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Victor Anderson’s Autobiography

Victor Anderson wrote this autobiography toward the end of his life. He notes that he wrote it at the urging of his oldest son, Elam.  He wrote it in Swedish.  It was translated into English by his oldest daughter, Ruth, and typed and duplicated by his youngest daughter, Delight.  Probably each of his children received a copy.  I remember that our copy was in a black construction paper folder with “Victor Anderson” on the cover in letters cut from green (?) construction paper.  Our copy was always kept in the piano bench.  
I am indebted to Ann Bjork for converting the autobiography into electronic format.

Victor Anderson was born April 17, l857, in Ångarp, Linderas, Jonkoping, Sweden.  [Ed. note: Ångarp (the "Å" is pronounced as though it were an "O") was the name of the farm on which Victor's family lived.  "Linderås" is the name of the parish in which the farm was located; and "Jonkiping" (pronounced "YON shipping) is the name of the county.]  I was the fifth of ten children, five girls and five boys.  One brother died when only a few months old, and mother grieved so much over the loss of this child although she had nine left.  Such is a mother’s love.

 There was great poverty in my home at times.  Mother would cut a loaf of bread into eleven pieces.  This would be our meal.  Many times mother would do without her piece.  Many times we were without bread, and then she would make potato pancakes.  This would bring us through until spring or early summer, and then we would have to do without potatoes also until the early crop was ready.  We lived on a small acreage so we could keep two cows, three or four sheep, and a dozen chickens.  Two calves were butchered every year when eight days old, and a good sized hog was also butchered before Xmas.  Of course, the greater part of the butter and meat butchered had to be sold to buy other necessities.  We would then buy a keg of herring, salt, sugar, flour and such things.  We also had to buy our potatoes and grain, as this little place was not nearly large enough to take care of such a big family and it takes a good deal to supply the needs of eleven mouths and the necessary clothes.

 My father was a carpenter and builder and maker of shoes (wooden shoes).  However, he received very little reimbursement for such work, but he made all the wooden shoes for the family.  Wooden shoes were the only kind of shoes worn at that time.  He would sometimes help the farmers with their thrashing or help them to break the land.  There were no farm implements at that time.  He would sometimes help them as everything was done with a spade.  A piece of the grass sod 10” and 18” was cut with the edge of the spade and then turned over.  It was tedious work.  A large hoe was also used for this.  The sod was left to dry and then thrown in a pile where it was burned to ashes.  The ground was then plowed and dragged and sowed into grain.  For this kind of work we were paid at the rate of from 25 to 40 cents a day, or rather 25 to 40 ore.  Four ore are equal to one cent in American money, and perhaps we would receive our meals and a loaf of bread.

 We boys and girls worked in the potato fields, weeding, etc., during the summer for which we were paid 10 ore a day, and in the fall we picked potatoes on share according to what our pay would be.  As children, we never had clothes that were fit to go to church in, so when we went to church we went two at a time, using some of the other’s clothes.  The most difficult problem was shoes, as we could not go to church in our wooden shoes, so we would sometimes go to neighbors and borrow shoes and even clothes to enable us to go to church.

 Our hardest experience in poverty was in the year of 1866.  I was nine years old.  Sweden and Norway experienced the worst draught in its history.  The majority of the people experienced the pangs of hunger, and especially the poor people.  I remember so well how many times I ached and cried and would search the cupboards for a crust of bread hoping I might find a piece that had been overlooked, but could find nothing.  Mother was ill in bed and father was at the military training camp, where he had to spend six weeks each year.  [Ed note: Victor's father, Anders Fasth, was a member of the Royal Jonkiping Regiment, and was required to go through six weeks of training every year.  Each large farm was required to supply one soldier and to provide free housing for the soldier and his family.  It was up to the soldier to keep his family fed and clothed, earning money on the farm or in the community as he could.]  Although we were without food and in such poverty, we were not allowed to go and beg.  That was too much of a disgrace, and it would be almost useless to do so, as there were so many out begging and so few had anything they could spare.  It was early in the spring and there were no wild or other greens, or potato tops.  These greens were cooked, chopped and thickened with flour making a palatable and nourishing dish.  

 One day mother called me and my brother into her room and told us to go to our grocer dealer and tell him that we did not have a thing in the house and father was away and mother ill in bed and to let us have a little flour.  We hurried away to the store, which was three miles from our home, and told our dealer as well as we could how things were at home.  After thinking it over a while and knowing our poverty he let us have about ten pounds of flour.  We returned home happily with the flour, and mother told the girls to put on a kettle of water, salt it and when boiling, add slowly a cupful of flour and let it cook a while, then scoop it into a dish and eat, and how we did eat and what a treat to be able to fill our empty stomach and for a week we were contented.  Then again we were without anything to eat and our stomachs began to ache for the want of food.  We could not go back to our grocer dealer for more flour, so mother had to find some other way out.  At this time two of my sisters were helping a farmer four miles away, so my  mother told me and my brother to go up to this place and try to get some grain.  This farmer was a good Christian and she thought he would help us out without pay.  She told us to hurry and if we were able to get the grain to take it right to the mill and have it ground.  So we took our two-wheeled cart and trotted off the best we could.  It was not easy walking the four miles with very empty stomachs, but we reached the farmer and made our request.  He said he was afraid he did not have any to spare but he would go and look in the grainery; which he did and replied, “Well, I suppose I will have to help you out”, and then measured out a half bushel oats and a half bushel rye.  While he was doing this our eyes were in the ceiling on a long pole of bread. (The bread was baked in flat cakes about an inch thick with a hole in the center.  These cakes were hung on a pole to thoroughly dry out before using it.)  The farmer saw we could not take our eyes from this bread, so he asked us if we were hungry.  This, of course, we could not deny.  He then took down one of these breads and broke it in two giving us one half each.  How tickled and happy we were to get this bread.

 After this treat we hurried to the mill two miles farther away.  When this was done, we turned our steps on the trip of six miles home.  When we were half way home we passed a farm called Upsala, where a very kind family lived.  These people had noticed us when we passed in the morning and had guessed where we were going, also knowing a little of our conditions.  When we came back now they stopped us and asked us to come in and have something to eat.  We did not have to be asked twice, but left the cart immediately and went in and sat down at the table and ate until we could eat no more.  The lady asked us several questions but we could not take our thoughts off the eats long enough to answer her definitely.  When we had finished we bowed politely and thanked her kindly.  We were taught to always express our thanks nicely and show our gratitude for any kindness.  We then continued our journey home and what joy there was when we arrived with this grain.  The frying pan was placed on the fire to make pancakes as they could not wait for bread to be made.  An old tallow candle was brought to use in greasing the frying pan.  Pancakes were make of water and this flour of rye and oats ground together just as they were.  Often hulls from the oats would catch in our mouth and throat, but we were filled up and again satisfied.  There was no milk as the cows were almost starved, but the bread lasted us a few weeks and then the grass started to get green and we were able to gather some wild greens and cook.  Now we felt the worst was over.  Mother was now able to leave her bed of illness.  Father also came home after a six weeks absence.  The flour was almost gone and the rye was not ripened enough to harvest but father took a scythe and cut a few shocks.  This we put in the big oven and dried out thoroughly until we could remove the kernels by rubbing between our hands.  Then it was taken to the mill and ground.  Then we had more bread, pancakes, and broth.  Sometime later we had potatoes again, and milk.  Then the grain was harvested and we were supplied with flour again.  At Xmas time a good sized hog was butchered.

    The next four years passed by without anything unusual happening.  Many times it was very trying and hard, but no unusual hardships had to be endured.  Five of us went to school.  Rye bread was given there every day to the poor children by the community.  This was a great help to us.

    The fourth year or 1871 was a year of great sorrow to us all.  In September father died very suddenly.  We had all gone to the potato field in the afternoon to dig up potatoes when father complained of feeling ill and returned home.  In a little while he sent word out to us to come home as he was very sick.  We all ran home and found father on the bed suffering intense pain, and asked us to send after a doctor.  I ran to a farmer in the neighborhood and told him that our father was seriously ill and asked him to go for a doctor. He immediately harnessed up a horse and drove twenty five miles for a doctor.  Meanwhile my brother sent after our school master who was a good old Christian man and he came over to see my father and asked him if he was ready to meet God.  “I do not know.  I know I am a big sinner”, he said.  Then Mr. Linquist told him that Jesus came to save just such men.  This gave him peace to his troubled soul.  He had always been considered a Christian, but a terrible fear came over him at this hour.  When the neighbor and doctor arrived father had passed on.  This was too much for my poor mother.  She had not been very well for several years.  The weather became very cold and a severe blizzard set in and mother took a bad cold.   We could not get a doctor or any medicine for her, as we were simply shut in on account of the snow.  All the roads were blocked.  I started out to go to a place three miles from there to get some medicine, but could not get very far so I had to turn around home.  About two months from father’s death, mother passed out from our midst.  A few days before she died, we were all standing beside her bed.  There were seven of us, the youngest being four years old.  How hard it must have been for her to leave all her children.  We heard her pray, “O God, take care of my dear children”.  The last words she uttered with her hand raised, saying, “Children, look up!’  Then her hand dropped and her eyes closed in death.

    The oldest sister came home to keep house and take care of us for a while as we had the right to live in the house for a year.  At the end of the year, an auction was held and everything on the place was sold.  When all bills had been paid and creditors satisfied, we had left each twenty-five crowns.  Not a large sum to get started in life.  Although we were so poor, we had the satisfaction of knowing we did not owe anything to anyone.  Everyone was paid up and now we must separate.

    The youngest, a girl of four years, was taken in by an aunt, and the next child, eight years old, was taken to a friend in the town.  The township helped to support these children.  A girl, ten years old, was placed in a farm home where she was to help out for her board and room and necessary clothes.  My brother twelve years old, was taken in by a tailor where he worked for his board and room.  I then fourteen years was given a job with our administrator at a salary of $10.00, plus a cotton shirt and a leather apron, and believe me I surely earned my salary.  I was called 4 o’clock in the morning and worked hard until eight or nine at night.  When we cut (with a scythe) hay, corn, grain, clover and timothy, I had to keep in line with my employer.  It was very hard to keep up with him all the time, and how my arms and feet would ache.  Yes, they would ache so I could hardly sleep at nights.  But you know a boy does want to eat, and if he only can get decent eats and plenty, he can stand a lot of work.  Sometimes I was so weak and tired that when I drove the oxen in the field and had to stop them to let them rest, I would fall asleep myself.  The farmer would, of course, catch me and give me a bawling out telling me never to do such a thing again.

    As soon as we had dressed in the morning, we went into the kitchen for our breakfast which consisted of a chunk of bread, cheese and a glass of skimmed milk (very blue milk).  The cheese was generally so wormy that the worms would crawl on the bread.  Some tried to believe that the worms tasted good, but I could not go them or find them palatable, so I would pick them off and put them down on the table where they could crawl around all they wanted. This was all we had from 4 a.m. until. 8 a.m.  Then we had another meal of barley broth, which was placed on the center of the table in a large bowl.  Using our wooden spoons we all ate from this bowl, scooping the barley from the bottom of the bowl.  The mistress also handed us each a chunk of bread which she had buttered, but we had to look twice before we could detect any butter on it.  The noon meal was served at 12  o’clock, and generally consisted of potatoes and meat, pork or sausage.  A frying pan with a thickened gravy was placed in the center of the table.  Each one pealed his own potatoes with their fingers as there were no knives or forks, and then we would dip our potato in the frying pan.  Sometimes we would break our potato in two and make a ridge in it with our teeth and thus enable us to scoop a little more gravy with the potato.  The bread was eaten the same way.  The mistress handed each one their portion with her fingers, and we received it with our fingers, holding it until we placed it on the table, as there were no plates on the table.

    At 6 o’clock, we had supper and were served the same kind of food we had for breakfast or bread, cheese and skimmed milk. At 9 o’clock a lunch was had which consisted of rye porridge.  This was poured into a large wooden bowl and placed on the table, also a large bowl of skimmed milk.  Then the wooden spoons were put into action.  First we dipped our spoon into the bowl and took a small amount of porridge and then filled the spoon with milk from the other bowl, taking no more than we could successfully transfer to our mouth without spilling it.  Naturally being hungry we would hurry too much, causing the collision with other spoons, knocking the porridge off the spoons.

    With this meal the day was ended.  The days that followed were of the same nature.  I worked for these people six months and then accepted the job with another farmer for 25 crowns a year.  The food at this place was a little better.  At the close of this year, I went to another farmer, working there two years and receiving a salary of 50 crowns a year.  This farmer was a rather pleasant man to work for.  My sister was also doing housework at this place and this made it more pleasant for me.  The work and customs were about the same.  Sometimes I could help myself to a chunk of bread from the storage room.  This I broke in two and dipped into a barrel of pickled herring and put it in my coat pocket and lunched on it while I was working in the fields.  As you know a sixteen year boy working hard was always hungry.

    During the summer I did all the work on this farm alone, as the man I was working for took sick and had to go away to a Sanitarium for two months.  Of course, the lady there tried to boss me around but feeling that I was capable of doing my work the way it should be done, I did not think it was necessary for her to boss me around so we did not hitch so well.  They had a nice five year old boy, but she was real mean to this little fellow and would whip him for the least thing.  She was always calling him such horrid names, so one day I told her she should at least use common sense when she punished her child.  This made her very angry and told me to mind my own business.  After this she certainly had it in for me, and when her husband came home, she had lots of complaints against me, so he did not treat me the same way any more.

    I will have to mention a little experience I had when I took my employer to town where he took a boat for the Sanitarium.  We arrived at the docks late in the evening and I did not want to return home that night, so I drove into a vacant place near the docks and unhitched the horse, fed and watered him and then crawled into the wagon to go to sleep.  Some young boys were passing by and seeing me, started to call me names and threw sand and pebbles at me.  Thinking I would have to get rid of those boys, I got up and grabbed a stick of wood and ran after them, frightening them away and was sure I got rid of those pests, but soon they returned with some older boys with them and they started to give it to me good and hot.  I no know how it would have ended if some one had not come to my rescue.

 In the evening before I had tried to go to sleep I had another adventure.  Looking around for something interesting I had gone aboard the sailship that lay in the harbor.  When I was walking around on the deck two sailors came up out of a trap door and wanted to know what I was doing around there or what I wanted.  I told them I just wanted to see what a sail-boat looked like.  They said they did not believe me and tried to accuse me of trying to steal and said they would make my visit a short one and took a hold of me by the feet and held me over the railing as though they would drop me in the water.  I really did not think they would comply with their threat.  They soon let go of me and told me to beat it, which I quickly did.  

 In the fall I left this farmer and rented a room with another family and then I worked all winter in a forest, and cut wood.  In the spring I went with an older brother and worked on the railroad.  This was very pleasant work.  We had fine board and I developed physically and got fleshy.  After eight months of this work, I went back to my other home.  I had saved 150 crowns and felt indeed rich.  In the winter I worked again at wood cutting, and in the spring, I hired out to a farmer who was to pay me 75 crowns for the summer.  After a few weeks here, I took sick with typhoid fever and was very near death.  I was ill for eight weeks.  In the fall, I went to live with one of my married sisters and worked at wood cutting during the winter.  In the spring I hired out to a building contractor for three years.  I was to receive no pay for this except board and room, as I was to learn the carpenter trade.  In the summer we built houses and in the winter we did cabinet work and furniture and even made thrashing machine outfits.  When I had worked for him two and a half years, I asked him very kindly if he could not let me have a little pay.  At this request he became very angry and told me I could leave if I wanted to, and I was glad to go.  Another carpenter gave me work and paid me $6.00 a week and board and room and worked for him for six months.  Then he left Sweden for America.  Whereupon I started my own business, making furniture, thrashing machines and mill work, keeping on with this three years.  I also took charge of a manual training school two terms, and made the church seats or pews in the Lutheran Church of Marback and remodeled the church parsonage.  

 I also remodeled a parsonage having a young man help me.  One day, when the pastor and his family had gone away, the maid invited me and the other young fellow in for coffee.  While we were looking around at the beautiful furnishings I took special notice of a beautiful heavy looking cutglass vase.  This was standing on a cutglass pedestal.  As cutglass value was judged by its weight, I lifted the vase to see how heavy it was, and when lo and behold! the pedestal having stuck to the vase crashed to the floor.  What a terrible scrape I had gotten into.  For one thing another one could not be bought, and another thing I had no business in the house, as I had finished my work in there.  When the lady of the house came home I went in and apologized for the accident, saying I had gone in to see if there were any cracks in the floor as we had shortly before laid a new floor there.  I also told her I would be willing to pay for it no matter what it had cost.  Whereupon she told me it could not be bought as it had been given her by a very dear friend.,  Of course, I felt very sorry about it all.  Thus that incident was passed by.

 About this time I met a young lady that I rather liked and we were out together quite often.  She said right away that she liked me very much even before I thought of saying such a thing to her, as I was a rather particular fellow and had my ideals as to what I wanted my wife to be.  After going together six months, she turned me down, saying she was Christ’s bride and was going to live as such.  She did not prove to very sincere about this as she started to go with other fellows, one after the other and before long married a hired man who was not a Christian.  Sad to say this union was not a happy one.  It really hurt me to be turned down by this girl as she was the only girl I had ever  really taken to.  

 However, God had better plans for me, including a dear young lady on the other side of the ocean, whom God sent home to Sweden, and within two years she was my beloved wife, and the best wife God ever gave a man.

 We were married Nov. 26, l885.  I was twenty-seven years old and my wife twenty-one.  We started housekeeping at once.  It was then fourteen years since I had left my dear childhood home, and which had been connected with so much poverty.  Although God had led me through these years in such a wonderful way, it seemed so lovely to be in my own home again, and we were very happy in every way.

 My wife had lived in America three years and knew conditions here quite well and felt positive that we could do much better and find more opportunities for future progress in America, so we sold our furniture, packed our trunks, and set sail for the promised land of America, which we reached within three weeks, arriving here the 18th of May 1886.  On arriving in Chicago we looked up some old friends.  My wife knew where they lived, but when arriving at the Dearborn St. Station at 7 o’clock in the evening she had forgotten the street car we were to take to get us to these friends.  However, two Swedish fellows standing on the corner and seeing that we were emigrants, directed us where to go, etc.  My wife knew the way somewhat and had her land marks to follow.  When we passed a meat market with a big sign over the door, and a pig painted on this sign, she said, “Here is where we get off,” and so we did.  We had not written to these friends that we were coming so when we arrived at her door where she was standing on the porch, she was almost stunned, she was so surprised.  She said it was sometime before she could believe it was really us.  She welcomed us heartily and the next day we went out and rented a six room new brick house.  We then went to a second hand furniture store and bought the most necessary furniture.  We only had $75.00 in our pocketbook when we arrived in Chicago and that is not much to buy furniture and necessities for a six-room house, although $75.00 went a long ways at that time.  We paid $16 a month for rent.  We took in four young men to room and board with us and in a few days I started carpenter work, receiving $1.50 for a nine hour day.  

 I worked all summer and part of the winter so we got along well.  My wife earned as much as I did.  We kept on this way for three years.  Then I was earning $2.50 and sometimes $2.80 per day.  At this time we were the proud parents of two daughters.  My wife now gave up keeping boarders and we moved to a suburb called Lake View, where we rented a three room flat for $8.00 a month.  At the end of another year we had a bank account of $600.00 and then my wife inherited $300.00 from her parents.  With this we purchased a lot in Lake View on Osgood St.(then called Baxter St).  I built a two flat building (frame) on the back of this lot.  There were four rooms in each flat and we rented the second flat, living in the first flat ourselves.  Here we lived comfortably for ten years.  I was nearly always busy at my carpenter work, doing contract work and making my own plans.  

 During this time I built a three flat brick building in the front.  Each flat had five rooms and bath, modern in every way.  At this time I helped in the building of the new and present Sw. Baptist Church in Lake View on the corner of Barry and Clifton Streets.  

 Lake View was becoming very closely settled, so we traded this place for a home in the beautiful suburb of Rodgers Park, three blocks from the lake on Estes Ave., and remodeled this place somewhat.  This property was on the beautiful corner of Estes and Perry Aves.  This was shortly after the World’s Fair, which was followed by a never forgotten depression, and it was then impossible at that time to get work of any kind.  I had been suffering for several years with catarrh and dyspepsia and decided it would be best to try a change of climate, so we traded this property for a farm in the southern part of Missouri, near a town called Olden.  Pomona was the name of our R.R. Station and Village.  Our farm was a large fruit farm of 140 acres, containing 3,000 peach trees about seven years old and 2,400 apples at a good bearing age.  This was a very pretty place and a beautiful country with a good climate.  We arrived in March.  The plum trees were in full bloom, but that summer turned out to be an unusual dry summer, and every one down there were entirely dependent on rain water for their water supply both for their own personal use and for the stock.  We would then have to take a barrel and drive two or three miles for water.  All the farmers had were cisterns as wells were very scarce  around there.  In spite of the draught, we had a very good peach crop, as the ground was a heavy clay soil and held moisture.  The potato crop was a failure.  I planted four bushels and when I tried to dig them in the fall, I had to use a pick ax to chop the ground because it was so hard, and we only managed to get up a small basket of very small potatoes.  The apple crop was also very good.  There were no good schools and no Swedish Church.  Our children were just at the school age, and these things had to be taken into consideration.  We also found out that they did not look for a fruit crop more than about every seven years.  We did not know how the fruit should be taken care of, packed and shipped, as there were no fruit growers association down there.

 That summer a man from Des Moines came around there to buy up fruit for shipping and inquired about our fruit, but we could not agree on the price, so then he asked us if we wanted to sell the farm with the fruit.  Taking all things into consideration we said we would for $3,500.00.  This man had seven lots in Des Moines he valued at $300.00 a piece.  He offered us these lots and $1,500. in cash.  I wrote to Rev. Paul Hallin in Des Moines asking him to look up these lots and inquire as to their value, which he did and wrote me that they were worth $250 or $300.  We had heard a good deal about Des Moines and knew that there were a lot of Swedish people there and good colleges.  It was also the state capital of Iowa so we decided to move to Des Moines.  I engaged a freight car in which we packed all our furniture, a lot of fruit, two cows, a horse and some chickens.  My two oldest boys rode with me in the freight car.  My wife and the other children remained a day longer and then took a passenger train and we all arrived about the same time in Des Moines.  The arrangements were far superior to the ones we made when we went to Missouri from Chicago.  Then all the furniture was packed and shipped and we remained in Chicago a week after.  Then we were to leave 10:30 on Tuesday but missed the train on account of the expressman’s delay, so we had to remain at the Union Station all day until 11 o’clock at night.  On account of this, we missed connections at Springfield, Mo., and had to wait nearly a whole day there for another train.  When we got into Pomona it was 11 o’clock at night.  No one at the station and everything was dark, but we found our way to the inn and roused the keeper and found lodging for the night.  The next day we rode to our farm home in a wagon driven by a team of mules, called Tom and Dick.  The farm house was nice and also comfortable when we finally got our furniture.  Such an experience we had before we were settled.  Our furniture did not arrive until a month after we did.  All that time we had to sleep on the floor on the few blankets we had with us, and get along with very few housekeeping necessities.  After considerable writing back and forth with R.R. Co., and officials our furniture was located side-tracked in St. Louis.  How wonderful it seemed to have a furnished home again.  So moving to Des Moines, we made arrangements to avoid all that trouble and everything went fine.

 We were welcomed to Des Moines by the Swedish people and were at home immediately.  The Swedish Baptist had just started to build their new church and I was asked to help out with that, and from then on I had work, taking most of it through contracts.  I also build the Swedish Methodist Church in Des Moines.

 We lived in Des Moines ten years but my health was not always so good.  It seemed that the climate was not very good as it was a rather damp climate.  There was always a heavy dew at night and often foggy, so I was compelled to remain indoors during most of the time during the winter months.  I was advised by doctors to try a change of climate.  Some friend advised Nebraska and others Wyoming and California, Etc.,  We had a family  from Des Moines that had moved to Wyoming and they spoke so well of that climate.  My son Lawrence went with that family and helped them with some building and he also thought the climate seemed so good, so he told me to go up there and look around which I did and found it as they had said.  But somehow I did not really like it.  It really was not a pretty country.  However, at that time there was a student  that had been out there a year and while there had taken claim on a homestead, and was anxious to dispose of it, so he offered it to me for $50.00 for his 300 acre homestead.  

 I wrote to my wife and tried to give her an accurate description of it all and asked her what I should do, and she wrote back that I could do whatever I thought was best, so I decided to take this homestead and at once, my son, Lawrence, and I started to build a house on it as there were no buildings on it.  By Xmas we had walls and roof on the house and we used fibre boards for plastering.  We then went home and celebrated Xmas.  

 After Xmas we started to pack up and in March we moved to Wyoming.  At that time two of my daughters were married, one living in Chicago, and other in Seattle.  It is twenty-five years since my daughter, Ester, married and went immediately to Seattle to live.  Since that time we never had the privilege of all being together at one time.  My son, Elam, was attending Drake University, having received a scholarship when graduating from highschool, so only three of our children went with us when we moved to Wyoming, i.e., Lawrence, Rueben, and Delight.  Delight was six years old.

 Arriving in Wyoming, we had to start farming.  We had to plow, plant, and harvest, something I had not done since I was 19 years old.  I was now 56 years old.  We hired a man to plow with a tractor.  This was quite a help and all went well.  We all like Wyoming except mother.  For some reason she could not like it and never was quite happy.  

 After three years, we received the title of ownership to our homestead, and then we got ready to move again.  I told mother this time she had to choose the place we were to go, either to Seattle, Chicago, or Des Moines.  She decided on Seattle.  Then we sold our personal goods and rented out the ground to a neighbor and pulled off to Seattle with $3,000.00 in cash.

 On arriving in Seattle, we found that the building work was at its lowest condition, and it was impossible to get any carpenter work so we looked around for a small farm where we could go into the poultry business.  We traveled around at Puget Sound and in Oregon but could find nothing.  Then we were told that there were good small farms around Mr. Vernon, so we looked around in that vicinity and found some very good places.  I went back home after my wife to accompany me to help me pick out a satisfactory place.  We found farms that sold from three to six hundred dollars an acre.  There were three places we were interested in and we went home and took these into consideration, deciding which was our first choice and what we should pay for them.  

 We wrote to these places making them a reasonable offer, and soon received an answer from the owner of the place we like the best and this we were happy about, so I went there and made arrangements to close the deal.  The owner then told me I could not occupy it for another year, as it was rented to a tenant.  I told him he would have to get the tenant off the place at once if I was to buy it.  This he refused to do so that deal was off.  Then I went to the farm of our second choice and asked him if he would accept my offer.  After considerable argument he said he would, but then I had on hand $1,000 in auction notes and asked him to take these in part payment.  These notes carried 8% interest but he refused to take these so that deal was a disappointment.  We then proceeded to the third place although we did not like this place so well, as it was situated on a high place and would easily dry up in  a draught, but we made arrangements to put the deal through.  He told me that there were 18 acres of cleared and broken land.  That same day I met a Swedish farmer near by and talked a while with him about farming around there and he said that this farm had only 9 acres broken land and the other nine acres had the timber removed but the stumps were there.  When I met the owner, I asked him about this and he admitted that it was only nine acres, so that deal was given up.  I went back to that Swedish farmer and asked him if he knew of any place for sale, and he showed me one nearby.  I went directly over there and inquired his price but found it was more than I wanted to pay for it.  I asked him if he would rent it and he said he would for $300.00 a year.  I offered him $250 and told him if he would let it go at that at once I would give him $10.00 deposit for him to hold it three days while I went home and consulted with my wife.  If she was satisfied with the arrangements I would send him a check for the full amount immediately, otherwise the $10.00 was his for his trouble.  He accepted and the contract was drawn up and signed.  

 When I arrived home my wife was very much surprised that I had not succeeded to buy any of the three farms we had under consideration, so we believed it was not God’s will and thought it best to rent this farm for a year.  This would give us a chance to look around a little before we settled down out there permanently.  We packed up and moved out to Mt. Vernon, bought six good milk cows for which we paid up to $160 for, and then we sold milk to the milk canneries.  Late in the summer there was a severe draught and we had to buy alfalfa and bran for the cows.  The milk also fell in price so we received only 8 cents a gallon.  This did not pay for the feed for the cows.  Before we went to Mt. Vernon I mentioned that perhaps we had better go back to Wyoming, but my wife said she would rather stay there and take in washings, so I did not mention it any more.  When fall came we had fed up all the income from the farm, and we figured we would need about $700 worth of feed to carry us through the winter.  I had the notes left, but if we used them up we would not have anything left to get back to Wyoming on if we wanted to do so.  One day my wife said, “I guess we had better clear out and get back to Wyoming before all the money is gone,” and I said, “All right, let’s go.”  I went to the owner and asked a release from the contract, but he would not do this until all the rent was paid, but he finally gave off $50.00.

 I went to the station and engaged a freight car in which we loaded our six cows, two calves, and two horses, all our furniture and everything we had.  Rueben went with me in the car as I had taken a bad cold and did not dare to go alone.  My wife and Delight took the passenger train two days after we left.  After six days of travel we were back in our own home in Wyoming.  It seemed so good to sleep under our own roof again.  Next day we were all home again, and the best part was that my wife was now so satisfied to be in Wyoming.  We had spent $2,000 on this trip and moving, but it was worth that and more to have my dear wife satisfied.  

 Now we had to begin from the bottom again and it was a little slower than the first time.  Then there was draughts and crop failure but we were all happy.  Five years went by and then my wife started to have trouble with her eyes.  She could not see to read at all and they got weaker all the time.  We tried all kinds of glasses but none helped.   We went to two eye specialists and they said they could do nothing for her as they did not know what caused it.  They then advised X-rays of the head to see if anything on the brain could cause the trouble so X-rays were taken.  The specialist reported that there was a tumor of the brain and nothing could be done except operation.  He said this was the cause of her blindness  also that the operation was a very delicate and dangerous one.  I asked him what would happen if she did not have the operation and he said it would be fatal within a few months also that she would loose her mind completely.  Her mind was already being affected by it.  This was a terrible trial.  I wrote immediately to Dr. R. Earl of St. Paul, to Chicago, and Omaha telling them the circumstances, and they all wrote back that the only thing that could be done was an operation and that 50 or 60% proved fatal.  

 I told mother what she was up against, and asked her what she wished and she said, “I am in the Lord’s hand and if there is no other way out, we had better go at once and have it done.”  She had a sister in St. Paul she had not seen for thirty years, and Dr. Earl had the reputation of being one of the best surgeons in the country, so we went directly there to Mounds Park Sanitarium in St. Paul.  Six doctors held her under examination for four days, and after consultation advised two operations necessary.  They claimed there was a nerve on the right side of the head that had hardened and that would have to be taken care of before she would be strong enough to go through operation on the brain.  I asked him if it was possible for her to live through this operation and said she had 50 or 60% chance otherwise she had only two months to live.  Although I had my doubts that she would live through one just has to fall back on the little chance there is.  I told her that she had no chance except operation, and she answered, “So they are determined to put me on the butchering table.”

 She was already very weak both physically and in her mind and it was left to me to decide what was to be done.  I stood between two alternatives, the one to keep her for two months during which time she would become wildly insane, and the other a faint hope of recovery from the operation, so naturally I chose the latter.  I gave Dr. Earl my decision Saturday evening and Monday morning the doctors operated on her.  

 An incision was made on the right side of the head back of the ear.  To get to the sick nerve the doctor had to drill through the bone and break off the bone with pliers.  An opening three inches long was thus made.  It required two and a half hours to do this operation.  She lived one week and the following Monday evening 5 o’clock her spirit left to be with God.  During this week she did not suffer or have any pain, and they could do anything with her they wanted.  The nurse said she was getting better every day but I could not see any improvement.  Monday morning she could not speak a word.  When I spoke to her she just moaned.  She hardly stirred all day long.  About five o’clock I left the room a minute, and when I returned the nurse was standing by her bed and said she had called, “Anderson,” and then passed out.  So she must have regained consciousness for a moment.  How terrible I felt that I should leave the room at that moment.  Why I should be gone just then and not have the privilege of having a last word from her remains a mystery to me.  I telephoned to my sons in Wyoming, and it was decided to bring mother’s remains back to Wyoming for the last rites.

    That trip back to Pine Bluffs, Wyoming and the funeral I will pass by, as they are too sad to put into print.  Some terrible long and lonesome days followed.  I had lost my most faithful and best friend on earth.  Of course, I had my youngest son, Rueben, 20 years old and my youngest daughter, Delight, 16 years old, with me so I was not entirely alone, but I had lost my dearly beloved wife and partner that had been with me for thirty-six years.  

    However, when time comes it seems we live through whatever it must be no matter how impossible it would seem before.  Three years passed by and then my youngest son, Rueben, married and wanted to take over the management of the farm.  The same summer, my oldest son, Elam, with his family came out here for a visit to say farewell as they were on their way to San Diego, Calif.  They were going back to China as Missionaries.  I had a son, Lawrence, and my daughter, Delight, in San Diego, so my son, Elam asked me to take a trip with them to San Diego, telling me it would do me a world of good.  After some consideration, I decided to go with them.  This I fully believe was God’s plan for me.  I went with them and have been here ever since.  It is six years since I came here and I have enjoyed it and felt fine.  The climate greatly improved my physical condition and I have had no desire to go back to Wyoming.  Of course, at times I do yet feel terrible lonesome.
    Before I write further, I want to go back to my childhood days and write a little more about my home and customs at that time.  I can remember back to when I was four years old.  My home as I have mentioned before was a home of poverty, but it was very dear to us all.  We lived in a house with one large living room and a smaller room called a kitchen.  This small room was only used in the summer as we could not heat it in the winter.  This large room had to serve all purposes.  It was used as a work room for father, sleeping quarters for the whole family, kitchen and dining room.  Mother also had her weaver there where she made all the cloth that was used in garments and underwear for the whole family.  She also had her spinning wheel where she spun all the yarn and linen thread used.  Sometimes in the winter when the weather was bitter, a newborn calf or a lamb and its mother would have to be brought into this room and room made for them in a corner and perhaps a few chickens, all housed in this large room 18 x 20.  This seems almost unbelievable, yet it was true.  

    However, when the Holidays came, everything had to be cleared out to get ready for the great Holiday events.  About two weeks before Christmas, the washing was done.  The washing was done only twice a year.  Then everything was washed that could be washed.  A large round tank was placed on a two foot rack and all the clothes were packed in this tank and then covered with a canvass.  This was covered with three or four inches of wood ashes.  Then boiling water was poured on top of this, which was allowed to slowly ooze through the ashes and clothes and then out through a hole in the bottom of the tank.  The ashes made the water strong and soft, loosening up the dirt in the clothes.  This water was again allowed to come to the boiling point and then poured over the clothes.  This process was repeated all night long.  In the morning the clothes after all water being drained off were taken down to the lake side.  The clothes were dipped in the fresh water there and then placed on low tables or benches.  A board three inches wide and two feet long was put into service.  The clothes were beaten very hard with this piece of board and then dipped or rinsed again in the lake.  They were then beaten again.  This was done until they were thoroughly clean.  Then they were wrung out by hand, hung up to dry or freeze dry and then ironed.  When this task was completed, the butchering had to be done.  A hog, and perhaps a calf or sheep were butchered; all kinds of sausage made, etc.  Pork and meat sausage, barley, potato, and blood sausage were among the favored sausages.  Then all kinds of bread were made such as rye, Oatmeal, graham, white, sweet and sour limpas.  Then small bread or cakes were made in fancy shapes or in the shape of animals, such as elephants, bears, sheep, cows and horses, and in the shape of dolls, etc.  These were kept for distribution as Christmas gifts.  We also made the candles we used.  These were made out of tallow, melted.  A candle wick was formed of yarn and tied to a stick;  then dipped in the melted tallow, hung up until cooled and hardened and then dipped again and cooled until the desired shape and size.   Then some were made with three arms.  These were called “candle crowns” or candelabra.  There were also small ones for the Christmas tree.

 On the morning of Christmas eve, the Christmas porridge was placed on the stove and when done served together with head cheese and different sausage.  Then the men went to the woods to cut down evergreen trees and branches.  These branches were placed (after being cut up) on the floor outside of the door and in the room.  A large supply of wood was then brought in so that there would be enough to keep through the holidays.  Then at noon we  doppade i grytan  ((dipped slices of rye or limpa in the broth kettle).  Then we had all the Root beer or Juniper Ale we wanted to drink.  This was considered a holiday treat.  Towards evening all work must be done.  The large round tank was brought in and filled with warm water and every body had to have a good bath.  Then we donned our best clothes.  Then every one sat down at the table while there was a reading from Luther’s Bible; a Christmas song or carol was sung.  Then we were served our Christmas supper, which consisted of rice porridge and milk.  Then we had some of the different kinds of sausage, bread, limpa, and finished up with coffee.  Coffee was seldom seen between one Christmas and the next, so this was an unusual treat.  After supper the candles and candelabra were lit, and the Christmas gifts and packages would start to come rolling through the door.  Then there would be a scramble for the package and also a rush to try to catch Santa or the one outside.  Of course, Santa nearly always slipped away with out being caught.  When this package was untied and opened, another bundle would come rolling in and another scramble until everyone had received his or her gift, and then we sang some more Christmas Carols and every one was ready for bed.  

 Before we retired, we had to fix up a nice supper for Santa or the elf.  A candle was lit and put beside his plate,  About midnight he was supposed to come around and if nothing was fixed up for him you would have bad luck through the year.  He would also look around to see if everything around was cleaned up and in order in the house as well as in the barn and other buildings.  At midnight it was believed by some that the cattle talked to each other.  There was a fable that a certain farmer decided to find out what the cattle were talking about so he went out into the barn at 12 o’clock.  He sat down where no one could see him and listened.  Pretty soon the critter raised up and said, “Ho, Ho.  This year we will starve to death.” Then one cow stood up and answered, “No.  The farmer has seven barrels of oats left in the oat stack and that will keep us alive.”  The farmer hearing this had his oat stack thrashed again and received seven barrels of oats, but during the year all the cows died.  It, of course, was mystery who the elf was.  He was a little fellow two feet tall and wore red knickers, red jacket, and a red cap.  If he was treated well, good luck would follow, if not it would be the opposite.  He was seldom seen by anyone.

 Christmas morning, we had to get up about 3 o’clock so as to get to the Christmas morning service at church which started at 5 o’clock, and it was quite a thrill if we could get there early enough to help the janitor light the Christmas candles.  During the day we remained at home.  If we left the house we might take the Christmas Peace away from home.  If anyone came in during the day they would have to be served something to eat or drink or the Christmas spirit might drift out with them.  After Christmas there would be parties all over in the neighborhood.

 As I mentioned before at that time individual plates, knives and forks were not used.  Every one helped himself to what was in a large wooden bowl in the center of the table, using a wooden spoon.  Something to drink was placed in a wooden mug on the table and everyone took their turn and drank out of the wooden mug.  Ten years hence, there was a noted change, as individual plates, knives and forks were put into use, and other improvements were seen.  Of course, it took years before every one would get used to the new idea and some never did.  

 The hired girls had to work very hard in the old country.  In the winter they had to take care of all the chores in the cow barns, milk, feed and water the cows, and keep the barn clean.  In the spring they had to help to haul out manure, help with the planting and harvesting.  When the grain was cut the women had to keep up with men, gathering up the grain, putting it in bundles, trying and shocking it.  Then they had to rake the fields and pick up all grain that had been left behind.  They also had to rake up the hay and help with it until it had all been brought in the hay mow.  

 In the winter, the men took care of the horses and oxen and the horse barn.  Then they would cut down wood and haul home, and burn brush and clean up the pastures, etc.  In the evening we would split long thin pieces of wood, used for kindling and also for light.  If we wished to go to another room, we would pick up one of these pieces, light it from the fire, and use it as a light.  In the living room all the light we had was from the fireplace.  We would also make rope from hog hair.  This rope was used as lines for the oxen also to tie the bundles of grain when harvesting, so we were never idle.  On Sundays we had to go to church.  In the afternoon, we would read a little while and then the young folks would go out for walks over the hills and through the woods.  In the winter we enjoyed coasting over the hills.
 Some of the early revivals and my spiritual experiences.

 I remember an incident that happened when I was two years old.  At that time the man of the house always made his own wines and beer.  My father had been to market and brought grandfather and another man with him home and of course, my father wanted them to taste his home brew, so a big tub was brought in and they scooped it out of this and drank all they could.  Grandfather was a little drunk when he came home and then he got much worse, but the other two seemed to keep their heads and kept quiet.  This was the only time I saw my grandfather as he died a short time after this.  It was the first and last time I saw liquor in our home.  The next thing I remember is that my father took me along when we went to a preaching service in a farm home and listened to a lay preacher.  He preached repentance and that they must change their lives and become righteous before God would be merciful and forgive them.  Soon there came other preachers (evangelistic).  They were more free.  They preached about grace and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.  A wonderful revival broke out.  They had no church but met in the farm homes.  My three sisters were converted and they came home and told me that Anders Peters, a playmate of mine two years older, had been converted.  I remember I cried until the tears rolled down my cheeks and my mother asked me why I cried and I said I wish I was as happy as Anders Peters.  I could not go to the meetings as my mother and father did not want to go out evenings, and although I was so young I realized I needed to be saved.  This revival was felt mostly in the Southern part of Sweden.  Now a regular Mission work was arranged and a Mission house was built and regular meetings were held.  Sometimes there were evangelists there and otherwise there were prayer meetings.  At the end of a year Jonkopings Mission Society took over our field, and their preachers called on us often and preached.  They had some very good preachers, such as Svening Johanson, Samuel Johanson, Toll Stridbeck and Pohl and others.  During this time another real revival started.

 This revival seemed to just grip people.  They were stricken because of their realization of sin and their need of salvation.  They cried aloud and prayed for mercy.  They kept on until they fell in sort of a daze or state of unconsciousness and after a while they would come to and then praise God for salvation.  Then go around and try to win others.  This revival kept on for some time. Many were converted and it did not seem to be because of the efforts of any preachers.  Because sometimes the preacher had hardly more than started to preach before people seemed smitten and would start to weep and pray and the preacher would have to leave the platform and lead the individuals seeking salvation.  I was about ten years old at that time.  There was no church at that time, so some became backsliders as they did not have the privilege of a spiritual home.  Others remained true through their lives.  This revival went through upper part of Småland about sixty-five years ago.

 Four years later another revival broke out.  This had its effect in a more quiet way but very effective.  It touched me deeply and gave me sincere longing to become a Christian.  This was the year after I had left my home and I was working for a farmer.  I asked him for permission to go to a meeting in Adelöfs Mission House.  There was a very good old preacher and he spoke about salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, not by works, and said how thankful we should be for this.  This message brought such peace and joy to my soul.  I was so happy when I went home that evening.  This continued for some time but as I had no one to talk to, it seemed as if I gradually lost the joy of fellowship with God.  However, God through the Holy Spirit kept me from sin and I enjoyed to go to church but I did not cherish that any one spoke to me or asked me if I was right with God.  This I preferred to keep to myself.  Sometimes I would go out by myself in the woods and pray to God to save me.  This continued for about five years.  I was 19 years old and in the winter there was another revival.  I went faithfully to these meetings.  I had two Swedish miles (equal to 14 English miles) to walk to these meetings.  I longed for the joy I had before.  I believed I had to be born again, and I thought I did not have enough remorse and cry as much as I should so I thought I did not have a right to accept salvation when I was not any more stirred.  The revival was almost at an end and I was beginning to fear that I would be left out.  I walked home with my sister one evening and we discussed these things.  She told me I must have faith in the promises of God, and believe His word.  When I left her I tried to remember Bible verses and promises, but they did not seem to take any effect on me.  Then when I came to the gate of a certain place, a song came to my mind.  “He that believeth is saved.”  After much arguing within myself, faith began to take hold and the joy of salvation was mine, and I was so overcome with joy that when I arrived home to the place where I was working I had to wake the people there and tell them of my joy.

 The farmer was not a Christian and so he said, “Oh that will not last long”, but, Praise the Lord, it had kept for 53 years.  I have not always been ready to jump for joy, but the joy of salvation does not depend on outward appearance but is founded on the blood of the Crucified Christ.  The joy of salvation is just as certain during hours of trial and darkness as during the happy hours.  Soon I was assailed with doubts.  The next meeting I went to I sat down next to an old man by the name of Anders Israelson, a tailor, and told him that I had been saved and was so happy.  Instead of rejoicing with me and encouraging me, he said, “Oh that remains to be seen.”  This hurt me as he was an old Christian and I began to think that perhaps this was only my own idea that I was saved.  The day after I went to my sister and told her about it and that I was afraid I was not saved.  She said “Can’t you understand that it is the enemy or Satan trying to lead you astray,” and I said I did not see how that could be because Israelson was an old Christian and he did not have much faith in my salvation, so how could that be Satan?  “Yes,” she said, “the devil does use the Christians to do his work, so the best for you is not to listen to him but stick to the promises of God for they never fail.”  She helped me to gain courage so I was so very happy; yes, so happy that I really wanted to die so I could be with Jesus Christ my Savior whom I loved so dearly.  Everything seemed so new and strange to me that I really believed I would not live long here but that God would soon take me home.  Fifty-three years have passed and this desire has not been fulfilled.  Perhaps I have not been ready for my departure.

 Through life I have had many wonderful experiences, proving how God leads and protects us.  Twice I had blood poisoning, when nothing could be done by man, but God’s power alone brought me out of it.  The first time I had stepped on a large nail and I was in bed for six weeks, having lost a great quantity of blood.  When  all human aid seemed in vain, I prayed to God to heal me, and made a promise that if it would be His will to restore me, I would give 5¢ a day to Foreign Missions.  This I have kept and God has blessed it.  Once when crossing a street, I was so near to being killed by an automobile.  Once five other men and I were high up on a scaffold and were lifting up a timber 12x14 and 16ft long.  We had lifted up as high as our chests when we began to loose our balance and were ready to drop below when once man grabbed a post in the last moment, and thus we were saved.  Again God’s guardian angel rescued me when I was out on thin ice on a lake and was ready to sink.  My wife was seriously ill with a fever twice.  We turned to God and He healed her.  Praise His Name.  One time in Wyoming I had a serious attack of appendicitis.  The doctor had little hope.  I had a terrible pain and an awful hiccough which seemed almost to tear me to pieces.  I said, “Dear Lord, can’t you at least take away this terrible hiccough that you see is tearing me to pieces?” He seemed to be standing beside my bed and said “Have you forgotten what I suffered for you?” and I said,” If that is the case, Lord, forgive me.  I will keep quiet and not say another word.”  Immediately the hiccough and pain left me and I fell in a slumber.  When I woke up, Lawrence said, “You are better, are you not, Dad?” and I said, “Yes.”  These are sacred experiences and I would not mention them, but they may be a testimony to glorify God.  Of course, there have been hard passes and trials and struggles to get through, but those I try to forget.  God has been merciful and has been patient with me, or I would have perished.  His mercy endureth forever and ever, Praise His name.  He has shown great mercy to me and all of my family and blessed us.

 At the age of 24, I was baptized by a Brother, Engstrom.  There were about twelve who followed Christ in baptism at that time. We were living in Marback, and there was a free church of thirty members.  This was the first real Biblical baptism at that time.  There were several later on, so before long nearly all were baptized, and then we joined the Baptist denomination.

 In 1884 there was another revival.  Many were converted and this revival kept on for three years.  The spirit seemed to work in a more quiet way.  I know one evening at the close of a meeting I went to the mill, where I was employed, to get something I needed.  It was rather late so when I got there the two fellows working there had gone to bed and were asleep.  As I went into the room, one of the fellows stirred and without even thinking I said, “Here you fellows lay and sleep until you will wake up in hell, while God is saving souls all around you.”  They did not answer me and after I got outside I regretted what I said and feared I had been too harsh and might perhaps drive them away from salvation instead of winning them for God.  After a few minutes these feelings left me and I was at peace.  The next morning when I came to work and met one of the fellows he said, “You certainly spoke harshly last night,” and I told him that I knew I did and I did not know why unless perhaps it was true, and he replied that it was true.  “If I should die now in my condition hell would be my place.  I am a big sinner all right.  I have not been able to sleep all night since you uttered those words.”  After we talked a little while we fell on our knees and I prayed and he prayed, and when we arouse his face shone with the joy of salvation.  But now he wanted to know what to do as he was engaged to marry a girl that was not a Christian and a rather wild girl.  And I told him the only thing was to pray to God to save her before he married her and we would pray with him.  Inside of two weeks this young lady was converted and so one by one was added to the fold.

 One evening at the close of a meeting just as we got up to go home a young man remained sitting down near by and I walked over to him, shook hands with him, and asked him, “How are You?” and he said, “Not very well,”  I asked him if his soul was sick or if he was ill physically and he said he thought it was his soul.  I said, “Jesus Christ is here for that purpose and ready to heal you if you want to be healed,” and he said he wanted to, so we both prayed and peace came to his soul.  This proves how  God  works.  I did not know either time what I was to say but the Spirit led me to use the right words  each time.  One needed to be spoken to harshly and the other sympathetically.

 The enemy was doing his best to fight these revivals.  The owner of the mill was not a Christian and was mean.  His wife had been converted and was attending the meetings and then she decided to follow Christ in Baptism.  When he heard this he swore that was not to be and he would go over and thrash the whole gang if she dare to do such a thing.  He was not going to be disgraced like that.  One Sunday afternoon we all went to a little lake and prepared for the baptism.  This wife’s husband and a bunch of fellows came just as we were ready, and we were somewhat frightened at what would be the outcome of it all.  One by one were baptized and his wife was the last one but he remained motionless throughout the whole event.  My brother-in-law Gust Tanquist, a deacon and chairman of the church baptized the candidates.  There was another couple, man and wife that belonged to the Mission Church.  The wife wanted to follow Christ in baptism but her husband was very much opposed to the Biblical baptism.  Gust Tanquist  baptized this woman also and her husband got so angry that he said he wished to see him dead, and he never attended any of the meetings again.  However, when my wife and I came to Chicago his family had preceded us and there were also a couple of other families from the same part of Sweden there and we were together a good deal and had prayer meetings and this man started to come with us also and before very long he followed Christ in baptism and even gave a testimony in the baptistry telling how wonderful it was to follow Christ in everything.  So Christ gains victory in the hearts of men.

 There was also a soldier living near by there in Sweden.  He was wicked and made fun of all Christianity.  One night he came and pounded on the door and asked us to pray for him because he was a big sinner, and we prayed and he was converted.

 We were still a free church but nearly everyone was baptized and we felt we ought to be a baptized church but we did not want to be a Baptist church as they were so narrow minded and they believed only they were Christians.  There was an old Christian soldier that went around preaching.  His name was Ragn and we liked him so we asked him how we should organize a church of baptized members, and he told us to send for a couple of baptized preachers to come down and help us organize.  However, we did not see that that was necessary and asked him if he could help us get organized and he said he would.  He went to a village two miles away and came back within a week and had a Baptist preacher with him.  We were then organized.   These men advised us to join or ask to be admitted to the Ostergotland Mission Association and we would then get some help as they would send their missionaries and evangelists down now and then to help us out.  This we did and before we knew it we were a Baptist church.  Everything had gone so smoothly and peacefully as it should.  There was not much knowledge of theology amongst us but there was more brotherly love and that was why there was peace and harmony.

In 1886 we came to America and joined the First Baptist Church, which was in an old frame building on Oak Street.  Rev. Ongman was pastor at that time but there was such a different atmosphere.  There was disharmony dissension, exclusions, because of dishonesty in business and some were excluded because they claimed to be filled with the Holy Spirit and there were squabbles about church building.  They started to build and stopped and fired their pastor.  We were therefore, not happy there and within three years joined the Lake View Sw. Baptist Church.  We enjoyed our fellowship with this church.  Souls were converted and there was a revival.  There was an evangelist by the name of Uno Brauer, who is now living in Puget Sound, Wash.  He also had charge of the last revival we attended in Sweden.  He was a sincere servant of the Lord and had a great love for winning souls for God.  We had many wonderful and blessed times together both in Sweden and in Lake View.

 While in Lake View the new and present church on Clifton and Barry Avenue was built and I had the privilege of helping out with this.  I also worked on the First Baptist Church on Elm Street.  After living in Lake View 12 years, the last year living in Rodgers Park, but retaining our church membership with Lake View we moved to Southern Missouri.  After six months, we moved to Des Moines, Iowa and here also had the privilege of helping them finish their church building.  Rev. Paul Hallin was then pastor.  Rev. E.W. Linder succeeded him and then Albin Holmer.  We enjoyed our fellowship with this church.   After 10 year’s membership here we moved to Pine Bluffs, Wyo., and joined the Gary, Nebraska Church.  We belonged here 12 years and also built an addition to this church.  Now four of my children had married and left home, and also my dear wife had passed beyond, so I left the farm in charge of my youngest son and went to San Diego, my present abode and it is here I am writing this story of my life.  

 Before I finish I would like to mention a few things about my family.  Four of the children, two boys and two girls were converted, baptized and joined the Lake View Church during Rev. Swartz’ pastorate.  The youngest son was converted in Des Moines, was baptized and joined the Gary church where he now belongs.  The youngest daughter was converted, baptized and joined the Gary Church.  To God be the glory for this.!

 They are all faithful in their respective churches.  One daughter living in Michigan City, has a number of duties to which she is faithful.  One daughter is faithfully serving the First Baptist Church in Seattle, Washington.  One son was a teacher in the Baptist College of Shanghai and then for several years served as principal of the American College in Shanghai, and is now to be inaugurated as President of the Linfield Baptist College, McMinnville, Ore.  One son living here in San Diego is Sunday School superintendent and teacher.  One son in Pine Bluffs, Wyo. assisting superintendent and teacher, and the youngest daughter organist and Sunday School teacher, in San Diego.  All have helped out in the choir in their respective places.

 Yes, how great are they works, O Lord!  and like David my soul cries out, “What am I and my family, O Lord, that Thou should be so merciful unto us?”  We are only sinners saved by grace.  Naught have I gotten but what I received; Grace hath bestowed it since I have believed; Boasting excluded, pride I abase; I’m only a sinner saved by grace.  I praise Thee, O God, for all they mercy unto me and my dear ones.  I owe it all to Thy great love.

 What a joy it will be on the resurrection morn when we shall see Him face to face and can they say, “Here am I, O Lord, and the children Thou hast given me.  O God, forbid that any one should be missing on that morn.

 This is a short outline of my experiences during my seventy-five years pilgrimage on this earth.  A great deal more could be added to it but this has just been written for my family and because my oldest son urged me to do it.  

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