity of the Indians, and the threats of the
Mexicans, the immigration increased, and between the 1836-1846, several
thousand families came. Many came from
we’ve already mentioned,
of President Houston’s Residence in
not take measures to stop the Texans from helping supply manpower to the
Liberal Party in Mexico, which was then fighting against the government with
the purpose of establishing a republic in Northern Mexico, and caused further
trouble with the Santa Fe expedition in 1841, a Mexican army was sent to Texas,
which occupied San Antonio, and simultaneously, in 1842, both Goliad and
Refugio. However, the Mexicans left as
quickly as they had arrived.
smaller expeditions were sent out and the animosity between
Texas requested to join the United States in 1836, but even though this country had accepted Texas as a republic the same year, it was not immediately ready to accept Texas as a state in the union for two important reasons: (1) The United States knew that Mexico would declare war as soon as Texas was made one of its states, (2) Texas was also a slave state, and there were many in the United States who were working against a union because of this. This angered the Texans so much that they withdrew their request in 1838.
the following years however, the
the time of union,
In spite of the stormy times, immigration had continued in such numbers that the
population in 1860 had grown to 421,411 whites with 180,682 slaves, and 339 freed
slaves, all in all 602,432. Farming and
cattle raising were the principal sources of livelihood. In the river valleys there were large cotton plantations, worked by black slaves, and out in the wild plains, large herds of cattle were grazing.
1852, the building of the first railroad to
Home life, however, was one of hardship and self denial. Many things which we now consider necessities were then luxury items. Printed calico was then worth $50.00 per yard (Southern States money). Coffee could not be bought at any price, because it was not available. Instead of coffee-beans, they used roasted sweet potatoes, rye, okra-beans, etc., and instead of soda, they burned corncobs and used the ashes. In almost every home one member of the family was missing because the father or son had been called to serve in the army.
four years, this sad war ended, on
southern general, Robert E. Lee, had to surrender to an army more than three
times the size of his own at
time of flourishing and development now commenced. Railroads were built, new
cities appeared, and old ones grew. Lawlessness which was widespread after the
war, was suppressed. In 1881, when Roberts was governor, the old state house in
peaceful development has made rapid advances. Politically, the Democrats have
always had the majority even if they have been divided among themselves, which
has served the same purpose as if the powers had been divided among two
parties. At one time the debate was about control of the railroads within the
state, and it ended with the formation of the so-called Railroad Commission,
with the power to investigate complaints and decide freight and passenger fees.
Later Prohibition has been the foremost political question. Time after time, it
has been defeated until 1918, when a law was passed, which on June 25 of the
same year, closed all bars in the state.
the 94th meridian along
peculiarity which we meet on the
which probably more deserve the name sandy reefs. These stretch along the entire
coast. The larger waves of the ocean cannot reach the coast, but break where the
water is deeper, sometimes miles out in the ocean. Where this happens the ocean sand
is thrown up into reefs, and as one wave follows the other with its load of sand, the
size and height of the reef increases until it rises above the surface of the water and
creates an island. What the ocean water has started, the wind completes as it
continues to pile up the continuously gathering sand. The islands, which are created
in this way, are usually much longer than they are wide, and run parallel with the
coast, and behind them there is usually an area of calm water. The most important
which have been formed in this way are
is obvious that in a state as large as
Level above the Sea
though the largest part of the state is lower than 1000 feet over sea level,
the medium level above the sea is 1700 feet. The most fertile part of the state
and the one which is most densely populated, is the one located from 500 to 700
feet above sea level. The highest mountain is
a large part of the year the rainfall west of the
rivers which are situated there shrink into little creeks, and during times of drought
they are hardly more than a series of puddles. These rivers have clear water however,
and during times of heavy rainfall, they swell and overflow their bed and become
very rapid. The water in the more important rivers seems
and has a reddish brown color, which is caused by the leeching out of the soil
in the areas where it flows through. The most important of the rivers which
originate inside the state is the
It is the drainage canal for an area of 900 square miles, or an area equal to the State
almost parallel with the
40 miles from
navigable all the way up to
the east to
square miles. It was named after the trees which are so plentiful in this area, the
southeasterly direction for a distance of close to 1,800 miles after which it empties
portion the flow is plentiful but it is used a large part for irrigation, and what is not
used for this purpose, disappears by seeping through the riverbed which in the upper
to a large part consists of sand. Just below
more than a sandy area with a slight indentation and sometimes it is totally dried out,
or with stagnant water in hollows here and there. At other times, when rainfall is
plentiful, the river overflows and floods a large area of the surrounding land and
causes a lot of destruction. Further down towards the mouth of the river, it gets deeper
and the water
more plentiful and at times it is navigable to smaller ships for a few miles.
about one-eightieth of
have mentioned before that
low, humid and cold, what we could label low, humid and warm, and what could be
classified as high and dry. In the northeast we find the first type, on the
coast, the second, and in the western part, the third. The average temperature
in the coastal area is 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and in the far northwest, the
average temperature is 56 degrees. The hot season lasts from May through
October. During this time the heat is fairly severe, and the thermometer often
shows 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat is seldom oppressive because the air is
fresh and clear and the cooling winds from the Gulf of Mexico makes even the
hottest day bearable, at least if you seek the shade. Things like sunstroke or
overheating are hardly known, or are at least very rare. The nights are
particularly pleasant because of the Gulf winds, which are strongest at that
time. In the southern and middle parts of the state there is no winter to speak
of, but it can sometimes get fairly cold, and it feels much worse because it
happens seldom and when it does, it comes very quickly in connection with a
strong northern wind. When these northerly winds occasionally sweep down, the
temperature can drop by many tens of degrees. The “Northers” are usually
preceded by a few hours of unusual heat caused by the approaching wind, which
forces the air to the south and causes it to becomes hot and heavy. “Northers”
usually do not last for more than three days and arrive quite unexpectedly and
with irregular intervals. Sometimes it
can happen that a new “Norther” can follow immediately after a preceding one
and prolongs the cold-spell in this way. Sometimes these northern winds are
mixed with rain, snow, or even sleet and are then called “Wet Northers”. In some parts of the state, the temperature can
fall as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit, and it has happened even in the southern
and central parts of the state that the mercury has fallen as low as to 4
degrees above zero. These are exceptions, however. The climate can all in all
be said to be fairly healthy, and regarding the winters, southern
of good soil means that there is hardly any type of crop of the more common ones
which cannot be grown in some parts of the state. It is not common to add fertilizer,
and in most cases it is not necessary. Thousands of acres have been cultivated for
sixty years or more and give as good a harvest today as it ever did. The richest soil
the waxy black loam, which is mostly found in central
suitable for growing different kinds of grain and above all, cotton. This black waxy
soil has gotten its name because of its color and adherent nature. It is from one to
several feet deep. The
richest is the black sandy soil, which can be found in the southern part of the
state and on the coast. This soil is easier to cultivate than the former and is
particularly suitable for growing rice and sugarcane. Fruit and vegetables also
grow well in this soil. The black sandy, the red sandy, and the gray sandy
soils which are to be found in eastern Texas, have long been known as
particularly suitable for growing fruit. In the river valleys, particularly
those of the
lumber industry is one of the sources for the riches and wealth of
Still, an area of 64,000 square miles is covered by forest, a larger area than in any other
and cypress. The true forest areas are limited to the eastern parts of the state, and the
types of wood which are available are two types of pine, i.e., with long or short
The long-needled pine is found in the east from
down towards the
where it stops growing. Around 25,000,000 acres of land is covered by this type of
From here building material is shipped to all parts of
over in the north from
is mixed with other types of wood, such as walnut, maple, ash and poplar. Pecan trees
grow in large numbers in the river valleys and along the riverbanks. The pecan nuts
are very tasty. The lumber is used mostly for tools like handles for shovels, pickaxes,
and similar things. Additionally, we find, particularly on the black soil prairies,
woods such as elm, oak, and live oak among others, which obviously do not grow
well, but have taken on a dwarf type of growing, except maybe the live oak, which
is better acclimatized than some of the other trees. Among the trees which are most
suitable as shade trees, hackberry
is the foremost. It also grows wild on the black-land prairies. All of the latter types of wood have no significant value as lumber, but are mainly used as firewood and other less important uses where hardwoods are not needed.
INDUSTRY IN THE STATE
Overview. The general idea of those who have been lacking in closer knowledge
of the true conditions in
mining within the state.
industry is farming. The riches of the state lies mainly in the enormous and
inexhaustible production of the rich soil. There are already over half a million farms,
worth about two and a half billion dollars. According to an official report in 1910,
the income from farming within the state reached $650,000,000 yearly. This is a sum
equivalent to $160.00 for each person, man, woman, or child within the state. Only
within a part of the state, the one which
lies east of the 100th parallel, is the rainfall sufficient to bring in a harvest using
conventional means of cultivation. West of this meridian, they must use irrigation, or
so-called dry farming. Water for irrigation is created in two ways, either by damming
up the rivers, or by digging wells. By using the former method, they have managed
create a system of irrigation in the
by damming the
water for irrigation. Up in the Panhandle, in and around
Tulia and other
Weighing and transporting of cotton to a gin
places, they use the latter method to drill wells to supply water for watering the fields. When growing rice, they are totally dependent on irrigation and for this purpose, they use water from rivers, brooks, and wells. Another way to produce a harvest where rainfall is not sufficient using conventional methods, is by so-called “dry farming.”
The basic principle for this kind of farming is to preserve the moisture which exists
and not let it evaporate in areas where the rainfall is sufficient, but does not come at
the right time. To achieve this they use suitable methods; deep plowing and constant
turning of the soil to keep the surface loose and crumbly, and therefore prevent
moisture from reaching the surface and evaporating. Through this method, large areas
land in west central
and up in the Panhandle area which would otherwise be almost useless, have been
able to give ample harvests. Experienced leaders in agriculture are encouraging the
use of this method in even more areas and advise its use even in areas where the
precipitation is sufficient. Another difficulty which meets the farmer is in the form
of too much water
of sugareane in southern
Corn cobs from the Black-loam belt
in the areas where the water remains on the ground after continuous rain, because of insufficient drainage. Large areas of land were considered useless or at least useless for anything but grazing until they were given proper drainage, and have now become the most productive fields in the state. They are now most suited for fruit and vegetable farming. We have mentioned before the excellent soil in the river valleys.
In spite of the value of these areas, they have been left uncultivated at least near the
mouth of the rivers closest to the ocean since the rivers now and again have
washed away all that has been planted. Nowadays this problem has been solved in many areas by constructing so called levees, a kind of dam so that the river water is held back even during times when the river rises to its peak. With this method, millions of acres of the most fertile land in the state have been made productive.
Main Farm Products. The most important farm product is
Growing and Market Gardening.
suitability for growing vegetables and it is also becoming known and is finding its
place as a fruit growing state. The coastal area is particularly suitable for growing
vegetables and the climate is ideal for this purpose since a lot of vegetables can be
grown throughout the year because of the warm and mild climate. Regarding fruitgrowing, apples can easily be grown in the northern part of the state while peaches
from the eastern part are among the most delicious in the world. Figs are grown in
coastal area, mostly in
are also grown
great success. The areas along the
and sweet grapes. Thousands of boxcars filled with produce, such as wild
strawberries, muskmelons, potatoes, cabbage, cucumber, onion, tomatoes, spinach,
etc., are shipped out of
from orchards in
the state yearly, and as profitable products, they are second to cotton and corn. Tobacco is grown in ninety-eight of the state’s counties. The tobacco harvest is not important in regards to quantity. However, quality-wise, it is the very best.
Cattle Ranching. Next to farming, cattle breeding or so called “ranching” is the
most important industry. The west part of the state, or the so-called “Plains Region,”
is particularly suitable for this purpose. Because of the scarce rainfall in this area,
farming is not suitable here, but the precipitation is still enough to support good
herd of cattle on the SMS Ranch in
changing horses on the SMS Ranch in
the grass which offers the finest grazing for cattle, sheep and goats.
surpasses all the other states in the number and size of these ranches. In size they
vary from a few thousand to several million acres. The biggest among them is the
so-called X.I.T. Ranch, which encompasses several counties, including an area of
acres of land, the size of
of the Swenson brothers, the well-known SMS Ranch, in northwest
and Fishing. The state of
cotton gin and saw mill,
Industry. We have already mentioned farming and ranching as the main industries
additional to the abundance of cheap fuel, the industry in the state is developing rather
strongly. Since they discovered how to extract oil from cottonseed, they have also
learned to use the byproducts as feed for cattle, and in this way they have lately started
more on the dairy industry than before. Important slaughter houses are located
in the bigger cities within the state where the meat is prepared for the
market. There are large mills where the
grain is ground and made into flour. Since a lot of wheat and corn are grown
within the state, this industry is well developed. The timber industry in
Rice Harvest is Brought to the Mill,
of olive oil, lard, and in the production of soap and a number of other things. The shells are used as feed instead of hay. The flour which remains when the oil has been extracted from the shelled seed, is used as feed and is also widely used as fertilizer.
production in all of the
in its infancy in
only repair shops which are connected to the railroad. Cotton factories were also
constructed here and there, but are not of importance. In addition, there is naturally
a lot of other industry, such as printing, etc. In addition, every community has one
or more “Gins”, where the cotton is separated from the seed, and the “lint” is pressed
into bales. In the areas where fruit is grown on a large scale,
are also important fruit packing plants, in the oil districts there are
refineries, and in the rice-belts, there are rice mills. “Chalkburning” is a
fairly important industry in certain areas. In general, we cannot say that
industry is of great importance in
Even though it is yet only slightly developed, mining in
Deposits. Petroleum has been found in quite a lot of places in
drilling for water. Two types of oil was found there, one which was used for fuel and
one for the oiling of machines. A particularly rich deposit was found at Spindle Top
Resources. No life can exist and be sustained without water, and whether there
is water available or not, decides mainly if an area can be inhabited by humans
COMMUNICATION AND TRANSPORT
Importance. Of greatest importance for the development of a state and the
comfort and enjoyment of its settlers, is communication and transport. The
easier it is to get in touch with each other and travel back and forth and
transport products, the easier and more profitable it is for the people within
a specific area or community. If we
The two main lines in an easterly and westerly direction are the Texas Pacific, and
the Southern Pacific. These lines and their side-lines unite all places of any
within the state. The most important rail centers are
the far west,
Traffic. We have already mentioned in the description of Texas Physical Geography,
that the rivers in the state are only partially navigable. Because of this
condition, shipping within the state is of minor importance. However, there are
plans to facilitate traffic on some of the rivers suitable for this purpose,
and the United States Government in cooperation with the local state government
are yearly spending large sums for this purpose. By constructing locks in
different places, they are planning to make the
Electric Train lines. As the population increases, the demand for faster and
cheaper transportation increases as well. They are trying to meet this demand by
building an electric train system between the larger cities and through the most
populated areas. Such railroads have been built between
between two cities in
it was opened to traffic in 1900. These “intercity” railroad
fill a long-known need for cheaper and faster connections between larger
communities than can be established by the railroads. Highways. A strong force has been established
in this country which wants to improve the highway system. They are making
strong efforts to make every important road within the state not only drivable
in all kinds of weather, but also comfortably so. This is being accomplished
with federal aid, which is generously given, with state means, and through
local taxation. They are making efforts to make ‘The King of Trails”, which is
a continuation of “The Meridian Highway” which reaches from
or Constitutional Amendments. Early
The Legislative Assembly or The Legislative Department. The legislative
power belongs to the Senate and the House of Representatives, which together
are called the Texas Legislature. The Senate consists of thirty-one members who serve for four years. For this purpose, the state is divided into thirty-one senatorial districts which can each consist of no less than one county. When one senatorial district contains more than one county, they must be bordering each other. After each federal census, these districts must be re-zoned. This is what is called “redistricting” and it is carried out by the legislature. After the census new senators are elected, which are divided into two groups, those who will serve for two years and those who will serve for four. Then half of the senators are up for re-election every other year until a new census is done and a whole new group of senators are elected and grouped as mentioned before. The House of Representatives can never exceed one-hundred-fifty members. Their term is only two years because the Legislature meets only every other year. The size of the district from which each representative is elected depends on the density of the population, because the district is formed according to the size of the population, by dividing the total population of the state by 150. Every county has the right to as many representatives as its population entitles them to according to the above-mentioned rules. If a county does not have enough population to qualify for its own representative, it will be joined with a neighboring county and thus forming a “joint district”. When a county is entitled to a fraction more than one or more “whole” representatives, the part of the county which is superfluous can be joined with a neighboring county in the same situation, and form what is known as a “Floating District”. The representative who is chosen from such a district, is usually called a floater. Presently there are twenty-three such districts in the state. The legislature meets only every other year, and then it meets on the second Tuesday of January in the Capitol. The regular session cannot last for more than ninety days, but extra sessions can be called by the Governor, and these cannot last for more than thirty days.
Courts or Justice Department. The Justice Department is divided into different
courts which are grouped into higher and lower ones. The higher courts are The
State Supreme Court and the Appellate Courts. The Courts of Appeal are divided
into two classes, one for criminal and eight for civil cases. The “State
Supreme Court” has its seat in the
1st District, Galveston; 2nd District, Fort Worth; 3rd District, Austin; 4th District, San Antonio; 5th District, Dallas; 6th District, Texarkana; 7th District, Amarillo; 8th District, El Paso. These courts have three judges each which are also elected for a period of six years. They can only hear cases which come to them from County or District courts within their own respective district. From these, one can in certain cases appeal to the Supreme Court, but in most cases their decision is final. These courts are also in session between October and June. The lower courts are District Courts, of which there are a large number which are located in the main cities of each county. County Courts, of which there is one in each county with its seat in the courthouse of each county. Justice of the Peace, of which there can be no less than four and no more than eight in each county. In addition, the large cities have their own Municipal Courts, or “Corporation Courts”, and Police Courts. District Courts must be available for at least two terms yearly. In these courts, they hear the most severe criminal cases and civil cases as well. The District judges are elected by the people for a term of four years. They must live in the district where their court is located. County judges must be available at least once each quarter and more often if the need arises. County judges are elected by the people for a term of two years. The County Courts have jurisdiction over minor civil as well as criminal cases. The Justice of the Peace must hold court at least once a month and be ready to hear criminal cases and judge when someone has been arrested under suspicion of a crime, whether he should be jailed or released under bond, awaiting trial, or if the suspicions are sufficiently well founded, to hold the suspect for further questioning by a higher court or a “Grand Jury”. The right to have your case judged by a “jury” is given to each person. In the lower courts, the jury consists of six men, and twelve in the higher courts, the so-called District Courts. In the Appellate Courts and in the State Supreme Court, the verdicts are handed down by the judges themselves without a jury.
The Executive or The Executive Department. The Executive Department
consists of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, State Treasurer, Comptroller of
Public Accounts, Land Commissioner, Superintendent of Public Schools, the Attorney
General, and the Railroad Commissioner. All are elected for a period of two years,
except for the Railroad Commissioners whose terms of office last for six years. Other
members of the Executive Branch are the Secretary of State, the Insurance Commissioner, the Banking Commissioner, etc. who are appointed by the Governor and
whose term are equal to that of the Governor’s. The Governor’s duties are very much
like those of governors in other states. He has to ensure that the laws are enforced in
all respects within the state. To accomplish this, he has the right to command the
state’s militia to maintain law and order anywhere,
wherever the need arises. We have already mentioned that some of the state
executives are appointed by the governor. He has the power to appoint a large
part of the state’s executives and commissioners. If the Senate is in session,
the governor makes these appointments. It is his duty to submit the names of
those whom he intends to select. If they are not approved by the Senate by
two-thirds majority, the governor must make another selection until the chosen
individual is confirmed. If none of those are selected by the governor while
the Senate is in session, the governor will fill the post with someone who is suitable
and can legally hold the position, but none of those whom the Senate has vetoed
can be appointed. The governor also has the right to pardon prisoners who have
been granted a stay of execution or sentencing. He has to personally handle all
correspondence and all official business between
The Lieutenant Governor in the capacity of his post presides over the Senate. His duty is to serve as Governor when the Governor is incapable to fulfill his duties;when the Governor is out of state, severely ill, or when accused by the Senate because of misconduct.
The Secretary of State is in charge of the state’s archives, its books, maps, documents, protocol, and other papers, as well as the State Seal for all proclamations and documents issued by the Governor. He also issues permits for corporations of different types to carry out business according to the regulations established by the legislature. He must always be ready to give all information to the Legislature which he has access to according to his position. He must print and distribute all new laws passed by the Legislature so that the public will be informed of these. He must keep careful records of all elections held within the state and give to the Legislature the complete election information during their session.
The Superintendent of Public Schools is in charge of all public schools within the state.
“The Comptroller of Public Accounts” is actually the state’s accountant.
In his office are kept all records regarding money, public lands and other property belonging to the state, as well as all records of indebtedness owed to the state and all morgages in which the state is interested.
The duty of the State Treasurer is to control all money belonging to the state and to make payments according to directives signed by the Comptroller. The first Monday of November of every year, it is the duty of the State Treasurer to make a complete statement to the Governor regarding the state’s finances. When so requested, he must turn over all books, receipts and other papers in his office to the Legislature for examination or to a committee appointed by the legislature for their scrutiny. The Railroad Commissioners, which are three in number, have as their duties to negotiate between the railroad companies and the general public, and above all, to insure that the rightful demands of the general public are met by the railroad companies.
The duties of the Insurance and Bank Commissioners are to protect the general public from being defrauded by swindlers in the form of insurance companies and bank institutions, which are willing to take the public’s money without being able to meet their obligations to them when requested. Before the bank can be opened or an insurance company can be formed, their business principles as well as their assets are carefully scrutinized by their respective commissioners who have been appointed for this purpose. They will then have their books and accounts opened for auditing whenever these commissioners arrive for this purpose. The State’s Attorney Generals duties are described by his title. He is the State’s representative in all legal affairs. He must interpret all legal paragraphs, and when requested, give his opinion. He is the advisor in all legal questions concerning the State to the Governor and all state executives.
The duties of the Commissioner of Public Lands are to keep careful accounts of all negotiations of the sale of state lands to private individuals, and to protect the state from unfounded claims regarding the state’s lands and in general, to hold in trust all public property.
the state is divided into 251 different counties. Their original number was 23.
By dividing these original counties, the numbers have been increased to the
current one, and as the population increases it is probable that continued
division will be done. Some counties are still comparatively large, for example
inhabitants of the state of
most densely populated counties within the state are as follows: Dallas, with
the city of Dallas, Bexar, with the city of San Antonio, Harris, with the city
of Houston, Tarrant, within which we find the city of Fort Worth, McLennan,
where Waco is situated, Grayson, with the cities of Denison and Sherman,
Travis, with the capital city, Austin, Ellis, with the city of Waxahachie, and
El Paso, with the city of El Paso. We find the state’s densest population
within the “Black-land Belt”. The state
has 131 cities of which four have a population of over 100,000. According to
the latest estimates,
represent in the House of Representatives, and like other states in the
F. L. Hagberg
educational system in
give an education in agriculture, national economics, home economics, teachers
for women teaching home economics, schools for agriculture, vocational schools
Public Schools in
This fund has mainly been created by selling large land areas which from time to time
have been set aside by the state. Presently (1913), this state-fund consists of land, and promissory notes to the value of $50,909,287, interest-bearing bonds, $16,703,361, unsold land $3,000,000, stocks in railroads $ 1,172,817, and cash funds $90.729. In addition to the permanent fund which cannot be touched, there is also another state fund which is at the disposal of the schools. This fund which amounts to around seven million dollars is partly derived from the yearly interest from capital and still unsold land areas, partly through a yearly taxation on all male citizens from the age of twenty-one to sixty, as well as an additional tax of twenty cents per one hundred dollars on all property.
This fund is divided proportionally to the schools in the different counties. The school districts are also allowed to collect a local school tax not exceeding fifty cents for property of a hundred dollars value. This local taxation usually reaches five million dollars, and this sum, in addition to the seven million available from the state fund, a total of twelve million dollars, can be used for the yearly upkeep of the schools.
According to the state laws, the schools are kept open at least six months every year,
and the school age is from seven to seventeen years of age. The public schools are
the supervision of the State Education Department consisting of the Governor,
the Controller of Public Funds, and the Secretary of State. The Superintendent
of Schools is the Secretary of the Department of Education. There are four
schools for the education of white teachers, that is:
mechanics and connected sciences. This school has established so-called
‘testing stations’ in different parts of the state where scientific
advancements are used in practice on land donated by the state for this
purpose. The Government gives funds for this glorious work, and supports “the
Office of Dry Land Agriculture” in Dalhart, the Office of Grain Investigation
and all education is free to residents of the state. Students from high schools affiliated
University awards the same degree as the other American universities, but no honor
degrees are given. In addition to the academic courses, there are courses in home
economics, crafts, agriculture,
architecture and business. There is also a correspondence school for those who cannot attend classes. To keep the university in close contact with the other schools in the state, there is a special lecturer with the responsibility to visit the schools in the state and advise their leaders about the best methods of carrying on the education. For the upkeep of the university, the legislature sets aside a certain sum of money each year as well as the interest from the real estate set aside by the state for the university.
state has two schools for the deaf and dumb, and for the blind, both located in
and the Foundation of Swedish Churches here
Alfred L. Scott
tells about three large waves of immigration from the Nordic countries. The first age of immigration, which is
partially obscured by the mist of the fairy-tale, started about 1000 A.D. The
second exodus happened during
You can read on the granite block: “This stone is a portion of the rock on which
the first Swedish colonists in
years after the death of Nils Collins in 1849, the Swedish Lutheran pastor,
Lars Paul Esbjom arrived in the
16 miles north of
This was in 1846.
first Swedish Lutheran Congregation during the later period of immigration was
also count the Swedish Episcopal minister, Gustav Unonius, as a founder. He was
not a minister when he came to
SWEDISH CHURCHES IN
Founding of the
and the Northern States
Alfred L. Scott
large numbers of strong young men and beautiful blue-eyed maidens who emigrated
from Smaland and came to
these communities, Swedish Lutheran work started early. It was natural that the first Swedish
This time they turned to the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Augustana-Synod of
J.O.Cavallin, one after the other, visited the Swedish communities in Travis and
Counties. Hocanzon founded in 1875 the congregations in
and Cavallin organized the congregation in
of 1876. In the summer of 1876, Pastor Martin Noyd came to the Brushy
and in addition to that one, served both
churches. As the first permanently stationed Swedish Lutheran Augustana pastor in
in the Augustana-Synod, he spent over 30 years devoted to the spiritual work in the
spiritual battlefields is still active in one of our outposts in the South, a
faithful guardian on the walls of
1882, six years after Pastor Noyd arrived. Pastor J. A. Stamline came to
third pastor who has carried out blessed work within our church in
The work of the Augustana-Synod, and its growth during the years 1860-1917, is shown by the following statistic: Year 1860 - 17 pastors, 36 congregations, 21 churches, 3,753 members, total expenses $9,171.00.
1917: 710 pastors, 1,225 congregations, 1,110 churches, 191,390 active members,
278,333 members, total expenses $2,383,920.
The synod owns and controls 32 charitable establishments, with an
estimated value of $2,203,628: a theological seminary and ten colleges with a
property value of $2,300,000. The synod’s church property is valued at
$2,207,404. The total value of all property belonging to the Synod amounts to
$6,711,032. The Augustana-Synod contains
12 conferences and 4 missionary districts.
are just some outlines of the history of the
is the oldest
facts for this review are taken from the church history compiled by Pastor
Gideon C. Olson and read by him at the above-mentioned celebration. From the information received from an early
immigrant, there were 16 families living in
Swedish Lutheran Congregation was established in
At the founding of the church, the congregation consisted of 8 8 active members and
children. The first church was built on
“small and simple, and located between two Negro churches, which was very disturbing.”
the Fall of 1875, Pastor J. O. Cavallin arrived in
I saw clearly that if any good was to be done at least one more man must be
secured, I resigned and advised the congregation to call a student.” In
October, 1879, Pastor Noyd resigned from the congregation. The Austin-Brushy
pastorate dissolved, and
Theology students, G. Landin and E. Glad, took care of the congregation during
the vacancy between 1887-1889. In the beginning of 1889, Pastor GustafBerglund
charge of the congregation in
1892. After he moved away the church was served by the students, C. 0. Strom and
E. Johnson. Pastor G. A. Dorfcame to
ordained. Services and Sunday school classes were held in Decker during this
period. Church work was continued in Elroy with the result that a church was
established there in 1897, and a building was finished in 1899. Pastor Dorf moved
away in August, 1899, and the following
Pastor C. G. Widen, arrived. Austin and Elroy combined to form a pastorate, and
Pastor Widen served the same until his death.
In the fall of 1899, a pipe-organ was installed at the cost of $1,150.00. The congregation celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary in 1900. Concerning this celebration. Pastor Widen said:
“Our congregation celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary on December 9th. For
night, the Gustaf Adolf Society had arranged an exceptionally good concert performed by the choir and the orchestra, which was well attended. This tended to put the congregation in tune from the very beginning. The church had been renovated and with the beautiful pipe-organ, it was clad in holiday array. All the preachers in the district were at hand, and distributed among us, the Word of Truth. At the three services which were held during this holiday, the church was filled to capacity with attentive listeners. With gratitude to the Lord for His work among us during the past 25 years, we wish to raise the banner in His name.” Pastor J. S. Ryding took over the congregation in May, 1908, but remained only a year. Pastor G. A. Ekman came in September, 1910, and was the congregation’s pastor until July, 1913. Concerning this period. Pastor Ekman writes as follows:
is not up to me to praise my own work, but the services were all well attended
with the exception of the week-day services. The young people seemed to take
more interest in the weekly services than the older people did. The different
organizations were very active and helpful in keeping the treasury strong. A
new electrical lighting system was installed by the Luther League, cement
sidewalks were put down by the Ladies Aid, the church was renovated, and paving
of the street in front of the church on
Theology student, Gideon C. Olson, was called to be pastor of the congregation, after he was ordained at the synod meeting in 1913. He came here in the late summer of the same year. At the yearly meeting in 1914, the congregation decided to build a new parsonage. A building-committee was elected, consisting of Pastor Gideon C. Olson, Carl Bergstrom, Carl Widen, Dr. J. A. Udden, William Anderson, John Bergstrom, Alfred Tornquist, Aron Wetter, Otto Danielson, Adolf Bergstrom and Olaus Nelson. A beautiful and practical parsonage was built for $4,500.00. Services in English began during Pastor Olson’s tenure and were held the first Sunday night of each month. The old parsonage was remodelled to serve as a Luther Hall.
The Luther League has bought and installed a fine piano in the church. August Swenson from Hutto gave a chime clock to the congregation at its fortieth anniversary in 1915.
the yearly meeting in 1918, there were 253 members of which 180 were
communicants. In June, Pastor Gideon Olson left
Sunday School has been conducted during the entire period of the existence of the congregation. Mr. Carl Bjorkman served as Sunday school director for many years.
C. J. Carlson, John Ljunggren, C. A. Holm, N. Mellin,
Oscar Carlson, C. J. Ekman, Alfred Tomquist, and Victor Bengtson have since filled this position. Including the “cradle roll” in which 30 are enrolled, there are 85 children taught by 9 teachers.
A school for the entire congregation has been held every summer for many years.
The Ladies Aid has worked without interruption since 1883. It has been the congregation’s best financial aid, and without its assistance, it would have been hard to meet outstanding expenses.
The Luther League. This organization is a continuation of the Gustaf Adolf group. The group meets twice a month, and the meetings are held alternatively in Swedish and in English. In addition to its normal work, this organization has worked for the financial aid of the church.
The Art Club, Dorcas, was established by Pastor C. G. Widen during the Spring of 1901. At first the girls would do handicrafts at their meetings. They have ceased doing this, and now the young people gather for a social meeting in various homes to which they are invited. The purpose of the group is to bring together the young people and to add to the church treasury.
Choir. Church singing and music has had a prominent place in the
PALM VALLEY CONGREGATION IN
first Swedish immigrants who came to
second oldest of the Swedish colonies in
first settlers speak in particular of two of the pastors of the Swedish church
who were drawn to
farewell sermon. In another place in the
church-book, he writes: “On
Norwegian Lutheran pastor, Estrem, from
the settlers, and administered the Holy Communion. He, too, founded a church in
“Pastor Tillman had many good qualities, and great knowledge. As a preacher, he was orthodox and adhered to ceremony, staying close to the Swedish state church ritual. In sermonizing, he surpassed all other pastors which the Smaland people had ever heard.” Concerning a sermon that Pastor Tillman gave on Christmas morning, 1871, he says the following: “Pastor Tillman does not deserve any praise for being excellent in extemporaneous speaking, because his sermon was only a compilation from beginning to end.”
both Karlen and Tillman have come and gone; and it became evident that if our
Swedish Lutheran Parsonage,
turn to the founding church in this country, that is, the Swedish Evangelical
Lutheran Augustana-Synod. Anders J. Nelson read the Augustana-Synod newspapers,
and was very familiar with its work. He wrote to Dr. T. N. Hasselquist and
asked him to send a pastor to
Hocanzon was sent here to organize the work. A. J. Nelson sent Dr. Hasselquist
$50.00 of his own money for Pastor Hocanzon’s trip and promised that his travel
expenses would be paid. Pastor Hocanzon came to Brushy in January, 1875, and on
February 14, the following year, he founded the Brushy congregation. From this
the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Brushy or
existence. The number of “charter” members was 156, of which 95 were active
members. Of these first members, many have had to lay down the staff of life
now rest in hallowed graves; a few have moved to other areas, and others have
gone to other denominations. The charter members who lived and belonged to the
congregation at the fortieth anniversary in 1915, are as follows: Mrs. H. T.
Stark, Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Bjork, Mrs.
John Berg, Mrs. Anders J. Nelson, Mr. Sven A. Anderson, Mrs. Carl Forsman, Mr.
and Mrs. Johan Israelson, William Hörd, Mr. and Mrs. P. J. Peterson, Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Palm, Mr. A. Peterson,
Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Engstrand, Mr. Adolf Engstrand, Mr. Gottfrid Anderson, Mr.
A. J. Seth, and Mrs. J. Johnson. At the
synod meeting in Vasa,
The old church was built in 1874. During the first years the church also served as a public schoolhouse. At the yearly meeting in 1882, a decision was made to add to the church. From time to time, necessary repairs were made, and the little place of worship was always beautiful and inviting.
The congregation grew. New times brought new demands. At a special meeting in
March, 1890, it was decided that a new church should be built, and at a meeting held
in August the decision was made that the church was to be built of wood. They did
not stick to this decision, and at the yearly meeting held in 1891 the congregation
agreed that the church was to be of brick or stone. B ut no church building came about
they could not agree on a building plan. At a special meeting in April, 1984,
all previous decisions regarding church building were repealed and new plans
were made. A building committee was appointed, consisting of the following:
Pastor GustafBerglund, Anders J. Nelson, John A. Nelson, J. E. Gustafson, P. J.
Peterson, A. J. Palm, J. F. Blad, A. J. Anderson, and N. J. Westerberg. The
cornerstone for the church was laid on
The congregation has constantly been concerned with the Christian upbringing of the children and the young people. Sunday school and a Swedish-Christian weekday school have been held during the existence of the congregation. In the church the following organizations work: the Luther League, the Willing Workers, the Mission Society, and the Ladies Aid.
There has always been a choir to sing at the services and for special occasions. The church now includes 380 communicant members and 219 children, for a total of 599 members. The church property is valued’at $20,000. Pastor 0. M. Bloom finished his description of the congregation, during its first 40 years, with these words: “In God’s kingdom there is much that belongs to eternity. Now we can see only a part, and of that part I have presented only a bit. A beautiful day is dawning forGod’s people when all shall be revealed in the light. Then we shall see all.”
Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Congregation in
The following persons and families signed as members: Gustaf Johanson Ax and
his wife, Johanna Swenson, the son of the preceding couple, Johan Axell and his wife,
Anna Carolina, and their son, Henry; Anders Johan Almquist and his wife, Stina
Catharina Nilson, and
their children, Emelia Christina, Anna Augusta, Maria and Johanna Matilda; Adolph
Fredrik Anderson and his wife, Josephina Christina, and their daughter, Anna
Josephina; Claes Johan Skog and his wife, Hedvig Larsberg, and their children,
Johanna Rosalie and John Oscar; Carl Johan Johanson Krut and his wife, Anna Stina
Johanson, and their children, Nels Johan Lindstrom and Christina; Anders Gustaf
Swenson and his wife,
Maria Carlson, and their children Frans Oscar and Anna Sofia; Carl Peter Manson and
his wife, Emma Katharina Johanson, Peter Johan Swenson and his wife, Emma
Wilhelmina Frick, and their children, Ida Maria and Johan August, C. L. Wandali,
born in 1871 on the ocean, and Joseph William; Johan Alfred Stenholm and his wife,
Mathilda Maria Gylfe, and their sons, Carl Herman and Sven August; Gustaf Frederik
and his wife, Anna
Christina Johanson; Johan August Anderson and his wife, Carolina Sofia
Israelson, and their sons, Axel Albin and GustafEmil; Sven Johan Lyckman and his wife, Clara Mathilda Stark, and their sons, George, Wilhelm, and Swante; Brita Helena Sjoberg; GustafPeterson; Anders Johan Anderson, brother of A. F. Anderson;
Johan Jonason Ljungdahl; Claes Linus Johnson; Josef Martenson; August Newman;
Anders Olson; Carl Peter Peterson and his wife, Johanna
Gustaf Manson; Gustaf Wilhelm Anderson, Gustaf Hellgren; Johannes Holmberg;
Carl Victor Hollerson; Gustaf Johnson, and Per Isakson. Of these 67 charter members, only 9 are left in the congregation when this is written (1918).
The first deacons were A. F. Anderson, A. J. Almquist, and C. P. Manson.
The first trustees were: P. J. Swenson, J. A. Stenholm, and J. Axell.
Interior of the
these immigrants have now joined together to form a Swedish Lutheran Church in
this country, one of the congregation’s first considerations was to make sure
that the word of God would abide within the congregation through regular
services as well as reading of the Bible in the different homes. In the record
of the yearly meeting held on
“That services be held as usual. On Sundays when the pastor cannot be present, the services will be held during the week in a private home. Otherwise, services will be held in the so-called stone church.”
preachers from the
their work was less than successful for many reasons, and they soon left even
this missionary field. In the summer of 1876, Pastor Martin Noyd came to the
Swedish Lutheran Congregation in Brushy,
December, 1875,1 received orders from the synod’s missionary board, through Dr.
Norelius, to travel to
Swedish Lutheran Parsonage,
Cavallin was at that time the synod’s missionary in the field, but he was to
return in the spring. When I came to
The church was quite delapidated. Some members of the church had braced it so
that it would not fall over. Here I held
first sermon to the
I returned to
Holy Communion. I am not sure if this was the first I held with the congregation, but it was celebrated in the home of Carl Petter Petterson, who was a tenant farmer at Gilleland (Gilden). The table was covered to serve as an altar, and so-called “topboards” were placed in front, to form the altar ring and a place to kneel. It was all as simple as could be, but neither the Word or the Sacrament suffered.
Services In The Homes. These services belong to my most pleasant memories. It was only those who lived nearby who attended, but we received many blessings from these meetings. Sometimes inspiring conversations followed when the service was over.
The Dedication Of The Church. We were so far away from our conference govemmen, that it was not possible for us to invite someone and pay for the trip. The church was still to be dedicated with proper ceremony. Our pastor gave the dedication and transacted the ceremony with the help of the deacons and the building committee serving as assistants. I will never forget the deep feeling with which this ceremony was carried out.
Later the account for expenses and income was read, and it was found
that the church stood there ready and free of debt, according to the decision of the committee. No meeting had been held in the meantime. The committee understood all and everything was to their satisfaction.
was a great surprise that the poor Swedes had been able to erect the most
attractive church in the entire area. It was unity which made it possible. There was no Sunday school in
I have memories from this time which are personal, however, I want to mention that I was witness to the power of the Word to save.”
Swedish Lutheran Chapel,
six years. Dr. Noyd was the only Swedish Lutheran pastor in
J. A. Stamline was appointed pastor to the congregation for the second time. He held
that position in the congregation until 1894. After that,
L. W. Gullstrom was called, accepted, came to
congregation now has 433 members, of which 303 are communicants. Under ordinary
circumstances, the congregation cannot get much larger than it is because the
land all around it is occupied; but it can very well sustain itself, even if it
can not grow outwardly, as there is still some inward growth. A large number of
former members in
The Church’s Governing Body presently consists of deacons: John Nelson, Oscar Lundgren, August Holmberg, Frank Johnson, Gust. Fritz, and John R. Olson. Trustees: Andrew Berkman, Carl 0. Sellstrom, Gust. Kylberg, August T. Josefson, Carl Stenholm, and Albert Munson.
Something about the different organizations growth and work within the congregation should have a place in this history.
The Ladies Aid Society must be mentioned first because of its age and the
priceless work it does for the benefit of the congregation. In the yearly meeting in
1878, it was decided “that the congregation shall remind its women
members to start a sewing circle for the benefit of the building fund, and the congregation will take up a collection to help this society to form.” The group was founded and worked faithfully. The sewing auction brought in between two and three hundred dollars. The work was probably interrupted because at the yearly meetings in 1886-1888, the admonition was repeated to the women of the congregation. They were now asked to work for the defraying of the church debt. The sewing circle has been reorganized, and the members no longer do any sewing for the society, but pay a certain fee at their meetings. Much money has been collected by this society through the years not only for the congregation’s needs, but also for their school and missionary work. The officers are: the pastor of the congregation, chairman, Mrs. Andrew Berkman, vice-chairman, Mathilda Israelson, secretary, and Mrs. Gust.
The Luther League, which was formerly called the Youth Society, was organized quite early in the history of the congregation. This organization has not only been of value and pleasure to its members, but also of great help to the congregation. Time after time, the League has given large or small sums of money to the congregation or for good causes outside the church. Among the most valuable things the League has bought, we can mention the pipe-organ which cost more than $1,000, and the piano which cost close to $500. Monthly meetings are held in the church or in the different homes of the members. At these meetings programs in the Christian spirit are presented, such as singing, music, recitals, and speeches by the members, as well as shorter speeches or Bible studies by the teachers of the congregation.
Women’s Foreign Missionary Society is the youngest branch within the
congregation. As the name implies, this group works solely for foreign
missions. Hundreds of dollars have
already been given to our missions in
Choir can look back on many years of service even if many changes in the
membership have taken place during the years. The schoolteacher, C. A.
Peterson, who came to
Sunday School traces its existence from the beginning of the 1880’s. At the yearly
meeting of 1883, C. J. Skog was elected Sunday school director. It is obvious that
its beginning must have been humble since there were so few children. But the
Sunday school enrollment grew during the years, and the
spiritual blessings of the Sunday school work has already begun to be noticed by the congregation. These words can be given as encouragement to the Sunday school teachers: “In the (eyes of the) Lord, your work is not in vain.”
the public school shall start on February 1 this year, and as a salary, $40.00
a month will be allotted for a time of two and a half months. And if
circumstances between the teacher and the district are pleasant, the school
shall continue another month and a half. Parents and guardians who send their
children to school are responsible for the teacher’s salary from.the first day
to the last.” In this public school the children were also taught English. It
was a school according to the Swedish pattern where religious instruction went
hand in hand with the teaching of general knowledge. The public English schools
Confirmation Instruction has been given almost every year. There have been 371 children confirmed in the congregation since its beginning.
Johanna Peterson Estate. In 1867, Carl Petter Petterson and Johanna
The Congregation’s Cemetery was legally recorded in 1912 so that a valid deed could be provided to the purchaser. A cemetery fund was established at the same time. The committee which had been given the task to collect money for this fund consisted of C. J. Skog, J. E. Rolf, and Pastor Alfred L. Scott. There is around $3,000 in this fund which is managed by the church trustees.
PHILIPPI-CONGREGATION IN EL
history of the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Philippi Congregation in El Campo
was obtained from the present pastor. Doctor of Theology, M. Noyd, and it was
read by him at the twenty-fifth anniversary on
chairman of the conference and its missionary board at the time of the founding
of the congregation, I had reason to be interested in the immigration to
others north of that city. Meanwhile, some of our countrymen moved to these
regions, and started a colony northwest of the town. The
There was no time to formulate a constitution in detail, but it was decided that matters which warranted a special decision should be decided upon at the following yearly meeting.
It was also decided to incorporate the congregation and to ask Dr. S. D. Hanna to donate land for a church, parsonage, and cemetery. It was also decided that those who submitted their names before the next yearly meeting would be considered charter members. Only Henry Anderson, his wife, Johanna Margareta, and their children were signed up.
it became known to the missionary board that a large immigration was expected
and that most of them would settle south and east of the city on land belonging
On February 4, the same year, a new organization was founded by the youth, and it took the name: The Swedish Lutheran Philippi Congregation Luther League. This society met once a week, and every fourth meeting was held on a Sunday night in the church. This was an inspirational meeting which was also attended by many adults.
On February 6, the congregation celebrated its fifth anniversary. Of the twelve
charter members, there were eight left as members. The congregation now had 130
members, and counting the children, there were 228. At this time, this colony had won
quite a reputation. There was even talk of building a higher school or a Lutheran
college here. But at this time, some clouds arose on the horizon, and during the
following years these were more devastating and caused great problems. Then came
South, a day when the great storm totally destroyed the harvest, and the loss of other
was also considerable. The congregation was considerably reduced through the move of 35 of its members, and other losses, and therefore they had to request aid from the Conference.
The tenth anniversary was celebrated in February, 1903. Dr. J. P. Aurelius had to resign in the spring for health reasons. Selection of a pastor was made time after time, without positive results. Pastor J. P. Borg came here on a trial basis for a few months, but did not accept the offer. On March 6, Pastor A. J. Ryden was called and accepted, and he served the congregation for a few years. After him. Pastor E. Swanson was called, but refused. On May 28, Pastor A. A. Swanlund was called; he accepted and served the congregation until February, 1908. During his tenure, they obtained a fine church bell, the youth group paid for the organ, and financed the installation of electric lights in the church, schoolhouse, and parsonage. Pastor Swanlund was succeeded by Pastor H. Colliander. The following year the congregation had the church fully furnished and nicely decorated, and they were ready to hold a large celebration with the dedication of the church. Then on July 21 came a rainstorm which totally destroyed the furnishings, and the dedication was therefore postponed. When the church had been repaired, the dedication was held on the first Sunday in November, 1909.
In September, 1911, Pastor Colliander resigned and was succeeded by Pastor Theodor Seashore, who accepted the call and served the congregation from February, 1912, to the summer of 1915. During his tenure the congregation celebrated its twentieth anniversary.
M. Noyd came here on
THE SWEDISH EV LUTH. CONGREGATION IN HUTTO,
congregation celebrated its 25th anniversary,
Most of the Swedes in the Hutto community belonged to the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Brushy Congregation. The first teacher from the Augustana-Synod in this congregation. Pastor M. Noyd, was the first one to preach to the Swedes in the Hutto area. Pastor G. Berglund, who succeeded Pastor Noyd in Brushy, also made visits.
Eventually there was talk of founding their own congregation in Hutto, and for this
purpose they met
the schoolhouse in Hutto on
Some of those who were intending to join the planned congregation wished to have
an independent Lutheran congregation. These seemed to have formed a majority
they decided to call a minister from
and then to
The advice was taken and on
Lutheran Congregation in Hutto was established. The record, which was kept at this founding meeting, does not give the names of those who were charter members but according to the church book they were as follows: Johannes Anderson, and his wife, Hedvig Anderson; Anna Lovisa Anderson; Claes Axel Ahlgren and his wife, Ida Chariotta Ahlgren; Johan AdolfJohnson, his wife, Clara Justina Johnson, and seven children; Johan August Jonason; Johannes Oscar Johnson; Carl August Johnson, his wife, Jennie Victoria Johnson, and six children; August H. Johnson, Pehr Adolf Johnson, his wife, Edia Maria Johnson, and five children; Carl August Greek and his wife, Lovisa Greek; Gustaf Magnus Hyltin, his wife, Maria Christina, and three children; Claes Emil Peterson; Carl August Peterson; John Peterson, and his wife, Ellen Peterson; Anders Willie Swenson, his wife, Mathilda, and one child; Carl Johan Swenson; Sven August Svenson, and his wife, Johanna Svenson; and Carl August Svenson. Thus, there were 29 members and 21 children.
Swedish Lutheran Parsonage,
The officers who were elected at this meeting were S. August Svenson, chairman, and C. A. Greek, secretary. The following deacons were elected: Johannes Anderson and John Peterson; trustees: S. August Svenson, Carl Svenson, and Johan A. Johnson. A building committee was chosen, which consisted of S. August Svenson, Carl Svenson, John Peterson, C. A. Jakobson, and Johan A. Johnson, and they were given the task of “to carry out all that is necessary for the building of the church.” It was also decided to borrow $300 from the Church Extension Society.
At the extra meeting of October 6, the same year, the building committee reported
that nothing had been done in the way of building a church. It was then decided that
the church would be built during the Fall; and S. August Svenson and C. Westman
were appointed to obtain the material. They now went to work on building the church,
and it was soon ready with interior decorating and the church bell. The congregation
was not to have the pleasure of worshipping in their first holy building; on Saturday,
following Monday the men gathered in the churchyard to clean up the remnants of their destroyed church.
the yearly meeting in 1901, they decided to build a new church if $2000 could
be collected for this purpose. The following were elected to a committee which
was to submit plans for a new church: August Svenson, John Ljunggren, Gustaf
Hyltin and A. Spong. At a special meeting in March of the same year, this
committee was given the job to contract for the building of the church. In the
pastoral report of 1902, we can read: “that the congregation has a new and
practical church and when all the donations have been collected, there should
be little or no debt at all.” At the yearly meeting in 1902, they decided to
find a suitable place for a cemetery and gave this job to John Ljunggren, A.
Spong, and Johan Johnson. On
L. W. Gullstrom; J. Alfred Anderson, now pastor in
With the exception of the first year, the Sunday school has been held since the beginning of the congregation. Johannes Anderson was elected the first director, and he served until 1898 when he was succeeded by John Ljunggren. Ljunggren served for two years and was succeeded by 0. T. Anderson, who, with the exception of one year when C. 0. Johnson served in this capacity, has been and still is, the director of the Sunday school.
Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Zion congregation in
had reached its peak when the tropical storm of
property and killed so many people in
Swedish Lutheran Parsonage,
from this blow. Not only were many of the members of the congregation killed in the
catastrophe, but for a long time there was also an exodus from the city. This is the
no larger number of our people have settled in
that church work since 1900
has lived on hope alone. In the congregation there are both men and women who have been members from the founding and who are now there as support. Among those, N. J. Anderson occupies a prominent place.
following pastors in consecutive order have served in the
Dr. J. A. Stamline, who founded the congregation, D. A. Lofgren, Eric Swanson, A. S. Segerhammar, A. A. Swanlund, and Oscar Cassling. Presently, the congregation is served by Eric J. Heurlin, student of theology. Charles W. Mattson serves as secretary, and N. J. Anderson as treasurer.
There are 102 members of which 62 are communicants. The Sunday school has 55 children and 7 teachers. The Ladies Aid Society and the Luther League have greatly contributed to the work through the years.
congregation owns property valued at $ 15,000. The blueprint for a new church
has been drawn, and a substantial amount exists in the treasury for this
purpose. In connection with the church
work, the Seamen’s
EDEN CONGREGATION IN OLIVIA, CALHOUN CO.
was organized on
During many years, the work was carried on by Dr. J. P. Aurelius, who was pastor in El Campo, and made one or two visits per month to Olivia.
He had to make the thirty-mile long trip between the two places in a lumber wagon, and in all kinds of weather.
1900, Pastor C. J. Damstrom accepted the call to Olivia. He faithfully stood on
his watchpost down there on paradise point until his resignationfrom the care
of the congregation a few years ago. Pastor 0. H. Sylvan, who is a home
Services have been held every Sunday since the founding of the congregation, and when there was no pastor the deacons read the sermon. The Sunday school has been a prominent branch of the congregation.
Most of the children have been confirmed by Pastor Damstrom.
The choir has held a prominent place in this congregation. Mrs. Skogsberg has been the organist for 25 years, or since the beginning of the congregation. She started this duty as a girl and has faithfully carried on for all these years.
Ganado, a railroad community, with 600-700 inhabitants, along the Southern
Railroad, is situated about 20 miles from the
southwest ofGalveston. At the end of the 1880’s, a general migration of countrymen
the northern states to southern
that Ganado and the land around it started to be settled by Swedes. The colony was
found by Pastor C. E. Elving. Like all settlements, Ganado suffered challenges and
deprivation. Those who
to Ganado first, are listed in the Lutheran congregation’s history. Among the
most prominent farmers mentioned are the Landin, Wendell, Hultquist, Olson,
Ross, Cato, and Lind families etc. In the town is the Ganado Hardware Company,
and the oldest and most reliable bank in the area. Citizens State Bank of
Dalstrom, his wife and the following children: Martin, Carl, Frank, Victor,
John and Oscar, and these children have taken the name,
Combs). The first deacons were: N. P. Landin, Hakan Dalstrom, and G. A. Ericson.
Trustees were: H. E. Oberg, C. A. Dalton, and N. P. Mauritz. During the first year, 1895, the present church was built. It is 48 feet long, 32 feet wide, and 16 feet high. The building committee consisted of the congregation’s trustees, W. P. Landin, J. A. Johnson, Ludvig Svenson, M. Dalton, and J. P. Aurelius. The congregation is joined with the Philippi Congregation of El Campo, and these congregations form a pastorate served by the same pastor. The following pastors have served the congregation: C. J. Damstrom, and others during the year, 1904, A. J. Ryden, 1905-1906, A. A. Swanlund, 1907-1908, H.Colliander, 1909-1910, and Theodor Seashore, 1912-1915. Since 1915,Dr.M.Noydhas been the congregation’s teacher.
the meeting on
The congregation has always held a Sunday school and since the English language has been introduced, the school has grown considerably. The first Sunday school director was N. T. Mauritz with Edia Oberg and Carl A. Dalton as assistants. The present director is T. W. Mauritz.
The congregation also has an active Ladies Aid Society which holds regular meetings every month. The income from the work of this society is mostly used for the benefit of the congregation.
those countrymen who settled here, many came from our older Swedish
communities, Austin, Brushy,
student, A. E. Johnson, who was in charge of the work in the Gethsemane
visits. The first service was held on
In the beginning of July of 1899, they started building a church, and in the beginning of September the church was finished and was dedicated to the Lord with great ceremony.
Pastor Carl Wallin presided, with the assistance of Pastor J. A. Stamline and Pastor G. A. Dorf. The size of the church is 36 feet by 28 feet. The tower was erected in December, 1908.
the same day that the church was dedicated. Pastor G. A. Dorf gave his farewell
sermon in the
G. Widen who followed Pastor Dorf as pastor of the Gethsemane Congregation. During Pastor Widen’s tenure, the congregation was also served periodically by the students Jonason and Hoff as well as Professor Wald. During Pastor Widen’s time, there was a significant influx of countrymen to this community. The congregation could therefore take pride in a significant growth at this dme. The communicant membership was increased from 21 to 40 and the total membership from 37 to 66.
Pastor L. J. Sundquist, who was in charge of the congregation in Manor, was called to succeed Pastor Widen. He accepted this position.
the year of 1908, the active Ladies Aid Society purchased an acre of land along
the church property to erect a parsonage on this site. The congregation had
already received a promise for this lot at the yearly meeting, the same year.
In 1908, the parsonage was built there. It was free and clear of debt. After three and a half years of blessed work,
Pastor Sundquist resigned. At a special meeting on
J. Magnuson, N. A. Olson, A. Molund, August Ekstrom, E. E. Ericson, and C. G.
Olson. Trustees: Edvin Bjorkman, Emil Wissen, Gottfred Johnson, Carl A.
Blomquist, A. Molund, Levin Johnson, Gustaf Bjorklund, Herman Lundquist,
J. Fagerquist, Andrew Johnson, A. N.
Ekstrom, and C. 0. V. Carison. Church secretaries: Emil Wissen, Andrew Johnson,
Arthur Olson, and Emil T. Nelson.
Organists: Mrs. Clara Johnson, Mrs. L.J. Sundquist, and Nanny Wissen.
Sexton: N. A. Olson. Sunday school
church work was started in the
Swedish Lutheran Bethlehem Congregation in
Carl Bergman; Anders Engblom,and his wife, Josephina Charlotta, their daughter Elenora Johanna and their son, Frank.Theo.; Peter Victor Nelson, his wife, Emma Maria, their sons, Anders G., Henry F., and their daughter, Maria Elizabeth; Magnus Bengtson, his wife, Johanna, the daughters, Signe Betty, Frida Naftalia, and the sons, Botvig Hildur and Oscar Arnold; Anders Velander, and his wife, Cecelia; Per Sjoholm, and his wife, Katarina; Per Johnson, his wife, Christina, their daughter, Anna Katarina, and the sons, Nels and GustafHilding; Erik Erikson, his wife, Tilda, and daughter, Emma Victoria; Carl Levin Smith, his wife, Amanda Lovisa, and their son, Walter Arthur; Nels Nelson, his wife, Hanna, their daughters, Hulda and Sadie Augusta, and the son, Arthur Wilhelm; Nels Magnus Anderson, his wife, Eina, and the children, Anders Frederick, Alma Maria, and Fritz Arthur; Carl Levin Anderson, his wife, Hilda, and the daughters Agda and Anna; Johan Swenson, and his wife. Of the above mentioned, about one-fourth are still members of this congregation. As the first deacons, the following were elected: Magnus Bengtson, Nels Magnus Anderson, and P. V. Nelson; as trustees: Carl Bergman, Anders Engblom, and Erik Erikson. Carl Bergman was appointed as organist. Per Johnson as sexton, and Magnus Bengtson, Sunday school director. At the same time, they were also making arrangements for acquiring a church yard and a building lot. The congregation was given half an acre by P. V. Nelson, and was given an additional half acre by Nels Ankarstoipe and J. E. Rivers. The latter two also donated one acre to the community for a graveyard.
Ladies Aid Society was started in the spring of 1897. The church was built in
the Fall of 1899. The congregation celebrated its first service on Thanksgiving
Day, that same year. The congregation has steadily grown since its founding. It
now has 168 communicant members, and 120 children, a total of 228 members. Since the Swedes more and more started to
settle northeast and east of the church in
This chapel was built in 1908. The parsonage was built in the autumn of 1902. The Sunday school activities have been carried on since the founding of the congregation. In the beginning only in the church, then in both, but lately alternating between the two.
Ladies Aid Society was organized on
The youth organization is mentioned as far back as 1901. The young people of the congregation have been faithful and have worked for the good of the congregation and God’s Kingdom.
An organization named Linnea, consisting of young girls, was in existence for some time. Since a few years back, the young women’s organization “Forget- Me-Not”, has done much good work for the congregation.
There has been a choir for some time.
early as 1899, it was decided to hold a Swedish day-school, and ever since
then, it has been held in one or two places within the congregation every
summer. In February, 1906, Dr. J. A.
Stamline resigned from the congregation to accept the position of president of
Dr. Stamline, the following have been pastors in
The property value of the congregation is now somewhat over $8,000. Since the year 1900, the combined expenses have been: for different purposes within the conference $ 1,146.64; for the synod, $3,389.12; within the congregation $22,740.33; a total of $27,276.09.
This is an outline of the history of the congregation. Many separate things could have been written down which must be left out.
EMAUS CONGREGATION IN MANOR,
was founded by Pastor L. J. Sundquist in 1905. Since Pastor Sundquist left
The congregation has a well situated property and a beautiful church.
The membership is 64 of which 42 are communicant members.
GUSTAV ADOLF CONGREGATION IN
first who felt the need for a Swedish Lutheran congregation in
The sewing society, Dorcas, was established in 1904.
The Luther League, Concordia, was established in 1905.
The Sunday school began in 1905.
At a special meeting in March of 1905, it was decided to buy a lot on the comer of Jennings Avenue & Broadway for $4,000. The subscription committee had by then collected so much that one third of the purchase price could be paid. In March of 1907, the congregation sold this property for $7,000, and instead, they bought a lot for $4,500 at Hemphill & Broadway, the congregation’s present property. They then decided to build a church. At first only the ground floor was constructed, which was used for services.
October of 1907, Pastor Seashore resigned from his post. For four months, the
congregation was served by theology student Tillman, and thereafter, Pastor
Seashore made temporary visits until Pastor E. V. Isaacson took up the work in
1909. During his time there, the
ground-floor was finished, and the parsonage was built. In May of 1910, Pastor
Isaacson resigned, and Dr. M. Noyd was called as his successor. During his five years with the congregation,
the church was completed, and they could hold services in the completed shrine
on Christmas morning, 1912. On this holy morning, the congregation gave thanks
for what God had given them both in material and spiritual things. The church,
as it stood then, had cost the congregation $16,000.00. A debt of $2,800
remained. Collections had been made in the
EMANUEL CONGREGATION IN
Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Emanuel Congregation in
Gustaf Adolf congregation in
The Ericsdale settlement, which consists of Swedes and quite a large number of
families from Travis and
the northern states, was founded in 1905. Before the colony was founded, there were
their cattle ranches. Of these families, we can mention
J.Swenson, C. G. Seth, N. M. Segerstrom, S. P. Bengtson, and John Lund. There
were no Danes in Ericsdale at that time. The land area which had been taken by
the Swedes and Danes, stretches from
The land is high and hilly.
California Creek and Clear Fork run through the community. By the rivers there are oak, elm, pecan and other trees growing, and in the highlands there is mesquite.
The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Bethel Congregation was organized on January
25, 1906, by Dr. Stamline, who together with Pastor L. J. Sundquist, can take the
biggest credit for the colonization of Ericksdale. The congregation owns 80 acres
land, southeast of
The following pastors have served the congregation: Theodore Seashore, Eric Swanson, and Carl Henderson.
The membership is 330 of which 215 are communicants.
SW. EV. LUTH. CONGREGATION IN CARANCAHUA,
This congregation was organized in 1910. It has 12 members and 2 children, and is visited by Pastor O. H. Sylvan.
ELIM CONGREGATION IN KENEDY,
Swedish colony lies west of the railroad-station community of Kenedy, and the
Lutheran church is around 10 miles from Kenedy. Swedish Lutheran work started a
few years after the colonization in 1911 when Dr. J. A. Stamline started making
monthly visits. The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Elim Congregation was founded
under the chairmanship of Dr. Stamline on
At the first yearly meeting on January 6, 1913, when Dr. Stamline served as chairman, it was decided, among other things, that the trustees be given authority to purchase for the congregation a piece of property for a church and cemetery; also, that the congregation was to request help from the congregations in the Austin district for the building of a church.
The congregation elected the following as its first officers: secretary of the congregation, C. F. Blomquist; deacons: C. F. Blomquist, 0. A. Carlson, and C. A. Nelson; trustees: F. 0. Monson (treasurer), F. 0. Anderson, and Gustaf Flodquist;
school director, C. F. Blomquist, and O. A. Carlson as his assistant. On
the first meeting to build a church, and at the second, the size of this
church. The building committee consisted of the trustees. The church, which
measures 36 feet long, 28 feet wide, and with a special added choir and with a
steeple, was finished in March, 1914, and was dedicated by the vice president
of the Kansas Conference, Dr. G. A.
There are 37 communicants and 37 children.
The congregation owns six acres of land, and its property value is estimated at $1,800.
SW. EV. LUTH. CONGREGATION IN BISHOP,
It was founded in 1914. The membership is 18, or whom 14 are communicants. The congregation is visited by Pastor 0. H. Sylvan. Sunday school has been led by Robert Berkman.
This Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Congregation was founded in 1916. It has 10 acres of land. The membership is 25, of whom 11 are communicants. Pastor 0. H. Sylvan makes preaching visits here.
the new settlements in the hill-country in western
the leadership of Dr. J. A. Stamline, the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Sharon
Congregation was founded in
T. J. Westerberg
activity of this church among the Swedes in
spiritual movement which was the result of Charnquist’s activities in
initially had neither a name, form or church organization. In October, 1873, when
the Southern Methodist Church held a yearly conference in Austin, Charnquist and
six other Swedes entered that church; Charnquist was ordained and was given
$200.00 by the conference for their work. Charnquist was made the Methodist
for the Swedes in
the church work was under the southern branch of the
Pastor Vitdng took over the leadership when it was united with the Methodist
Episcopal Church. For many years the Swedes belonged to an American district with
an American chairman but in 1896 a Swedish district was established,
O. E. Olander was named the presiding elder. The congregations had then grown
in number and when his 6-year term had ended. Pastor O. F. Lindstrum was named
to succeed him. He held this position during the years 1902-1908. During the
following six years. Dr. Olander was again the district chairman, and in 1915
Pastor T. J. Westerberg held the position as well as that of pastor in
1912, the Swedish organization belonged to the
Swedish Methodist Congregation in
counts its existence from 1873 when in the month of October six believing men and
their wives, organized themselves into a Christian congregation under the name “The
Lutheran Brotherhood Congregation.” They were C. C. Chamquist, S. A. Lundell,
C. J. Swahn, Mathias Goldstein, Josef Ledin and Johannes Johnson. The group
increased quickly under the powerful leadership of Chamquist, and as mentioned
above, they soon joined the Southern Methodist Church. The need for their own
building became greater, and the following Spring, the congregation erected its first
church. It was built on Swedish Hill on a lot costing $450.00 and it was dedicated on
Whitsunday, 1874. Later, a parsonage was built near the church. Even with
renovations and additions, this building became too crowded. The present church
property, located close to the State Capitol, and valued at $35,000 was purchased
through Dr. O. E. Olander in 1899 when he was the congregation’s preacher. It
belonged to the American Church Building Organization which had taken over the
property, when the original congregation which had occupied the building, had
ceased to exist. This valuable property was
purchased for $2,500. The delapidated temple was thoroughly renovated and later the towers were built. Many improvements were made to both the church and the parsonage. The preachers who served this congregation were as follows:
C. C. Chamquist, 1871-1880; V. Vitting, 1880-1882; P. A. Juhlin, 1882-1884; S. L.
Carlander, 1884-1886; A. J. Gustafson, 1886-1891; Nels Ekiund, 1891-1896; O. E.
Olander, 1896-1908. The present pastor, Bernt Howe, began his time of service in
1908. Three young men
left this congregation to serve the church, F. L. Hagberg, who is pastor in
The present membership is 300, the Sunday school consists of 150 pupils, and the Epworth League which was founded in 1891 has somewhat over 100 members. There are women’s societies for both home and foreign missionary work, and these too, have many members. Around thirty young men from this congregation serve in the U. S. Army and Navy.
the same time as work was begun in
church work in the Manor and Decker area. As early as 1872, meetings were held in
the above-mentioned town where many were converted who later became founders
of the congregation in Decker. The Swedish settlers at this time were spread out and
lived far apart from each other so it was not easy to hold regular meetings. It soon
became evident that Decker was to become the main Swedish community since many
started to purchase land there; and they chose to build a church here which was
dedicated on Whitsunday, 1879. The area, a beautiful knoll in the middle of the
is located ten miles from
originally donated to the congregation for the building of a church, but later they
purchased the neighboring nine acres which the church still owns. Next to the church,
a cemetery and parsonage was built in 1884, and the church as well as the parsonage
were simply designed and in harmony with the demands and style of the time. Even
though they had regular services
the members still belonged to the
pastors from there until 1883 when they were separated from the mother congregation
and secured their own preacher. Pastor P. A. Lundberg was the first leader of the
congregation. Pastor Peter Newberg was selected for
Swedish Methodist Parsonage, Decker,
Decker in 1881, preached for the first and only time on Christmas morning after
he became ill with smallpox and died in
and had to give room for newer and more up-to-date accommodations. Therefore, the
congregation’s present, beautiful church
was erected in 1901 when C. O.Freeman was pastor and the parsonage in 1904 during T. J. Westerberg’s time. The church cost about $4,000 and the parsonage $2,000. The pipe-organ was installed and other improvements were made in 1910. The present membership of the congregation is about 200, the Sunday school around 125, and the Epworth and Junior Leagues around 70. In addition to that, the Ladies’ Home and Foreign Missionary Society and the Standard Bearers are very successful. The property value is estimated to be $10,000. Among those men who have been served for many years, and in many ways within the congregation can be mentioned F. G. Swenson, S. A. Lundell, lay preacher, C. J. Swahn, Claus and Victor Anderson, August Ekdahl among others.
The following pastors have served the Swedish Methodist Congregation in Decker: C. C. Chamquistfrom the inception in 1872 to 1880; V. Vitting, 1880-1882;
P. A. Lundberg, 1883-1886, August Wallin, 1886-1891, P. A. Juhlin, half a year, 1891-1892; C. F. Levin, a year and a half, 1892-1893; C. C. Chamquist, 1893-1895;
M. Ojerholm, 1895-1897; C. O. Freeman, the spring of 1898-Sept., 1902, the
congregation’s lay preacher, S. A. Lundell, then filled in until June, 1903;
Thor J. Westerberg, July 1903-Dec. 1909;
Gustaf Lindstrom, Dec. 1909-May, 1912; and Hugo Peterson took charge of the
congregation in October, 1912. More or
less regular work has been carried out in the neighboring town of
The work here was started in 1891 by Pastor August Wallin, who was then the preacher in Decker. Some of the members of this congregation, among them, Victor Morell and family, had moved to this new Swedish community and regular visits were made by the pastors in Decker: Juhlin, Levin, Ojerholm and Chamquist. A Sunday school was formed as early as 1889, with Morell as director. A schoolhouse, which was to be used by different congregations as a place for services, was built the same year, but was later bought by the Decker congregation for $ 165.00, was moved to the present location and was taken over by the newly founded congregation. This served as a meeting place until 1910 when the present temple was erected at a cost of $7,000. C. G. Lindberg was pastor at the time.
congregation was organized in 1892 by Pastor C. F. Levin with the following
seven members: Mr. and Mrs. Victor Morell, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Lyckman, Mr. and
Mrs. J. L. Anderson, and Mr. Otto Bengtson. Pastor Carl Fromen was the first
permanent preacher, and he took over the work on
The church and parsonage with a few acres of land are valued at $11,000. The
membership exceeds 100,
the Sunday school has around sixty, and the Young People’s Organization around 25.
Four of the young men in the congregation have been drafted for military service. The names and terms of the pastors are as follows: concurrently with the Decker congregation: August Wallin, 1891; P. A. Juhlin, 1891-1892; C. F. Levin, 1892-1893; C. Chamquist, 1893-1895; J. M. Ojerholm, 1895-1896. Serving only Manda:
Carl Fromen, Jan. 1897-1900; C. Chamquist, 1900-the Spring, 1904; August Wahlberg, Spring 1904-Sept. 1905; Otto Anderson, Dec. 1905-Dec. 1907; C. J. Rosenquist, Dec. 1907-the Fall. 1908; C. G. Lindberg, Dec. 1908-
1911; John J. Hamilton, April 1912-Dec. 1915. The present pastor, Otto
Martinson, started his term in June, 1916. C. T. Skoglund is the lay
preacher. During the latest of Pastor C.
Chamquist’s terms, work was started in Type, a Swedish community near Coupland.
A class of several members was started and more or less regular visits were made
until 1906 when it ceased. In
the conference in November, 1891, John Ovall was elected for the
which included Nursery, Keeran, Louise, El Campo and
work was carried out in these places, but the largest number of Swedes lived around
El Campo. Therefore the church work there was more extensive and lasting, and as
our countrymen soon moved from the other areas, the activities
were cancelled, and of the large group, only El Campo remains. Here a
congregation was founded by six people on
This congregation has probably more than any other in the conference been hindered in its growth and development by its members constantly moving away from the area. The membership is currently around fifty, and an equal number
in the Sunday school. Twenty five belong to the Youth Organization, and two women’s societies work for home and foreign missionary work. The following pastors have served this church: John Ovall, Nov. 1891-Dec. 1894;
J. F. Sarner, Dec. 1894-Dec. 1897; Aug. Wallin, Dec. 1897-Dec. 1900; Nels Nelson, Dec. 1900 to his death a few months later; C. J. Rosenquist, June 1902- Sept. 1903;
F. A. Lundberg during the summer of 1904; Edwin Sahlen, Sept. 1904-Sept. 1909;
Carl Fromen, Jan. 1910-May 1917; at this time E. J. Anderson took charge of the congregation.
All historical information about the organization and early activities of this
congregation was lost in the tropical storm which devastated the city on September
8, 1900; we know, however, that the work was started by Pastor P. A. Juhlin in
January, 1885, and he stayed until November
same year. A. Peterson served the congregation for a year and was succeeded by
0. Halvorson, 1886-1891 during which time a church was built but later, because
of internal strife, it was sold and a new church with two residences were
built. After Halvorson’s period of service, there was a three year vacancy, the
membership dropped off and the church debt increased. This was the situation
when John Ovall took up the work on
The tenacity which is characteristic of the population of this city, also
existed within the small group led by Pastor Sarner, and soon the organization
started to see brighter days. The Church Building Organization came to their
help and eased the burden of debt, and the church was remodeled in the Spring,
1901, for a sum of $3,300. The Scandinavian Seamen’s
to the latest information, the congregation consists of 71 members, the Sunday
school over 120, and the Epworth League, 40. The property is estimated to be
worth about $10,000. The preachers who have served this congregation are: P. A. Juhlin, Jan. 1885-Nov. 1885; A. Peterson,
Dec. 1885- Dec.1886; 0. Halvorson, Dec. 1886-Nov. 1891; John Ovall, Dec.
1894-Dec. 1897; J. F.
this community, located around twenty miles east of Houston, there have been
Swedes for many years, but there has been no organized church work until the
last couple of years. Occasional preaching visits had been made both by pastors
the current pastor in
month of April that year, the district leader, T. J. Westerberg and Pastor B. Howe,
were visiting the local pastor for a few days. They held a large mission meetingwhen
Group at the
the conference in 1917, Houston and Crosby were united into one pastorate to be
served by Pastor 0. E. Linstrum in conjunction with
The congregation leadership consists ofC. A. Gustafson, Lars Nelson, R. Kenning, Gust Lindstrom and Henry Peterson. Ten young men from here are serving in the military.
is the youngest Swedish Methodist congregation in
E. Linstrum is the pastor, and he lives in the city. His area of work also
large number of Swedes moved to this community when the colony was founded a
few years ago. It is located in the beautiful and fertile
Occasional preaching visits were made by the pastors of the conference, as in the first years of the existence of the colony, and when the district superintendent. Pastor T. J. Westerberg, visited the community and held a mission meeting in the summer of 1915, he founded, at their request, a congregation on July 3 consisting of fourteen members.
Group at the
Pastor O. E. Linstrum’s Temporary Parsonage, Houston.Texas
their Departure to
Pastor A. Wikstrom, a preacher for the Free Church, and a resident, looked after the work for the first six months after which the district superintendent arranged preaching visits until the conference in 1917. Then the area was joined with El Campo and is now served by E. J. Anderson. The Land Company, Wallin, Johnson, and Mattson of Minneapolis, Minn., has donated ten acres for the church.
This congregation was, in the beginning, known as the Brushy Swedish Methodist
Congregation, and had both its church and parsonage located in the countryside,
about three and a half miles from the town. The first Swedish Methodist preacher,
who visited the Swedes in this area, spreading God’s word, was C.C. Chamquist, the
Brushy area, travelled the
long way there by horse and carriage and held meetings in the simple farm homes. His first official service in this area was held in the home of S. M. Johnson. Other homes were opened for these religious meetings, such as that of the widowed Mrs. Lundblad, the Kristersons, the C. J. Monsons, etc. The spiritual interest grew more and more, and the homes soon proved too crowded; they had to move to the schoolhouse.
Progress often met with bitter resistance, but the dauntless pioneer did not flee, but
continued in his diligent and
way, and the work gained more and more stability. When Pastor V. Vitting became Chamquist’s successor in
The need for their own as well as a better meeting place became more apparent, and
P.A. Juhlin came to
a three acre lot was purchased south of
built there at a cost of $2,200. It was dedicated in the Fall of 1883. As early as March
10,1882, the first step towards the founding of a congregation had been taken, when
several persons had been accepted as probationary members, but the congregation
not actually founded until
succeeded Juhlin, organized it with the following members: August Johnson, Anna
Johnson, Helena Gehagen, C.J. Monson, Oscar Forsvall, Andrew Swenson, Ida
Swenson, William Sandberg, Hedda Sandberg, Johan A. Sandberg, Anna Sandberg,
Swen Johnson, Charlotta Johnson, John and Christina Bergstrom, Joseph and
Clara Ledin; altogether seventeen people. During the tenure of Lundberg, a
parsonage was erected by the church, which was later expanded, and at that time a
cemetery was laid out. When the church was built in this area, it was centrally located
for our countrymen in the area, but as the years passed many of them moved to the
east and north of the town, which meant that the church was soon situated on the
outskirts. It was decided during 0. F. Linstrum’s time to centralize the work in
situated lot was purchased in the summer of 1902 on
town’s most beautiful and most trafficked street. On this lot, which consists of threequarters
of a city-block, an attractive and modem parsonage was built and later, a
beautiful stone church. It was built in 1906 and dedicated on Dec 23. The total
property then cost around $15,000 and this value
Bible Class, The
has risen with the years. A few years later, or 1908, the congregation celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary with a great celebration.
membership has continued to increase and many of its members have moved to
other areas. In the early years, some lived in Hutto and others in Jonah, and
in the former location a congregation was established and a church built. During
the time when John Ovall served the Brushy congregation, a church was built in
Jonah. It was an active congregation for many years until it was closed because
so many people had moved away. The church was sold and all this happened during
Pastor 0. F. Linstrum’s time there.
Temporary preaching visits by the pastor in
The following pastors have served this congregation and have worked in this area:
C.C. Chamquist, 1871-1880; Victor Vitting, 1880-1882; P.A. Juhlin, 1882-1883;
P.A.Lundberg, 1883-Dec.l884;AugustWallin,Dec. 1884-Dec. 1885;J.O.Wahlberg,
Dec. 1885-Dec. 1887; F.U. Liljegren, Dec. 1887-Jan. 1889; P.A. Lundberg, Jan.
1889-June of the same year; J.M. Ojerholm, Oct. 1889-Nov. 1891; C. C. Chamquist. Dec. 1891-Dec. 1893; C. F. Levin, Dec. 1893-July 1894; August Wallin, July 1894-Dec. 1897; John Ovall, Dec 1897-Dec. 1901; 0. F. Linstrum, April 1902-Nov. 1910;
O.E. Olander, Dec. 1910- Dec. 1911; C. G. Lindberg, Dec. 1911-June 1916. The present pastor, Thor J. Westerberg, took over the congregation in Dec., 1916. C. J. Monson and Carl Brady are lay preachers, and H. E. Stromberg has been the organist for many years as well as choir leader.
Many young men and one woman from this congregation are active in the armed forces, most of them as volunteers during the ongoing war.
pastors in the Brushy congregation now and then visited the new community of
Hutto, preaching the Word, and meeting for this purpose in different
homes. Interest grew and the visits
became more frequent during C. C. Chamquist’s time, during the years 1892-93,
when he preached every Sunday afternoon in a schoolhouse north of the city.
They soon started to speak of founding a congregation and building a church,
and to make a decision about these matters, they met in August Hammar’s home on
“1. To build the church according to the blueprint; 46 feet long, 30 feet wide and 14 feet high. 2. The church shall have a steeple, a balcony, and two aisles inside. 3. Ordinary chairs shall be used in the church.
4. Carl A. Gustafson shall build the church and be paid $2.00 per day. 5. The building shall begin on the first Monday in June, 1892.” The church was finished and dedicated in the fall of the same year. At the meeting the congregation was also founded consisting of fifteen people.
first church, located in the west part of the town, became old and impractical
with the years, and a new temple in another part of town was planned. In May,
1901, two lots were purchased on the main street, and here a parsonage was
built the following year. Two nearby lots were purchased seven years later and
in 1910, during T. J. Westerberg’s tenure, the new church was built, and it was
The congregation has about ninety members, sixty pupils in the Sunday school, an active Ladies’ Aid Society, and about twenty-five young people in the Epworth League. Seven of these young men are serving in the army. The first preacher who was selected and stationed in Hutto, was August Wallin, who took over the newly formed congregation in 1892, and stayed until 1894. The succeeding pastors have served during the following periods: J.M. Ojerholm,1894-1895;C.C.Chamquist,Dec. 1895-Dec. 1898;F.A.Lundberg,Dec. 1898-Dec. 1899;
1899-1901;C.E.Dahl,Sept. 1901-Dec. 1902; C. E. Wohlander, July 1903 to his
death in Oct. 1904. During the Spring of 1903, the work was carried out by
August Wahlberg a lay preacher from
the present pastor, J. J. Hamilton took over. Ever since 1909, with the
exception of 1915, the congregation has been joined with
C. C. Charnquist was the pastor in Hutto during the years 1895-98, he
occasionally visited the Swedish homes around
This was the beginning of the organization of a congregation. In the summer of 1897,
big meeting was held in the home of Mr. Edward Carlson in
Hutto served this area, and
when the congregation was founded, it formed a pastorate with Hutto for many year’s, until 1905, when C.E. Dahl was nominated for this place and served it exclusively for four years. After that it was united with Hutto again and has had the same pastor except in the year 1915 when T. J. Westerberg served there and took care of the district activities.
The church and parsonage were purchased in 1900 from an old American Presbyterian
Congregation when E. Severin was pastor. This property, in the west part of
the town was not centrally located, so they tried to find a more suitable place, and three
were purchased on the comer of 10th and
a cost of $1,400. In the month of April, the church was moved
to this place, renovated and improved at a cost of around $1,000. In the meantime, the old parsonage was sold, and a new one was built next to the church in 1914. This modem two-story house cost around $3,500, and it is one of the finest parsonages in the conference. These improvements to the church property were made during T. J. Westerberg’s tenure.
The number of Swedes in this town and area is not large, and it is the only Swedish
congregation in the area. It has 125 members, a Sunday school with a hundred
members, an active Ladies’ Aid Society
Swedish Methodist Parsonage,
and the young people are organized in the Epworth League with around thirty members. The property is valued at $10,000.
The tenure of the pastors since the organization of the congregation is as follows:
C.E.Dahl,Sept. 1901-Dec. 1902; C. E. Wohlander, July 1903-Oct. 1904;C.E.Dahl,
Dec. 1904-Dec. 1909; T. J.
Westerberg, Dec. 1909-Dec. 1916; at this time J.J.
Swenson, leader of this church, first preached in Swedish for the Scandinavians
living here. The same year. Pastor P. A. Juhlin, who was the presiding elder for the
the believers to hold regular services here, Pastor S. L. Carlander was
appointed the congregation’s first pastor in the Fall of 1886. On December 12,
the same year, a meeting was held in the
John Ovall, Gustaf Gustafson, J. L. Bergstrom, Mathilda Hjort, Anna Anderson, Albertina Peterson, Hilda Anderson, Amanda Swenson, Emma Nelson, Mrs. P. A. Juhlin and Mrs S.L. Carlander. A Sunday school was also organized with Aug. Hart as superintendent.
During the period of a little over thirty years that the congregation has been active, it has been served by the following pastors: S. L. Carlander, Sept. 1886-Sept. 1887;
J. M. Ojerholm, Sept. 1887-1888; Aug. S. Hart, Sept. 1888-Jan. 1891; C. Chamquist, Jan. 1891-Nov. 1891; J. M. Ojerholm.
1891-Dec. 1892. During the following four years, the congregation had no
permanent preacher, but Pastors J. F. Sarner and Carl Fromen made occasional
preaching visits. A. Peterson served from July 1896-Dec. the same year; F.
A. Lundberg, Dec. 1896-1898, and
1902-1904; C. A. Nyman.Sept. 1904-July 1906; C.
A. Holmgren, Sept. 1906-Aug. 1911; 0. E. Linstrum, Dec. 1911-Nov. 1912;
Otto CheUberg, Nov. 1913-Dec. 1915; John J. Hamilton, Dec. 1915-Nov. 1916; John
Karling during the summer of 1917. The present pastor, F. L. Hagberg,was
appointed in October, 1917. During vacancies the work has been carried out by
lay preacher, Aug. S. Hart, and the Sunday school director, C. A Ryden. The congregation has around fifty members,
the Sunday school, sixty, and the Epworth League, thirty. A strong Hundred Man
Society is of great financial help.
During the first years the services were held in the homes and in
American churches, but in 1890, a meeting room was built on the corner of 9th
and Morrow Street which was later expanded and improved. During Pastor C. A.
Holmgren’s tenure in 1912, a Baptist church was bought on
P. A. Juhlin was the first preacher who started work here in 1883. In the Fall of
the same year, L. S. Carlander took over, and the following Spring a
congregation was founded. A lot was soon purchased for $550.00, and a church
and parsonage were built the same year, 1884. This lot was located on the
corner of Broadway and St.
During the years, improvements were made to the property, and a new parsonage
was built in 1905, when C. G. Lindberg was pastor. In the big fire which ravished the
town in April, 1909, both the church and the parsonage were laid in ashes,
and for a few years the services had to be held in a temporary chapel. E. Severin, who was the pastor then, soon began taking donations for new buildings, and first the parsonage was built and later a church. It was built in 1914 and dedicated at the conference in November that same year, and it is both beautiful and practical. Built of brick with the bottom floor for Sunday school rooms and a kitchen, the second floor for an auditorium with a balcony and a study, it cost $9,000 and was quite an undertaking for such a small congregation. Gordon Olson, who was the pastor then, led the undertaking with wisdom and power; and through the work and sacrifice by certain people, it was a success. The total property value is estimated at $20,000. The membership is around fifty, and the Sunday school has around sixty people. A powerful and active youth group of around thirty members is working among the soldiers in many ways. This congregation has been served by many preachers, whose names and tenure are as
follows: S. L. Carlander, Nov. 1883-Dec. 1884; John O.Wahlberg, Dec. 1884-Dec. 1885; Aug. Wallin, Dec. 1885-Dec. 1886; P. A. Lundberg, 1886-87; A. Swanlund, the greater part of 1888; J. M. Ojerholm, the Fall of 1888-Oct. 1889; J. A. Deichman, during a few months of 1890; John Ovall, Jan. 1891 -Nov. the same year; Aug. Wallin, Novl891-Dec 1892; Carl Fromen, Dec. 1892-1896; E. Severin, Dec. 1896-1899; F. A. Lundberg, 1899-1902; C. E. Dahl, Dec. 1902-Dec. 1903; A. J. Hallington, July 1904-Dec. the same year; C. G. Lindberg, March 1905-Dec. 1908; E. Severin, Dec.
1908-May 1911; 0. E. Linstrum, May 191 l-Dec.,the same year; Gordon Olson, July
1912-Oct. 1917. C. F. Thorneblade from the eastern conference has served
the congregation until Aug., 1918 when pastor Hjalmar Sandstrom took the position.
Swedish Methodist Congregation in
the congregation in
was the preacher in this place. One of the pioneers of the church in
E. W. Erickson who invited preachers from
among the Swedes there, and the first one who did this was probably S. L. Carlander
in 1883 when a congregation was founded by some of those who were faithful, and
who had an interest in its creation. A sfnall meeting place was built on Harwood and
Live Oak Streets, which was later sold, and another building was purchased on Good
Street. This too, was sold,
the congregation was without a meeting place for many years. During this time
the meetings were held in an American and a German Methodist church. In 1897, when
E. Severin was the preacher in
The congregation has about 25 members, an Epworth League, and Ladies’ Aid
Society, and they all work for both spiritual
financial concern. During times when regular meetings have not been held by the
Reared in Christian communities and accustomed to church activities, these settlers
soon began to feel the need for religious gatherings and an organized church. Abner
Hanson, a lay preacher in the Swedish Methodist church, was one of the founders of
the community and
started to organize religious gatherings and preached to the new settlers. The
first services were held in Mr. John Anderson’s home, on
Gatherings were first held in the small homes, but the need for a bigger and more
suitable meeting place was soon evident, and the building of a church became the next
step for the small group’s efforts. Pastor Abner Hanson donated ten acres in the
middle of the community, nine miles west of Brady along the big highway, and here
they laid the foundation for a temple in the Fall of
The next Spring the first service was held in the church, which was not
finished and dedicated until three years later. The dedication ceremonies took
In 1914, after seven years of faithful work, Hanson resigned as pastor, and C. V.
Gustafson took over.
who had moved there from
beginning and organization of this congregation is closely tied to that of
custom of holding open-air services was started in
the idea for the
Charnquist during his time of service in
about six miles north of
with large attendance and with much blessing for the organization. Later this place
was replaced by Manor, where meetings of this type were organized for many years
Park under the leadership of the congregations in Decker and Manda. A tabernacle was also built here and many improvements were made which were washed away in a flood a few years ago.
THE EPWORTH LEAGUE
work among the young people within the
the latest yearly meeting, it was reported that the membership was 460; 572
meetings had been held and $1,133 had been paid out for charity and other
purposes. Mr. C. A. Ryden in
group of Epworth League members at the Epworth League Convention in
THE SWEDISH EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH
E. H. Lindquist
THE SWEDISH EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH IN BRUSHY,
the Fall of 1884, four young people from the region of
One afternoon in the Summer of 1885, these people gathered with several other
in Miss Forswall’s home in
sung, and Oscar Johnson and C. 0. Youngblom made testimonies for God. This is,
as far as we know, the first meeting that was held,
Free Church in Brushy,
this organization in
Saabye arrived, and he was a great blessing. In the Winter of 1891-1892, Pastor C.
Sahlstrom was here and in other parts of
more people joined the group, and meetings were held regularly in their homes
in the countryside. The A. Sandbergs, Swen Petersons, S. A. Johnsons and others always opened their homes for these meetings.
the Spring of 1891, the Swedish Evangelical Free Church in Brushy was
organized, with 23 charter members. Their names were: C. 0. Youngblom, J.
J. Lawson, Hans Bostrom, Mrs. Bostrom,
J. A. Sandberg, Mrs. Sandberg, S. A.
Johnson, Mrs. Johnson, C. E. Anderson, Mrs. Anderson, Carl Bjork, Mrs.
Bjork, Swen Peterson, Mrs. Peterson, John Brogren, C. H. Gustafson, G. F.
Johnson, Carl Anderson, Mrs. Anderson, J. A. Ekiund, Mrs. Ekiund, John Lax and
Mrs. Lax. The constitution for the congregation was accepted, and the following
officers elected: C. 0. Youngblom,
chairman, Hans Bostrom, secretary, and J. J. Lawson, treasurer. It was
At the time of the founding, the church received as a gift from
Swedish Free Church Parsonage, Brushy,
C. J. Gustafson, one and a half acres of land, located five miles southeast of
During the first years of activity, the congregation was not strong enough to support its own pastor. However, regular meetings were held and some of the older and more talented of the members read and spoke of God’s word. They also had visits from travelling preachers and missionaries.
Since all the children of the families were young, Sunday school activities were not
started at the founding, but by the Summer of 1894, a Sunday school was started with
a class for children, and a Bible class
for the adults. From this humble beginning, the Sunday school has flourished and grown to the size and strength it has now.
the year 1895, the congregation got its first teacher when Pastor A. Klint
served for a while. In 1896 and 1897, with Pastors G. F. Johnson and J. Hemer
at the helm, a glorious revival occurred, and the number of members increased
greatly. Between 1897 and 1905, the congregation was served by the following
pastors: A. Klint, Aug. Modig, William Nilson,
and L. M. Ekman. During this time, a steady and healthy growth and development
took place. In 1905, Pastor C. G. Anderson arrived, took up the leadership of
the congregation, and continued with that task until 1908. A great growth in
membership was noticed during this time. The church grew in other ways as well.
A branch of the Sunday school was organized in the community of
Free Church Chapel,
has done this ever since. The youth organization, “The Army of Hope”, was
organized in June of 1907 with 30 members. During 1907, Pastor Anderson made a
latest years have been remarkable by inner strength and outer success, with a
steady increase in membership in the church, as well as the different activity
groups. In December, 1916, a useful
chapel, which belongs to the congregation, was built in
congregation now has 110 members. Sunday school has 130 pupils with youth
classes counted as well. Inclusive of the Sunday school in
THE SWEDISH EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH IN DECKER
As early as 1889, the Decker community was visited by Pastor C. W. Peterson, and later by Pastor N. Saabye and C. 0. Sahlstrom etc., who preached the word of God. The meetings were held in the school houses and the homes where many people gathered. At this time, Gust. F. Johnson, one of the young men from the congregation in Brushy, also started to preach at the meetings. During the summer of 1891 a group of believers gathered for regular meetings.
In July 1892, the Swedish Evangelical Free Church was founded in Decker. In the summer they built their first church.
Because of incomplete records from this time their work cannot be described in detail, but it should be mentioned that the work has continued with regular meetings and a Sunday school.
In the beginning,the most talented members of the congregation put in a lot of work, particularly in leading the meetings and preaching God’s word. Among those can be mentioned Aug. Anderson and C. G. Nelson.
congregation’s first pastor was Chas. Smith who arrived from
in 1893 and served the congregation until the following Spring. During the following three years, the congregation was served by Pastor G. F. Johnson, A. Klint, and John Hemer.
During the years 1896 and 1897, when meetings were held by Gust. F. Johnson and J. Hemer, many were converted to God, and as a result, the membership grew considerably.
During 1899, the congregations in Decker and Kimbro were served together by
Pastor W.NUson. Thepastorin 1900wasA.Wiborg,andfrom 1901 until 1904itwas
John Hemer. Next, the work was taken up by Pastor C. G. Nelson, who served the
congregation for a year and a half. Pastor Nelson has also served on other occasions,
when the congregation
Swedish Free Church, Decker,
Swedish Free Church Parsonage, Decker,
had a vacancy, and through the years he has been a faithful and strong supporter of the work.
the beginning of 1907, Pastor Alf. Stone served the congregation, but he soon
resigned to go to
In the beginning of 1911, a parsonage was built. The cost was $1,850.00.
P. Lindstrom was the next preacher for two and a half years after which C. J. E. Nelson was called and served until June
1915, when he had to move to another climate because of bad health. Now there
was a vacancy for a long period, and the work was carried out by the above
mentioned Pastor C. G. Nelson. In
January 1917, Pastor S. E. Green was called and he arrived on March 2, the same
The general meetings, the Sunday school and the Ladies’ Society are active and successful. At a meeting of the congregation held in April 1918, it was decided to build a church and a building committee was given the task to collect money, to have a plan drawn up, and to find a suitable place for the church to be built.
THE EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH IN KIMBRO
Nils Tom and his family, who had belonged to the Free Church in Decker, moved to this area fairly early. It led to this place being visited
and meetings being held by the pastors, C. O. Sahlstrom, N. Saabye, and others on their travels around the state. Meetings were held in the homes and in the school houses.
In the Fall of 1896 and Winter of 1897, the pastors, G. F. Johnson and J. Hemer arrived, who were young, warm-hearted and zealous. They held meetings in the Kimbro school house and in the homes ofWm. Smith, C. Berg, Aug. Lind, N. Tom and others. A strong spiritual movement arose from this, marked by deep seriousness. Many of the members count this as their spiritual birth, and as a result of this, the congregation was founded.
the leadership of the pastors Johnson and Herner, the Swedish Evangelical Free
Church in Kimbro was organized on
Free Church Parsonage, Kimbro,
in November, 1898, and it seats almost four hundred people. The congregation’s Sunday school was organized in the spring of 1898 with around thirty children.
In the beginning the congregation was served by the pastors, Johnson and Hemer.
Meetings were also held by visiting preachers and missionaries, who stayed to help
the congregation for longer or shorter periods. In this manner, the work was carried
for half a year. On
Decker and continued in this work until the end of July, 1900. He was succeeded by
Pastor L. M. Ekman, who served until the end of 1901. During 1902, the work was
carried out by Aug. Anderson. In the beginning of 1903, Pastor C. G. Nelson served
and continued until the Fall of 1904. The next pastor was J. Hemer who worked
zealously and faithfully for almost two years. During the last
mentioned seven years, many members were accepted into the congregation, but many also left, partly because of moves to other areas, and partly because of apostasy. Next, Pastor H. E. Sundberg was called. He served with success for two and a half years. The congregation was strengthened and its branches were developed. At this time the Ladies’ Society was formed and it has been of great benefit to the congregation since then. In addition to local work, Pastor Sundberg devoted interest, time and strength to the surrounding areas. When he left in the beginning of 1909, he was succeeded by Pastor P. Lindstrom. After two years he accepted the call to another congregation and was succeeded by Pastor Clemens Martenson, who stayed with the congregation for four years. The work seems to have been successful, particularly during the first years of Pastor Martenson’ s tenure. A strong interest was noticed and the work of the different organizations prospered. During this time a society was organized among the young people, with the name”Helping Hand”. It is still active and has served the congregation and the young people well through the years.
Pastor Martenson left in March 1915, they had trouble finding an equally
talented and capable man to fill the post and a long vacancy existed. This was
partially filled by Pastor Andr. A. Anderson from
THE SWEDISH EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH IN TYPE
Many Swedish families, which had belonged to the congregation in Kimbro, moved
to Type in the years 1901-1904. A few years later. Pastor H. E. Sundberg began
holding meetings among them. As more and more people moved here, it became
necessary to organize a congregation. This was done by Pastor Sundberg on May 20,
1908, with fourteen charter members. Their names were: Peter Nygaard, Victor
Carlson, Mrs. Carlson, Alfred Jacobson, Mrs. Jacobson, Louis Nelson, Mrs. Nelson,
John Sunvison, Mrs. Sunvison, Oscar Jacobson, Mrs. Jacobson, Aug. Nyman and
Mrs. Nyman. The organizational work was completed on
May 22. A constitution was accepted and the congregation’s first board was elected. It consisted of: Victor Carlson, chairman, John Sunvison, secretary, Peter Nygaard, elder and Sunday school superintendent, Oscar Jacobson and Victor Carlson, deacons, Alfred Jacobson, Aug. Nyman and John Sunvison, trustees, and Louis Nelson, treasurer. One and a quarter acre was donated to the congregation by Peter Nygaard, and on this lot, they soon erected a church.
Free Church, Type,
the beginning, this congregation was served by Pastor Sundberg, along with his
pastorate in Kimbro. In Jan. 1909, Pastor C. 0.
THE SWEDISH EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH IN ELROY
the first families from the Free Church to move to Elroy was that of Aug.
Some time later (1901) this group was visited by Pastor A. Davis, and at this time they
made the preparations for the founding of a Free Church,
even though it was not completed then. Mr. Chas. Smith gave an acre of land as a building lot on which a church was erected.
the leadership of the pastors, A. Klint and J. Hemer, the Swedish Evangelical
Free Church in Elroy was founded on
and Mrs. Johnson. A constitution was accepted and by-laws were written. The first board members were: C. E. Johnson,
chairman, C. J. Danielson, secretary, Chas. Smith and D. J. Malmstrom, deacons,
John Olson, S. Gustafson and C. J.
Danielson, trustees, John Olson, treasurer and
After this good beginning, the congregation worked with success for several years. A successful Sunday school was carried on, and a vital Womens’ Society was very active and assisted the congregation very strongly.
The pastors have been Alfred Johnson, Albert Bostrom, Alf. Stone, John G. Carlson, and A. L. Stone. After this, the congregation was visited at different times by the pastors, H. E. Sundberg and P. Lindstrom.
Later the congregation suffered the misfortune of losing some of its strongest and most active members who moved from there to other areas. The work in general did not suffer since the people are now members of other Free Churches, but for the congregation in Elroy, the burden became too heavy for those who were left behind, and the organization was suspended for a time. Several families remain, and they are loyal to the congregation and they are waiting for better times when the organization can blossom once again.
THE SWEDISH EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH IN MELVIN
The congregation in Melvin is mainly made up by families who have moved there
other Free Churches in
other areas. Among the first who settled
this community, we can mention these families: D. J. Malmstrom,
Free Church Parsonage, Melvin,
with twelve children. Mrs. Malmstrom was in charge of this until the congregation was formed and a leader was appointed.
The Swedish Evangelical Free Church was organized in 1910 by the pastors, C. J. E. Nelson and 0. Zahr with 15 charter members. D. J. Malmstrom donated three city lots on the highest and most beautiful knoll in the town to the congregation. On these, the congregation’s roomy and attractive church was built in February, 1912. In 1916, the modem and sturdy parsonage was built, next to the church. During the first years, the work was carried out by talented ones within the congregation. They were also visited now and then by travelling preachers and missionaries.
The first pastor was A. L. Stone. Since then, he has left and Pastor C. Madsen arrived, and he took up the work in July, 1915. With great zeal and faith, he served this congregation until December, 1917.
the preacher is Carl E. Pearson who arrived in February, 1918, from
During the years, some of the members have been taken by death. Others have moved from the area. Many families have also moved to the area. The congregation is not large yet, but it is very active and progressive in the true meaning of the word. A lively Sunday school is carried on. Two sewing circles, one among the older, and one among the younger women, are working with great success. The congregation owns property at a value of at least $5,000.
THE SWEDISH EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH IN KENEDY
is the youngest of the Free Churches in
for the founding of a church were started in 1914, but the actual organization
of a Free Church in Kenedy was done by Pastor E. H. Lindquist on
On Sunday May 6, the same year, the Sunday school was organized with thirtythree children and a class for adults.
Long before the organization of the congregation, in February 1914, the women organized in a missionary society. This organization has worked faithfully and with great success ever since. Meetings are held once a month. Money is collected which is used for the work of the congregation. Through its meetings and the money collected, the society has been a great factor in the preparation for the founding of the congregation.
Swedish Free Church,
It must be mentioned, that this organization paid for five acres of land, which is the property of the congregation. It paid for the pews in the church, and is now busy collecting for other needs.
congregation has not been strong enough to support a pastor, but it carries out
its Sunday school regularly and receives preaching visits one Sunday every
month by the pastors who serve the
Texas Scandinavian Free Mission Society is the Swedish Evangelical Free Church
district organization in
also assists preachers in the district with travelling expenses, when they
travel around in the interest of the
The society was organized in July, 1905. Its first board consisted of: John Herner,
chairman, Aug. Anderson, vice-chairman, C. G. Nelson, secretary, Oscar Zahr, vicesecretary,
and J.J. Lawson, treasurer. During the years that the society has been in
existence, it has made important contributions to the spreading of the work. Several
of the newer congregations have been founded through the work of the society, and
they have received help from the treasury from time to time. During certain times it
The Free Mission Society’s Board, 1918
been successful in the state missionary work.
Another way in which the society has been working is by holding a series of meetings during the summer in the different congregations. Usually, an evangelist is called for these meetings and they are held in a large missionary tent which can hold the large number of people that gather and which is moved from place to place. The society holds yearly and semi-annual meetings in one of the congregations. Here, as many of the members as possible meet. In these conferences, the congregations within the state are represented by delegates, selected according to the size of the membership in the respective congregations.
The funds that are needed for the work of the society is collected partly by yearly
dues, partly by collections in the places where the meetings
are held, by subscriptions which are taken up at the larger meetings, and according to the need.
The present board is: E. H. Linquist, chairman, J. Udd, vice-chairman, S. E. Green, secretary, C. G. Nelson, vice secretary, C. 0. Youngblom, H. Youngquist, Aug. Lind, trustees, and C. 0. Youngblom, treasurer.
January, 1912, a group of people, consisting of Mr. V. J. Wallin, Mr. Aaron
Carlson, and Pastor J. E. Bjorklund, were on a visit in Lyford and its
environs. Their purpose was to purchase the so-called “Turner’s Tract,” and to
establish a Swedish colony there, and to interest friends within the
to donate some land for a
As the Swedes soon started to move in, a Sunday school was started in July 1913, and soon thereafter, regular religious meetings began. Forty acres of the land that was donated to the church was sold and the proceeds were used to build a church for the congregation. The remaining forty acres and the church are valued at $3,600.
Swedish Mission Society in Lyford, was organized on
with twenty-three members. Its first board consisted of: John Hedberg, chairman,
Andrew J. Luttring, secretary, Albin Anderson, J. P. Johnson, deacons, Erik Anderson,
Ole Bronander, A. J. Luttring, trustees, and Carl G. Gustafson, Sunday school
organization has continued since then with a regularly held Sunday school and
services. A Ladies’ Mission Society has been active with great success. As the
organization has not yet been strong enough to support its own pastor, it has
mainly been served by Mr. John Hedberg who has done faithful work. Pastor A.
Wickstrom has also taken part in the preaching of the Word. The congregation
also receives visits from the pastors of the Swedish Free Church in
SWEDISH BAPTIST CONGREGATION
congregation was organized on
following ministers have served within the state: C. Silene, Paul Johnson,
0. F. Carlson,
SWEDISH CHURCHES IN
FIRST SWEDISH BAPTIST CONGREGATION
congregation was organized on
Swedish Baptist Parsonage,
congregation in Elroy has been served by the following pastors: 0. F. Carlson
who served from
It is proven that the congregation has grown in both a spiritual and material way by
the work it carries out and the property that it owns.
By T. J. Westerberg
This school of higher learning, founded by Swedish Methodists in Texas and located in Austin, just completed its sixth year and is yet young and in its beginning stages. The need for such a school, founded on Christian principles and under the protection of the church, was soon evident to the leading men within the church. It is of great importance to both the Swedish-American youth and to the future and influence of the church. During its short existence, it has shown the importance and blessing of a Christian education.
first time the question of a school was discussed publicly and measures were
taken for its founding was at a ministers’ district meeting in Waco, Texas, on
June 15, 1907, when a committee consisting of 0. F. Linstrum, O.E. Olander, and
T. J. Westerberg was appointed with the
request to call the ministers and leading men of the church together to discuss
the matter further. On
this suitable and valuable property had been paid for, a collection was started
among the different congregations for the building, and it was successful through
the energetic work of Dr. Olander. They broke ground for the school building in
the summer of 1911; and on Aug. 27, the same year, the cornerstone was laid
with great ceremony. On
The first floor has school rooms, a chapel, dining room, kitchen, library and an office
the president of the school. The other two floors serve as living quarters. An
electrical system was installed which cost around $20,000. A small laboratory
was built later. The school began its first semester on
O. E. Olander has been president of the school from its beginning. His many
years of experience as a minister and district leader within the
DR. O. E. OLANDER
By J. A. Stamline
the Kansas Conference held its annual meeting in
conference encouraged the
Dr. J. A. Stamline, O.H. Sylvan, R. P. Acsell and Dr. A. L. Scott, met in the Lutheran
Lutheran youth. The meeting was to decide whether a school should be built or not,
and if not then avoid the trials and tribulations which a school would bring. God
opened our eyes so we could see what should be done. Therefore, it was decided in
God’s name to found a school. But how and in what way, with as little financial risk
as possible, were
PASTOR THEODORE SEASHORE
first things which concerned the pastors who were present. They discussed an
itinerant school, but this was not considered to be desirable. They considered
a school in a rented building, but that too, did not meet the demands. Then
nothing remained but to collect money for a suitable building, and to find a
suitable place for the school to be built. The pastors in the
It was decide to collect $25,000, but with the provision
the committee could proceed with the construction when it could do so without
getting into debt. On December 7, the same year, Dr. J. A. Stamline reported
that he had been raising funds for the school for 22 days, and during this time
he had received donations of $3,700. The pastors in their respective
congregations helped with the work, and our people showed themselves to be in
favor of the project. On
Its length is 147 feet, the midsection’s width and length is 60 feet and the width and length of the wings, 40 feet. The rest of the building is as it stands and needs no description.
the committee meeting in Round Rock,
The school board now consisted of Pastor C. G. Widen, chairman. Dr. A. L. Scott,
secretary, Mr. John A. Nelson, treasurer, the pastors L. J. Sundquist, O. H. Sylvan and
O. M. Bloom, and Mr A. K. Anderson,
the twelve years since the school was started, the following pastors have
served as chairmen of the board: Dr. J. A. Stamline for two years on the
interim board, Pastor C. G. Widen, from
Buildings. At the school conference in Round Rock,
The lavatory buildings, the sewer line, the lighting and necessary repairs to the school building were carried out during Pastor John Alfred Anderson’s presidency, at a cost of $3,844.37.
Library. The school had a collection of a thousand volumes, partly donated by
friends of the school organization. These are John Palm, Austin, The Augustana
Fund. Early in the history of the school, the school board decided that a capital
fund of $25,000 should be collected for
Inventory. At the close of 1917, the school’s assets reached $45,994.19 The debts were $5,803,60. The assets after the deduction of the debts are $40,190.59. The running expenses for the school itself for twelve years is a grand total of $88,369.28.
Celebrations in the Interest of the School.
create interest in the school, the board decided that the best way was to
organize celebrations when the general public could get together. An
unforgettable event of thatkind was the laying of the cornerstone,
the construction of the school, they decided to have a celebration in Nelson
Park, where people could get together and view the nearby, almost completed
building. This celebration was held in Nelson Park next to the school on
During the past years. Dr. J. A. Stamline, Pastor J. A. Anderson and Pastor Theodore Seashore have served as presidents and teachers of Religion, Swedish Language and Literature, etc. They have also taken care of the school’s business, such as income and expenditures, bookkeeping, correspondence, discipline and whatever the daily life of a school demands.
J. A. Stamline has served from
the twelve years, 1906-1918, that
The Lord has helped us in our schoolwork, and we are glad and grateful for that, both to Him and mankind, and if we stay true to our faith. He will continue to help us. Praise the Lord for all we have received.
THE FOUNDING OF PIONEERS DAY, CELEBRATION
early as 1896, a Swedish “reunion” was celebrated in “
national gatherings did not exist for many years. In the meantime however, the
Swedes united and prospered economically. Automobiles became more common,
reducing distances to a great extent. The fire insurance meetings with their
file reports, open discussions and dinners, were the only evidence for many
years that the Swedes had a common heritage to rally around
inter-denominationally. The old settlers could not get around and visit each
other easily since they were spread out and divided by religious fences. At big
religious meetings, some met, others did not, and some had gone “the way we all
must go”. It was painful for old comrades and friends that they would not be
able to meet once more while they were still alive. “The Old Settlers” in
came and made a good speech; people came from far and near, and we had a
pleasant, inspiring day. This happened in 1912. The responsibility for the next
meeting was mainly put in the hands of the pastors with the result that they
were neglectful, and the time for the next meeting came and nothing had been
done. The same fate threatened the meeting of 1914, but because of the
intervention of two old, white-haired patriarchs, the day and the meeting were
saved. The pastors in the different churches willingly made speeches, and do so
to this day, and the day was quite a success. Everyone wished that celebrating
this day would be a permanent institution and that the location be Nelson Park,
which they had been able to use without cost. Three Midsummer meetings have
been held in a row, and in 1916, it was suggested that the 1917 meeting be made
a fiftieth anniversary counted from 1867, and this met with great approval. A
men’s choir was formed during the year for the celebration. Singers from the
different Swedish communities had met several times in
THE FIRE INSURANCE SOCIETY “SVEA”
fire insurance society, Svea, was founded in
At the first meeting. Pastor J. A. Stamline was elected to lead the discussions, and Mr. A. F. Anderson, to serve as secretary.
The first regular chairman was John E. Rolf; secretary. Pastor J. A. Stamline; and treasurer, A. F. Anderson.
At the yearly meeting in 1892, A. J. Anderson was elected chairman for the society, and he has held this post until the yearly meeting in 1915 when they celebrated its twenty fifth anniversary.
John Nelson was elected chairman at this meeting and still holds this post.
A. F. Anderson has continued to serve as treasurer.
Pastor Stamline’s two year tenure as secretary, Oscar Westling was elected, and
he served for five years. Ernst
Around 1200 people of Scandinavian origin have been members through the years, and there are now 700 members. The property insured by Svea amounts to $2,250.000.
The society has helped its members at 130 fires and the loss has amounted to around $30,000.00.
has expanded in later years, and now it has members all the way down on the
THE FIRE INSURANCE SOCIETY “GOTA” (GOETHA)
J. C. JACKSON
To give the farmers who live in the city the benefit of inexpensive fire insurance, the society, Gota, was founded in Round Rock, Texas, Novenber 2, 1911, by representatives from the cities and the countryside in Williamson and Travis counties.
The society’s main office is in Round Rock where all yearly meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of July.
The board which was first elected, has been re-elected and is still serving, consists ofJ. E. Gustafson, chairman, John Busch, vice-chairman, J. C. Jackson, secretary and J. A. Nelson, treasurer.
organization now has around 750 members, with 16 divisions in Williamson and
Travis counties, 4 in the
THE SCANDINAVIAN CLUB AT THE
MRS. A. O. SANDBO
In some of the northern states, it has been shown that the students of Scandinavian
descent at the State Universities make up a larger percentage compared to the
population than other groups. This is in spite of the fact that in these states,
there are also many universities founded by Scandinavians and almost exclusively attended by Scandinavians.
was with this in view that in 1913, several students at the
It is difficult to say to what extent the club has been successful in this. Time will tell. Knowledge grows slowly and the one who sows the seed is seldom there to see it grow. And no one knows if it will ever bear fruit. But a beginning has been made. We have had our small gatherings and lectures, and the best talents that were available participated. The club has been in contact with every Scandinavian student at the university, and interest for the club’s work and purpose has been raised and kept alive both inside and outside the club. One goal which it has been working for, has been the establishment of a professorship in Scandinavian languages at this university.
This plan had a good chance of being realized, but then came
unfortunate World War I, which has cancelled many peaceful plans; otherwise we
would probably have had such a professorship at the
SOUTHERN SWEDISH CHOIR SOCIETY
J. M. Öjerholm
Southern Swedish Choir Society is a federation of the Swedish men’s choirs,
which exist in
the yearly meeting of the Old Pioneers in Round Rock in 1916, they were
thinking about trying to create a large men’s choir for the Old Pioneers 50th
Anniversary Jubilee the next year. A committee was appointed to try to
accomplish this, and through their work, small choirs were organized in several
communities, which could be united into one large choir at the celebration in
choir, “The Vikings” was organized in the beginning of Dec., 1916, and is made
up of singers from the Swedish communities in
As early as at the first general rehearsal, they discussed the possibility of organizing
the different choirs into a choir society like those that existed in other places in the
MEMBERS OF THE SOUTHERN SWEDISH CHOIR, SOCIETY, MIDSUMMER, 1917
general meeting in
first official preformance of the choir took place at the Old Pioneers 50th
Anniversary Jubilee on Midsummer, 1917, and it was a great success, even if
singing out in the open did not give them full justice. At the choir’s first
concerts and music celebrations, which were held in
Many singers have been called to military duty, so the numbers have decreased, and the work of the choir has been set back considerably. But the singing has not died, and even if the singing is weaker, we are hopefully looking forward to the day when our victorious brothers return from the front to take up their places in the choir. Then the wonderful Swedish singing will ring out louder, happier and more joyful than ever before, and greater crowds will gather around the banner of music.
F. L. HAGBERG
the intiative of the minister of the Scandinavian Methodist Congregation,
Pastor 0. E. Linstrum, several good men got together on
The society’s foremost goal is to create a more intimate friendship between the
church or other Christian work in the city. Men of Scandinavian descent, who
have reached the age of seventeen and do not have an occupation which is in
conflict with the work of the organization can enter the society. Meetings are
held on the first Friday each month, and as often as the chairman sees a need
to meet. The meetings are held in the homes, and at least five members have to
be present for a meeting to be held. The officers are: chairman, secretary, and
treasurer. They are elected by closed ballot, and their term is six months. No
one has the right to leave the society until his term is up. It is the
responsibility of the treasurer to collect the fees each month and to deposit
the funds in one of the city’s banks. Each year the books will be examined by
an auditing committee selected for this purpose. During the five years that the society has
existed, the interests has grown more and more, and the thirty three members
which it has now, have shown in both word and deed that it is dear to their
hearts to encourage and support Christian work among us. The society has time after time donated
substantial sums to the Scandinavian Methodist church, and to individuals, who
do not belong to any church. The society has also been helpful in the work
among the soldiers at
SWEDISH IMMIGRATION AND EARLY CONDITIONS
history of the Swedes in
With what speed the immigration increased during the year, 1867-1900,
can best understand with a comparison of the U. S. Census of 1860, with 150 to
that of 1900 with 9,297. Immigration has decreased in later years. The number
of Swedes in
these, 3,500 live in
ONE OF THE WHITE PEOPLE’S FIRST NEIGHBORS
to our estimates, there are in 1918, there are 9,660 Swedes or at the most,
years, which present immigrants know nothing about. If the journey across the
the journey from
better. Basically, the only way to find your way to the inner parts of
A Trip to
a beautiful summer day, early in the morning of
we cannot stay here long, because the locomotive is standing there blowing
steam, and the conductor is calling,”All men aboard!” When we had all boarded
the engine made a heave and our trip to
The next day we were all out looking around in the city. In the afternoon
we went to Mr. Lyon’s office because he was the agent of the Inman Line which we travelled by. We received our tickets and got our Swedish currency exchanged for American dollars, but we d