Anderson Family History

Nils Anderson Family

  • A salute from our generation to our forefathers,Home                   . . . from whence we came and to whom we owe so much                                                          …for  inspiring our faith and fortitude
  • See also  Nils Anderson Genealogy  
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In no order: Nils and Caroline Anderson, parents, and childrenArthur, Ida, Charles, and Oscar.

Nils and Caroline Anderson, parents, and children, left to right, Oscar, Ida, Charles, and Arthur.

Nils Petter Andersson was born in Asjon, Vasterbotten, Sweden on April 4, 1862. In 1868, his father died of tuberculosis when he was six years old. It is an ironic twist of fate which will repeat itself with Nils and his son, Andrew, in South Dakota, who both die of tuberculosis.

In 1873, Nils Petter moved with a sister to nearby Gulltjarn, Bygdea and again in 1880 to Degerfors, Bygdeå nearer to his two brothers; There he met Katrina Karolina Eriksdotter as a farmhand ont her bother’s farm at Kryektltjarn. They married & emigrated to America on June 17, 1886; they farm in McCook County.SD near his brother. Nils & Caroline raise 5 kids: Arthur, Ida (Mable’s mom), Charles (Ruby’s father-in-law), Oscar, and John, who died in infancy. Above is the family photo of them departing Montrose, SD for the Missouri River.

Nils and Johan encouraged my Grandpa Anderson Åstrom, his wife and their daughter Hilma to emigrate to USA, and they did so, along with their widowed mother Elizabeth Burman. She had remarried to Anders Burman in 1888 who did not survive shipboard travel. By 1886-88, the free lands had all been homesteaded by earlier arrivals like brother John. Settlers now must buy land from others and start not from scratch but in the hole from debts of land purchases. Nils finds farming unprofitable and at that time, South Dakota was experiencing a series of difficult years beyond belief with grasshoppers, droughts and blizzards. Nils forgoes farming to become Center, SD first merchant as the original owner of a Center Store. opposite to the one later started by the Howe’s.

Astounding news comes to Nils & Caroline when they learn that new homestead land had become available for free in an area near Presho, in Lyman County, South Dakota in what was up to now Indian lands. Maps showed that it was beside the Missouri River, America’s largest. Surely that would mean ample water for crops and no land debt to overcome. In1894, the family of six pack up and leave Center to realize their emigrant’s dream of free farmland to homesteaded.They learn on arrival why this arid land had originally been relegated to the Indians. (Another settler, Annie Paulson wrote how her dreams were crushed to find families living in one-room sod dwellings with only twisted hay to burn for heat since Indian treaty prohibited gathering wood mostly dead near the River: “Mother shed many tears wanting to go back to Sweden.”)

Nils & Caroline struggled to survive;but in 1900, tuberculosis struck and the family returned to Center for treatment. Nils died; his widow, Caroline, could not run the store and in 1904 returned to the farm she and Nils homesteaded near Presho. Tragically, sorrow struck again as her only farm-helper son, Arthur, came down with tuberculosis. Caroline took her children in a covered wagon to ‘head West’ having heard it was better for TB. But the long trip is in vain and Arthur died, so the family returned to the homestead where the young teenagers (one boy is later Ruby’s father-in-law; the girl, Ida, is later Mable Crist’s mother) try to carry on for a while before leaving for greener pastures in NE, CO & UT.
Caroline later visits Sweden; she dies in Presho at the farm now run by daughter Ida Carolina & husband,George Nelson.

Nils & Caroline’s granddaughter is my marvelous friend and 2nd cousin Mabel Crist of Englewood,CO


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