Jan Nilsson comments:

The following is part of a continuing story about my family with roots at the farm Busvebacken ("Backen" for the neighbors) in Bringåsen village, Kyrkås parish and Jämtland district in northern Sweden, and all the family members´s neverending curiosity for living societies and politics in Sweden and abroad. There are also a lot of very good, not to say maybe uniqe storytellers in the crowd of family members. That is showed in an intense letter writing during the years, beside to their ordinary work with skilled farming and political and social engagements.

The American migration from my "Bringasen family" started with my grandpa´s younger brother Hans Hansson, when he did a study tour over there 1911 to 1913 (see further on downsides).

Nowadays is his family descendants in the US represented by the families of Hans´s grandchildren Norma Showalter, Robert (Bob) Hanson and Karin Moran, all living on the west coast.

(In the site http://www.busvebacken.se/NormasFamily I have a short introduction how to find these folks in the register of th family tree .)

I have a great family tree containing Norma´s family relations to a lot of relatives all over Sweden and the US but with a start point sometimes at the 17th century in the parish of Kyrkas, Jamtland, Sweden (at the same latitude as Trondheim in Norway).

The family tree for many local familys is here.Norma´s family from Kyrkas. A short abstract about Normas´s Grandgrandpa Hans Andersson(member of Sw Parliament 1870-1890) can be found as EnglishSummary.

The story behind my familys settlement i Kyrkås is kind of the story about historic farming which I have tried to describe in short in English at the site EnglishSummary.

Short story about Hans Hansson (1861-1945) and his family

Jonas, Ante o Hans Hansson 1868 Family Hans Andersson 1884 Kristinas picture 1911

First photo ever of Hans Hansson is from 1868, the three eldest boys of Hans Andersson, Jonas, Ante(Anders) and at that time the youngest Hans jr (right in a costume too large). Just two years later began Hans Andersson's 20-years-period in the Swedish parliament where he had to stay in Stockholm in the five first months of every year. His wife Brita had to manage the farm with the help of an employed farmhand when Hans was away, but from the year 1875 all routine work was done by the family. Here Hans jr had many opportunities to learn and practise the carpenting and timber work which later became his occupation during his stay in Michigan. On a farm like this one with wooden houses there where built and maintained hay sheds, horse stables, cow stables etc nearly every year and each farm could have more than thirty individual roofs to take care of.

1884 was the last year with the whole family at home - mid picture. The son Hans jr stands to the right, and daughter Anna (left side) married the same year. Annas daughter Kristina painted the first coloured picture (right above) of the living houses and most important, the horse stable on the farm 1911 - the year when Hans jr made his first trip to the U S. From the year 1904 does Annas 17-year-old son Hans Ericson start his photogenic work with picturing relatives and other people, farms, livinghouses and landscapes in the surroundings of Kyrkås, which illustrates my notes from 1904 and forwards to around WW2.

Here it´s time to mention a confusing use of swedish surnames. There was an official change in naming children which started with the year of 1900. Children born before 1900 usually were given surnames with their fathers´ Christian name in it, e g son of Hans - Hansson or daugter of Jonas - Jonsdotter. Women kept their original surnames even after marriage. The year 1900 it changed so sons and daughters got the same surname as their father's and women changed to husband's surname at marriage. That´s the reason why the mother of Hans Hansson born 1826 is called Brita Jonsdotter before 1900 and Brita Andersson after 1900, while Hans Hansson´s wife Karin Jacobsdotter was Hansson after marriage and their sons Martin and Joe were Hansson after their fathers surname.

Hans jr was born 1861 as the fourth of coming six children to the newly established farmer couple Hans Andersson and his wife Brita Jonsdotter on a new farm in Bringåsen. Both the parents came from very longstanding and skilled farming families in the small neighbor villages. At that time the school system in Kyrkås only supplied a low grade primary school of three or four years, which moved between farms from village to village. A kind of secondary boarding school, one or two years, was available in Lit, where I know that at least Ante studied. Otherwise there was a tradition of self-tuition parents-to-children in the families several generations backwards which, according to Antes later biography on his father (Hans Andersson), was said to has gotten him enough math skills from his father Anders Larsson to be able to manage and lead the economy of the Parish, and that was the same way Hans A´s father Anders Larsson also had got his leadership of the Parish from his father Lars Andersson from Lit.

After Hans A had been a MP (1870) he sent lots of litterature for self-tuition home to his family from Stockholm, and that made the whole family very well skilled in community work, political science and familiar with the global world. I am sure that all children were as curious of knowledge as Hans Andersson himself who in some letters to the home complained about that his eyes were stressed because of all the reading he had to do. All family members were engaged for better education, locally by initiating and raising houses and employed a skilled teacher for the first secondary school on a division from Busvebacken,(in the same corner where Hans jr got his holding). Hans sr also was engaged for arranging basic education and further advisory in farming skills in Jämtland as early as in 1870ties.

There is no doubt that Hans jr also was very well-red. Some time in his life he made up his mind to learn about bible studies, which no one in the rest of the family had done, in spite the normal way to make academic career for boys with a good head for studies was teological studies at a university. Neither intelligence nor economy should have prevented him or any of the other children at the time on Busvebacken to do that, but I think (from their writings) that all of them had a more firm belief in working with earthbound development in real life than to do studies in oldfashoned imaginations and religous governing as a priest.

Another preparation for the future took place when Hans Andersson and Brita decided to make a partition of the estate and inheritance 1887. Ante, the eldest son, who married that year got the estate Busvebacken, and had to pay the worth of equal shares to the other sisters and brothers. With his share could Jonas buy their mother Brita's home stead in Lungre from Brita's retiring brother (without heirs).

Hans jr got a small division from the estate as a crofter´s holding, which he built up with small farm buildings during the 1890ties before he, 39 year-old, married 18 year-old Karin Jacobsdotter from Undersåker the year 1900. That holding was later expanded with an estate 1 mile away in Kyrkbyn near to the old Kyrkås Church, and when Joe returned to Bringåsen 1945 he expanded even more with Maja´s home estate in Lillsjöhögen and two rented estates.

The eldest sister, Anna, was already married to a young farmer in Bringåsen, and the two youngest ones married to farming estates also around the year 1900. After that it allways seemed to be a good mood between the familys of sister´s and brother´s and they cooperated often as independent enterprices in different ways.

Hans Hansson Stockholm 1891 Hans Hansson in a studio photo, Stockholm 1891.

Hans jr was possibly the only one who made a compromise between realities and divine interests, and went to Stockholm around 1890 for learning to work as a pastor in the Evangelical church. These studies led him to work as a pastor in Undersåker, Jämtland where he also found his wife Karin Jacobsdotter (1882-1952). I also think that the emigrated relatives of Karin trigged Hans jr´s interest for American studies and the later emigration with the family. After marriage Karin was Hansson, and I have put into her name a J (for Jacobsdotter) in order to distingwish her name from my mother who was Karin Hansson as unmarried and later Nilsson.

I have also in other letter exhanges found that there was a national discussion in Sweden around 1910 about why the great emigration took place. Ante and maybe even Hans were engaged in a political association with the task to prevent or slow down Swedish emigration at that time.

Hans Hanssons work with the Evangelical church was passed on by heredity to his sons, who were strongly engaged in a small parish in High Point, Issaqua, Wa, where they settled down after their emigration 1927. That little parish is still living with earlier support from Martin Hansson and now from his descendants.

Hans, Karin and Joe Hans,Karin, Martin o Josef 1907 Karin Hansson with Martin och Josef 1912

Here is probably one of first photos by Hans Ericson with Karin, Hans and about one-year-old Joe in the back of their new house in Bringåsen 1904. The studiophoto with Martin too is taken in the town Östersund 1907, while the third is pictured by Hans Ericson 1911 or 1912 when Hans Hansson was in America the first time. Karin J Hansson with Martin (1905-2002) and Joe(1902-1985) are cutting hay at home in Bringåsen.

In 1912

Letters from  America

602 Iron River, Mich, U.S.A.  ½ 1912.

Dear Brother!  Grace and Peace! I have probably  been fuzzy not writing to You.  Looking for a poor  excuse  in the fact that I thought  You have got some information  from  a lot of  the letters  I have sent  to my home.  I´m  also thinking that  those letters  sent  to  the  paper "Jämtlandsposten" are observed, and now also that one sent in Jan. this year.  However will I now make up for parts of  what I have neglected.

What I'm writing  about America is  neither for or against the Emigration, because  that is for me up to  the individual's  business of their own to decide, it´s just for telling the matter  as that appear. If others tell a contradictual opinion, they may do, because it isn´t my task  to fight them or to try to refute  them.

As You now ask for my statements, I want to  make it briefly, becuse space doesn´t admit an appropriate presentation.  According to Your letter about the Mosses of Sweden, I think they will make a god future, and  I want that the  small one  south of  lake Gillersjön must remain.

But I have another opinion about America than  what is said in  enclosed  press cutting. It is  possible that farms here can be impoverished  as well as e.g. impowerishments of homesteads  in Sweden by companies.  And then you go to another region and ravage again. Even here do you have people who just harvest and do nothing thereafter. They think that is sustainable.  Easiest way to get rid of the manure was many times to put it in a nearby pit, or to burn it on the spot. No farmer hereby is silly enough to pay as mad as the farmers in Östersund. If he wants manure, he can wait for late winter  to get a payment of 25 cents a wagonload  taken. The need for fertilisers isn´t  strong. You can see the most excellent oat crops and also hay crops  at non fertilised  soils. Commonly you may not fertilise oats, because it will then lie down and rotten.

My belief is that the blackpaintings of the future  crops of America will never occur.  However there is a lack of good management of soils until you may see a change.

Other dangers than  those mentioned can threaten the country.  If too many  "niggers", mobs and bad workers are coming  can soon all of it  easily be destroyed.  In my opinion the fears will be not so little. But you may remember the government already have started to know, and presumably they will take care in a good direction.  To loose workers without craftmanship I presume the U S generally will not have  great wages for you.  There is a lack of  employment in Sweden but it is in a small scale.  A firewood logger should I advise not to work here like in Sweden,  because maple trees for firewood is unbeleavbly  hard and heavy to cut up.   Of course  the maple logs too are hard to handle.  Many times  are the work heavier, more dangeros and more difficult than in Sweden, but not always.  You may not beleave that all works are done in great hurry in this country.  That is very various.

If you can bring good money with you to America it is helpful.  Anyhow in the beginning is bad knowledge  of the language a big obstacle.  But that is passing.  Your personal experience from America can be different.  It often is depending of your own  actions.  An old man  being away from  his family in Sweden for 17 years said he would like to go home.  He didn´t get any money left here.  Once upon a time he got a payment near 200 dollars, decided to go,  but at first he had to visit a saloon and there his money was left and so also his journey.  Booze is even in this country a vast destruction, and the wicked deeds are often connected.  Here are, like somewhere else  globally, very good and very bad people. They are very kind as workers.  There are few exceptions  from that.  The character will became somewhat else here.  "Help yourself" is the norm.  Accordingly  they don´t interfere with others´  businesses.  The political mess so common in Sweden is totally absent here. You know that it´s not on politics  but on  work you can exist.  Maybe they will move a bit at the presidential election.  And in the papers there is  nearly all silence. Always there is normally a good industrial peace forever.  Sometimes a strike can occur, but  politics is quiet.  As far as I am concerned I will say like many others: "America is all right, and Sweden is all right". 

The climate has a strong influence on my body.  Merely can my greedy appetite bear enough witness to that. I have many excellent swedish friends too, I get on well and hope for the best.  Soon will my brother-in-law in Washington  come over which will be even better I think.

In Januari there was a cold weather down to 46 farenheit = around 43 celcius.  It turned out well tho. You stay inside at cold weather.  January was colder than ever within living memory. Nice weather occurred before Christmas. Today has been mild weather,  so now it will probaly turn and  in March we expect  that the 8 inches of snow will be gone. Otherwise have winters of the last years been very mild with less amounts of snow than earlier, when the forests of Michigan had their golden age.  Now I have to quit, because  I cannot write a comprehensive letter about this country.  You  must understand that a journey  to America is very interesting, so just a small part of that can be told in a letter. Greetings to mother and all in Backen! I will probably write to mother later on.

Brother Hans

P.S  There is still plenty of room for emigrants in the U S. Remember that geography tell us it is nearly 3000 (swedish?) miles between the eastern and the western Seas, and between  north and south there are some 1,500 miles.  If it starts to be overpopulated,  I think ports will be closed.

Hans Hansson, Iron River wrote to A J Hansson, Busvebacken:

602 Iron River, Mich. U.S.A. Sept. 29th, 1912 Dear Brother!

It is my comprehension that  You often go to Östersund, why I take liberty sending to you $ 50, which I want you to deposit on account in Jämtlands Folkbank on behalf of mrs Karin Hansson in Bringåsen, for disposal any time.

Don´t think  I´m away  a long time after this, but don´t decide travel time  until  the presidential election  is over after Nov. 5th.

We still have quite a lot of work undone on the five houses we are  doing.  Nothing new to notice, if not quite a lot of snow  is fallen , e g in Minnesota. Otherwise  there was a relatively  cold summer and  unusually rainy.  Last days we felt some of coming winter  and some  snow stars (crystals) have fallen down.

Very large  building construction works are done on this place this summer and may continue until the winter cold starts.

Many greetings to Mother and your family!

From brother Hans.

Hans Hansson, Iron River wrote to A J Hansson, Busvebacken:

602 Iron River, Mich. Nov. 14th, 1912

Dear Brother!

As  it is now  the time  for paying taxes in Jämtland,  I´m today sending to You a money order  á  $20. You have to take from  that total  what´s required  for my payments,  and  bring what´s left to my wife Karin.

This summer working chances and wages in this country  haven´t been bad, just the reverse. As usual  it will probably become less of it when  the cold is coming.  Until now  the weather hereby has been very convenient, mildly and without any snow.

If the presidential exchange  recently passed will be beneficial, is  depending on if the new party in power, dare to  make any destructable  reforms, or if they let it be as usual. American people take it easy and  bide their  time.  Because they  are calmly working people, who wants good working atmosphere and like to put politics aside.

Greetings from brother Hans.

Jan Nilsson comments:

In 1914, WW1 begun in late summer and the whole family did the journey to Iron River, Michigan just before in June.

The journey is well and elegant described by Karin J Hanssons diary,  but the first part of the following notes is a letter adressed to her  8-year-old son Josef (Joe) from Karin  staying for a hospital visit in Stockholm,  400 miles  from Bringåsen.  She had some, for me unknown, health problems, which had to be cured just  a few months before going away.  Stina is  probably  the grown-up daughter from the nearest neighbor farmer Nils Anderson. She is married to Per Karlsa from the neighbor willage, Skjör, now a farmer after Nils A, but also famous for playing the organ at the Church of Kyrkås up until his 90th year of age. Stina was for the moment employed as home help to Hans Hansson during Karins abscence.

Fiften years later Hans wrote a small paperback book in Swedish,  about his experiences from his two journeys, from which I have choosed a chapter with  the   familys  voyage 1914. This is a much more bombastic description than the one that his wife Karin made, maybe influenced from his biblical studies and his work as a pastor in Undersåker to.

The name of his book is in my translation: "In America at the World War - cultural pictures and reflexions by H. Hansson" edited 1930. The content of this book can also be a collection of the same letters  to Swedish papers which he mentions in the following letters to Bringåsen (Jan Nilsson have not checked them up!).

Tho, just a couple of months before departure Karin had some health trouble and she had gone to Stockholm....

Karin J Hansson, Bringåsen wrote from Stockholm to son Joe in Bringåsen:

Stockholm April 14th 1914

My dear beloved Josef!  Peace thro Jesus!  Thousands of thanks for  both of your letters.  Just today I got the one that you wrote April 5th.  It was returned  from the hotel  and to the  Sofiahemmet (Sofia Home) Thursday last week, after that Sofiah made a  mistaken address  and today when I  was there for bandaging I got at last the information to look for the letters  at the Post office Linne street 9-11, Bureau for inquiry and quite  right there they were, one from you and one from Olga Andersson. I think you are kind while mum is away.  Thank you for telling me so much!  But you aren´t  telling  what will happen now when Stina  isn´t there.  I´m of course listening.  Poor children waiting for Mum  every day.  You must stop waiting now because I will probably be away  for at least  another month, then you can start waiting.

You want to hear a little about Stockholm.  Today I was reading on the wall of Sofiah., that the king  was sleeping 10 hours this night, temperature 37 (degrees C), pulse 59, recovery is proceeding. When I got the letters I  also saw a flowerbed with white and yellow flowers  in April.  Yesterday some children picked hepaticas out at Saltsjöbaden.  At the Nordic Museum I have seen  lots of remarkable things. Men and women  with clothes and in full  size.  But curiously all of them had the same shape of their faces, they  were probably cast in the same mould. At the Royal Armory I saw the horse of King Gustav II Adolf, stuffed and all natural, even could  I see  the shirts and stockings belonging to the Hero King when he died.  They were all very bloodstained.  At the National Museum I have seen  masterpieces by great artists.  Pictures cut in marble, Carl XIV Johan mounting his horse, Gustaf II Adolf, Gustaf III and so on.  A mother giving suck to her little baby and  much more, all of it in white marble.

I´m eager to see the castle too, but still I have to be careful.  Sure I am quite well now.  Today I have stitched on  my sock. Now you have to be wise and kind.  Ask Pa to help  washing all your body.  When you have  made all the underpants in Pa´s  drawer dirty, go up to the closet and take the striped cotton pants  for use.  Tell Pa to give you enough food to eat. At least you must eat oat porridge. We get that every morning here. Thank you for the story you sent to me, it was very good.  Tell Martin that he will have the next letter. In Martins letter I will send  a funny  lad.  Look after the cat and the goat kids. You have to make som cheese to get some whey cheese.  Greetings to Stina and to all the neighbors and and to Grandma.  Now Good Bye  from your loving Mother

Karin J Hansson wrote:

Travel book

Witsunday 1914 was  undersigned  with husband and children departing for America.  At 3 p. m. we left our beloved home in  Kyrkås where we have worked and laughed,  in hope and in beleaf  14 years for better for worse.  Entered the train at Östersund 6.30 p. m. , and  reached Stockholm at 8 a. m.  Here we had two hours time to  look at the city. 

10.20 a. m.  did we depart Stockholm and had some sights over the beautiful Sweden.  The  provinces Södermanland and Östergötland were very nice.  Magnificent farms, exellent buildings. In Småland it became worse. There is nature more like in Jemtland (were Kyrkås is situated).  Small and bad cottages and rocks on rocks. In Scania was it different. Large fields in the rich green with nice farms here and there and a whole lot of  wind mills.

We arrived in Malmö at 9.30 p. m. , visited  the office of  the Cunard line and were directed to their hotel.  There was clean and nice.  Our stop in Malmo just lasted to June 2ce 2 p. m.. With the ship travelled a goup of boyscouts playing several melodies on horn. The journey from Malmö to Copenhagen lasted only a couple of hours in lovely weather.  So did we see the native soil last time. 

In Copenhagen we were very well recieved.  Good beds och good food and nice people.  There we went out  looking at the city.  The castle of the King was destroyed by fire some years ago and is now restored. At the centre in front of the castle was a statue of Fredrik VII. Copenhagen seemed to be blackish and dirty.  So did we spend the night in Copenhagen  and went on train thro Denmark June the 3rd with start at 10 a. m. This land is all flat country containing very well managed farms, who at this time of the yearwere dazzling green.The living houses looked to be of a primitive sort.  There were a few brick houses,  otherwise  were the outhouses very poor and covered with straw roofs.  What was easiest observed was the  welldone  gardens.  Just here and there could you see a church.  The Danes don´t seem to be much religious.  Denmark looked to be all farmland with the fields bordered by leaf tree plantations.  It was very interesting to see the train boarding the ferry when we passed the sounds of  Stora Bält and Lilla Bält.

We arrived to Esbjerg at 4.22 p.m.  Here was a doctor looking at our eyes and hands and after that could we strut on to the ship.  As we all the time from Malmo to Newyork vere going  second class we went on royally.  First thing we had to do on the ship was eating a nice dinner of clear soup with asparagus, a joint of roast  veal with vegetables and potatoes and vanilla cream.  After eating we went to bed immediately  due to  rolling.  That time  did we escape seasickness tho.

4th of July  in the evening did we arrive to England, Harwich.  We stayed over night on the ship and left the ship 5th of July at 7 a.m.. There our goods was cleared. We went free thro the customs. After that began a 10 hours trip thro the beautiful  England. Here we had to be satisfied with 3rd class, because  in England  aren´t anything between  the 1st and the 3rd class.  We had at least stuffed sofas and plenty of room.  But oh, what a drive!

England is wery much in advance of Sweden concerning the farmers harvesting times.  They had already harvested the  green forage and all kinds of grain were in full bloom.  The rye had formed ears. They also used leaf hedges instead of fences.  This give the country a very nice wiew.  The country also has a very extensive channel system.  At every little farm there  flowed water in a small channel.  Nearly all kinds of bushes had flowers.  But living houses  were not good.   It is true that most houses were erected  of  brick walls and  tiles or slate roofs, but even worse ones with straw roofs.   Both large and small  houses were smoky and unpleasant.  We didn´t see any real  cowstables on the whole trip thro England.  They probably  keep their critters  outside all the year round.  Now and then did we run thro factory towns, which looked like cities, but oh what smokiness and unpleasantness. Sometimes did we go over  a railway, sometimes under one. England do really have many railways. 

We arrived in Liverpool in the evening of July the 5th.  A cab took us to the hotel where we had room  and got food.  They fired coal in open  fireplaces.  We played pianino and sang,  we ate and drank and slept well during the night although the room wasn´t nice, dark,  it smelled musty and black. They wanted tips everywhere.  Liverpool is a unusually dirty city.  People looked  awfully  torn and dirty. Mothers whith nearly uncovered bodies,  a baby  in trash at the breast.  In Liverpool we visited the Swedish  Seamen´s Church, where  pastor Petri were preaching.  At first we sang "Tryggare kan ingen vara än Guds lilla barnaskara" etc,  then n:o 4 in tones of Sion after service: "Herren signe du och råde."

At 6th of July in the morning our stop in Liverpool ended, and at 2 p.m. did we take a cab down to the quay and boarded Mauretania.  The ship needed all the evening to leave the harbour, but  after it had born off, we   went away 30 miles an hour.  The  evening and the following night was nice, but on Sunday we had a moderate breeze and had to stay in bed all day exept Father, who attended divine service at the first class saloon.  Monday  gave the best  weather you can imagine.  We spended all the day on top deck.

Life onboard is very changable.  The orchestra is playing twice every day. We eat three times and have a cup of clear soup whith crackers at 11 a.m.. Tea at 4 p.m.. The cabin is nice with electric lights and all comforts, irreproachably white blankets and a  change of towels every day.  Food was first class. There are bathrooms  if you will take a bath.

On Tuesday did we have  windy in the morning, why some people got ill again, but we were lucky feeling well. On Monday did we go up on the deck to look at sunset.  On Wednesday was also good weather, but some wind. I was feeling discomfort all day. Father and children was well.

On the ship there was a young Belgian couple, who wasn´t allowed to marry in their country due to the fact that she was too young by law. They tried to marry in Liverpool but found that  too expensive.  Tho are they travelling  together as a married couple in a cabin, so it will be interesting to see if they are allowed to land in America.  In cases like this  it is very rigorous.

Life on board is a pleasure.  Here is all kinds of sports, joking and gaiety. Wednesday  afternoon there was a consert on behalf of  poor children in Liverpool and Newyork.  Even on Thursday did we have a nice weather.

Friday morning the  12th of June at 5.30 did we arrive in Newyork.  Wonderful green shores.  A tall church tower rise its spire into the sky, and on a small island in the sea is the statue of Liberty entroned. Now  we are sitting in the docks waiting  for customs to declare our goods. Then we go to Chicago and have a   train  change.

Here in Newyork is a swarming life. From the harbor we went by cab to the emigrants home of the Swedish Lutherans where we have dinner to the cost of  $1 for 4 persons. Oh, what a hot weather, 25 - 30 degrees (77-86 F). The fare from the docks to The Emigrants Home was $ 1.50.

We´ll have to wait until 5.40 p.m. before we can leave Newyork. We left Newyork  at 6 p.m.  As fast as we had left  the central station we were out into the countryside. We saw fields of wheat and corn. 

Even here was a rich  vegetation.  America is probably better than many people are thinking.  During the trip from Newyork to Chicago did we see many beautiful homes and well managed farms. Our attention was attracted to the large fruit gardens at the small homes, and also  the water turbines they used for pumping water upp into a  water tank, and from there press it to kitchens and outhouses.  Watertanks were formed  cylindrical and placed high up from earth. It was fun to see horses, cows and sheep wading in grass up to their knees, I thought that they could eat themselves to death.  The houses are  in general built of bricks, but there are also bad houses of boards. I think Canada was worse. We changed trains  in a city named Detroit.

13rd of June at 10 p.m. did we arrive in Chicago.  Should note that we had plenty of room at the train, but that the train trip  is much more fatiguing than to go by boat.  When you have gone a day and night on the train you  are glad to be able to stop and rest.  When we arrived to Chicago  we had an omnibus to the North western station where we later  will take the train to Iron River. A negro welcomed us. He was very neat and polite. Took us into the station building which was bathing in light and the most stylish I have ever seen. I can´t describe very well how it was looking, but it was built with marble, very high up to the ceiling inside and very impressing.  The cost for it was $ 20 million.  Here children and women could have a rest over night for free.  The men could rest in big waiting rooms with rocking chairs and couches, very clean, nice and comfortable. As we had to wait until evening  4th of June, we had to go to a hotel.  Had a nice room  with two big beds.  In the morning did we take bathes in the bathroom just beside our room. We bought food in the same house for good price. Chicago is much nicer than I could imagine.

The 14th of June in the evening did we leave Chicago at 9.50 p.m. We went a long way thro the city. There were beautiful lights.  Many plantations with nice lawns was seen flitting past. There was a long night because we had to sit up all the time.  The landscape upwards into Michigan is not as luxuriant as further down the country.

The 15th in the morning at 10.45 a.m. we arrived at Iron River.  Eriksson the farmer was against us to the station and we had a ride  up to his farm, where we were well taken care of and were provided with food and coffe.  Here is a bit alike Undersåker. Hills and valleys. A small lake is situated  just besides. Lush leaf trees were blazing in beauty and grass grow all wildly on cultured fields.  The first days we stayed by the farmer, and after that did we rent a flat with two rooms and a kitchen just besides. The warden is a Swede.

Shortly this is  what I have observed during our travelling time to America. Want to add that  they have the same sky, the same God and the same Father as we have at home.  The sun is shining as clear and is covered with clouds somtimes, all like in Sweden.


Hans Hansson wrote in one of the chapters about the departure to America in his book, 1930:  


At the quay was Mauretania awaiting  her depart within a short time.  The servants from  the Cunard hotel returned back, pleased after getting their usual amount of tips, english silver coins. We stepped high upwards the steep  gangway and reached the second class deck of the  gigant ship.  There  met a team of obliging beings.  And after a quick ticket control we were led in a high speed to the appropriate cabin. Nearly two thousands of travellers, most of them emigrants, were gathered onboard and divided amongst different floors.  Nevertheless there were no crowding.  As an exception  you can note third class deck,  and there was a  need of more seatings.

The four big chimneys of Mauretania belched out black smoke of  pit coal. The gangways  were taken away. The engines worked. Our floating giant hotel, 800 feet long started a slow movment.  This worked like a given signal for the last farewell greetings between departed and left folks. Some of them shed tears.  To those, who seemed not to be affected of pain for the divorse, belonged passengers   fleeing from military services in Europe and longing for the freedom in the West, and also politically sensible persons, who, due to the militaristic warthreatening holdings of  the old country were relieved to turn their backs to Europe.

Such a large shipload of people from different nationalities looks to me as an odd mix to a person inexperienced with such a company. But my adaptability seems to work, smooth out and approach. ”Yellows”, chinese, even if its just a few individuals are gentlemen the same way as the white man. They stand side by side. They have the same means of conveyance over the sea. The target is many times the same; America, work, business etc. Just unexpected do one find himself already in the mill for the big democracy in The West.

The ship passed near to ”the green island”, Ireland, and there where no greenery tho, but much rather did the sunlit, bluecolored seawater catch our looks. At most our attention was captured by the cliffs abruptly descending into the sea, which according to an old author grown up by the sea. Even if not made that way, they at least bordered a long part of the coast line, as were they shaped to a steady defence against the waves of the sea and what else evil which might assault from outside.

The feeling of hunger seized the crowd of travellers – when it is good weather the appetite of a wolf catch people on the sea. Pains of said kind had a thrustworthy cure, because the inside of our onrushing giant monster was supplied with an abundance of good food items. The chefs of the ship had been on time. The bell called for dinner. ”The kind of people I like”, as one of the officials of the ship put it about the Scandinavians, had the honor of sharing the table with Englishmen. Because; ”the Swedishman is good”, as one Englishman said, och for that the honor to the Swedes. But ”the Niggers” - those are South Europeans and others - which originated from less cultured people were conformed to their equals.

In 1915

Jan Nilsson comments: A little letter from Martin´s cousin of same age, Karin Hansson(Nilsson), Busvebacken to Martin Hansson on his probably first year in America. She became a lifelong penfriend to Martin, lasting until they reached over 90-years of age, but in this first try she forgot the dating of year. It ought to be 1915 when Karin was 9 and Martin 10.

Karin Hansson(Nilsson), Busvebacken wrote to Martin Hansson, Stambaugh:

Cousin Martin

Thanks for Your photo. I din´t recognize it were you, because you are so large. I have written several times but it wasn´t sent away. Now I am at school in Kläppe and I enjoy it. Erik has to start school after Christmas, when it cames to Lungre but we are staying in Kläppe 5 weeks after Christmas too. I started school at Januari 11th and had exam at May 21st, and now did we start in Kläppe at November 15th. I´m now doing third grade so maybe I will start secondary school next year. In Mars I caught sight of an aeroplane he flew from town and Grandma saw it too because he flew straght over the flag pole on the farmyard. Erik should have written a bit too, but he hasn´t learnt writing yet, but he is Greeting so much. We are well and I think You are enjoying America, aren´t You coming back soon! Should send greetings to you and Josef and Uncle and Aunt from Grandma she is as usual.

Greetings from your cousin Karin Hansson


Martin and Joe selling milk in Iron River? The air photo of Busvebacken is from 2004 but show exactly the same red-painted buldings which my mother Karin had around at 1915. Martin´s photo is from 1917, Iron River.

Hans Hansson, Stambaugh wrote to A J Hansson,Busvebacken:

114 Stambaugh, Mich. 16.5.1915.

Dearest Brother Ante!

At last do I now make time to thank you for and to answer your letter. When I now looked it up, I found the date of it to be March 1st. Time is passing so fast, that you can hardly follow.

This winter have a lot of working people been without labor in this country. Many of them was probably able to get some labor with lower payments if they had wanted to. But more than a small payment by a farmer or in the forestry they prefer to go without a job, until one more profitable is given to them. As usual the profitable works are more numerous and better in the summer. Compared to old Sweden is America always in the midst of a fermenting and great development. From American perspective, is it nowadays a ”bad time”, but no ways like during the democracy times. The daily payments have not lowered very much. But also have´t the Democrats governed for an especially long time yet. The Democrats are sort of a ”liberal” party, promising a lot, fulfil ne´er a lot.

As the Republicans probably soon will return into the power, people are awaiting a raise as never before in business markets.

A wealthy German in this place are building several houses this summer, as it will be impossible to get labor for money the next year, as he said.

At present, I´m building a ”loghouse”, e g a house of round cedar logs. It is a stable aimed for horses and automobiles. It is situated only a short distance outside town, in a beautiful place at the lake and belongs to a Dentist Tyler. As assistants or helpers have I got a French, a russian Polish and an Austrian Tiroler. It works well, as they are in a peaceful temper. The same doctor will also build his living house of ”logs” = round logs. Soon the foundation is ready and there is a question of further work for me here too.

As I didn´t want to shirk from constructing works a day, have I had it especially ”trudgy” the last week, because in the evenings, after 6 o´clock I have planted potatoes for my own farming. I may be planting quite a lot of bushels. But it has been too early for potatoes yet. Maybe it´s a good idea get some early ones, because they can give you 20 a 30 crowns a barrel after Swedish counting. Late half of april did we get a real summer. One evening at 8 o´clock was temperature measured to 9 degrees Celcius. One day did we make a note of 25 degrees in the shade. At May was more changing. Today was mixed rain and snow. Sometimes occur a cold night. And possibly will there still be several, because a reliable summer is not to wait for before June.

May 21st

Right up today has this letter stayed. The hurry of this week has prevented me sending it. This week brought cold nights, so now are flowers and a lot of leafs on apple trees frozen. Today as well as earlier days it was raining, which means we´ll have a good hay crop.

From papers you will see the great politics of our president. When a hundred of Americans dare to go away with Lusitania, which wrecked, then the president is protesting magnificently, against Germany; but he seems to find it all right, if the Americans bring a lot of ammunition, which kill hundreds of thousands of germans. But you see, the President will also show bravery some times. That tells something, and will meet with approval from the patriotic Americans.

May it soon be peacetimes founded by the transformation of human beings in a Christian spirit.

Greetings to Mother and others from us! Brother Hans.

Hans Hansson, Stambaugh wrote to A J Hansson, Busvebacken:

Stambaugh, Michigan 5 dec. 1915

Brother Ante!

I have to thank you for your letter, which I´ve gotten a long time ago! Time is passing so fast, and carries along before the answer is given.

You have an interest for farming. Okay then here it is. According to the Americans have summer been cold. Moreover bumper's rain.

Yet this Country has got an immensely rich harvest. Those cold nights did pretty much injure the small corn fields sown here in Mich. Potatoes wasn´t damaged by night frost to more than 10 percent according to experts. Potatoes gave about the same like good years in Sweden. But in low levelled places it was injured by the rain and rotted. It is generally beleaved that they will be very expensive in the spring. We had planted quite a lot of potatoes. We got, how much I don´t know, but there were at least several hundred bushels. Up to now they are paid 50-80 cents a bushel that is a bit more than SEK 8 á 14 a barrel. Will not be astonished if they raise to double that price at summer.

These American potatoes are bigger than in Sweden and taste better than rose potatoes there, which due to more mature and firmer in the flesh. But the taste of the Swedish almond potatoes (still famous for Northern Sweden /Jan Nilsson) cannot be overrated! We planted some of those too, but they were comparatively small sized.

That potato illness, we have seen, appear from a small or large part of the potato get a dark color and soon passes into decay. I wonder if it can be the same illness seen in Jämtland this summer.

When you write someday, I want you to tell about your experience from your potato picking machine, what it cost, and were it is made.

The Americans boast of this country. And as I´m now in the Western, I naturally have to say that farming is good. But with work like this you have to fight against several enemies: the potato beetle, the potato illness, rust on grains, drought, hailstorms, frost and bad weather etc.

If the war not raged would doubtless democracy time make very low price on groceries. What this means for the farmer need not be said.

Yesterday did I and another Swede start constructing five cow stables, as we are comitted to build on a couple of iron mines.

At home in Sweden did I sign for two shares in the Steam ship line Sweden-America. I can see, that they just start with the first boat. I haven´t heard anything from them about payment for the shares. Probably have to inquire of the Board thereon.

I think, what you have to pay me for the use of my land this year will be the same as last year, that is SEK 130. I´ve told my treashurer Tronberg, that he at the end of December can extract from you a larger or smaller portion of it, which shouldn´t face obstacles.

Now I want to wish You a merry Jesus´ Christian feast, Christmas reminding about the Grace and Peace prepared and offered to this agitated and battle full world.

Greetings from us! Brother Hans.

Hans Hansson, Stambaugh wrote to A J Hansson, Busvebacken:

In 1916, Hans is i a awaiting Ford´s tractor project ( "machine plow"). The first one came in 1917. A good harvest.

Stambaugh, Mich. 16.01.1916.

Dear brother! Happy new 1916!

Thanks for the great letter of December 20 1915! It arrived here yesterday evening. Thinking that you have by now received the letter, I finally sent.

At the departure to this country, I instructed Tronberg to take care of my incomes and expenses in Sweden. This included not only what concerned the land property, life insurances or what else could be considered. Then I did not know, that you made such payments for me, I ascribed Tronberg that he had to extract with you more or less of what you would pay for the use of my land in 1915. However, it was all very well, that you paid for the two shares in "Sweden-America." I think this will be the paper, which rise quickly in value. I am grateful that you want to pay even what is remaining for the shares this year. So do we have to figure that into the lease amount for the year 1916.

For, even this year I want you to cultivate my land. If you think this will be too early in the year to fork out the lease, you may have to count for interest. Because I had no knowledge of, or received no notification of when the share capital should be paid, I have not done anything thereby. I waited any communication from the board, but it stayed away. Now, after all, "all right." Thus you don´t need to leave money to Tronberg. In person, I shall count with him, and I´m sending him the sum, which may be found necessary. I asked him also ensure that those, who care for my road, get paid therefore. Do not know if he even made it - but give me good clarity thereof.

Hope that the company "Sweden - America" ​​will give a good chunk of bread and money to the inhabitants of old Sweden! It is gratifying that the Swedes begin boosting the supply of iron. It is taken up work at all iron mines. The workers have to wait for a 10% pay rise for 1 Febr. This means a wish for more workers, and that the good times are in the offing. When spring it will be a movement on the many railways, for then will the ore be transported from a variety of mines here. It's not everyone who would like to work in the mines, because this work is like to trudge in red paint and water, not to say more. However so the ore traffic will bring much prosperity for the people.

Lately, I have had reasonable haste. From half five in the morning to 7 a 8 in the evening, I have striven in the workers trousers. Think it will soon become easier, because the construction contract is clear soon. On cold days, I am not in carpentry work. But those days have not been very many. However, now in the new year begin "cold waves" coming. Now a few days there have been fiery cold. Thursday morning we had 34 degr. Celsius and this morning 28 degr. When the addition is blowing and infusing some fine snow, so you can understand it should be clothes on, when going out. In the beginning of the week weighed mercury at zero.

In some places in this vast land is raging flu. Here in the area is quite healthy.

The great peacemaker Ford is back home and will now fabricate inexpensive automobiles – and soon we will get one to each man - and cheap machine plows, which don´t need to be heavy for the horses, for the towing only uses an insignificance of gasoline. Credit to Ford although he languished discourage war by Christmas!

The snow here is not one foot deep.

Greetings to mother a. o. from us. Before Christmas, we sent two letters to her. We'll see if they get there!

Brother Hans.

Karin J Hansson, Stambaugh wrote to her mother-in-law Brita Andersson, Busvebacken:

To our beloved mother and grandmother!

Hurrah on your ninety anniversary February 8th, 1916. Let Your life's evening become light and warm, in the shadow of God's Country!

We have thought to send you for a whole month, but do you think it was done! We've all had colds and had to stay inside several days now in the worst cold. It has of course to some extent contributed to the delay in the letter. Further more would Hans buy a birthday card, but it was impossible to obtain.

We have today received a letter from Jonas from there we see that Hans Petter is now engaged. Yes, we wish him of all our hearts luck and blessing.

We have now for some time had better weather, but last night it got cold again. Hopefully it does not go on so long this time.

Greetings in amounts from devoted Karin and Hans, Josef and Martin

Hans Hansson, Stambaugh wrote to A J Hansson, Busvebacken:

POB 114 Stambaugh, Mich. May 21, 1916.

Brother Ante!

I almost imagine being in debt to send a few lines and to let know how we feel, let the pen go.

We are healthy and working as usual. I am now carpentry foreman of a doctor I was building for the last year. But that job should we try to get ready in June.

It is decided that in this summer should I lease a good farm, which is located right in the city edge. If we get lucky with the growth we can get quite a lot of oats on 8 acres sown. After normal harvests we have the prospect of selling 50 tons of hay and have thereto enough for our cows and 2 a 3 horses. Everything is in top condition. The owner is rich and considers himself not to bother with farming. He don't sell that farm for 50,000 dollars - perhaps hardly not for double the amount. On this new farming should we start planting potatoes this week. Already at the beginning of May, we set some bushel early potatoes, but it has constantly been cold, so they have not got any way.

Currently, this is pretty good times for the workers and even non-working obviously have enough to live off. The ship loads to Europe show that food as well as many other things are found in abundance. But no one knows how soon the changing shadows is coming. Subsistence see a steady price rise. A reversal will occur when the peace is concluded in Europe.

Greetings to mother and all from us!

Brother Hans

Hans Hansson, Stambaugh wrote to A J Hansson, Busvebacken:

Stambaugh 31.07.1916.

Brother Anders!

We heard that sister Brita (Brita Eriksson married to Lars Eriksson, Lungre) already ended her days. Mourning letter came a few weeks ago.

Well, we knew before that it was not particularly well with her health. For we are mortal but who consider that as one would!

Even came to our attention that mother is in poor health. Hope you properly make sure that mother has a good nurse, who takes good care of her in the days of weakness and suffering. I will send her a jar of olive oil, here is it used to cooking oil. It is invigorating, gives appetite and keeps your stomach from constipation. When mother wants she can try to take a tablespoon of it per day. I address the jar to you, and here you know how it can be used.

It has now been warm days. Today we have had 34½ Celsius in the shade, and yet it has been a pretty strong wind.

I want you to send me a Swedish wagon harness with ordinary Lokar of wood and harness hooks of iron. It should not be large and must be that strong it can be used in easier contract works. Maybe is it now export bans on such. In such cases is maybe best just sending lokar, harnesshooks and iron goods! Best would be to send it through the Swedish-America line in Gothenburg. It must be packed in a box. For customs clearance neeed price be assigned. It would be cheaper if it were a little used.

How do I stand to books in your accounts when you have made this year's crop, you will announce later.

Hay harvest here has, thanks to the abundant early summer rains, been abundant. July has offered warm and beautiful weather.

The best greetings to mother and others

from Brother Hans

Hans Hansson, Stambaugh wrote to A J Hansson, Busvebacken:

14 Stambaugh October 30 in 1916.

Brother Ante!

We heard a new death occurred within the family, in that Emil passed away. It is us, however, unknown whether he has been ill more recently. Some time ago the boys were given a photograph's postcards of him and Hans Eriksson. There, he showed a suffering appearance. But still we didn´t think it was so great danger with him.

Jonas announces that mother is in bed, and that her power wane. It is possibly so that she thus subsequently is not likely to hold out for many years. Now in the winter, I can not think of coming to greet her, which would have been my greatest pleasure. I have one single way, to write letters. And here I am enclosing a few lines, you may leave to her.

Hope soon get a letter from you, and may well then know if you could send the harness I wanted.

Here's even bare ground, unfrozen, but snow has fallen several times.

Wondering how it can go for some Swedes in winter. There may be expensive to live. Wheat flour here costs 10 dollars a barrel, and if it is shipped to Sweden, it becomes even more expensive. One thinks that the wheat perhaps go up to $ 15 a barrel. Potatoes we now sell to $ 2.50 pr bushel and flour to $15 a barrel. Potatoes we now sell for $ 1.25 bushel, but when the harvest became poor, the price will go up significantly. The wheat crop became poor in Canada, the States and the South. "Hunger and expensive time!"

Now here is certainly good work for everyone, but those least paid in these expensive times have to look around, to get the debit and credit in balance.

We all enjoy the benefit of health. The other day we bought a good heifer for $70 . She milks 12 a 14 liters pr day on the ordinary feed of hay and a little cabbage.

This week I heard two Republican political talks. It is worked with power for a new president in the kingdom, but not with rancor, as in Swedish politics.

Good continuation with greetings from us!

Brother Hans.

In 1918

Hans Hansson, Stambaugh wrote to A J Hansson, Busvebacken:

Iron River (PO Box 395) 3 Febr. 1918th

Brother Ante!

Thanks for the letter of December 2! Your letter from this summer has been answered. And censorship is not worse than that which goes in this direction, will happily come through. Your last letter arrived eight days ago, that soon is it now.

The authorization for share transportation is enclosed. I guess it is in the style of your desire. In addition to that, as I recall, I wrote once I wanted to have one of the shares for myself. Therefore, I write three pieces in the mandate.

The shares in your electrical limited liability company, I feel slightly worse. The purpose may well be good. But I do not want more than two. The others can whomsoever receive. But as I said, more than two, wouldn't I have of that kind.

For the electric lines I guess I can grant free land provided that the line is drawn at least 200 feet from the nearest house. I will not have it all too close to the home. It is pretty cold now. It is often between 30-40 degrees. The snow is not a foot deep.

Groceries rise in price. Butter 50-60 cents for pound (½ kilo) Sugar, is not found. Granulated sugar is available for a maximum of 50 cents at a time. If you want more you can buy in many stores at 50 cents a time.

Stories go in turn. About a month ago it had been telegraphed across the country that peace was concluded. Today, they say that "the Kaiser" is dead. It has also been said before. And the consequence is that you do not beleave much of the talk in these times. It is a lie and deception. Newspapers recently reported that Sweden landed troops in Finland. It is probably also doubtful. Hay is reasonably expensive this year and now costs at $ 30 per ton.

Would there be new drawing of Rederi AB or Folkbanken, do it in good time.

Greetings to mother and others from

Jan Nilsson comments: As mentioned in this letter, did the farms in Kyrkas connect to electric grid this year 1918. Telephone grid was connected to the living houses of both Ante and Hans as early as 1909.

This is a letter, which Hans's Karin wrote home to her uncle John (Pettersson) Ocklind at the Farm Oppgården, Ocke, Mörsil. It is written just before the end of World War I, and it was a fact that the entire family intended to return at home to Bringåsen the following year, 1919. Iron River is located in Michigan state, just south of Lake Superior, where Josef in a letter later in his life, said he did not want to return because it was too cold in winter and too hot in summer:

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord"

My beloved Uncle John!

Right now we have tonight received mail from Sweden and see in a number of J.P. (Jämtlandsposten) that Uncle celebrated your 70-year-day. Receive also my and my family's tribute, although there will be two and a half months late! Oh, how many memories intrude on me when I see uncle's beloved features in the magazine. Father's death, mother's death, weddings and funerals! And so all the memorable moments I had the pleasure to attend in the bosom of your family, when Uncle read from the precious Book, aunt with her knitting, Betty played and we all joined in the singing. I particularly remember one time when my aunt wanted us to sing: "How earnestly Lord you lead your bride." It was the first time I heard that song, then I have sung it many times. Now it will be to live in the memories of bygone days. One year is added to the second during which you may not see some of the dear faces we were used to seeing and loving as a child. Good anyway when you get to keep your loved ones.

I had intended to write to Uncle Olle when I saw that Brita Karlsson got summoned home, but it was not done then, please, Uncle, bring my greetings to him! With all my heart I wanted to participate in their grief. How difficult it might not be for Alfred and kids! "God's ways are not our ways." May it be a godly sorrow!

I think that Uncle would like to hear a little from here. Only then a regret, that this country gave itself in the bloody game, where will this end? We however, have not yet had any sense of the war, other than that everything has become more expensive.

We lease a farm and has two horses, 7 cows, 20 chickens, calves and rabbits. We are selling milk for about 120 dollars a month. So we have our own wheat, rye, oats, barley and peas. Potatoes not to forget. What we do not have is a Jemtlands-baking oven so we could bake bread of the fine flour. The hens have laid all winter since in Nov. We feed them with wheat, oats and a touch of freshly boiled potatoes with bones or meat debris in it and a little flour. Yesterday I put a hen on eggs. -

Hans run manure at the last snow surface today and for the milk transport, he had the cart, the first day today. (There is only one English mile to the city). Hans bought the 40-acre woodland, a Swedish mil from here, so we have also sold firewood in winter. So we have two acres here, where we are building our home. It is not finished yet.

Working population around here have more beautiful homes than you can imagine. I thought for myself that it was much worse. E. g. I want to mention a couple who got married two years ago, they are our neighbors and Hans was one of the builders of their nice homes. The young man was here for four years, so he went home to his old father in Westmanland and greeted in a year. Then he came back here, worked for a year and then they got married. Now I would describe the home, these young people have created themselves.

He bought an acre of land for 300 dollars where the house would stand. It has cellar under the whole house with stone walls, includes kitchen, dining room, lounge, two bedrooms, pantry and bathroom with water and bath tub made of china, everything is first class. All rooms nicely furnished. And there remain, all expenses paid. Do that if you can!

Now well - uncle must be tired of reading, so I have to stop. -

Do not think that we intend to stay here forever, and one day we will come back to our dear Bringåsen, God willing and the state of the world is such that we dare us over the sea. The boys are now big and still go to school. Perhaps their knowledge of the English language can be useful at some point even if we come home.

The warmest greetings to aunt and uncle from Hans and affectionate Karin.

Hans Hansson, Stambaugh wrote to A J Hansson, Busvebacken:

Iron River, (PO Box 395) 8 Sept. 1918th

Brother Ante!

Thanks for the letter of July 19! Its transportation took more than a month. And I received the same one week ago.

Regarding bargain of shares in Folkbanken, I give it up, due to they are so expensive. But now, should a drawing in the Shipping company Sweden-North America (Svenska Amerikalinien) be undertaken, then please subscribe for 2 - 3 shares there for me! For possible needs, I am sending an authorization in which you fill in a figure - great enough for wants.

As I previously announced in a letter, was coffee, I sent to Mother, not departed from Newyork, and came back here. They have no boats for parcels.

Leasing of my farm in Kyrkås for this year, we have to remodel. I think you can give me the same as is used here - half the hay harvest. I guess more or fewer of us get to Sweden in the winter, and then it is good to have a little hay for livestock. You can calculate this aside, if the rulers intend to take surplus hay (sort of warfare rationing/Jan Nilsson).

Furthermore, I have the need for 3-4 barrels of potatoes and 2-3 spans of seed grain. Actually, a couple of decars "highlands" this autumn should be plowed up for potato.

Departure from here can not now be determined because the businesses must first be cleared.

Greetings to Mother a. o. Brother Hans.

In 1919

Hans Hansson, Stambaugh wrote to A J Hansson, Busvebacken:

Months ago I despatched a letter to you in which I now stated desire to obtain some hay from my farm at Kyrkås school in the spring. For several reasons, I am prompted to change this so far that you can either sell it or use it yourself. The idea was that at least some of us were to steer our course to old Sweden. But of letters from brother Lars apparently groceries be so scarce, that they do not have over so much as "a bucket roots" and everything else sparingly, why it currently has reason to not get there. Daily bread will be enough sufficient then.

The hay harvest will you have to make up even this year's summer. However, you might assume that I would probably want all the hay - but not the horsehay and other small debris that can not pay. If so, do I pay for the hay. Understand that hay now cost much at home, why you should be able to attend to that I possibly can obtain "martial profits" of the farming industry.

Yes lately it became troubled times now! The promises of eternal peace seems not so easy to accomplish. One must prepare for several changeovers. The war has changed the thinking of many. If now the Germans get a hard peace, they may swing over to the Bolshevik mindset they say. And it's natural! Hereafter is probably best to treat the little people with caution. The so-called working class is growing by leaps and bounds, and in due course come to the majority, it takes the power. In order to protect this country, the government has begun to deport thousands of foreigners, "red" and I WWare. Sweden also gets it's share of them. The latter variety, the most violent enemies against America's involvement in the war, have not shunned violence for their aspirations. You have perhaps read about them in the newspapers.

In case of "Swedish America line" exhibits new subscription, so please take 2 or 3 shares for me. I enclose a power of attorney. But then I do not know how many shares a former co-owner can possibly get, so I leave you open to insert a figure suitably large.

Here in the country is a rich supply of necessities of life. But it is difficult to get larger amounts over to Europe, for there are too few boats.

We are feeling well! We had a splendid winter. The last few days have been in the nature of a bitter weather as well!

Greetings to Mother and all!

Brother Hans.

Karin o Martin 1 aug 1920 Hans and Karin 1925 Martin, Hans and Joe 1926

The photo of Karin and Martin is taken August 1920 by one at that time young photographer and neighbor Paul Norling in Lungre. The year 1925 was the photo of Karin and Hans outside their house in Bringasen. Next card shows Hans Hansson with his sons Martin and Joseph outside the home in Bringasen about a year before the third trip. Hans shows up "The Home Friend Magazine". Photos of Hans Ericsson.

Hans Hansson Sunday prayer 1925

From 1919 until the beginning of 1928 lived the Hansson family on their small farm in Bringåsen, reinforced with a land and forest parcel in the village Kyrkbyn, called Åslägden, before the America fever broke out again. Joseph were at Christmas 1927 engaged to Maja from Ol-Kals (Olof Karlsson) in Lillsjöhögen. Martin went at April 26, 1928 alone over the sea - this time to the Woodlands at Seattle on the Pacific coast in the Pacific Northwest. The trip started this time from Stockholm by boat to Bremen in Germany and from there America ship to the United States.

At the target was now waiting work and support of Carl Persson, a relative to Karin from Undersåker, who had established a successful sawmill at Sammamish lake in Preston outside Seattle.

In early November the same year married Josef and Maja and two weeks later they boarded Ms. Gripsholm in Gothenburg for transportation to New York and then a country trip to Seattle - on that journey they had incidentally joined by a number of royals who would celebrate a wedding in New York.

This time, the parents stayed in Bringåsen, although Hans, until his death in 1945, dreamed of emigrating once again, though in that case maybe to Canada, while Karin was equally determined to remain at home and "hold the fort" until the boys should return again.

My opinion (Jan Nilsson's)from these letter exchanges is, that these "emigration journeys" never were kind of escaping from anything. They were always planned as sort of temporarily adventures made out of their intersests for exploring other cultures and countries, and after that return to their country of birth. I can se the same things obviously have happened among some members of my fathers family in the 1920-30 years.

Astrid, Erik, Maja, Josef, Karin tar avsked Martin's and Joe's houses in 2006 Model of the old church

The cousins ​​Astrid Eriksson from Lungre, Erik Hansson and (to the right) Karin Hansson(Nilsson) from Backen/Busvebacken take farewell shortly before Josef and Maja head off to Seattle in the Western United States. Martin and Joe had support from their relative Carl Person when emigrating 1928, and got their jobs at Carl Persons saw mill in Preston. The houses of Martin and Joe. Nowadays Martin's house to the left is gone. According to a letter 1946 did Joe sell his house for $ 2000 that year.

Pictures taken from church's porch, and in the garden could you see a model of the original shape of church. Left to Martin's house there's seen a special yellow sign "Caution Swede's crossing" for him to take care of the church.

From 1928 onwards, until Josef and Maja's death, are a lot of letters sent from relatives in Jämtland to Martin and Josef in High Point, a small community a couple of miles east of Preston where they had their first jobs. In High Point the two brothers soon acquired a small house each near a little church belonging to an evangelical parish which they supported. Here Martin and Florence are living until a few years before his death in 2003.

Maja went home and was registered at her parents home in Lillsjöhögen in 1937 and Josef returned to mother Karin and Maja at Bringåsen in 1946 after his father Hans's death in August 1945.

In the 1940s, Martin left the sawmill job and took work as a janitor at a school in the nearby community Issaquah, where he worked until his retirement.

Here follows a selection "Sweden Letters" from different times. First some letters from four (female!) cousins ​​on the occasion of Martin's apparently quite hasty departure from Sweden in 1928 - the first two were a double letter from Karin on the Backen (Martin's first penfriend above) and Astrid in Lars-Ers, Lungre (photo above) who together then attended Kristinehamn's Practical School in Värmland - third poem letter comes from Helga and Anna Hansander in Singsjön.

In 1928

Karin Hansson(Nilsson) and Astrid Eriksson, in Kristinehamn wrote to Martin Hansson, soon going to Preston. Notice that Astrid in the second letter is predicting that Joe and Maja are destined as farmers in Bringåsen, but that didn't happen until twenty years later!:

Kristinehamn April 22, 1928.

Dear cousin!

Thanks for your letter. It is quite some time since I got it now, and I've probably thought about writing an answer long before this, but frankly it has almost felt a little "dreadful" to write such a leave-taking letter.

You should believe there was dismay in the camp when we were told that you, so head over heel, would head over to America. Your letter sounded really tragic. Never is a difficult word, and that we never should see you again, I still can not quite believe. You might well come back any time, when you had enough of America. In case you ever get it. You certainly have long yearned to get there, so it's good, you finally get to go and try your luck in the great land of opportunity, but probably it will always be a void without you in Kyrkås always. The choir is obviously shattered and so one loses a capital cousin and friend. Wish you good luck, however, on the journey and hope that you are not so completely going up in all the new things you face that you just forget your old friends in Sweden, without writing a line sometimes.

Astrid and I just came the other day to discuss how quickly everything can change sometimes. Do you remember, for example. Last year Easter Monday went Josef and you and the two of us to Lit at a party, admired the choirs performance at the place, investigated the Gypsies living conditions and - froze a little, for the wind was really very cold. This year, the same day, Joseph was happily engaged, you are almost on your way to America and Astrid and I strolled in Karlstad streets - because we went there that day to watch the town -. So then was the four-leafed-clover scattered. A little strange to say that a four-leafed clover is scattered, but I thought the leafs, and then it became so. Hope you understand the "chaise". Yes, it was sad that we did not come home for Easter, but it can not be helped now.

We thrive still good in Värmland and have it nice in every way. Lately we have finished with the cooking job and go now only in the craft. Currently both of us are weaving, something very fine, of course. We have a small, funny old teacher, who teaches weaving and another such kind one, who teaches sewing. This day, a Sunday, we have, among others been in the Mission Church. In this small "Ash" there are churches and chapels in every street corner. I almost think that all possible denominations are represented. Since "later we laid it on" and went to the theater. Here did they act in an amateur play, called "The suitor from Varmland", and really was it worth 0,75 Skr to see it. The action took place in ancient times, when the "ladies" had wide crinolines and the men checked pants, and there was a long line of marriage proposals.

Since I now personally can not say goodbye when you leave, I send my portrait instead, for I have like all other orthodox KPS:es been to Jonsson and immortalized me. Mentioned photography is almost mandatory for it is intended that all of the more or less comfortable faces of the school's students are collected for a memory album, which is published on the occasion of the school's 50th anniversary now in Pentecost. Now remains only to tell you a tender farewell and thanks for all gone by, including also lessons in English and more such.


Dear cousin Martin!

Some lines also need I write now when you are going to go away from us. I did not think when I left you, that you would have traveled away before I came home. But you are certainly not the one thinking too long and it is boldly made, I think. Hope you will enjoy it in your "old" homeland. But now we lose our kind singing leader, how do you think the choir can survive it? Hope that they give you a round of cheers, before you leave, I also agree with it but it does not reach your ears.

And I think Josef settles with his Maja on the turf of Bringåsen and becomes a wealthy farmer and so is he probably healed from his America Fever. Yes, the one who knew what it looks like the next time we meet, if it ever will be, we just do not know. But how the world ever is living with you, I hope that you will always remain the same kind fellow, you always have been.

So, I've been away and "photographed" me, so now I come to you in person. Not will it be really good, but hope you can recognize me. Hope you do not forget the "dear family" when you get to the new world, but send some greetings now and then so I can hear how it goes for you.

Best wishes and happy trip.

Your cousin Astrid.

Helga and Anna Hansander, Singsjön wrote a poem to Martin Hansson, still in Bringåsen:

Singsjön April 22, 1928

Cousin Martin!

As soon as you leave the shore of home

and run away to a distant land,

We send you a greeting

May the luck always follow you!

Feel what you encounter on your path

only redound to your best.

Yes, let the mighty Father's Hand

help you walk safely in the alien land!

Anna and Helga.

(Heartful Greetings to your family)

In 1929

Martin and Joe in Preston

Martin and Joe Hansson in 1929. They are working with a rich stock on the saw bench, probably Douglas fir of first logging generation, which could reach even greater dimensions than this. Douglas fir is a gigant pine variety covering the mountains around the Seattle area. The lumber mill is probably one in Preston near High Point and operated by Karl Person from Undersåker, a relative of the boys' mother.

In 1931

Uncle Jonas Hansson, Lungre wrote to Martin Hansson, High Point, Wa:

Jonas is the brother to the left on first childhood photo above. In 1887 he bought their mother Brita Jonsdotter's old farming homestead in Lungre, which more or less bordered to Hans Hansson's property, a smaller division from their fathers farm property Busvebacken in Bringåsen, overtaken by the eldest of the sons, Ante, the same year.

Jonas was a bachelor, wery social with many friends according to his longlasting diary, and he was a great local trader in everything possible to buy and sell on his frequent walking tours to fairly distant villages. Jonas did also employ a o most of Martins cousins in all kinds of short time jobs on his farm and in a lot of logging contracts around.

Lungre March 1, 1931.

Have to thank you for the letter from which I see you have a gentle winter! Today it is 26 degrees below, the coldest day this winter, snow is not yet up to the belly of the horses when we run in the snow. I now have 6000 logs on (the ice of) Mosjön, it's bad prices but the cutting is cheaper. SEK 0.15 a log stripe debarking and SEK 0.20 for round barking. Jonas Pålsson has sold 1,000 rafters and planks to Östersund for SEK 0.85 a cubic fot. It's cheap price he has sawyers beside the road at Ivar Persson. We had vocal training on Thursday evening at the schoolteacher, a long time since we were together. The day after tomorrow will the singers come to me, we have to take better hold or else we forget what we learned.

Per Olof Pålsson in Brynje and Anna Andersson Skjör were married on Saturday in Östersund I was also invited to the wedding but we were thumbing (measured logs) that day.

We will now start carrying stones to stone crusher outside the church it's paid SEK 1.70 cubic meter. I have not anything new to tell, here is almost the same all year. Frösö Flying Corps have camped on Mosjön in five days, they have flown almost day and night. I will send some magazines in the next week, because today there is a big ski race, there are certainly many who contracts illnesses in this cold.

Many greetings to you all from Uncle Jonas


Lungre June 25, 1931.

Martin Hansson!

Have you got yourself a nice and kind fiancee, may I congratulate you to a good continuation, the man who has a home should have a woman who is out working in the sweat of her brow, it is likely you have lazy days now, but that has earth never gets lazy days. Here we had a cold, hail's rain and snow and the cold wind almost a whole month, I have not let out either cows or horses. 18th, I was awarded SEK 40 a prize for ”Blackie” with foal, and a medal for a 2-year mare.

The hay growth looks promising, with barley and oats sprouts is about 2 inches long we'll probably harvest in October. It is getting bad times on all what to sell, unless horses who are around SEK 6 to 700. Cows 200, Scania pigs SEK 20, milk 0.14, potatoes SEK 5 a barrel, hay SEK 0.05 a 0.06, birchwood SEK 6 a 8 a cubic meter, coniferous 5. My employment now is mostly carrying rubble stone, I am committed 700 cubic meters a SEK 1.70 .

At the end of May, there were about 10 to 15 degrees. Weather throughout June was between 3 and 10 degrees, wind, rain, snow and hail about every two and three inches of snow lay on 3 June. When you see the weather, you can probably imagine how the grains grow, of course it has been frozen in several places. There is plenty of hay from last summer, potatoes too. A worker wants SEK 3 a 4 and food per day, so I have just help with stone conveying etc., Petter and Leo are chopping wood, SEK 1.75 cubic meter

Next Sunday, I'm going to Brynje at a wedding, Beda Nilson and Sven Pålsson will marry, Sven has received the estate of Paul Pålsson. I would be on Ismundbaken during midsummer. Ando Vikström would come, but when it just's rain and wind, it became a deferral period. He wanted me to buy the Bengt Lisa's holding at Brynje, it will stand still with lumber cuttings, it will probably be a hard time with money all over Sweden. I will also send some magazines.

Many greetings to you all, even your fiancee from

Jonas Hansson

In 1933

Hans Hansson, Bringåsen wrote in Swedish to his son Martin Hansson, High Point:

One of the many letters from "Pa" Hans to Martin. "Ma" Karin normally wrote one at the same time, but it is missing this time, otherwise it's fairly typical. Anna Backman (my mother Karins half sister) mentioned is Martin's cousin, whose real name was Anna Andersson. Anna was born at Busvebacken in 1900 as the sixth child to Ante Hansson's first wife Ingeborg, who sadly died of TBC in 1902. During Ingeborg's illness period was Anna taken care of by Ingeborg's mother, and she became rooted there so she stayed on that farm just 1 km from Busvebacken and grew up as a foster daughter of Ingeborgs sister Julia and her husband Jöns Backman, who never got any biological children of their own.

Thank you for your letter on February 22! Regarding ”the dalers” I sent in the new year, it was 3 to Josef and 2 to you. Later a $ 5 in your letter, which you and Joe would share to 2½ each. Now it depends if it will arrive to you or disappear on the road?

I wonder if it affects something so you get less from the relief activities, if it is observed that you get something from here? In that case, it would be bad. But it may in any case be somewhat lean for you, then you probably are barely working yet, and can not earn up to something in heavier work. When you are in health and are able, then it is appropriate to undertake something and work one self to the earthly good - only although it occurs in the fear of God and not in a selfish conceit, Jak. letter. 4.15. Ag. 18: 3; 1 Cor. 4:12 - When illness or redundancy will be, it is of course to hire the livelihood opportunities that are given. You may have the opportunity to expand the henhouse, it's not as heavy work. And can grow any potatoes. Milk and potatoes are among the healthiest food. Cheese is excellent against hunger. Only you have something to buy for.

The Jewish persecution launched by the brutal Germans're foolish. The Jews have quite often proved everything but first class. But the other, the Germans have not been a good child of God. Not to wonder if those boozing later ones envy the brilliant, talented Jews, like kicking them away and belie them also. The Global humans show quite often their bad sides! But if the Germans expel Jews with their wealth so will they still get it worse than they had earlier. They have the Jews not only to competitors, but also to tax items. Though Jews are bad, so are the Germans perverse in their policies. Their Minister Göring has recently sought silence Swedish newspapers, but it will not succeed. And so try the German to dominate trade with Sweden, etc.

Anna Backman got engaged with Erik Eriksson in Kläppe. She is at 33 years old and he is between 40-50.

- The milk delivered to the Ostersund dairy vary in fat content between 3.5 - 4.5%. We have 3.8 and get between SEK 0.07-08. Dairy now reduced its selling price to SEK 0.15 to face away car-milk competition.

According routing list on Gov. bonds we seem to have won $ 100. It's gratifying. But that's not all profit, if you count off the rate, which is lost on the capital in 10 years. But you have to be happy anyway because there are many who do not win. We share that fraternal so that the family H. here gets SEK 33, Josef, 33, Martin 33. We start now by sending you three doll. SEK = 16.56. We will get them in 2 month. Write and tell about the money has come!

Do not forget going to bed in the right time, if you are to be healthy!

In 1934

A letter from Jonas Hansson Lungre, and one from the fourth and youngest brother, Lars Petter Hansander, Singsjön to Joe Hansson, High Point:

Jan Nilsson comment: Speaking at ”Karin on Backen”; Hans wrote in a letter in April 1931 - "Karin on Backen has a fiancé, a son of the tenant of Lithander in Lit." This is my mother and Jonas H noticed when my father first entered into the family at Busvebacken. They are also mentioned in the two following letters. The "tenant" had a big family with documented ancestors and employments back to 1200 century in Jämtland, described in http://busvebacken.se/StuguSläkten.

Nephew Josef!

I got a letter from Martin in which I see you have summer, here in Jämtland was summer weather from New Year to 26 February, after this it snowed 8 inches deep snow in one day, since it has been around 5.degr. below. on the days, but all the way to 20. degr. cold at nights. We still have good sleighing, lumber drives has ended, but we plod at stone carrying to the stone crusher. I have also begun charring at Mellansjön, there is demand for charcoal, wood prices are still bad, I have cut 6.000 logs to Singån in this winter, will now chop wood on Granbom's.

We have had singing association again after Christmas. no interest of people for such, for the school teacher is arranging sports of all kinds, I am blessed if he were dismissed from his position.

The cattle are still cheap, breeding cows 100 to 150 SEK, suckling calves SEK 12. Pork SEK 0.80 a 1 a kilogram, eggs SEK 1.20, red fox skins SEK 50 a 60, silver fox SEK 120 a 130, ermine SEK 3, squirrel all up to SEK 1.50.

In last week came a Algott. Fr. Nordling, a Stockholmer and a few wives to me, they wanted to buy all old stuff they caught, they had bought a nice silver box in Hammerdal, I had nothing to sell, Nordling was a wholesale dealer, he has been to England and America where he was last summer. I forgot to mention the price of milk, it is SEK 0.14 a kg; to be raised shortly.

Here are no further changes, Anna in Backman's farmers wife in Erik Ers in Kläppe, Karin on Backen is still unmarried.

Many greetings to you from

Jonas Hansson 1934. 15/4. Lungre

PS This winter I have had much to do, lumber cuttings, rock carrying, wood cutting, transporting of the same, and charring. This fall were the workers dissatisfied, want support, then I and Erik Bengtsson said, that they would get work only if they did it well and at a tolerable price. I have had over 20 men at work. DS

Lars Petter Hansander, who wrote this letter used a word, when describing himself and mrs Emma, which I translated "pensioner" - a nonexisting mode at that time. He used a swedish word something like "exceptionist", a word showing that former farmers sold their properties to next generation together with a contract on free support for their remaining lifetime with food, clothes, transportation to church and nursing at sickness and a small surplus of cash crops for money needs. Obviously had LPH kept more than a "small surplus" for his and Emmas own tho, as he still was very active. LPH:s brother Ante (my grandpa) did never transfer his property (Busvebacken) before he died, 74 years old, which caused problems for his children, and their inheritance wasn´t cleared until six years later.

Best Josef and Maja!

After years of silence, I have decided to send a greeting to know if my two in its time sent letters to You are received or if they never reached their destination or addressee. I understand very well, that you through letters from parents and siblings have the knowledge of what is happening in your birth place, but as you are far away, it is always a pleasure to get to know what happens even among acquaintances and relatives around. So at least have I found it when I was far from my childhood home.

Since I have not been to Kyrkås since midsummer, when the cousin Karin in Bringåsen married, we do not know how you and Martin with your wives are getting on, but we hope and wish that all are in good health, free from major worries and difficulties. It would be a joy to us through a few lines to know this; and nor would this letter get any response, I think it is useless to further transmit some lines there to the Far West.

Time goes briskly and leave traces in many ways. Here in Singsjön much has changed since the road and the bus came to. Soon after the road was completed our storekeeper K M Karlsson built a business shop on Slottön in size which would be enough of a community of a few thousand inhabitants, since March 1 last year, boasts Slottön even with a newly built café, a girl from Oviken dared attempt. Generally it was thought that this café firm would be a bad business, but it has been found that this is a mistake. The deal is likely to go pretty well. There are all these truck drivers that carry firewood to Östersund you can say are regular customers, because after they loaded their cars, like they have deserved a pick. There are several thousand cubic meters of wood from here every year. State parks and Er. Bengtson (from the Singåbacken forest) are the largest suppliers.

It should perhaps be known that since the post after 1/12 1932 goes Brunflo and post line of Kyrkås deprived, set up a new kind of small postal station here - they called the post agent - and signed on too small a salary is the director. I am, therefore, among a variety of other titles, endowed with the not so worst-sounding title of a post agent which also appears on the stamped stamps! Total value of the item was in 1933 for arriving values ​​slightly above 10-thousand and outgoing 7-8000 kr. Today's newspapers I have already at 6 o'clock, therefore, a couple, three hours after they have been printed. There is just too much comfortable in our days!

In winter be here quite large sized timber harvesting so that, like last year, will probably be somewhat short of lumberjacks. Our boys have logging on both state p. Singsjölandet and the palace and hardly get time to harvest any of their own forest. As is well known, I and the old woman for a year are pensioners with board and lodgings and have our best days. I have never had it so carefree now. Upon transfer of the homestead we took away a piece of woodland near the border line to Böle. I felled a few hundred logs there last winter and now intend to chop wood waste and the damaged forest. My purpose was to chop wood in midsummer but there has been so much else to work with all the time, so I have not had time to start until now. Coming winter, this forest lot shall stand untouched, but instead I have these days sold 2000 logs from the Storåsen farm, to be delivered on Singsjön. It is already in dealing with Oskar Andersson of business on the homestead. He pays 4700 and the company has applied for and also received the promise of a loan agreement of 3600 SEK. The price's too cheap, but when the barn is dilapidated and I deserve a few thousand still at the business, so Oskar should also get themselves a home for good price. I've been pretty careful to harvest there. Now I will assimilate me 1100 SEK from logging sum.

The road between Lundkälen and Hjärpnäset will now finally start to be quarried and then gets Storåsen not so terribly beside as it has hitherto been, it may even happen that there will be bus service even after the route to Östersund. As you can see, progress is going on steadily and it is a happy circumstance that it appears to be good for work and merits a long time to come.

Birger, now parish forester and as such caters Brunflo Vicar's residence, and ditto Lockne curate's residence and Marieby parish forest, also need some workers all summer, which work with trenching, and forest thinnings and forest plantings. Now he has eight woodcutters, but most will stop in a week, for the determined maximum amount of wood for the year is almost filled. As soon as the ground freezes they will start harvesting from the various blazing areas.

That we had an exceedingly warm and beautiful summer is probably known by letters from relatives. As examples can be mentioned that we were given a box (about 10 liters) really nice cherries from Bringåsen and Jonas Jonsson at Sundsjöåsen had 8 sacks of well-fed wheat on a small patch. He has sown wheat several years, but this year's harvest is, what the quality is concerned, so far outstanding. It is also strange that the summers become beautiful the last years and how little snow and gentle been winters. It is as if nature itself has become different. But we may get worse in future editions! The last few days it has been snowing quite a lot, but there has been no cold, the ground is completely unfrozen. Singsjön is open and when the temperature change between +4 and -4 degrees isn't any icing to wait for. It will typically not add up until this month. Probably will also the the snow disappear before we get winter .

The day before yesterday I went to town and met with several Kyrkås inhabitants, among them Uncle Jonas, which talked about that in the evening was the harvest festival in the parish hall and afterwards the auction. Rev. Lindström would give lectures. Here was the harvest festival in the school several weeks ago. The balance was great, but I don't remember the total.Yesterday was curate Grafström preaching on Sundsjöåsen, where incidentally he usually preach at this time every year. Hans, Knut and Anna were to Brunflo church at the funeral for one of D.U.F.-singing choir's best abilities, Anna Olsson in Bodal, who died of pulmonary consumption a couple of weeks ago. Even two of her siblings have a weak chest. Coming Saturday will Rissna-choir concerts here at the school. A former teacher, wife to factor Åhlander, is the leader.

So I must tell you something about me and the family. I still enjoy good health, which is invaluable and Emma are also quite hearty. Although her heart is cumbersome at times and her lame leg at times awkward, she does not want to settle down yet as a pensioner, but is yet engaged with one another until 10-11 in the evenings quite often. Now, since the tourist traffic for the year ended, it is not so much folks who visit. But we think it's nice when relatives and friends visit us sometimes.

Helga, who is as you know since midsummer engaged to Manne Nilsson in Marieby. When she still has 1 year left of her contract as a home nurse in Umeå, there will not be any wedding out until 1936. You are then very welcome to the wedding!

Birger has fit up the roof chamber on the east end, ie above our exception rooms in the main house and he handles as mentioned the parish's forests. His salary is admittedly small, but that he may eat with us old for SEK 15 a month and then it all goes well.

Hans, Ingvar and Knut are masters and Anna's housekeeper. They took over the farm affixed to a price of SEK 6,000 plus exceptions for us.

Ingvar is mostly in Östersund on painting work, but came home on Wednesday because he had laryngitis and the doctor ordered, among other things that he would be in bed at least 4 days and then stay indoors for a few days. Then he could not be in Östersund, but went home as poor as he was. Now, however, he is significantly better.

After he went through the school of painting in Karlskoga and got rating as taught in the profession, he has a salary of SEK 1.50 per hour. Until recently, this has been 12 crowns per day, but it is now less of work and shorter working days are limited to 6 hours so the days earning is now 9 kr. He asks me to greet you both! Your father was kind enough to help him with money for maintenance at the school of painting, because I then could not assist him with the whole cost. He is certainly owed him 2-300 SEK so far.

In order to work in Östersund, he must be part of the union and the fee to this is SEK 4.50 a week. An inconvenient expenditure indeed. The unions are downright evil. Ingvar and another painter put bids on the painting in the parsonage, and this work must be done until May 1, when the new vicar will come. Mr Skog is now, since he had retired, living in Uppsala.

When this work thus would last during the winter when there is little paintings Ingvar and his companion put in a low bid and counted for only 4 crowns per day. The painter with higher bids reported Ingvar to the union in Ö. That he has undertaken work for cheaper than those of the union determined prices. Now it was for Ingvar either deleted from the union, or shirk the contract. As the parsonage paintings will be of short duration but work in the city permanently, he renounced the former. The idea is that he will work for his comrade against hourly wage.

So in the end I will bring the whole family's warm greetings to you both, and to Martin and his wife also, if you meet them! We don't know their address and therefore can not write to them. In the hope that these lines arrive before Christmas, we take the opportunity at the same time to wish you a Merry Christmas and a blessed Godt new year!

Viktor Persson of Brynje, who has been consumptive for several years, died on Äppelvikens sanatorium a few weeks ago. His widow has this summer been with Jonas Pålsson in Lungre.

In 1938

Two typical letters from Pa and Ma, Bringåsen to the Martin family in High Point. Here written in Swedish, and my and Google's translation.

Bringåsen November 20, 1938.

Dear Martin, Florence and Norma! Grace and peace!

Thanks for the lines of October 23! This will be counting in response thereto, and also as a Christmas letter.

- We had a sometimes dry summer, as potatoes did not get rain the desired days and were below mediocrity. Warm been. Eventually became rainy. The blueberries were unfrozen in October.

- As is customary, so grew the now customary infantile paralysis epidemic towards the autumn - and is now declining. It searches out and sought out new places all around Jämtland and find more or less - as they say "susceptible" - not yet in Kyrkås. The infection appears to spread better in damp weather. Moderately staying inside - without the crowds - would be more advantageous. This disease probably this summer has caused thirty people's death here in the county. - Pelle Öst in the village have died of "rose" – blood poisoning. On his way a contrition!!

Ivar goes into town and works with carpentry. Soon, they all (of Ivar's family) move to town. All are full-sized, well-cut and well-behaved. - Ol.Ers family also moving to town. Wood profiteers bought their farm.

Meanwhile, I send to you a book as a Christmas gift. For the observant it is very instructive! Newspapers come too! God of peace and peace at Christmas shall be among you! Pa.

Of the newspapers you see how Germans are pestering also with the Jews. They might that way drive them from the country. If that happens they will learn with Pharaoh in Egypt to regret it. Although Jews have been far from exemplary. - But still the penalty shall not be withheld on those who torment the Jewish people. So it has been from the beginning. And should be! 1 Mos. 12.3: "And I will bless those who bless you and those who curses you I will curse: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed!" - After all, "salvation is by the Jews." - And if the British give refuge for the Jews, this must surely redound to England's rising power and success.

Pa want you to know that Josef shall not continue with night work so long as he destroys his eyes. On the pictures Josef appears weak in his eyes. What do specialists think about it?


Mama Karin's addition

Merry Christmas! Happy new year!

Beloved child! Thanks for the letters and the many welcome pictures! There are so many now on the little Norma, so I have to buy me an extra album to put them in. Think how sweet they are under the tree! Wonder what Norma looks, she looks so happily up? Her little cousin is very pretty. We had none of them before, but Maja has (Joe's wife Maja is now back at her parents in Jämtland). Where Norma and dad bathe and others. The picture was particularly fun. If you could borrow the negative from Mrs. Beckman, where you are when Hedda Olsson visit, and get a card of it on my behalf? There are, from left: Martin, Florence, Hedda, Mrs. B., Maja, Jos (Josef), Mr. B. Norma looks worried now that Grandma (mother's mother) is sick! Guess it is very sad also for Norma's mother! May God help and comfort, Him who is able.

Yes it has been very sad here in Jämtland this summer by infant paralysis, and the miserable plane crash with the ambulance. One person who was killed was the only son, the other had sisters. Kyrkås have become spared until now.

We think that the summer has been fine and partly also hot this year too, and today we have the November 20, no snow and good weather. But you feel so different.

There will be so little done for me nowadays, so it's incredible. No time for more than taking care of cows and chickens, and cooking some food. Today I have been at church. Was invited to elegant tea at Lars-Ers along with Pastor Thunstrand, The Schoolmaster, The Schoolmistress and Lars o Märta in Skjör. When I got home, we ate "mutton-in-cabbage" with potatoes and sandwiches. So we rested a little, read a little and wrote letters. The harvest festival yesterday evening went well, do not know the amount yet. God bless what is done for His name's expansion!

We have not met Erik on Busvebacken since he got married. I do not think it fits, that I like an old go and greet them. He has kept the whole farm for 23.500 kr., separated Nicke's part and will sell (to my parents Karin and Nisse Nilsson). Nicke (Erik's and Karin's half brother) walked away and has moved to Lit.

God bless You for Christmas and future wish Ma.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo In 1942

Bringåsen 25.3 1942

Grace and peace! Dear Martin and others.

It is said that the postal service is now open across the UK to the US, so we will now try to send a few lines. That may say that any particular need not hit us. Then everything good is of God, we thank him for it. We are healthy and perform ordinary needful works.

We can do good economics, gets 25 cents for milk to the dairy. A few years ago we had only 7-8 cents. Meat we have now by then and then kill a ram. Our flock has now increased to 18 animals. If so, we complain, it is only mischief. But there are others who have it worse. Those who buy most food by ration cards. And even find it to be worse than it is. Maybe famine shall decide the bad times even this time?

The days are evil and we have no hope to currently hear something from you, how it goes for you. It is to pray, work and hereby make the best possible. If you still do not succeed then you have still at least tried. One is the sower and another is that giveth the growth.

Our cold winter turned into heavily thaw.

I would certainly have gone over there and helped you. But the road is closed. I don't know whether I will become a burden, or will do favorable services. - After all: Serve the Lord with gladness, Go ye into his gates with praise - Despite the fact that people themselves create so many difficulties in the world.

Probably ought to add: Of a dividend on SEK 240 from J.Hansson's estate I put SEK 100 to you in the interest and capital bank in Stockholm where you receive annuity after age 55. Similarly, for Josef.


Dear Martin, Florence Norma Bob! God's peace!

What I wonder how it is with all of you now that the terrible war also reached US and no letters find their way to our sole abode. I want to pray and hope that you will now be free of hunger and suffer, one can expect anything in these times.

Here at home we have it pretty good. As you know, Karin and Nisse had a son, Erik and Elsa likewise. Astrid had a girl too. Anna Hansander, who married at midsummer, expecting a baby. She's a great farmer-old woman in Arvesund, Hallen. Her husband and Astrid's husband are summoned. Lisa at Per Karls married Sunday with the schoolmasters brother, Bengt Wadsby.

Nisse Karlsson has diabetes and it is a severe disease, which looks incurable. Pa has been healthy all winter, but I was sick at Christmas. Aunt Maria (at Busvebacken) is seriously ill. Our neighbor Lars has had tonsillitis; went out early and got rheumatism in his legs and has a fever. The doctor has been there today (27 kr.) was the cost. I read and sung in Friman book today. Hope this letter reaches you!

How I wish you were at home with us!


In 1946, Josef (and Maja) back in Bringåsen

Late autumn 1945, Hans Hansson died of a stomach disease, and now was Joe probably more or less forced to go home and take care of the estate. Maja was already since the year 1937 back in Sweden but spent probably mainly her time in Lillsjöhögen where she helped her parents. her failing health and later the outbreak of war had prevented her from returning to Joseph in the United States. Here are some reports from Joe to Martin on the situation on the home front, he continued with English but shot into some old local technical terms from childhood in Swedish or in Jämtland dialect. ( rölu = rödladan, the red barn )

Joe Hansson, Bringåsen write in English to brother Martin Hansson's family in High Point:

Dear Martin, Florence, Norma and Bobby!

Well here I am in the old home in Bringåsen. Maja met me at Östersund one morning of last week and 10 min before 1 a.m. She looked very pale and tired and I believe too much excitement of schock actually would kill her.

We went up to "Lutherska Bönhuset" (Lutheran chapel) and had breakfast. I met the servants and pushes there who seemed rather reserved to me. Maja wouldn´t let me wear my Seattle cap so I had to buy a new one in town. The handbag was not agreeable so bought a new one of them for Maja for about 10 dollar. We also bought a few odds and ends "surströmming","sill",(fermented herring, pickled herring) etc.

Östersund looks altogether different. It is built up more than was before. Beside numerous livinghouses there is a new impressive church.

I had to pay 8.50 kr. duty on my hay carrier. That was all the duty I paid. After we got through i Ö. we took a taxi home for kr 8.50.

When I came home I bawled like nobodys business. Mother looked so old and worn it was pitiful. Of course I will get used to that after awhile. Mom had all kinds of good food and no end of "krus" (cookies). The house has new paint on it. The "Korkmatta" (linoleum) in the kitchen is worn out and the furniture in the "Kammaren" (chamber) looks old and needs painting at least. The big room upstairs is my and Majas abode. There are 2 beds, one for each of us, "kamin, kommod" (heating stove, washstand), table and dresser besides a lot of pictures on the walls.

I better tell you Mart. that mom expected to have a wrist watch from you! - We sent her off to Undersåker for a trip yesterday and told her to stay and forget about this place till she is ready to come back.

I feed the 3 cows and Anna Roth milks, (I don´t like to get up that early in the mornings). There is also: 3 big sheep in the barn and 3 little ones and one goat that looks like she is not going to kid. Lars Ericksson has sold milk to creamery for as high as 90 kr a mo. from 3 goats (some good ones here too).

Moms cows are large and milk good. They have a law here that You cannot use anything but a "stamtjur" (pedigree bull) of good backgound for breeding purposes. The people on Hemmingssons have 10 cows but mom says they don´t sell much more milk than she did on 4.

- It was 15 below zero when I arrived. Now it´s 1 or so below. That´s too cold for me. Trees have grown up here so you can´t see "rölu"(red-barn) in "Stensve" (block field). The clearings there have been put out for pasture as well as the one i "hägn" (the paddock). I guess "Gunnilsböle" is a good source for quality hay.

- There is a new barn at Jonas Hans. Ingeborg is a redcheeked husky healthy looking woman.

- It´s too early to say yet if we will be back shortly or stay here permanently.

Best(very much) greetings from Maja!

Joe Hansson, Bringåsen wrote in English to Martin Hansson, High Point:

Bringåsen, Kyrkås, April 22, 1946.

Dear Martin Florence and Norma and Bobby:

Thankyou for the few lines I received a few days ago. I suppose you have the detailed letter of all the business from here that I last sent.

You ask where the addresses of goat kid buyers would be. I thought I gave them to you. Otherwise they were in the bunch of papers at the bottom of the stairs that were together with the tattoo outfit and the Iodol.

If you agree to sell to me I think it best you send me the 2000 for the house as soon as possible and take the war bonds inpayment from me. I dont suppose you have given Thompson any deed yet but just a contract or receipt on the 300. The deed as you know is given at the final payment. That title insurance is O K. That will not be too much expence and then you take pay for your trouble. I kind of think I owe you for the shingles I took out of your garage to finish my porch roof 1 or 2 bundles. Better take pay for them.

If you want to come and live here you pay mine and Majas trip to the states and it´s yours or pay me what I´ve proposed and I´ll move to Lillsjöhögen, and we´ll both stay home.

I have hauled some sterbhus (estate) wood to the road the last few days. The ones that do the work are sure to get the most out of it. Kusin Karins husband (my father Nisse Nilsson) and I have done that. Pay between 20 - 25 kr. per 8 hr. day of real hard honest to goodness work. The worst of it is we have to "släpa på bar jord" (haule on naked soil).

We should greet you from Hans in Singsjön. He has visited here the last 2 days.

16 attended the Sunday School last Sunday. The kids are very sober and solemn. May God add his blessing to His own word that it may be to the salvation of all these precious souls.

I sure wish we had a couple of kids when we now are on the farm. That possibility seems to have been with held from us however. You better send one of yours over that our blood may continue on our native soil.

I´m going to try to talk mom into visiting you. She has almost a 1000 dollars and expects to get some more from me for what she has in this place. A visit would be nice for you and she is entitled to it too.

Will you please write to Reliance Insurance Co. and ask them to cancel my life Ins. Some money should be due to me. If papers to sign come, forward to me please. Send some goat journals and the farmer paper if it has come.

Florence; I do not remember a thing about the $13.61 Better give it to the Renton Lutheran S.S. C/O Clarence Helling just in case it is the Lord´s money.

Norma; How are you? Write to me sometime. Bobby; Hello, Hello be a good boy and keep mamas wood box full all the time. Greetings from us all.


Joe Hansson, Bringåsen wrote in English, Mama Karin J Hansson and Maja Hansson in Swedish to Florence Hansson, High Point:

Bringåsen Kyrkås, 3/6 -46

Dear Florence:

Recieved your letter of feb. 23rd yesterday. Thankyou!

I wrote a letter to you as soon as I came home and sent it by regular mail so You should have received it by this time and received my first impressions from Sweden. We have also sent a telegram regarding the sale of the place and that has been followed by a letter regarding the items that I wanted you to take out of the house.

$ 2,000 for the house is OK, but I can just tell you that I certainly am going to need the money. My folks have not bought a thing for the house as far as I can see since I was here last time. So you see the demands on life here and the living standards are not what they am in H. P. That does not mean that things are not available, far from it. The stores are full of all kinds of goods.

We were in to town Monday and bought a linoleum for the kitchen floor. The one that has been on this floor all these years looks pretty rough. We also bought some fine paint for the furniture in the bedroom. Maja is going to paint this by and by. You see every piece has a different shade and looks shabby (Inherited from here and there for a 100 years or more).

1 .-- You May Take our downstairs bed

2 .-- Norma May have the picture - for free-

3 .-- Townsend, Sallman's -Head of christ

4 .-- Take; phonograph records, cabinet-scales & radio oil stove also

5 .-- I told you NOT on the sugar, YES on all the other foodstuffs, after all we may come back in a year, who knows. (Mom thinks that "Lill-Robert" needs the sugar, he looks so thin. ")

6 .-- Take the electric percolator

7 .-- Take quilts, blankets and auto robe, send sheets

8 .-- There is also the daybed at church and two books. I will write Miss Emma Johnson about letting you know when she leaves so you can pick up the daybed. She will also have the books which Miss Betts was to leave there.

9 .-- Maja wants the carpet sweeper & the table cloths sent here - what we have written about before

10 .-- Books upstairs in your house thankyou - Washstand is mouse proof

11 .-- Let your conscience be your guide on the commission. Take what you can get away with, without changing the price on the house, that's my advice.

Glad to hear that the goats are doing well and now I do wish I had afew of them here. I was to Lars Ers one day and they gave me all the goat milk I wanted and that helped me feel a lot better. The goat mom we had is canned and she was not even bred to my great regret. I have now written to a man who has some good goats so maybe we will have a few yet.

Mom is woll spinning yarn to beat 60. Is she ever ambitious; Take care of cows (3) sheep, chickens, etc.

Greet all the covenanter friends that we have in H. P. and if you see any of our Renton friends greet them also.

I had a real nice letter from Waldemar Pearson and no less than two from Mrs. Riste Sund.

Maja and I were to a large church meeting last Monday and heard bishop Sandgren on India and writer of literature Harry Blomberg, on church and people. You may have seen the latter mentioned in the Defender.

Thank you for your kindness and forethought on our behalf.

Love - Joe

Send my perforated shoes + 2 pr shoe trees, better send the suit in wardrobe too. Check letter written before. Take cake plate. Take out our silver spoons too. Maja wants egg slicer. Send good underwear.


Dear little Norma.

Thanks for the dollar I got from you. I understand it was a great sacrifice, you have not much money? Greet also mom and dad with thanks for the nice crocheted tablecloth.



I want you to have Pa's rough homespun suit or "komisscloth" as we call it. You might need it during the cold season. Pa's newest overcoat Joe has received. Pa has an ulster who also would be suitable for you but you probably do not want it, also a costume that would fit into everyday life.

Say if we are to send something. We feel good and are not doing very much in the days. Dear greetings to you all

from Ma.


Dear Floss + Mart.

It probably was not yesterday you received a letter from me and well, no letter will this be either - just a few lines so I have to thank you for the nice tablecloth I got from you. Thousand thanks!

Thank you also for all that you did for Joe during these years when I have been here at home. He does not then appear to have suffered any major damage of those years, and I'm very grateful. God is good - wonderfully good.

Surely it would have been nice to meet you all over there in High Point vicinity, but that is one thing that floats in the unknown. Be it anyway whatever with that thing if we will meet at the home of the Lord.

Nice to hear that you are getting well and have a good day everyone. You may believe I have had a lot to ask Joseph about & yet it is not well done. That much has changed, I understand enough, but I think I am particularly at home with everything in H. P.

Once again thank you. Dear greetings to you all.


In 1950

A letter from Lars Petter Hansander's eldest son, Birger (1903-1999). The letter shows that Birger stayed at Frösö hospital nearly all years since his father wrote his America letter in 1934. - However he recovered, and died at home a few years ago, 96 years old.

Öhnet, December 3rd, 1950

Dear cousin Martin!

Surely you will be surprised to receive a few lines from me. I can not recall any correspondence between us in all the 23 years that you lived in High Point. I have so often thought about writing, but now it is done. Now however, my interest in America is starting again and want to make reminded of kinship and friendship.

As you probably learned, I have been ill most of the time since you emigrated. Most recently, I have been at hospital, in the days fifteen years at a stretch. As you know, I got tired of farm work and started as a forester, but I had not any success on that track. Now, I am childlikely interested of the forests on Vancouver Island where the world's longest trees are said to grow. (They get to be longer than in eastern Australia.) It's not so far from where you live, so maybe I could learn with the times a little better about both on forest conditions and the situations on the labor market on both sides of the Canadian border. I have noted with interest the news of the recent two major flood disasters over there on the west coast, and am also wondering if you had been to and looked at the devastation. Aunt Karin I have not seen in 21 years, and not Josef or Maja since they came. I have learned that you got married shortly after you got there to Wash., But something about your family circumstances, I do not know. Wondering if you have children and if your uncle (Carl Person, Preston ?) is still alive? The old die after aside each year as you well know.

I wonder also if you still spend your spare time to singing and music. As you remember, I had no "gift" on the field. Here in the hospital they used to practice choirs each fall, and I usually listen each fall.

Four of my siblings have married, and they have together got eleven children, some grown-up. Helga and I are unmarried and childless. Father and Mother are living and enjoying good health.

Here in the hospital area live well nowadays slightly over a thousand people including staff with families. From the beginning of my stay here, I lay in bed for eight months and had injections, but since I've had any kind of work all the time, most recently as a tailor for a few hours a day for nearly seven years.

As entertainment are here every year organized half a dozen parties with dancing, a dozen dances and at least as many theater performances, some lectures and concerts, morning services in the hospital chapel almost all holidays, as well as a few visits by the Salvation Army and other Free Churches. Throughout Advent continue these great cleaning works and decoration works are finished in time for Christmas then, however, we go to bed at the usual time, and pretty soon after the weekend cleaning start again, and the beads are cleaned away.

I now inhabit a pretty nice furnished single room, a radio and can walk around the hospital area. Here at Öhnet I learned English language, so I read it with pleasure. Occasionally students are cared for here sometimes so that it becomes an opportunity to speak some single sentences, otherwise there are few opportunities to practice speaking the language.

We have a lot of snow here, but because the ground does not freeze in the autumn, I fear that it will thaw away for Christmas. I can greet to you from Johan Karlsson whom I am together with sometimes. He is spirited and brisk and knuckles in with a little of each. I can also greet from Anton in Brynje. Now I guess I'll finish the letter with wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Birger Hansander

Jan´s comment: I have just in the latest years been aware of and heard stories about Johan Karlsson, a "spiritied" man who in fact had lived very near the Busvebacken family. His stay at the Frösö hospital had some connection with that he was accused for trying to kill my mother's brother Lars Julius after L J had married Johan's sister Märta and overtaken the father-in-law's farm in Skjör. Johan was then sent to Bringåsen to another sister at a small farm, and then later to the Frösö hospital. Johan had also more locally famous and talented brother's, one of them the longtime organist and farmer Per Karlsson, nearest neighbur to Busvebacken, and the Paris-educated painter Ante Karlsson-Stig, who lived in Undersåker and has one of his paintings at the altar in Kyrkås Church.

In 1980s

Josef och Maja i Rustmästargården vid gla kyrkan 1979 Josef Hansson 80 år Martin Hanson 84 år

This is how we remember the brothers Josef and Martin on either side of the Atlantic, when they were still fit in their 80s. Their father Hans lived till 85 years-old, Joseph was 83 years old and Martin was 97, as well as pen-pal Karin (my mother, whose first letter to America was written in August 1915 above). The two exchanged letters up to over 90 years old.

Busvebacken: AmericaFever (senast redigerad 2018-09-19 21:47:12 av JanNilsson)