All the action takes place in Sweden until the 3rd generation Lofgrens.

In February, 2013, Michael Idermark of Kalmar, Sweden (who shares common ancestors with me: Sune Olofsson and Annica Jonsdotter), sent me ancestor information that goes back one more generation. I'm including the extra material at the beginning, because I don't want to go through the confusion of adding extra chapter numbers; I'd be sure to miss some cross-references somewhere. Therefore, consider the following as an extra unnumbered chapter inserted here.

The extra generation (the ninth by my backwards counting method) is:

OLOF PERSSON (1624 - March 13, 1690) = INGEBORG SUNESDOTTER (circa 1652 - October 28, 1722) in 1670.
   FFMFMFMFF                                             FFMFMFMFM
      SUNNE OLOFSSON (May 12, 1685-?)

Olof was born in Blöteskog Storegård, Älghult parish (sometimes spelled Elghult in this history; the pronunciation is about the same). Ingeborg was born in Kylle, Älghult parish. They both farmed in Blöteskog Storegård.

   FFMFMFMMF                                        FFMFMFMMM
      ANNICA JONSDOTTER (Sept. 7, 1695-?)

Jon also lived on Blöteskog Storegård, Älghult parish. Kristina was from Marshult, in Älghult parish


Sune Olofsson (May 12, 1685-?) = Annica Jonsdotter (Sept. 7, 1695-?) [See Prolog above]
   FFMFMFMF                                        FFMFMFMM
      Karin Sunesdotter (April 2, 1729-?)
     2.2 SARA SUNESDOTTER (Feb. 20, 1732-?)
They farmed on Blöteskog Storegård (soft-woods big farm), Elghult.

 Nils Persson (Dec. 16, 1694-?) = Elsa Andersdotter (Nov. 18, 1694-?)
     FFMFMFFF                                       FFMFMFFM
      Nils Nilsson (Jan 28, 1723-?)
      2.1 DANIEL NILSSON (Aug. 26, 1727-1762)
      Anders Nilsson (Aug. 23, 1732-?)
The family lived on Kråkemåla (per Michael Idermark [see Prolog], måla means a "demarcated piece of land," and Kråke was probably the name of the person who first brought it under cultivation in the Middle Ages), then moved in 1758 to Marshult Östregården (Marsh-thicket East Farm). Both farms were in Elghult.

Jonas Jonsson (Feb. 17, 1701-?) = Elin Månsdotter (Feb. 26, 1693-?)
  FFMFMMMF                                             FFMFMMMM
      Per Jonasson (?-?)
      Lisbet Jonasdotter (July 10, 1723-?)
     Jonas Jonasson (April 9, 1729-?)
     Annika Jonasdotter (July 11, 1730-?)
     Zakris Jonasson (Feb. 3, 1733-Nov. 25, 1733)
     Zakris Jonasson (Nov. 20, 1734-?)
      2.3 SARA JONASDOTTER (July 1, 1739-?)
They farmed on Långeskruv Södergården (long-? south farm), Elghult. Notice that the first Zakris died as an infant, so they tried the name again.

Going back 8 generations without duplicate ancestors, there should be 256 names here instead of 6. The other 250 are the Truly Dead: no names, birthdates, list of children, no names of the farms where they grunted while moving the rocks from the fields to the fencelines, no likenesses, no family stories. They're not even ghosts banging on the gate with spook-irons.


Håkan Carlsson (Mar. 28, 1687-1761) = Inger Svensdotter (Feb. 3, 1690-?)
   FFMMMFF                                                       FFMMMFM
      3.1 DANIEL HÅKANSSON (Mar. 28, 1722-?)
      Gabriel Håkansson (July 3, 1728-?)
      Ingeborg Håkansdotter (Nov. 14, 1734-?)
They farmed on Marshult Ostregården, Elghult.

Elias Persson (Jan. 20, 1689-?) = Annica Danielsdotter (Mar. 11, 1702-?)
    FFMMMMF                                              FFMMMMM
      Johan Eliasson (Sept. 10, 1736-?)
      Elias Eliasson (1740-?)
       3.2 ANNA KATRINA ELIASDOTTER (1744-?)
     Maria Eliasdotter (Nov. 23, 1747-?)
      Ingeborg Eliasdotter (Dec. 15, 1750-?)
      Helena (Lena) Eliasdotter (Oct. 14, 1754-?)
They farmed on Hageskruv Norregården (pasture-? north farm),Elghult. Chuck Maki confirms these dates are correct. Their youngest child was born when Elias was 65 years old and Annica 52. Maybe hauling rocks keeps men virile and women fertile into old age.

Nils Persson (May 3, 1708-?) = Lisbet Jonsdotter (?-?)
    FFMMFFF                                       FFMMFFM
      Nils Nilsson (Aug. 8, 1742-?)
     Johan Nilsson (?-?)
      Ingrid Nilsdotter (?-?)
     Jonas Nilsson (Oct. 24, 1747-?)
     3.3 JACOB NILSSON (June 22, 1751-?)
They farmed on Svartshult Norregården (black-thicket north farm), Elghult.

(2.1) Daniel Nilsson (Aug. 6, 1727-1762) = (2.2) Sara Sunesdotter (Feb. 20, 1732-?)
              FFMFMFF                                                            FFMFMFM
     3.4 ANDERS DANIELSSON (July 18, 1752-?)
      Sara Danielsdotter (Nov. 15, 1756-?)
They farmed on Blötskog Storegården, Elghult.

Sven Gummesson (1735-?) = (2.6) Sara Jonsdotter (1741-?)
     FFMFMMF                                                FFMFMMM
       3.5 SARA SVENSDOTTER (Mar. 14, 1761-?)
They farmed on Långaskruv Södregården in Elghult.

Of a possible 128 in this generation, 118 are Truly Dead.


(3.1) Daniel Håkansson (Mar. 28, 1722-?) = (3.2) Anna Eliasdotter (1744-?)
             FFMMMF                                                                FFMMMM
     Daniel Danielsson (Mar. 25, 1768-?)
     4.1 ANNA KATRINA DANIELSDOTTER (Apr. 15, 1770-?)
They lived on the farm Kvartebe Östregården (quarter-? east farm), Elghult, but he was the tailor.

(3.3) Jacob Nilsson (July 28, 1751-?) = Annica Nilsdotter (1747-?)
            FFMMFF                                                 FFMMFM
      Petter Jacobsson (May 5, 1775-?)
       4.2 CARL MAGNUS JACOBSSON (July 11, 1779-?)
      Annica Jacobsdotter (Aug. 25, 1781-?)
      Isac Jacobsson (June 21, 1784-?)
They farmed on Svartshult Norregården, Elghult, just like his parents.

(3.4) Anders Danielsson (July 18, 1752-?) = (3.5) Sara Svensdotter (Mar. 14, 1761-?)
           FFMFMF                                                                    FFMFMM
      Daniel Andersson (Mar. 12, 1780, died young)
      4.3 SARA ANDERSDOTTER (Nov. 16, 1782-?)
     Daniel Andersson (Feb. 18, 1785-?)
     Anders Andersson (Feb. 12, 1786-?)
     Johan Andersson (Nov. 24, 1788-?)
     Isac Andersson (Jan. 10, 1792-)
     Sanna Andersdotter (1794-?)
      Lena Andersdotter (1802-?)
They farmed on Långaskruv Södregården in Elghult. Another case of using the same name until one of the kids lives.

Fifty-eight out of a possible 64 in this generation are Truly Dead; about the same percentage as the previous generation. The children in these families were born right around the time of the American Revolutionary War, but I bet none of them heard about it.


(4.2) Carl Jacobsson (July 11, 1779-?) = (4.1) Anna Danielsdotter (Apr. 15, 1770-?)
             FFMMF                                                                FFMMM
     5.2 ANNA STINA CARLSDOTTER (May 29, 1808-Feb. 8, 1894)
      Annica Carlsdotter (Aug. 6, 1810-?)
They farmed on Svartshult Norregården, Elghult, just like his father and grandfather.

 Johannes Persson (1783-?) = (4.3) Sara Andersdotter(Nov. 16, 1782-?)
         FFMFF                                                     FFMFM
     5.1 PETTER JOHANSSON (May 6 or Aug. 4, 1805-Apr. 22, 1890)
      Stina Johansdotter (Oct. 20, 1808-?)
      Johannes Johansson (Dec. 2, 1811-?)
      Sara Lisa Johansdotter (June 14, 1816-?)
      Erland Johansson (July 25, 1819-?)
They lived on Blöteskog Storegården, Elghult.

A new name (Persson) appears with no trace of his ancestors in the Elghult records. A cryptic comment on an unsigned Swedish typescript that Marina Larson translated says that son Petter was a blacksmith of "Walloon heritage." The Walloons are French-speaking Belgians, and the Protestant ones could have been Huguenots. This is probably the source of Wallace Smith's statement ( Introduction). Johannes Persson undoubtedly was the Belgian in the Woodpile.

We're still stuck here in Elghult, though, with 28 out of 32 possible ancestors Truly Dead. The children were born mostly in the first decade of the 1800's.

[Note added Nov., 2009]: Julie Karlsson (see Johanna Pettersdotter's Siblings, below) wrote that Peter Johannesson was born in Hohult, which "was later part of Hohultslätt that was then renamed Alstermo," and that he moved to Svartshult when he married Anna Stina Carlsdotter. Maybe all these places are in Elghult? I don't know.


(5.1) Petter Johansson (1805-1890) = (5.2) Anna Stina Carlsdotter (1808-1894)
            FFMF                                                                      FFMM
     Anna Sophia Pettersdotter (1830-?)
      Carl Johan Pettersson (1832-?)
      Lena Stina Pettersdotter (1835-?)
      Sara Cajsa Pettersdotter   (1837-?)
      6.2 JOHANNA ULRIKA PETTERSDOTTER (Aug. 23, 1840-Feb. 15, 1935)
      Isak Peter Pettersson (1846-1930)
      Samuel August Pettersson (1849-?)
      Dorotea Gustava Pettersdotter (1852-?)
They lived on Svartshult Norregården, just like his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. No reason to believe it wouldn't go on forever. But (remember from the introduction), in 1864, serfs were allowed freedom of movement.

Julie Karlsson wrote in 1955:
My grandmother, Anna Stina, was very soft-hearted towards the poor; she could give away the last she had if there were someone that she believed was suffering. The neighbors showed the way to grandfather's and grandmother's house to ramblers that wanted some place to spend the night. They were never refused lodging.

At that time, the farmers were so greedy against the maids that they were not allowed to eat as much bread as they wanted to. When they come by to fetch some water, my grandmother gave them pieces of bread from their small stores, and she did not need to starve herself as long as she lived. Now, they have built an old people's home on grandfather's and grandmother's farm in Svartshult. (Translated by Göran Lundkvist).

Johanna Pettersdotter's Siblings

Anna Sophia Pettersdotter (1830-?)= Peter Nilsson (?-?) in Loaklev Skirö
Carl Johan Pettersson (1832-?)= Kristina ? (?-?)
    Johan August
    Emilia Sophia
    Hulda Matilda (went to America)
    Ida Kristina
    Julia Dorotea (went to America)
Lena Stina Pettersdotter (Jan. 21, 1835 - Jan. 21 1912)= Carl Johannesson (Jan. 27, 1829 - Nov. 6, 1904)
    Julie Sofia Karlsson (Dec. 21, 1869-Apr. 7, 1966) = Johann Gottfrid Karlsson (Jul. 22, 1863 - June 7, 1932)
        Margareta (Greta) Karlsson (1915-2002) = Sixten Axelsson (1912 - 1982)
            Inger Axelsson (1945 - ) = Göran Lundkvist (1942 - )
                 Thomas Axelsson (1979 - )
                 Stefan Axelsson (1982 - )

Julie Karlsson wrote in 1955:
My mother owned a psalmodikon [a one-string, bowed instrument with frets like a mountain dulcimer. It was considered acceptable for accompanying psalms, whereas the violin, because it could be used for dancing, was not permissible -- Lyle], with numbers and notes. She played and sang psalms and songs to it. When someone was ill in the neighborhood and she expected them to have joy of it, she brought the psalmodikon and went there to play and sing for them.

She was alert as long as she lived. Her last illness lasted 12 days. She fell and broke her femur, but she was clear in her mind into her last moment. Her last words were: ”Söte Frälsare, Herre Jesus” [Sweet savior, Jesus -- Lyle].

My parent worshipped the words of the Lord and the mass. If we stayed home from church, we had to read the text of that Sunday. (Translated by Göran Lundkvist).

Isak Pettersson (Oct. 19, 1846 - May 3, 1930) = Johanna Helena Johansdotter (Jan. 12, 1842 - Apr. 15, 1930) in 1873
     Hilda Sophia Peterson (1874-1944) = Carl Magnus Ahl (May 12, 1870 - Jan. 31, 1919) in 1899
        Mildred Irene Ahl (Aug. 20, 1900-?)
        Marie Hildegard Ahl (Jun. 14, 1904-?)
        Carl Willard Ahl (Apr. 27, 1908 - ?)
            Carolyn Ahl Nunally (?- )
                Alison V. Nunally (?- )
    Carl Edvard Peterson (1876-1878)
    Johan Vicktor Teodor Peterson (1879-1943)
    Ida Charlotta Peterson (1882-1911) = Hjalmar Oskar Rikard Ahl (Feb. 7, 1877 - Apr. 25, 1964)
        Dagmar Charlotte Ahl (Aug. 6, 1908-?)
        Martin Victor Ahl (May 3, 1910-?)
     Ester Emelia Peterson (1885-1913)
     Anna Christina Peterson (1887-1980) = Olof Olson (Feb. 25, 1877 - May 1, 1932) on Dec. 20, 1913.
         Rosmer Victor Olson (Mar. 24, 1929 - ) = Shirley Joyce Grimm (?-1972) on Mar. 16, 1951
            (Children: one son, three daughters)
         Rosmer Victor Olson (Mar. 24, 1929 - ) = Deloris Edwina Grundberg on Dec. 1, 1973.

Although Johanna was my great-grandmother, Isak Pettersson turned out to have a crucial role to play in my being here. As the sixth child, he'd be a long ways from inheriting his father's blacksmith business. He rented the soldier's land (Sjökulla in Åkvarn) at Elghult, and farmed it. Then he married Johanna Johansdotter from nearby Lenhovda, moved there, and worked on a manor farm (säfsjö säteri). Finally, disgusted with working for others, they and their two remaining older children came to the United States in 1880, changing their surname to Peterson. As the Swedish migration swelled, there were an awful lot of extra s's left behind. Isaac bought 80 acres about 2 1/2 miles west of Stark (see location 1, Fish Lake Township). His son Victor continued the family farm, but despaired and hung himself in 1943 when his entire dairy herd was destroyed after testing positive for Brucellosis.

Samuel August Pettersson (Kvist) (1849-1877) = Ida (?-?). He was a soldier.
Dorotea Gustava Pettersdotter (1852-?)= Karl Svensson (?-?). They lived in Marskog.
    August Rikard
    Johan Alfred
    Karl Albert Viktor
    Anna Ester Sofia

The genealogy of Chapters 1-5 is from Rosmer Olson, who sent it to Marina Larson. Additional information about Lena Pettersdotter's family was sent to me by Göran Lundkvist of Göteborg, Sweden (2009), while added information about Isak Peterson's family was sent by Alison Nunally of Lake Tahoe, Nevada (2009). Otherwise I would know nothing about it.

Meanwhile, six American miles away, near Målerås:

Karl Gustav Löfgren (April 1, 1807-Aug. 3, 1883) = Kristina Katarina (Stina) Kajsa Mårtensdotter (Aug. 20, 1804-Dec. 31, 1882) in 1833.
            FFFF                                                                  FFFM
      6.1 AUGUST LÖFGREN (July 11, 1834-Feb. 2, 1917)
     Winota (?) Löfgren (Nov. 30, 1836-?)
     Johanna Sofia Löfgren (Apr. 15, 1839-?)
     Emilia Charlotta Löfgren (Apr. 11, 1843-?)

Karl Gustav Lofgren Stina Kajsa Lofgren

This is the first appearance in the genealogy of the Lofgren name. Karl, a blacksmith, is the first photographed person in the family. Here is a copy of a tintype photograph taken when he was in his 70's, shortly before he died. His square head is shaped much like mine, as evident from my grade-school photo (see beginning of introduction). His hair also looks like mine: unruly, dishwater blond that gets mostly duller with age. He looks unhappy, not with a look of spiritual anguish like someone in an Ingmar Bergman movie, but more a look of accusation by a man about to wreak vengeance for a wrong committed against him. On the other hand, he also has the belligerent look of a person in a "wanted poster." I've noticed that police drawings of wanted criminals based on witness descriptions often look like me. Maybe my ancestor Karl and I have this in common, stand-ins for the generic criminal.

The only information I have about Stina is that her father fought against Napoleon in 1812-1813. A bullet took off his earlobe. Swedes got into the fracas between France and Russia because Napoleon had taken over Pomerania in Northern Germany, land that previously belonged to Sweden. Napoleon was pulling back after his embarrassing defeat in Russia, so the Swedes beat up on some stragglers and then took credit for whomping the great Napoleon. Sweden then made a deal with Denmark, trading Pomerania for Norway, even up.

[Added 2009 & 2010]: Further information from Göran Lundkvist indicates that Karl and Stina first lived at Sandkullen, then moved to Kvarnkullen. Both were small farms that were part of a larger estate called Silverekemåla Storegård (Silver-something[?] Big Farm). See Chapter 6 below for more about Karl and Stina.


(6.1) August Löfgren (July 11, 1834-Feb. 2, 1917) = (6.2) Johanna Ulrika Pettersdotter (Aug. 23, 1840-Feb. 15, 1935) in 1862
                  FFF                                                               FFM

      9.1 CARL JOHAN ARVID (C.A.) LOFGREN (Sept. 19, 1863-Sept. 23, 1958)
      Samuel Gottfrid Lofgren (Fred) (Aug. 24, 1865-Dec. 6,1910)
      Adolph Theodor Lofgren (Theodore) (Feb. 18, 1867-July 29 or Aug. 18, 1890)
      Gustav Robert Lofgren (R. G. Smith) (Jan. 6 or June 1, 1870-Nov. 26 or 28, 1951)
      Emilia Sofia Löfgren (Mimmi) (Feb. 11 or 21, 1873-Jan. 17 or 23, 1962)
      August Conrad Löfgren (Conrad) (June 19, 1875-Aug. 10, 1964)
      Hulda Maria Löfgren (Maja) (Jan. 31, 1877 -July 8 or 10, 1956)
      Isak Viktor Löfgren (Jan. 24, 1879-Sept. 27,1880)
      Viktor Emanuel Löwgren (June 29, 1882-Nov., 1955)
August Lofgren Johanna Lofgren

Johanna finally made it out of Elghult. Her father was a blacksmith, so that may explain her attraction for August, who at some point took over Karl's blacksmith shop at Kvarnkullen.

Actually, there is significant disagreement as to exactly what the Löfgren's were running at Kvarnkullen. C.A. Lofgren always said it was a blacksmith shop, and that he'd learned his blacksmithing skills from his father, August. Opposing this is the statement below from Julie Karlsson, which says that August ran a store:
My mother’s sister Johanna married the storekeeper August Lövgren, they were called Kvarnkullen from the place where they lived. They owned a small store near Målerås, they collected the goods from Andersson in Helleberga.

It was indeed very nice to visit them, how they played the violin those boys!. [Not sure which of the brothers she's writing about. C.A. did not play violin -- Lyle]. They enjoyed singing and music, and Johanna was a good singer. They sang not only spiritual songs, but also other ones.

The four elder sons went to America [see below]. They sent home so many dollars, the parents could build a new home and a small store too.

But they did not ignore God and the spiritual life. One of the sons wrote home: “I will not let God rest until he takes care of my dear parents.”

Julie Karlsson wrote about difficulties at Kvarnkullen:
Johanna’s mother-in-law (Stina Kajsa, Chapter 5) was called Grandmother of Kvarnkullen, when Johanna’s children were little. The old Lövgren (Karl Gustav) used booze and was negligent, so they lived very poorly. Some people had cows nearby. One calf was missing and the rumor said that the Lövgrens had slaughtered it, but Johanna did not become angry. She relied on God and was sure He would show the truth. Later in the autumn, they found the dead calf caught in a cleft.

When Karl Gustav was about to die, Johanna asked him: "Do you not regret that you were so mean to Stina Kajsa when she was alive?"
He replied: "She was not a better person, not at all." She probably wanted to change him when he used all the money on booze, money they could have used on better things. August Lövgren had two sisters, Emilia and Hannafia, they went to Gotland and settled down there.
(Translated by Göran Lundkvist, 2009).

In December, 2009, Göran Lundkvist sent further information he had learned from the 1890 and 1900 census records: In 1890, August Löfgren was listed as both a blacksmith and storekeeper, in Elghult (or Älghult) parish. By 1900, he was listed only as a storekeeper. So, contrary to what I wrote above, Johanna never did make it out of Elghult. And evidently, by 1900, August had retired from the blacksmithing business. But he would have been still a blacksmith (perhaps only a blacksmith, and not also a storekeeper) when C.A. left for America in 1881. This new information also means that the foundation on which I was sitting in 1984 (see picture below) was not the place where my grandfather grew up, but a place that was built a few years after he left. Mere facts can't change the feeling I had when I sat there, however, an almost holy feeling that I was in a place that was part of my heritage.

By our family stories, August Lövgren was no better a provider than Karl Gustav. C.A. remembered his mother Johanna crying because the flour barrel was empty and August had gone off chasing 3-week-old rabbit tracks. There was an alternate theory (due to R.G. Smith) that August went off hunting because his wife nagged him mercilessly about being a poor provider.

I followed Bengt Löwgren's directions out of Målerås and found the foundation to the building in 1984. The land looked terribly bleak, lumpy with black rocks grinding their way to the surface. The idea of farming had been abandoned and nobody had found this area picturesque enough for a country cottage. Not even goats grazed the weeds and purple phlox. I sat on a rock, part of the old foundation, and wondered how they had stuck it out as long as they did. Swedes like to preserve history so the blacksmith shop/store building from Kvarnkullen has been moved to the outdoor museum in Målerås. At least it still exists.

Blacksmith Shop Foundation

We are now into the realm of family stories, so this starts to get lengthy. C.A., as the oldest son, should have taken over the blacksmith shop / store, and was proud of his blacksmithing abilities. He and his father August, though, were stubborn Swedes, and didn't get along. In 1880, when C.A. was 17, his maternal uncle Isak Peterson (see chapter 5) emigrated to Chisago County, Minnesota, and that was undoubtedly an influence on his decision to come to Minnesota also. C.A. emigrated a year later, in 1881, but ran out of money in New York City (or, more likely, Boston. There's no record of him arriving in NYC). He had to work there awhile before he collected enough to come to Minnesota. With Isak's help, he got a job as a section hand on the St. Paul and Duluth Railroad at Kettle River (now Rutledge), Minnesota. The St. Paul and Duluth, after a bankruptcy, became the Northern Pacific line from St. Paul to Duluth, then the Burlington Northern, then the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, then ... oh, never mind. Steam locomotives were thirsty, using over 60 gallons of water per mile, so if there were no wind, the section hands had to pump all night long. The section boss at Kettle River was John MacNamara, and my grandmother, Augusta Johnson, came to work as a baby-sitter/hired-girl for Mrs. MacNamara. See Chapters 8 and 9 for the rest of that story. After about 1-1/2 years, C.A., now 20 years old, transferred to Minneapolis and was promoted to section foreman, which involved a raise from $30 to $45 per month. He had already learned to read and write English, or he wouldn't have been promoted. In 1885, he became section boss on the Wyoming-to-Taylors Falls spur line, first at Wyoming and then at Center City, where he and Augusta stayed until they moved to the Harris farm in 1894.

C.A. had a reputation as being physically tough, and not afraid of much. He could pick up the rear end of a horse; lift a set of freight-car wheels, complete with axle; pick up a railroad rail and carry it on his shoulder. Once, on a dare, he hit a railroad torpedo with a sledgehammer. The explosion blew the sledgehammer out of his hands into the air and knocked him out cold on its way back down.

Tough, resourceful and frugal, he soon had enough to pay passage to import his three next-older brothers, Fred, Theodore and Gustaf, none of whom got along with their father. All of them joined him to work on the SP&D Railroad.

C.A. Lofgren's Siblings

Fred Lofgren (Aug. 24, 1865-Dec. 6,1910) (never married).
Usually referred to as Poor Uncle Fred, he was quite short and had a cleft palate, or "harelip" as it was called. He worked with C.A. on the Wyoming spur line, then in Chicago for 11 years, before going back to Sweden. Maybe he hoped to take over his father's blacksmith shop. He returned and tried his luck in California, living with his brother, R. G. Smith. He never married, and, per Elmer, died in California of "high living," or, when pressed to explain further, said "a social disease" (presumably Syphilis).

Theodore Lofgren (Feb. 18, 1867-July 29 or Aug. 18, 1890) = Ida Pihl (Oct. 18, 1868-Oct. 3, 1910)
      Lillie Sophia Lofgren (Oct. 19, 1887-Apr. 8, 1956) = Albin Anderson (Oct. 23, 1881-?) in 1886
          LaVerna Eugina Rosabella Anderson (Nov. 19, 1911-?)
          Inez Mayford Leona Anderson (Mar. 11, 1912-?)
          Duis George Elliot Anderson (June 3, 1914-?)
          Lloyd Bertrum Anderson and Vincent Leroy Anderson (June 3, 1916-?)
      Oskar Arvid Immanuel Lovgren (July 26, 1889-Aug. 28, 1975) = Ingrid Johnson (July 12, 1886-?)
          Arvid Stanley Theodore Lovgren (April 7, 1912-?) (Do not confuse either of these with Arvid Lofgren of Harris)
          Dorothy Irene Lovgren (Feb. 2, 1915-?)
Theodore worked as a carpenter near Cloquet, MN. July 29 (or maybe August 18) 1890 was a hot day, and a fellow worker went in for a swim in the St. Louis River. He began to drown, so Theodore dove in to save him. The panicked man pulled Theodore down with him. As Elmer Lofgren said, "a drowning man, like Christ, wants to walk on the water." They were still clung together when fished out. Both C.A. and Theodore were Methodists and Masons, and both married Lutherans, who were anti-Mason. Before Theodore's funeral in Center City, C.A. told the Lutheran preacher that he wanted the Methodist preacher (who was also the Mason grandmaster) to say a few words over Theodore's casket after the Lutheran had finished the graveside service. After agreeing, the Lutheran reneged and closed the service without allowing the Methodist Mason to speak. C.A. chased him through a barbed wire fence into a cow pasture, causing the preacher to tear his robe. C.A. had enough sense not to rip his own good clothes, but he shook his fist at the preacher, calling him a "backstabbing motherless sonofabitch." Or maybe it was something else.

Gustav Lofgren (R.G.) Smith (Jan. 6 or June 1, 1870-Nov. 26 or 28, 1951) = Wilhelmina Josephina (Minnie) Smith (July 31, 1871-Apr. 18, 1965) in 1894
      Wallace Paul Victor Smith (May 2, 1895-May 17 or 21, 1963) = Mildred Vestlund (?-Sept. 18, 1927) on Aug. 24, 1927
      Wallace Paul Victor Smith (1895-1963) = Evelyn Butler(?-?)
          Patricia May Smith (1941-) = Vincent Carter (1938-) in 1962
              Kirk Wallace Carter (1963-)
              Kraig Vincent Carter (1963-)
          Patricia May Smith (1941-) = Glenn Johnson (1949-) in 1973
              Jayme Johnson (1976-)
          Lucia Alexis Smith (1949-) =  Stephen Gainer (?-) in 1980
              Jarred Gainer (1989-)
[Wallace was a professor of history at Fresno State University, and wrote several books on the history of the San Joaquin Valley. His first wife, Mildred, contracted polio on their honeymoon and died only 3 weeks after their marriage.]
      Raymond Theodor Smith (Apr. 12, 1897-Dec. 6, 1980) = Edith Swenson (Jan. 31, 1904-?) in 1930
          No children.
[Ray worked for the telephone company, and visited Minnesota several times. He even took home movies and had a wire recorder we could speak into!]
      Mildred Pauline Smith (Mar. 14, 1900-1989) = Halfre Bohleen (1894-1983) in 1929
          Gladys Ruth Bohleen (May 14, 1932-) = Robert Rose (1931-) in 1963
              Coleen Rose (1958-) (from Robert's previous marriage)
                  Rhiannon (1978-)
              Douglas Rose (1964-)
      Alice Vilhelmina Smith (Nov. 15, 1901-1999)
      Ethel Emilia Smith (Mar. 9, 1903-1995) = David Stanley Kent (1903-1940) in 1936
          Jon Stanley Kent (Apr. 3, 1940-) = Patricia Ann McCarroll (1942-) in 1962
              Robert David Kent (1963-)
             Michael Edward Kent (1975-)

R.G. also worked with C.A. on the Wyoming spur line. Here is a professional photograph of C.A., R.G., and Fred, along with Mr. Westlund, on a handcar.


Minnie Smith was the daughter of a pioneer Swedish immigrant, John Anderson (1825-1888), who was born in Sörby, Linköping, Sweden, came to America in 1851, and cleared 160 acres on a peninsula on what is now North Center Lake of the Chisago Lakes. When he applied for citizenship in 1852, he changed his name to John Smith, because it sounded more exotic than Anderson. Minnie was worried that the name would die out, so, when they married, she convinced R.G. to change his name to R.G. Smith. Ironically, the daughter who stayed on the farm, Anna Smith, later married P.J. Anderson, who evidently didn't go for the take-your-wife's-name idea, so the land reverted to Anderson land. (I learned this quite by accident from Mark Anderson, a descendent of Anna Smith Anderson, who I met at a party given by mutual friends). After marriage, R.G. continued to work on the railroad for 12 years. They then moved to Kingsburg, California (1906), where they began growing grapes for raisins.

In 2007, Gladys Bohleen Rose and her husband, Bob, visited us in Minnesota. She added some information to the above account. There was considerable friction between R.G. and C.A. Lofgren. (Arvid Lofgren told of an example: when straightening rails, C.A., as section boss, decided when the rail was straight. R.G. would then sight down the rails to decide for himself if C.A. was right.) They all lived in the section house, with C.A.'s wife Augusta cooking for the crew. Augusta would open all mail addressed to Lofgren, no matter if it was addressed to C.A. or R.G. According to Gladys, that was the main reason for R.G. changing his name to Smith. So it wasn't to honor Minnie Smith after all. And here I've always thought, "at least there was one romantic in the family."

In addition to the friction with C.A., R.G. didn't like the cold wather in Minnesota, so when a former pastor at the Lindstrom church wrote back to say how wonderful it was in California, R.G. and Minnie decided to head for the promised land. They arrived in San Francisco only a week or two after the big earthquake, so they headed for Kingsburg, which already was a thriving Scandinavian community (even today, the water tower has been modified to look like a Swedish coffee pot).

In response to the first edition of this history, Jon Kent of Santa Barbara, California sent the following information about his relationship with R.G.:

My dad died in 1940, just 6 weeks before I was born, so mom moved back to the farm in Kingsburg, where I grew up with my grandparents, R.G. and Minnie, and my aunt Alice. Wallace also lived there for a time so we had a house full of teachers. I recall driving the team of horses, then later tractors. I still have the hand pump that we used for drinking water. Uncle Ray taught me so much and I followed in his footsteps in driving school buses and tour buses for the National Parks while in college. I have all of his old movies you mentioned. Pat and I met while students at San Jose State University. She was born in Juliaca, Peru, where her dad was a mining engineer. Both parents were from North Dakota, but her mom was born in Nova Scotia, and may be a distant relative of mine! (well, we are all related somehow, aren't we!). My father's side of the family came to Nova Scotia from Scotland and I have quite a family history of those wild folks--they were all peasants too!

R.G. SMITH & FAMILY, 1919 (?)

In 1951, R.G. was burning trash in his yard when his clothes caught fire, and he died from the burns. Five years later, Wallace wrote this detailed letter to Esther Lofgren Alvin, describing the agony of his death:

December 12, 1956
Dear Esther:
I feel like writing a few words to you tonight. I think about your mother and my father and the other persons who have passed out of our lives. You lost a husband a long time ago, and I buried my first wife. I often wonder what life is all about.

During the hurly-burly of our father's death I was so busy that I do not now know whether we sent a copy of the article about him which appeared in the Fresno Bee or not. I do remember that I sent an article to the Chisago County Press together with a request to Mr. Fred Feske of Lindstrom, a son-in-law of Eddie Andrews, and a great friend of my Dad, both Feske & Andrews, that he see that the article be printed. It was not! Just a short notice! I resented this, but Norelius, the editor, told Feske, that my Dad had been away from Lindstrom and Center City so long that no one would remember him.

Is not life strange. My Dad had coffee with my Mother, Ethel, and Jon at 10:30. Alice was sick with the influenza, and was in bed upstairs. It was a Saturday. Dad then said I am going out to burn some rubbish, a pile about the size of a small package, not more than an ordinary person could have carried away in his two hands. He had bought a new pair of pants and did not want to get them soiled, so he put on an old home-made apron which he had made of gunny-sacks. These sacks had been secured when he had ordered twine which is used to tie up the canes on the Thompson Seedless vines. In order to prevent the twine from rotting, these sacks are treated with an inflammable emulsion, the kind that does not flame up, but which burns stubbornly and will not go out easily. It was blowing slightly that day and as he turned the flames from the small fire caught hold of his apron without his knowing it and slowly burned up toward his waist from the rear. When he felt the heat, he hurriedly tried to untie the rope which he used to keep his apron in place, and perhaps due to nervousness, or because he had tied it too tightly he could not unloosen it. He had no knife to cut it with and the fire kept getting hotter, so he cried for help. He could not roll on the ground to put out the fire, as the ground was hard, and would not help much, and so he ran toward the tank-house where Ethel was washing clothes. Ethel had taken a course in first-aid, and knew what to do. She put wet wash down in front to prevent the fire reaching his genital organs, and over his face. These portions of his anatomy were saved. But she told me that the wet wash seemed unable to put out the fire forthwith on his trousers, which burned away entirely as did his underwear. He was not burned above the waist, but everything below his belt, excepting his genitals, appeared to me to look like raw beef-steak. Oil seemed to exude from all portions of his lower anatomy when I helped the nurse, Mrs. Arthur Davidson, change his bandages one morning about 2 A.M. I often went down at night, and stayed until the wee, small hours of the morning--I had to teach at Fresno during the day—but kept going down to Kingsburg at night. I was rather fatigued when it was all over--he lived for 12 days after the accident--but I did what I could. A young Army doctor, recently discharged from the Service, and just then located at Kingsburg, had the case at the Kingsburg hospital. One of my neighbors here at Fresno is a retired doctor, a specialist, and he went with me to see my Dad. He talked to the young doctor and assured me that he knew what he was doing, had had much experience with burned men in the war, and hence no one could do more than he was doing. So I could then tell my Mother that all was being done to save Dad. This made her feel better.

My Dad had said, when he went out after 10:30, that Mother and Ethel should come out at 11 o'clock, and they would see how nicely he had cleaned up things. They came out sooner than that, but not with the original hopes and promises. When my Mother heard the commotion, she ran out and turned the hose on. It never fails, the hose was not attached to the facet, and by the time she had time to hook it in place, Ethel had killed the fire with the wet wash. It had all been a matter of seconds. How easy it is to say that if I had been there with a knife to cut the belt that held up his apron, or if the hose had been handy to squirt water on the fire and apron, if-if-if-if-if he had not tried to burn the rubbish, but had carried it into the field, et cetera. Life is like that. I try to cheer my Mother by telling her that his days were numbered. Had he not lost his life in the fire, he would soon have passed away due to hardening of his arteries, the doctor said so, or he might have had an accident. He still drove his car, and he drove it too fast--supposing he had had an accident, and had inadvertently killed someone? The way it was, he died honorably, and all were sorry to hear about it.

One thing makes me happy, and I am sure you will appreciate this. He had always been religious, and I wondered how his religion would hold when he was hurt, in agony, and no doubt realizing that it was all over. The Army doctor is a young man of a religious background, a Mennonite, somewhat like the old-time Quakers, and he told me he had never met a patient who was more cheerful under pain. When I went to see my Dad he kidded me the first time; he said: "Wallie, the trouble with me is that I don't know how to wear skirts." He also made a wonderful impression on the nurses--young and old. One of the older nurses told him one morning: "You will soon be home, and then you can celebrate Christmas with your family." He answered: "You are all so nice to me, and I appreciate it, but I know better." He never let on to any of us—his family—but he apparently knew the end was near. I talked to him about 3 o'clock one morning--Mrs. Davidson was there--and I patted his shoulder and I said: "I hope you will get well." He looked at me but said nothing. Then I added: "I have always admired you, and been proud of you, and whatever happens, I want you to know that." He said very calmly: "Well, I always thought you did." There were no tears, or silly weeping. We talked man to man, and I told my Mother about it afterwards. She felt good about it, but sorry that she had had no last words with him. She was always taken to see him during the day, when he was dopey with drugs--I went there during the night when the drugs had worn off, and he was about to get his new dosage, so I saw him when he was at his best mentally.

Had he shown fear of death, anger, or crankiness, I would have grieved over it, but all concerned, nurses and they were all, with the exception of one nurse, good church members and Christians. The one nurse, a pretty girl, who had no faith, told me that if religion does that to a man I want to investigate it. "He dies the way I wish I could, when my time comes!"

One night he asked the elderly nurse on duty—a good Baptist—to sing Trygarre kan ingen vara, än Gud's lilla barna skara—and he tried hard to follow her. He could not sing, as you know, but she was visibly affected by it all. I do not spell Swedish well, so no doubt I misspelled some of the foregoing words.

Paul Lofgren, our cousin, came down to see Dad, and the latter looked happy when he saw him; it was in the PM and Dad was somewhat dopey from drugs, but he called Paul by name, and told me afterwards: "Did you know Paul is here; he is upstairs." There was no upstairs, but he did know Paul had come.

According to the mortician and the flower shops, it was the largest funeral in Kingsburg's history. It was raining hard--really pouring--and so the crowd which could not get into the mortuary really must have liked him to stay out in the rain. Ethel's fellow teachers from Fowler were there en masse; my fellow professors from Fresno sent flowers; the words spoken by the two clergymen were so unusual that one lady from Fresno--her husband is a State official and she was at one time a high school teacher--said she had never heard anything like the beautiful tributes paid him.

The memories are sweet; he lived his religion and when he was hurt unto death he never once whimpered. When he was unconscious he moaned terribly, but the doctor said this was due to internal agony which he did not allow to show when conscious. I think often of him when the holidays come, as he was buried on December 1st.

One thing I resented. I had talked my Mother into accepting the inevitable, when the nurses at the hospital, no doubt meaning well, began to tell her Dad would soon be home. We had Thanksgiving dinner at Raymond's and Mother had just come from the hospital. She said: "The nurses tell me Pa will be home for Christmas." Then everybody began to talk in that manner, and I finally burst out: "Will you please stop tormenting a poor wife and mother? I have had her in a frame of mind where she was willing to accept the inevitable, and now you are working up false hopes. It is cruel." I went down to the hospital later, and told the nurses to cut it out. They did.

"It is appointed unto all men once to die." This I know! I have seen friends and relatives die. I was not present when my Dad died. The old Baptist nurse maintains she suddenly heard the rustling of wings, and then a soft sigh, and my Dad was dead. I do not know about such, things. Perhaps there was such a rustling; perhaps she imagined it; but she did testify that no man could have talked more sweetly, confidently, or eagerly about his faith in God and the Hereafter than did my Dad when he was unconscious and truly revealing himself.

Death is not the worst that can come to us. One night I went to see a friend--I am glad he was not around--I would have frightened him--and I cried as hard as a little child who has stubbed his toe--from 2 until 4 o'clock in the morning--I then went home--and have not done so since. No death was then imminent. I buried a wife, a Dad, other friends--and I have shed no tears at those times--one can control oneself--so I don't think I am a baby, but sometimes the struggle get tough, and for once I lost my self-control. No doubt you have had those moments. Come and see us some time. I would like to visit you-all. I love you very much--Esther, Elmer, Paul--but who knows? Forgive this long-winded epistolary effusion.

The rest of C.A. Lofgren's siblings stayed in Sweden. In case anyone wants to track them down, here are all the details I know:

Mimmi Löfgren (Feb. 11 or 21, 1873-Jan. 17 or 23, 1962) = Axel Lundberg (Sept. 14, 1872-July 16, 1952) in 1908
      Sven Axel Anders Lundberg (Oct. 27, 1909-July 15, 1979) = Elsa Gustavsson (July 25, 1910-?)
          Sven Axel Gunnar Lundberg (Dec. 28, 1947-)
      Nils Conrad August Lundberg (Aug. 25, 1911-Dec. 31, 1954) = Inga Johansson (May 6, 1918-?) in 1940
          Ingalill Viveka Lundberg (Nov. 14, 1941-) = Gunnar Ohlsson (?-)
              Nicklas Ohlsson (Aug. 30, 1968-)
      Maria Hanna Elisabeth Lundberg (Apr 18, 1913-July 1, 1982) = Earl Putzker (Feb. 28, 1904-?) in 1973
              No children
      Sofia Viola Margaretha Lundberg (Jan. 9, 1916-Apr. 8, 2005) = Kjell Philip Verner Nilsson (May 30, 1919-Nov. 21, 1981) in 1944
          Kjell Göran Nilsson (Aug. 11, 1945-) = Agneta Claesson (May 15, 1945-) in 1969
              Eva Annika Maria Nilsson (Jan. 9, 1970-)
              Lena Catrine Agneta Nilsson (Mar. 8, 1972-)
              Jan Kjell Tomas Nilsson (June 30, 1981-)
          Sylvia Elisabeth Viola Nilsson (Nov. 5, 1947-Nov. 4, 1996) = Roland Sturk (Jan. 2, 1943-Dec. 1, 1975)
              Margareta Camilla Sturk (Apr. 17, 1967-)
              Roland Nicklas Sturk (July 28, 1971-)
          Sylvia Elisabeth Viola Nilsson (Nov. 5, 1947-Nov. 4, 1996) = Ronny Björklund in 1983

Conrad Löfgren (June 19, 1875-Aug. 10, 1964) = Anna Emelia Charlotta Johnson (Dec. 16, 1880-Oct. 11, 1931) in 1908
Date Unknown
      Anna Britta Löfgren (March 10, 1909-Oct. 3, 1969) = Fjalar Hammarstedt (Jan. 14, 1900-Dec. 10, 1940) in 1934 (divorced)
          Ingrid Marianne Hammarstedt-Drott (June 19, 1935-)
          Nils Erik Hammarstedt (Apr. 29, 1939-)
      Anna Britta Löfgren (March 10, 1909-Oct. 3, 1969) = Erik Filip Johansson (May 2, 1906-?) in 1945
          Anna Margareta Johansson-Svensson (Aug. 24, 1946-)
          Per Erik Magnus Johansson (May 11, 1951-)
    Birger Konstantin Löfgren (May 21, 1910-May 23, 1927)
    Gösta Arvid August Löfgren (Sept. 23, 1915-?) = Asta Charlotta Lorentzon (May 6, 1914-Mar. 6, 1975) in 1945
          Ann-Charlotte Löfgren (Feb. 19, 1948-) = Jan-Erik Frödeberg (Dec. 23, 1942-) in 1966
              Charlotta Marie Frödeberg (Oct. 24, 1966-)
              Jan Mats Frödeberg (Aug. 18, 1969-)
Conrad, a station agent, reportedly had the ability to fall asleep anywhere, at any time, a characteristic I must have inherited from him. His wife, Anna, was the daughter of a railroad man and the granddaughter of a sailor. As far as I can make out, he was born and died in Målerås.

Maja Löfgren (Jan. 31, 1877 -July 8 or 10, 1956) = Carl Franzen (Apr. 8, 1876-June 13, 1902)
      Märta Sofia Franzen (Feb. 24, 1901-Sept. 9, 1995)
      Charles Bernhard Franzen (Aug. 20, 1902-April 7, 1930)

Viktor Löwgren (June 29, 1882-Nov., 1955) = Selma Johansson (Mar. 1, 1880-April 18, 1906) in 1904
Viktor Löwgren
      Waldemar Paul Lofgren (Jan. 5, 1903-Feb. 9, 1978) = Ingeborg Lindberg (June 19, 1926-?). No children.
      Waldemar Paul Lofgren (Jan. 5, 1903-Feb. 9, 1978) = Essie ? . No children.
Viktor Löwgren (1882-1955) = Emma Svensson (July 8, 1878-Jan. 25, 1943) in 1910.
      Inga Johanna Löwgren (Oct. 25, 1911-Apr. 24, 1977) = Karl Hermanson (Dec. 2, 1908-198?)
          Jan Gunnar Hermanson (Nov. 22, 1943-) = Linda Cantacuzino (Sept. 10, 1954-?)
          Johanna Hermanson (Apr. 14, 1947-) = Bo Hjalmarson
              Kalle Hjalmarson (May 21, 1977-)
              Anja Hjalmarson (Dec. 12, 1979-)
              Lisa Hjalmarson (June 25, 1984-)
      Bengt Löwgren (1921-2004) = Maj Britt
          Johan Löwgren


Viktor's son, Paul Löwgren (we called him Little Paul or Cousin Paul to distinguish him from Paul Lofgren of Harris) emigrated from Sweden directly to California, where he changed the spelling to Lofgren and supported himself for awhile by repairing radios. He got educated, and became a professor of psychology at the University of California in Berkeley. Paul and his wife Ingeborg (called Bobbie) visited Minnesota several times--it was the first time I had seen a 35 millimeter camera. On a business trip to San Francisco, I visited them. Paul gave me a great tour of the bay area. After he retired, he would often meet Marina Larson in Acapulco in the winter. They had no heirs, so when Bobbie was dying of cancer, she convinced Paul that, after she was gone, he should marry their cleaning lady, Essie, so someone would make use of the house after they were both dead. Essie is a wonderful woman who was born and raised in the Yazoo delta of Mississippi, and thus accustomed to hard work. We met her when Paul brought her along to visit Marina.

Inga and Karl Hermanson visited us in Minnesota once. He was one of the most interesting people I've ever met. At 29, he was the youngest person to be captain of a Swedish merchant vessel, and traveled all over the world. He had an insatiable curiosity and loved to explore foreign ports. After 20 years at sea, he put in another 20 years as harbormaster of Stockholm. He presided over the raising of the warship Vasa, where it had lain in the harbor for 400 years. King Gustavus Adolphus, a Swedish King who Latinized his name (Gustav Adolf II) and hoped to create a Swedish Empire to rival Ceasar's, ordered his shipwrights to build a great warship. During the construction, King Adolphus learned the British had a new ship sporting not one, but two cannon decks. Not to be outdone in an arms race, he ordered a second deck for cannons. Since he was king, and no one contradicts the king, the ship's architect didn't dare tell him that the keel wasn't deep or heavy enough to offset a second deck. So the Vasa on its maiden voyage, its deck crowded with local nobility in their finest outfits, becalmed on a windless day, simply tipped over and sank while still in the harbor. You can see the dredged-up remains in a Stockholm museum. Gustavus Adolphus  was later killed in battle fighting Catholics in Germany. No wonder they named a college after him. No one had greater need of a good education.

We visited Karl Hermanson in Stockholm in 1984, and, although he had trouble getting around due to heart disease, he insisted on showing us his favorite art museum (Waldemarsudde, a bequest of Prince Waldemar) and invited us to his apartment in the suburb of Saltsjöbaden (salt-SHO-bah-den, or salt-sea-baths) where he fed us pea soup and golden port, and read Swedish poetry to us. What memories!

Bengt and Maj Britt Löwgren lived in Örebro. They had never been to America, but several relatives have been there, and we had a great time visiting with them on trips to Sweden in 1984 and 1987. (Bengt died in 2004).

Gustavus Adolphus Battleship Vasa Karl Hermanson