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This history will focus on their lives in Sweden.
Gust Dahlgren was my great uncle but I never knew him until now. He died before I was born. Read about his journey and a short family history in text below. I tried to provide a clear simple understanding of their beginnings without all the technical and documented notations in this outline. There is no speculation. All items recorded here were taken from documents and government records. I tried to weave the facts into a story for everyone to learn and read of their lives. I even included a few Svenska/Swedish words for you to learn and recognize their meaning.
Randy C. Wall-October 2010.
Some towns in Sweden you will read about in this story are: Tösse, Edsleskog, Fröskog, Skränna, Åmål, Grättved, Gålsjö (Gårdsjö today), and Laxarby; they are all in the same area of Älvsborgs län/county, Province of Dalsland. A few miles separate these villages from one to another. If the names are confusing in the text, just remember they are all close together to each other in distant. Do not get blog down with pronunciations and unusually spellings of towns you never saw or heard before. Some are just names of a farm with perhaps two or three dwellings on the whole place. I wanted to be through for you when you go and discover these places someday. Are you going soon? Have I inspired you to go to Sweden with this document? Who’s going to drive?
One last thing here, there are a lot of new names with vital dates in this text. Just read slowly and learn a few facts about the family. I sure know it can be very confusing and overwhelming with all the data.
Gust Dahlgren’s parents were Anders Peter Dalgren and Maria Lisa Jansdotter. Anders Peter Dalgren was born August 12th, 1864 and gift/married on Sept 8th, 1888 to Maria Lisa Jansdotter. She was född/born on Juli/July 25, 1857 and död/died on Oct. 18th, 1906 at the small village of Skränna, near Tösse, south west of Åmål, Älvsborgs län, Dalsland. Cause of death, kidney disease, age 49. Both Anders and Maria were born and married in Edsleskog, Älvsborgs län/county*, Landskap/Province of Dalsland (Sweden's lake province). Anders Peter Dalgren död/died on July 18th, 1895 in Tösse, near Åmål, Älvsborgs län, Dalsland. He died 5 days before his last child was born. Occupation: crofter/farmer and paper mill worker. His age at death was 31 from pneumonia and a heart condition. The working conditions at the paper mill, was very had on their health. It was terrible for their lungs and of course their hearts. Very unsanitary conditions.
*Älvsborg County, or Älvsborgs län, was a county of Sweden until December 31, 1998 when it was merged with the counties of Gothenburg, Bohus and Skaraborg, to form the county of Västra Götaland. It consisted of the Provinces of Dalsland and the central part of Västergötland. Remember these are old records and they are going to be using “Älvsborgs län” to identify locations of the places listed here but this County name Älvsborgs, does not exist anymore. It merged with other counties.
Here is an example of the original place name(s):
Tösse and Åmål, Älvsborgs län, Dalsland.
But Älvsborgs län has been redrawn in its boundaries and renamed. So now it would read, Tösse and Åmål, Åmåls kn Västra Götalands län, Dalsland. I know it’s confusing but you will not see all the little villages and towns disappear from the maps. They will still be there in the same area but with a different county name today.
-Question: Does a grave exist for them; Anders and Maria? If there are graves, perhaps we get a picture of them?
Found Anders Peter Dalgren and parents in the 1880 Swedish census at Grättved in Edsleskog, Älvsborgs län.
-Father-Olof Dalgren, born Feb. 9th, 1829 in Eskilsäter Värmlands län, Värmland. Occupation: Shoemaker.
Olof died on Oct. 2nd, 1887 at Grättved. Age at death, 58.
Foot note about Olof: He had been sentenced to a 34 riksdaler fine (about $6 U.S. dollars) for illegally selling alcohol in 1868. I was told it was almost two months of ones salary. (a svenska bootlegger! Did he have a still?) Olof Dalgren was first married to Anna Lisa Noachsdotter (1834-1860), who died young, age 26. They had three children; Britta (lived with her brother Karl in Dalarna. Never married. This Karl is child #5 below), Anna (died age 2), and Selma (she died young but did have an illegitimate daughter named Anna Dahlgren who disappeared after the 1900 Swedish census).
-Mother (second wife of Olof, Gust’s Grandmother)-
Anna Kajsa Andersdotter, born on Dec 17th, 1831 in Edsleskog and died on March 27th, 1916 at Grättved in Edsleskog. She perhaps took her grandchildren in after their mother died in 1906 (Maria Lisa Jansdotter).
1.) (barn/child) Johannes Dalgren, born on July12th, 1862 and died on July 13th, 1862.
2.) (child) Johanna Dalgren born on July 25th, 1863 and died on Aug 27th, 1863.
3.) (child) Anders Peter Olofsson-Dalgren, born on August 12th, 1864 in Edsleskog. (Gust Dahlgren’s father).
4.) (child) We found a lot on this line….Sofia Olofsdotter-Dalgren, born on June 7th, 1867 in Edsleskog and died on July 29th. 1940 Kullerstad, Östergötland. She married on Nov 8th, 1890 to August Wallman (paper mill worker) who was born on June 26th, 1866 in Fröskog. Died on Dec 14th, 1936 Kullerstad, Östergötland (of heart condition). The family emigrated on Dec 15th, 1894 from Lisefors, near Fröskog, Älvsborgs län to Norway. The family returned to Sweden around 1904. They had six children-
-A.) Karl Gottfrid Wallman born Jan 24th, 1891 in Fröskog.
Never married. He died on May 31st, 1921 at Skön, Västernorrland. A paper mill work and died from TB.
-B.) Signe Maria Wallman born July 2nd, 1893 in Fröskog. Died on Mar 12th, 1971 at Risinge, Östergötland. She married Aug 2nd 1915 to August Albin Fredriksson, born Mar 6th, 1890 at Risinge. He died on Sept 30th. 1972 Risinge. They had at least one child: Karin Elisabet Fredriksson born Mar 31st, 1922 at Risinge and she died Sept 12th, 1995 in Stockholm, unmarried.
-C.) Selma Elisabet Wallman born on May 7th, 1896 at Molum, Norway and she died May 13th, 1927 Kullerstad, Östergötland (unmarried),
-D.) Fritz Hjalmar Wallman born Feb 7th, 1898 Molum, Norway and died on Jan 24th, 1952 at Askersund, Närke. He married on Dec 21st, 1929 to Ingrid Margareta born Sept 17th, 1900 and died on Sept 12th, 1982 Askersund),
-E.) Viktor Emanuel Wallman born July 13th, 1904 Kullerstad and died on Aug 27th, 1956 at Skoghall, Värmland (paper mill worker). He was married to Viola Emilia Karlsson born on June 8th, 1917 and died on Sept 15th, 1944 Kullerstad.
-F.) Sally Lovisa Wallman born Apr 14th, 1911 Kullerstad and died on Sept 16th, 1999 at Södertälje. She married on May 28th, 1955 to Lars Gustaf Bertil Grund born Mar 31st, 1925 Rättvik, Dalarna and he died on Mar 9th, 1996 Södertälje.
*Perhaps we will find a relative from this family line. We could not get all the details of the children’s children.
5.) (child) Karl Olofsson-Dalgren, born on June 19th, 1870 in Edsleskog. Worked at paper mill in Grycksbo, Kopparberg, Falun Municipality, Dalarna County in 1900. Last known record was that he moved to Norway July 31st, 1905. His half-sister Britta lived with him for awhile. Perhaps she went to Norway with him.
Here is the 1880 Swedish census for Maria Lisa Jansdotter family (Gust’s mother) (she is also sometimes listed in records as Maja Lisa Jansdotter) but she is not living with them in 1880. She is living in the village of Gålsjö (Gårdsjö today, at the east part of Östra Silen) near Laxarby, in Älvsborgs län, as a maid. This family moved to Norway at one time but came back again. Possibly for work?
This family below is living at Skränna in 1880.
-Father- Jan Jacob Olsson, born on Oct. 30th, 1826 in Svanskog, at Värmlands län, Province of Värmland. Married in 1856 at Svanskog. He died at Skränna on Feb. 1st, 1912. Age at death, 86. (Jan Jacob could of also helped with the care of the Dalgren children after their mother died in 1906.)
-Mother-Anna Kajsa Hansdotter, born on June 1st, 1829 in Tösse and died March 3rd, 1903, Skränna.
Died from an asthma attack. Age at death, 74.
Of course the first child is;
1.) (child) Maria Lisa, Gust’s mother, but she is not living with them at this time in the 1880 census. I just listed her here in the birth order of this couple’s children. Maria was living at Gålsjö in Laxarby in 1880. She was working as a Maid.
2.) (child) Elisabeth Jansdotter, born on Aug. 23rd, 1860 and died on Jan. 11th, 1948 all at Tösse. Never married. Alive in 1900.
3.) (child) Tekla Sofia Jansdotter, born on Nov. 21st, 1865 at Tösse. She married Olof Olsson Backlund a carpenter from Leksand, Dalarna, born there on Aug 12th, 1869 and he died on Mar 16th, 1953, at Falu Kristine, Dalarna. Tekla died before Sept. 1933 because Olof, her husband, was re-married by then. They had one child: Olof Gösta Backlund born on Dec 9th, 1896 at Orsa, Dalarna and died on Nov 26th, 1961 at Malmö, Province of Skåne. He married on May 11th, 1929 to Ruth Ingeborg Johansson, born July 1st, 1906 at Vankiva and died on Feb 12th, 1970 Malmö. I have been to Malmö. Beautiful city and I saw the new bridge to Norway that was built there.
4.) (child) Anna Lovisa/Laura Jansdotter, born on Dec. 15th, 1873 at Tösse. Anna died on Jan 4th, 1931, while on a visit in Falu Kristine, Dalarna by drowning. She was a servant in Tösse in 1890 and also a servant in Göteborg in 1900. Age at death, 58. She never married. The horse driven sleigh broke threw the ice on the lake and she drowned. She was there in Dalarna to visit her sister Tekla’s family.
Here are members of Gust’s family in the 1900 Swedish cemsus/Folkräkningen for his family:
-Widow/Mother-Maria Lisa Jansdotter (Dalgren), born July 25, 1857. Worked at Hanebols Trämassefabrik, which is a paper mill in Fengersfors - the buildings still exist and are used as artists' studios today.
-The four Children of Maria Lisa Jansdotter and Anders Peter Dalgren were: Selma, Karl, Gust and Anders.
1). Selma Viktoria Dalgren, born on January 11th, 1889 in Edsleskog, Älvsborgs län, Dalsland. She emigrated on November 8th, 1912 from Torpane, Edsleskog, Älvsborgs län, Dalsland to Norge/Norway. Moving to Norway was only a few miles. The Province of Dalsland borders Norway. She was in Kristiania, Norway (now Oslo), in 1914, when her brother Karl left for the US (she was listed as next of kin in his passenger manifest list).
2). Karl Johan Dalgren, born Feb. 5th, 1891, at Tösse in Älvsborgs län, Dalsland and Emigrated to Nordamerika/USA on Dec 14th, 1914 from Bergen, Norway to New York, and arrived on Dec 24th, 1914 on the ship Bergensfjord. Destination given to where going in the U.S. on the ship’s manifest: brother Adolf Dahlgren (Gust), Cuyuna, Minnesota. He settled in Cuyuna and then Crosby Minnesota. He served in the Swedish Military. Carl died on Sept 19th, 1962 at Crosby and is buried at Lakeview Cemetery at Crosby with his brother Gust and wife, Hulda. He never married. The graves are well marked! We have Carl’s obituary and it does not mention any siblings as survivors.
In the 1920 Minnesota census, Carl and Gust were living at a boarding home run by Walter Lindquist (a Swede of course), in the town of Cuyuna, Rabbit Lake Township, Crow Wing Co, MN. The brothers were listed as miners. There was over 20 Swedes living at this Hemma/Home. Can you just smell the Lutefisk on that stove? Uff-da!
Also living at this wayward “home for Swedes”, was Carl Lindahl who later married Emma Nickander (Gust married Emma’s sister, Hulda). Carl Lindahl was also a Swedish World war I veteran. So the Swedes bonded after the Great War here in Crow Wing Co. There must have been dances in Cuyana. That’s where everyone met. Good old fashion music, food and commorality with their Swedish influences and traditions. These folks shared their lives not only in the mines where they worked hard but also in their social fellowship. Sköl för Fiska! (A toast to life, Svenska style!)
Another Nickander connection in this household is Edith Forslund who was working and living in Cuyana as a waitress, at the same boarding house. Her mother was Ida (Nickander) Forslund, who was another sister to Emma and Hulda. I bet everyone met at those dances?
3). Gustaf (Gust) Adolf Dalgren, born Feb 2nd, 1892 in Fröskog, Älvsborgs län, Province of Dalsland, Sverige/Sweden. We have pictures of the Church/Kyrka, some inside. He started his emigration on June 1st, 1912 from his home at Fengersfors, in Fröskog, Älvsborgs län, Dalsland, to Nordamerika/North America. This is the date that is recorded at the church that he was leaving to go to America. He made his way to Göteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden, and on June 21st, 1912 traveled to Hull, England, on the ship Salmo. He took a train across England (from east side to west side) to Liverpool where the large passenger steamships were waiting to board the emigrants. From Liverpool, he traveled to the USA, on the Ship Franconia, arriving on American soil at Boston, Massachusetts on July 3rd, 1912. Destination given on ships manifest to where going in the states; to a friend, Peter Carlson, Cuyuna, Minnesota. After checking the 1920 census for Cuyuna, Rabbit Lake Township, Crow Wing Co, we find Peter Carlson was living in the same household as Gust. (Peter was born Aug 17th, 1894 at Åmål near Skränna, Älvsborgs län, Dalsland, info from his World War I draft registration card. This is the same area where Gust was born and living at.) Also Census records tell us Peter came over in 1911, one year before Gust. He must have been a childhood friend to Gust and Carl. They had to write back and forth after Peter got to Minnesota. So Gust had a contact in the new land and he was going to try his luck there in Minnesota at CUYUNA. Have you ever been there?
We have found pictures of this ship. Even a few pictures of the interior. The ship was built for the
Liverpool - Boston run. In February of 1915 she became a troopship for the Royal British Navy. On Oct 4th, 1916 she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine UB 47, at 195 sea miles SE off Malta and sank in 50 minutes. 12 people lost their lives. (Malta is situated centrally in the Mediterranean, 93 km south of Sicily and 288 km east of Tunisia, with the Strait of Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.)
We have Gust and his wife’s obituary, Hulda Nickander Dahlgren. In Gust’s obituary, it tells us he only has a brother (Carl) that survives him. No mention of any other siblings, here or in Sweden and Norway.
Cuyuna Range is an iron range to the southwest of the Mesabi Range, largely within Crow Wing County, Minnesota. It lies along a line between Brainerd and Aitkin although those communities are not mining towns.
The town of Cuyuna is just north of Crosby. By the end of 1910, Cuyuna had a hospital, a doctor, a veterinary, a barber shop, a theater-meeting hall, two restaurants, two hotels, two boarding houses, a church, a Good Temperance Hall, a post-office, a funeral parlor, two saloons, a jail, two grocery stores, and a hardware store. That year a new school, The Cuyuna High School, housing grades 1 through 8 to begin with, was built by 1912, The Cuyuna Miner, the first newspaper on the Range, printed local, national and international news weekly. The village rapidly grew to more than 700 residents. A baseball team was organized and played on a field dubbed Gopher Stadium (after the varmints that dug holes all over the place). The famed Cuyuna team of 1908-1909 made a commendable record throughout north-central Minnesota.
The range was discovered by Cuyler Adams, a surveyor who discovered traces of magnetic ore in 1895 while doing land surveys. The word "Cuyuna" was coined by Adams' wife, who combined the first three letters of Cuyler's name with "Una", the name of their dog.
Mining started on the range in 1911. The ore was located deep underground, as in the Vermilion Range, so most of the mines were developed underground or in very deep pits. In addition to the iron, the ore was rich in manganese, which was useful during World War I when other sources were not available.
At the height of the mining, the Cuyuna Range was the location of the worst mining disaster in Minnesota, the Milford Mine disaster. On February 5, 1924, a new tunnel was blasted too close to nearby Foley Lake, and water rushed in, killing 41 miners.
Mining on the range continued until 1984. Also like the Vermilion Range, mining slowed as it became more economical to extract taconite deposits from the Mesabi Range, which were closer to the surface. Additionally, the surface mines were safer than the mines deep underground.
Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area now occupies portions of the range where mining pits and rock deposit stockpiles were left behind by the miners. The Cuyuna Lakes Trail is also located near the former mines.
So Gust was coming to the brand new and big town of CUYUNA in 1912, where he lived until 1925, when he moved to Crosby with his family.
Did Gust live in an orphanage in Sweden???? Gust was 14 when his mother died (1906) and his father/far had already died when he was 3 (1895). Or did go with a relative? His Farmor? Grandmother-his fathers’ mother, Anna Kajsa (Andersdotter) Dalgren. She lived until 1916.
Also his grandfather, Morfar, Jan Jacob Olsson, his mother’s father, lived until 1912 in the same town where his mother died at Skränna-Tösse area. So there was family around that could use a 14 year old boy to help with chores.
Gust, his wife Hulda, and his brother Carl, are all buried together at Lakeview Cemetery in Crosby, Crow Wing Co, MN and the graves are well marked. Gust died on April 17th, 1947, Crosby. Gust married Hulda Nickander on January 18th, 1922 at Aitkin, Aitkin Co, MN.
Hulda Caroline Nickander was born on March 20th, 1894 at the town of Glory (which had a post office), in Nordland Township, Aitkin Co, MN and died on November 19th, 1986 at Crosby. Her parents were Kjel Kjelsson-Nickander and Anna Mattiasdotter. They were both from the village of Klövsjö, in Jämtland, Sweden. Their lives were covered in the book, “The Nickander/Swanson Story” by Randy Calvin Wall, 1996. It tells of the families journeys from Sweden to the New Land. Another book was published in 2002 by Terry Sylvester and Debra Janzen (Hagman sisters), titled “Memories”. This collection covers more on all the families and their lives, here in America. Gust and Hulda had four children: Mable, Warren, Helen, and Irene.
Gust was a soldier in World War I and fought in the “Lost Battalion” battle of 1918. Google it! Pvt. Gust Dahlgren was wound at this conflict. A relative in the family could send for his military records and read about his ordeal in this war and learn more about his part in the battle.)
4). Anders Peter Dalgren (named after his father who died 5 days before he was born), born July 23rd, 1895 in Tösse near Tydje, Älvsborgs län, Dalsland. He emigrated on January 25th, 1912 from Skränna, Älvsborgs län to Norge/Norway. He was 11 when his mother/mor died.
*History and pictures of the church:
In Fröskog already existed in the 1300's a wooden church, perhaps a stave church. Today's chip-clad church is also made of wood, and was inaugurated for his purposes December 20, 1730. Its atmospheric interior is a shining example of true peasant baroque. All the details corresponding to the baroque style ideal: splendor, color, luster, weight and movement. The decorative paintings on the ceiling is by Hans Georg Schüffner and created 1739th The ceiling is divided into various fields, framed by borders, and the bay leaves and berainornamentik, both in rich akantusornamentik in grisaille on a blue background.
Here are stories from both Old and New Testaments in picture form. Reredos and pulpit are made of carpenter Nils Falk 1739th Isak Schullström skulpterade änglarna 1770. Isaac Schullström sculpted angels 1770th Kyrkans äldsta föremål är krusifixet from 1200-talet. The church's oldest objects are krusifixet from the 1200s.
The beautiful forged burial crosses on kyrkogråden still testify that this was once ironworks district.
--To pull up these items on the internet, please do a copy and paste it into your browser—
Picture of Fröskogs kyrka.jpg (kyrka/church)
Pictures of Gust’s ship the Franconia. The ship he traveled on to America.
Pictures of inside the ship:
Dalsland, landskap (province), southwestern Sweden, on the Norwegian border, one of the smaller traditional provinces in the country. It is bounded to the east by Lake Vänern*, to the west by Norway and the province of Bohuslän, and to the north by the province of Värmland. Dalsland is included in the administrative län of Västra Götaland. Dalsland’s landscape has great contrasts, ranging from flatland in the southeast to forests, mountains, and lakes in the rest of the province. Because of its location, Dalsland was often involved in warfare between Sweden and Norway.
*I have been to this lake. It is so beautiful; like Duluth Minnesota area but with scenic mountain views. I was very close to the towns mention in this story on one of my trips to Sweden. You must go! You must! I hope I did not do this work for nothing….Randy
****Updates on a few Dahlgren members-
Britta Stina Dahlgren born March 10 1854. The last thing I knew about her was in the 1900 Swedish census, she was then in Dalarna. In 1910 she was in Norway. She was still single, and was working at an ironing business (dry cleaner) at Sofiesgate 84, Kristiania (now Oslo). I checked, and the address is a business address for a fruit & vegetable store these days. It is very likely that her niece Selma also came to the same place when she left Sweden in 1912.
Karl Dahlgren born 19 June 1870. He was in Dalarna in 1900, however he got a certificate 15 Nov 1900, stating the fact that he was unmarried, and then it said that he moved to Norway (without getting the proper moving certificate). In 1905 he had probably been in Sweden to visit, because he then received the proper moving certificate, and "emigrated" to Norway permanently. He was in the 1910 Norwegian census, living at Kjaer Norde Gaard, Gjerpen. He was a farmer and "machine" (probably agricultural machinery) driver. He was married to Michalina Kucharski, born 18 Nov 1878 in Germany. Their children: Ervin Dahlgren born 18 Oct 1900 Skien, Elli Dahlgren born 15 July 1905 Gjerpen, Vendel Dahlgren born 6 July 1909 Gjerpen. Ervin was a well known Norwegian jazz musician. His wife was Harriet Malma Hadland.
Two children: Arne and Thor.
Karl Dahlgren was Carl Dahlgren on the gravemarker, he died 13 July 1962. Wife Michalina died 19 Aug 1964. They are buried at Nordre Gravlund (cemetery), Skien. Wendel Fredrik Dahlgren born 6 July 1909 died 13 July 1997 at Gjerpen. His wife was Anna Stensröd born 2 Mar 1912 died 1 Dec 1997. Another child: Borghild Dahlgren born Dec 29th, 1918.
Found in Norwegian records: Bachelor Karl Peder (Peter) Dahlgren died on Jan 4, 1925 (buried on Jan 10th) from tuberculosis. The same disease that took his sister Selma. They both died at the same Sanitarium. Apperaently Peder was using Karl for a first name in Norway for a birth name but he went by Peder. Perhaps Peder's things were sent to Carl in Crosby, MN after he died. That makes sense. The postcard was from a Alfred H Frideen to Peder Dahlgren, whose address was a military training camp at Helgeandsmoen, Norway. Sarpsborg (Norway) June 20th, 1921.
Update on Jan. 3rd, 2011, from Norwegian records-Selma (Dahlgren) Bayer died on January 29th, 1925 (25 days after her brothers' death), at the same Tuberculosis Sanitarium in Gjerpen and buried on Feb. 4th (Högås Sanatorium, Gjerpen, Norway). The letter Carl wrote and that was returned to him, was mail three days after her death, which he didn't know of. Her husband, Jacob Bayer, was born on Dec 1st, 1893, Norway and died on July 17th, 1961, at Skien. Selma and Jacob were married on Nov. 1st, 1919. They had two children: Mary Victoria born Aug 1st, 1921 in Gjerpen and Karl Julius born July 11th, 1923 at Skien and died May 11th, 1924 in Gjerpen. Mary Victoria (Bayer) Roos died on Mar 30th, 1998 at Tyristrand. Her husband Kåre Osvald Roos, was born on Feb 20th, 1920 and died on June 1st, 1992.
More info from old postcards: Gösta’s address is: Åsgatan 14, Falun. His parents send him the letters.
Karl Vallman’s (Wallman) address is: Union, Skien, Norway.
Greetings from Karlberg at Grums (Sweden.
The postcard was from a Alfred H Frideen to Peder Dahlgren, whose address was a military training camp at Helgeandsmoen, Norway. Sarpsborg (Norway) June 20th, 1921.
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