1865 – 1915

Thank you both for all your love and care. I have gathered these thoughts
telling of what I have seen and experienced while living with my dear parents.

Your loving son,
Carl M. Ahlberg


About the year 1766, a son was born in Hors Parish, Skåne, Sweden. He was given the name of Lars. At this time Adolf Fredrik was king in Sweden and “Hat and Cap” Parties vied with one another for power and authority.

We know no more about Lars until he moved from Skåne to Småland where he was hired by Governor Morner in Vexiö. He was then about 15 years of age, a healthy, hearty youth whom the governor chose to be his personal servant.

In Stockholm at this time lived a fine gentleman, namely, Gustaf III. Through his influence the upperclass flourished in the whole country of Sweden. Morner gave the new servant or attendant the right to choose a surname for himself. The name chosen was “Ahlberg” which his descendants have been using for 195 years for the seventh and eighth generation. (Note: This history was written in 1915).

When Lars had finished his service with the governor we find him as overseer of the estate of Svånas in Ormesberga Parish, about two Swedish miles northwest of Vexiö. (1 Swedish is equivalent to 7 English.)

During this time he fell in love with a corporal’s daughter by the name of Christina Damm. Their home was a pretty little cottage in the woods, called Hagtorpet in Svånas. This marriage was blessed with five sons and one daughter. The parents were devout Christians and brought up their children in the fear of the Lord. Their whole life time was spent in this place, Hagtorpet.

Lars was 86 years old when he died which was in the beginning of the 1850’s. Christina, his wife, preceded him in death at the age of 76 years. They had lived during a long and historic period. During these years, five kings had reigned in Sweden. Poet-king, Esaias Tegner, was bishop in Vexiö. Finland was conquered by Russia.

The monarchy form of government was given up for all time in Sweden when a new form of government was adopted. Norway joined with Sweden under the rule of the same king.

In France, a terrible revolution raged which was followed by Napoleon’s power which shook all the thrones of Europe.

In America was born a new nation, the United States.

On March 13, 1809 Gustaf IV was made king and moved into the Stockholm palace, beginning his reign in Sweden. In the same month a son was born into the family of Lars Ahlberg, born the same year as Abraham Lincoln in America, namely 1809. This son was given the name of Sigfrid Magnus.

During this time Napoleon, the Great, shook the world with the thunder of war, but this little boy grew up in the calm farm home in Småland. When he was grown to young manhood, he went to work for a tailor learning the trade and later returned to his parents’ home. Here he started working for the owners of Svånas Estate. His food given him each day consisted of a cake of rye bread and a measure of soup. “Anyway”, he said, “I was strong, yes, even more so than others.”

At Svånas he became foreman and later superintendent. Rudback, the owner, let him oversee a farm at Berggåard in Öhrs Parish. While there he married the owner’s daughter. Her name was Annakåjsa Anderson. After a few years they moved on to her parents’ farm which they were able to purchase. This home, Svartensgåard was not large, but fruitful, fertile and well situated near the inn along the King’s Highway between Stockholm and Malmö. This was 25 years before trains were used in Sweden. This inn contained a saloon and many folk patronized the place, which held both danger and advantage for the family in Svartensgåard.

Grandfather was not an abstainer, but was never drunken. However, many peasants succumbed to drunkeness, which was a national plague all over Sweden during the middle of this century. One of grandfather’s sons was harmed by drink, losing his health and strength because of it. My mother’s father was a heavy brandy drinker, but in spite of it had good health and lived to be 83 years old, departing this life in Öhr. Even the preachers used to drink in excess, which I witnessed, even to the extent that services had to be terminated when the preacher was at the altar before the sermon was begun because this servant of God was drunken.

Surrounded by these evil snares, it was well that Grandfather did not become drunken especially since during these years he became a business man although he continued to live on his farm. His services were sought for inventory, wills, auctions, etc. He evaluated estates and inventories and was assigned to deliver an inheritance of several hundred thousand crowns (Swedish money) to heirs in the province of Småland. This assignment was made in Göteborg. It was commendable that he could carry out other trustworthy assignments, even though his education was limited. During his childhood there were no so-called folkschools. His learning was acquired in reading, writing and arithmetic received in his own home. It was therefore an unusual great natural gift that he was given and he used his talent to good advantage.

I remember him as a fine cabinetmaker when I was 6 years old. He trained himself in this work and could make both furniture and wagons. He was of a quiet nature and conducted himself in a worthy manner. He had a handsome and manly appearance. He was chosen to lead the singing in the church in Öhr. No organ was used or needed because he had a good voice. It was before organs were used in churches that he led the singing. He was also church warden which was looked upon as an honorable position. He was married twice. In the first marriage he had four sons and two daughters. He died after a short illness in 1876 at the age of 64 years and is buried beside his first wife in Öhrs Churchyard. Over their graves has been placed a large black iron cross upon which is engraved in gold letters the following:

“Here lies Church Warden Sigfrid Magnus Ahlberg, etc.”

Grandfather was not a faultless person, but both he and grandmother were religious. He called his children to his deathbed and warned them seriously to turn to God: (translated from Swedish)

“In Christ’s wounds I slumber,
Which cleansed me from my sin.
Yes, Christ’s death and precious blood,
This is my adornment good.”

Sigfrid Magnus Ahlberg’s sons were, Jacob, Johannes (twins), Carl Fredrik and Anders. Johannes died shortly after birth, but Jacob is now 76 years old (1915). He was born August 26, 1840 in Öhrs Parish, Berggåard, Kronobergs (Lan). He stayed at home and worked on his father’s farm until he was 25 years old. During his childhood he attended folk school in Sweden. Although his school attendance was short, he learned to read and write well and also learned arithmetic.

His brothers married and had large families. The youngest, Anders, is dead, but Carl still lives in Öhr. Both sisters are married. Eva is still living, but Christina also died. Father’s half sisters, Augusta and Ada, I am not well acquainted with not hearing from them for the past few years.

The following is father’s own description: “In 1865, the beginning of February the following happened. I was working at home with my father and was told to take the oxen and drive to the woods for wood which I had chopped the day before.

“When I was watering the oxen before departing, I saw Johannes Petterson from Påstgård come to see my father. I knew nothing of his errand and proceeded to the woods. I returned in the evening, completed my chores and went to eat my supper. After eating, my mother said to me, ‘Your father wants to see you. He wants to talk to you.’ I went up to his room.

“He said to me, ‘Johannes Petterson of Påstgård was here today. He said to me that he wants you to go to him, buy his farm and marry his daughter, Eva.’ ‘No,’ I answered, ‘I have never thought of that!’ My father said, ‘I promised him that tomorrow night you are to go to see him.’ My mother came and said the same. ‘Furthermore,’ said my father, ‘If you won’t do as mother and I say, you can go your own way. I don’t want you here at home and you will get no help from me.’

Eva (Johannesdotter) Ahlberg“The following day I thought about what I should do. Evening came and I went to Påstgård which was near the church and not far from my home. There I was warmly welcomed. Eva (the daughter) and I began to talk on different topics. After 14 days my father-in-law-to-be drove with Eva and me to the preacher to announce our engagement. After that it was announced in church the three following Sundays. On June 4, 1865 we were married.

“I purchased a part of my father-in-laws farm and we lived there three years. Our marriage was blessed by the birth of a daughter, born the 10th of May, 1866 who was named Anna Christina. The Påstgård farm was sold, even our part, since the so-called “new rich” for whom my father had taken out the inheritance for in Göteborg, paid a high price for it. In 1868 we moved to my father’s farm and worked it for one year. Here in Svartensgåard our - eldest son, Carl Magni, was born November 14, 1868.

“The summer of 1864 has been called the ‘dry summer.’ From April until August no rain fell. The sunshine was so hot no one could go barefooted as we usually did. Price for cattle dropped. I sold an old useable horse for two crowns and 50 öre and bought a year old horse for 75 crowns. The best cows could be purchased for 15 crowns each. Against this, hay and seed were unusually expensive.

“In the fall no rye was available. For wheat we paid 3 crowns for 20 pounds (somewhat less than American 20 pounds). The year 1869 was called the ‘hard year.’ Need was very great among the poor folk. Many people wandered about begging. Money was received from America to help. The government of Sweden arranged it so that the needy were given opportunity to work and in this way they distributed the money.

“By this means a road was built between Öhr and Moheda, quite a long stretch. The old road went over high hills and the new road along the lake shore. My father built a pretty house on this farm at the foot of the road in Öhr, which was later used as a store. He lived there several years on the upper floor and later turned it over (Svartensgåard) to my brother Carl.”

In 1869 father moved to Moheda Parish. Pastor Palmer wanted father to use his home. The pastor made a contract with father which was executed by grandfather. All was clear, but was not witnessed. Though the pastor promised on his honor, he entreated father to move to his farm. In the meantime It happened thus - that the pastor held both of the copies of the contract which lacked witnessing. So through changes and new promises from Pastor Palmer, father began to work on the farm with youthful zest and vigor. This seemingly useless farm gave matchless harvest. After one and one-half years the pastor gave notice to father to move. After these two years of hard work he had to move away. This was a great loss because father had spent large sums of his money for ditches and fences which the pastor gained. It was a hard blow for father, but it was worse for the pastor in the long run because his farm failed shortly afterward and his son became a ‘no good.’

A river flowed past the Moheda Parish farm. A bridge was built over the stream made of timbers. A little boy who was not yet two years old tried to cross over this bridge by himself. He accidentally fell into the river. The reason for this happening was that the boy’s parents were away and had left the little one in the care of a fourteen year old boy who had gone his way, leaving the little one alone.

A neighbor, the wife of the church organist, saw that her neighbor boy had fallen from the bridge into the middle of the stream. She ran and rescued him, taking up a seemingly lifeless form.

In the evening when mother who was greatly concerned and worried could not find him, she sought for him and found him warm and cozy in Mrs. Redholm’s home without injury from the cold bath. That boy’s hand is the one who has written this history.

God lets his trusting here
All good by grace enjoy
And the message of his love share
With the thousand angel chorus.
For if we sing with joy and praise
God’s angels from our childhood days
Will guide and keep us safe.

(Translated from Swedish.)

In March, 1871 father and mother moved to another village, Rosas in Bergs Parish and rented a farm there. This also became our home for only two years. The change was the important difference. Moheda was a lively community and Rosas a little insignificant village. The reason for our move from Rosas was this: Aunt Maria (mother’s sister) in America had written wanting father and mother to move there. She wanted to purchase the tickets for the trip and her husband assured father that there would be work for him as soon as they would arrive. They decided to emigrate and an auction was held to dispose of their goods. In the meantime, an uncle came and told them he had been in America and planned to return there again and he advised them to wait and accompany him. Also he said, “You can’t believe all that Maria writes about America.”

After the auction we moved to Öhr and lived with mother’s father on his farm. The trip to America was postponed for 26 years, which reminds us of Israel’s children when they believed the spies and wandered in the wilderness for 40 years before they entered the promise land.

From Rosas there is more to tell. There was born the family’s second son, Anders Walfrid (Andrew) the 4th of June, 1871. This was a precious gift on their sixth wedding anniversary. He was a healthy, happy youngster. He walked early.

He happened to have an encounter with a big, angry rooster which knocked him over and sank his sharp beak twice into his cheek. I remember how the blood ran from the bad wound. It left a scar which was visible for many years. However, it was a blessing that the rooster did not strike him in the eye. This is further evidence of the invisible hand or guardian angel.

During the family’s residence in Öhr the summer of 1873, father worked on the railroad in Nassjö. There he rose from brakeman to conductor. The company did not want him to leave and was promised a place along the highway when the railway was finished. An inner force led him in another direction. Here we wonder why! Uncle Petterson, Aunt Eva’s husband worked a short while before this with the railroad on a lower level and rose to station inspector with good wages and now receives a pension from the railroad. The sons of railroad men in Sweden have many opportunities to work up to better jobs. We ask, “What could we have become?”

However, it must have been for some good. Father and mother were destined to be in the wilderness and experience the heat of pain so that they would begin to thirst after the Living Water, yes, even also their children.

Grandfather recommended namely to father when he came home from the railroad to visit the family to tend the farm at Texatorp in Ojaby Parish. In the fall of 1873 we moved there. It was an out of the way spot and even as children we disliked the name, “Texatorp.” Here we were stationed. The harvest failed, although father did his level best. Neighbors had good harvest, but not the Ahlbergs.

The cattle became sick and died, also pigs and other creatures. It seemed we were bewitched. Yes, mother sent me at least one time to a clever woman because bad luck persisted. But her witchcraft did not help.

Job lost first his cattle, then sickness came over him. It was the same with father, yes, even mother received her share. One winter they both had smallpox and lay for a long time dreadfully ill. After that father had a sickness that continued for many years, namely stomach trouble. He tried the best doctors, but no permanent help could be had from medicine. In between times he worked and other times was deathly sick.

During these trials about the physical came anxiety over sin which led him near the brink of despair. Mother, too, was convicted. A preacher whose name was Fovelin, they liked, but his church was a long way from Texatorp. Evenso they were so anxious to hear the Word of God that they went over the hills and through the woods to Öja Church. Preachers, however, that were nearer were “dead dogs on Zion’s walls.” Finally, father and mother found peace with God through Christ’s blood. They read often sermons by Hoevn, Norborg, John Arnth and Luther. Yes, they tested their faith in God through these pastors’ sermons. One Sunday, after the usual hearing of these sermons and searching my own soul, I said, “I know that, also.” “Oh, is that so, Kalle little.” (an endearing name for Carl) said Mother. “Yes, that is very good,” chimed in father. Even before father and mother had accepted the Lord, I longed in my heart for Christ when I was seven years old. When father and mother were converted, I was nine years old. Through listening to them, I was led to accept the Lord and be saved from sin. There were some things that father and mother read that I did not understand. Their life was gloomy and slavelike because of the little knowledge they had. But for the righteous shall new light come. It has happened so with them. Praise the Lord! Now they are both happy in the Lord.

Father knew some about working with wood. Since there were no factories in Herrangen where we lived, father made furniture during the winter and built houses during the summer. He was skilled in putting up buildings himself and supervised building. The pay for this work was very small, even though the workday was from 5 o’clock in the morning until 9 at night, most time off was two hours for meals. Earnings were inadequate for a big family and time was limited when he could work.

During the cold weather, father had his cabinet working place in the home. There were two pull-out beds and a bedsofa with wooden covers placed on one side of the room. In the front was father’s bureau with tools and mother’s storage chests on each side at this end of the room. In the center was father’s workbench with tools, also the children’s table where 4 or 5 sat making match boxes. In the ceiling hung the furniture for drying and 2 nets of match boxes, also being dried. At the stove was mother’s place where she did the cooking. During working time the floor was full of shavings and sawdust. It was very crowded even though this room was really quite large. When spring came we moved the stove out along with its long chimney. In the summer mother prepared the food in the kitchen and it was cooked and served outside, was covered and adorned with green leaves and flowers. The workbench was also moved outside and work resumed.

While father was away working, lightning struck the barn one morning just as mother came into the house after milking the cow. All burned down in a short while. Only our pig came running out badly burned. At first he was unconscious and when he came out he was frantic. None could get near enough to the burning place to help the poor pig and he finally squeezed through by himself. The owner of the barn had no insurance. Lost in the fire were father’s workshop, boards and a new mangle which were not insured. It was trying and hard to understand that God would let this happen to a poor family who feared God and fled from the sins of the world. However, He who let this happen raised up helpful people who sent help to father and mother in their need.

Jennie Mathilda AhlbergIn Texatorp, two daughters were added to the family, Jennie Mathilda (pictured) born the 16th of March, 1874 and Maria Carolina, the 28th of January, 1876. During the first years at Texatorp we had both maid and hired man. Because of adversities this came to an end and father and mother had to get along without them. Sister Anna and I had to help with the work in their stead. I was 9 or 10 and Anna was two and one-half years older. We took care of the farmyard, drove to the market-place and the mill and helped on the farm with hay and grain and unloading of same. I chopped nearly all the wood we burned when I was 7, cut hay with father and mother and when I was 9 years old, harrowed all the fields with horse each spring. There wasn’t much time for play. We did attend school even though it took an hour to go there. Lessons were hard to learn because we had much work to do and could not attend regularly. However, we took the examinations when they were given.

In 1879 we moved from Texatorp to be place called Herrangen. The reason for our moving was that the contract had run out and a man made a higher bid for Texatorp and it was impossible for father to raise this bid. It was hard for father at times to hold back bitter feelings against that man. No one can wonder at that as father had to move his family to a desolate house where no ground could be farmed. No, we couldn’t even use the orchard at this place. Therefore, I remember the sore temptations like the big ripe astrachan apples near the house and the red raspberries. We were allowed to gather the fallen fruit. Sometimes, not often, we boys threw a little stone through the trees to get some fruit to fall.

Father was even now sickly. Two summers he went to a health spring at Grannaforsa and bathed. “Does Jacob Ahlberg have money now?” asked some folks which I overheard. Well, it was the last of his money that he spent. Home with mother were six children.

Brother Enoch was born, March 30th, 1879.

Mother went out to work at a neighbors once in a while. From Vexiö’s match factory we obtained work at home making match boxes. The older children worked at this job. First we made the inside box and then the outside, we assembled the two to fit together and placed the label on the front side. It was hard to dry them during cloudy weather. We received 60 öre for 1000 boxes and put them on a cart and took them to the factory which was 8 miles away. We could do two or three thousand at a time. We had to wait hours to get them because so many people wanted to make them and earn this little money. Andrew and I made the trip when we were out of school which took a whole day. In the winter time we left home before daylight and returned home after dark at night.

For 3000 boxes we received 1 crown (45¢) and 80 öre which was worth about 90 cents or in exchange for American money, 50¢. At any rate we could buy coffee, sugar and was of some help in purchasing flour.

We had one cow. When we could milk her all went well. Otherwise we drank our coffee black. Wheat was used in baking. Mother only baked it twice a year. It was too expensive and did not last long, but rye bread and once in while barley, often mixed, was plentiful so we could eat our fill. We also had cooked cereal (gröt) and soup made from cereal. Meat, butter and fruit were scarce. Mother baked and cooked better than most of the villagers. It was hard for her at times, but the Lord watched over us so we did not go to bed hungry and we never had to beg. To borrow or go in debt father and mother did not want to do (were afraid of doing).

We had clothes we wore on Sunday and an everyday garment. We only had one pair of shoes a year which we boys thought was good. During the summer we went barefooted, and around home we hopped along in wooden shoes when it was cold. Even though it was hard and living was frugal, we children were healthy and rosy cheeked.

The following summer I went to a fishery in Ojaby. We fished in Helgas Sea and sold fish in Vexiö. I was 12½ years old. Besides food and lodging I received 1 crown per week or 16 crowns for 16 weeks.

Sister Anna was confirmed and was away working during the summer. In the fall mother worked at a place where a girl lay sick and later died. Soon mother became ill and bedridden with the same sickness which the doctor called typhoid. Father came home to see mother and was taken ill with the same sickness. For about 5 or 6 weeks brother Andrew and I cared for them and the small brothers and sisters as best we could. No neighbors came to see us. My sister Anna came home to care for her sick parents. She was 16½ years old and in love with a young man. This was in the month of November, 1882. The doctor had grave misgivings that father and mother could or would live. Anna had not been home long before she began to pray to God that she could die in Mother’s place because she did not want to be motherless with the small brothers and sisters which numbered six. In the meantime she did the best she could for her parents. Her prayers were answered. She also became ill. Now it was my job – 14 years old – to care for the whole sick household and the small children, the youngest of which was brother Gustaf (George), one year old. He was born December 7, 1881. The doctor came once and after that I reported to him in Vexiö once a week about the sick ones. After three week’s illness Anna died with this victory song, “The Canaanite Women and I” - Matt. 15:21-28.

Father and mother were bedridden for seven weeks. Fortunately, they could be up occasionally. Father made a black coffin in which they laid away their eldest daughter who had gone to her heavenly rest. Mother cut off every twig on the blooming November tree which grew at our home and placed these flowers around the withered rose in the coffin. The first Sunday of Advent there was frost on the trees and clean white snow on the ground. A few neighbors came to the funeral, but they stood outside and dared not even shake hands with father and mother. Father and mother were too weak to go to the grave. We rode quite a distance about 8 miles to the Ojaby Church. There Anna was buried.

Quietly her body was lain
In earth’s quiet bosom
May this room of earth be forgotten
Where she rests without name.
Room and name the Lord knows well,
When he calls for all his children.

Sv. Ps. 265:9 (trans.)

It was near Christmas time that little Enoch, 4 years old was sick almost unto death. He had not eaten for several days. One side of his body was paralyzed. Mother asked father to make ready a coffin before Christmas because she thought her son could not live long. “As long as there is life there is hope,” thought Father. Therefore he could not make the coffin this time. Enoch lay half dead with eyes closed and unable to hear. Mother poured egg-milk into his mouth. Half of it ran out, but she continued a little at a time. Slowly her son became better. He lost all of his hair and could not talk and was in bed several months, but became well and had no ill effects from the illness. After Christmas it was my turn to have typhoid same as mother and father had had. For 5 weeks I lay with a terrific ache in my head. The other children did not get sick with the typhoid. It was a year before mother and father fully recovered.

In the fall of 1883 we moved again to Öhr on a farm that belonged to Uncle Carl, father’s brother, who owned an estate which father tended. After I was confirmed in Harlof Church, I left home to work at the fishery in Ojaby. In the late summer I returned and worked for father. The 24th of October I went to work in Hjärtanas, Thorsagård where I worked for the following four years. The pay was 25 crowns the first year besides food, lodging and laundry. After that they raised my salary 10 crowns per year. Best of all was that the food was good and we were given God-fearing guidance. During this time father and mother built a house along the highway toward Vexiö in Öhr, which they planned would be their home until the end of their days. There, like every other time, they put in lots of hard work of which others reaped the benefits. In Öhr were born two children, Anna Emelia on November 28, 1884 and Ernst, born March 1, 1882. This brother died in infancy, August 15,1882.

In the year 1888, April 3, I bade farewell to my fatherland and left for America. This journey was to Whitehall, Michigan. My aunt had sent money for travel expense and also for my cousin August Johanson. Eva Johanneson was also to accompany us. We arrived safely, but August died after being in America 9 days and Eva later.

Two years later father and mother again said farewell to two more of their children, Anders and Jennie who also traveled to the land in the west. Although they were young, they had been away from home before, working. Anders was first a painter, later he traveled nearly over the whole of Sweden on a selling expedition. The last place he lived was Göteborg. Father’s and mother’s prayers guided these children. With tears they often questioned, “What will happen to our children?” Anders, though very good was most aggressive of the children. Shortly after arriving in America, in a mission house he met the Lord. He was severely convicted before he found the peace of and with God. His brother Carl, however, was able to lead him to the Lord. Jennie, also was convicted and accepted Christ as her Saviour. One of the aunts, meaning well wrote to father and mother, “It isn’t enough that Carl is bewildered, but now he has also bewildered both brother and sister.” We had been brought up in the state church and the Augustana in America was like it.

Letters were exchanged back and forth over the Atlantic between parents and children. They understood by their letters that the children had chosen the heavenly way through the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore they often sent home a portion of their small earnings which the parents exchanged for Swedish money. Evenso, it was very hard for the parents to keep the “wolf from the door,” because they were anxious to pay the bills for their new house. Work was scarce in Öhr so they moved in 1892 to Staveshult, Bolsa parish near where Uncle Anders lived.

In the summer during harvest time a young 30-year old man came to the place where father and mother lived. It was toward evening and the young man asked for a place to stay. Mother, working in the kitchen, said quietly, but somewhat surprised, “I can’t promise before the men come home.”

The stranger followed her into the kitchen and sat down on a couch near the door, but mother never said a word. Soon lightfooted Anna, aged 14, rosy cheeked came in, ran to Mother and whispered, “That is brother Carl.” Then mother immediately recognized her son who had been gone ten years. She ran and threw her arms around him and pressed him to her heart.

After this I was home with father and mother as I was the preacher in a small church just west of Vexiö. In the spring of 1899 father and mother and Sister Anna came with me to America. Sister Lina had preceded them. Brother Anders, who lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan welcomed them into his home. Later father was made custodian of the Swedish Mission Church in Grand Rapids and lived in the back part of the church where they lived and worked for nine years. Then their youngest sons, Enoch and George (Gustaf) came from Sweden in 1901. Here they too were won over by the love of Christ and lived with mother and father in the church. After a few years, they traveled farther west and settled in Reading, Minnesota.

Father suffered a stroke when he was 60 years old. It was of such a nature that it seemed he would not survive, but praise the Lord, he is still alive and can still work at the age of 76. Later father and mother moved to their youngest sons in Reading, Minnesota and then they all moved to Worthington, Minnesota where they lived on a farm of 400 acres which George farmed. Enoch, during the last years has been building in Worthington doing carpenter work.

June 4, 1915 was the golden wedding day for father and mother which was celebrated in the Mission Church in Worthington, provided by the congregation. They were given a beautiful gift in gold by the friends there. There was also a gift and congratulatory letter from the church in Grand Rapids to which they had belonged. They also received a gift from the children. At this time a poem was read which was written by their son, Anders. (Andrew).

Andrew could not be present because of his work in Grand Rapids at this time. He was foreman in the finishing department of a large furniture company in this city. He and his good wife, Anna, have the following well-behaved children: Fridolf Daniel, Margaret, Catherine and Russell.

Sister Jennie also lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her husband, Charles A. Allen. He is a cabinet maker. They also have a nice family of six children, Eva, Carl, Marian, Eleanor, Roy and Paul. Jennie was in attendance at the Golden Wedding with her youngest son, Paul.

Sister Lina (Maria Caroline) Mrs. Bisdom whose husband’s name is Maurice lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She and her two fine daughters, Olga and Thelma attended the Golden Wedding.

Brother Enoch is the only one not married. As far as I know he is the only bachelor in our relation. We understand he will soon break the record and will soon marry and take as his bride, Mabel Johnson. (Enoch and Mabel were married March 28, 1916.)

Brother George and his good wife, Frida (Blomgren) have the following lovely children: Frances, Helen, Eva and Marian. George is a successful farmer who understands how to care for the ground and animals and continues to go forward. Father and mother live with them and are well cared for.

Sister Anna Lives in Akron, Ohio. Her good man is Otto Martinson. He has been pastor for a few years and also works as an inspector in a factory. He preaches in the English language often. Their children are Franklin and Helen.

Carl (the writer of this history) has during the past 20 years preached in the following places: student and preaching in Chicago, three years; three years In Kronoberg’s Lan, Sweden; two years in Montclare, N. J.; four years In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; five years in Hartford, Conn. and three years in Manchester, N. H.

With his wife, Hilma (Johnson) they have been blessed with three children, Carl Emanuel, Paul Magni, Jacob Elston, a twin sister, Elizabeth who died in infancy.

As a conclusion to this memorial, we wish to praise God for His great mercy: “Not for us, Lord, not for us, but we praise thy name for your mercy and for thy truth’s sake. All the ways of the Lord have been merciful and true.” Psalm 25:10. We have found that “all things work together for good to them that love the Lord, to them who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. “Praise the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Psalm 103:2. To us He has done many good things.

I wish to remind the coming generations that God is righteous and with Him can be found no unrighteousness. He is righteous and He is merciful.

No one on father’s side of the family has died of tuberculosis or cancer. No one has been accidentally killed or lost any limbs. Marriages have been blessed with several children and as usual several sons. None of these have been childless. No one in the relation has become insane or been imprisoned.

All of Jacob Ahlberg’s children have accepted the Lord as Saviour and are active in Christian work in their respective churches. However, God shall have praise for all. May not one wander away from the Lord and may the coming generations also put their trust in our God. Amen.

Written in Swedish by
Rev. Carl M. Ahlberg

Translated by his niece
Eva Allen Carlson

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There have been many additions to the family tree since this was written for the Golden Wedding of our grandparents. I feel that the following should be mentioned. Uncle George and Aunt Frida had two sons Wesley and Harold.

Uncle Enoch and Mabel were married in 1916. They had the following children in their wonderful family: Edna, Alder, Philip, Doris and Dale. Dale was the twin brother of Doris and went to be with the Lord at the age of 15.

Aunt Lina had a sweet little daughter by the name of Marie. She was the child of a second marriage. Uncle Maurice Bisdom died and Aunt Lina married Joseph Krause. Little Marie died when a young child.

Aunt Anna and Uncle Otto had three more children. One little girl Carol who died and then came Paul and Avery to bless their home.

Several of the cousins mentioned in this history have gone to be with the Lord, Carl Allen, Dan (Fridolf) Ahlberg, Margaret Ahlberg Bontekoe, Roy and Paul Allen.

My wish and prayer during the translating of this history has been that all who read this and are part of this family tree will find the same God as Saviour and Lord and be thankful for the great heritage we have in having ancestors who loved and served God and went to Him for help in all their disappointments and troubles. He is able also to guide and guard us from sin and lead us to our heavenly home. Put your trust in Him.

Pictured Sanford & Eva (Allen) Carlson

Eva Allen Carlson
(1st grandchild of Eva and Jacob Ahlberg)


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Scanned and digitized by Donald Sanford Bryant,
Grandson of Eva Allen Carlson.
In loving memory of my mother,
Jeanne (Carlson) Bryant 1924-2002
23 September 2002

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