Written by Anders Peter Nelson

Parkers Prairie, Minnesota, July 3, 1901

Published in the Minnesota Stats Tidning newspaper July 11, 1901

Translated by Elmer Larson

Parkers Prairie, Minnesota

Web page formatted by John C. Nelson, 1997

On May 25 we left Parkers Prairie, our son Rudolph taking us to Alexandria where we had decided to go to St. Paul by railroad. After a substantial dinner we left Alexandria for St. Paul. It was like the student sings: "We traveled real fast like the wind".

Here I and my wife sit on upholstered seats, me as a rich bishop and her as a loved madonna. The weather is enlightening and nature is beautiful and it puts new life in a couple of oldsters. Like a pair of newlyweds on their honeymoon we sat talking of this and that. Then in comes the conductor to gather the tickets and he is very polite. The second conductor came later and he checks windows, etc. and calls off the stations. After a few minutes the train stopped and passengers would get off and on. Train whistled and we were on our way again.

The whole trip we saw all strangers and all different kinds of people that ride on the American railroads. Finally the conductor calls St. Paul. At the station Gustaf Anderson met us and took us to his pleasant home on Aurora Avenue, and his wife greeted us with open arms. We stayed there that night and part of the next day.

In the afternoon Anderson took me out to see the Capitol which wasn't quite completed but when it is finished it will be beautiful and no doubt it will take a lot of tax money to pay for it. But we at least got to see the beautifu1 building.. It will be a place where the politicians can work and carry on. The next we saw was Jim Hill's private dwelling. I told Anderson I'd seen enough of wealthy dwellings so we went home for dinner. After a joyful visit together, we took our goodbyes and they accompanied us to the station. 4 o'clock we left for Lindstrom.

We got to Lindstrom at 7 o'clock and it was raining. My wife had to stay at the station till I could find my sister's children. They were at home and my sister's son Frank got ready and we went and got my wife and he took us to another sister's son, Peter Nelson's home. And they welcomed us and this was our headquarters while we stayed at Lindstrom. Some we hadn't seen for 30 years, and they asked us to feel at home. This was our first meeting with Peter and Matilda. Matilda has a good personality and anyone who learns to know her loves her. We were very happy to stay with them. After all the visiting was over, we were invited for eats in the dining room, and a great meal met our eye.

When eating, Swen Nelson's youngest son Ernest came. More handshaking until late in the evening. Mrs. Nelson showed us to our room and soon afterwards we were sound asleep.

In the morning when we awoke the sun was high in the heavens and all was quiet and still. Then we went dowh for breakfast and were met with good mornings. After breakfast we took a little walk and visited an old friend, Carl Nelsen on the hill, who hardly remembered me. He looked and spoke like always, and we talked about the old and the new. Nelsen is a widower and he lives with his only son. His greatest with is that his son would get married so he could get away from fixing meals all the time. We tasted some of his cooking and it was very good. When we said goodbye I wished too that his son would get married.

Then we went home and in the afternoon we went to Lindstrom where I met many friends. Some of them I remembered and some I didn't. One of the ones I knew was Carl Hall. He had a very nice home and all he does is smoke his pipe and visit. When I left he wished me a long life and hoped I'd become a millionaire.

I met another old friend from Taylor's Falls namely August, born in the poorest part of Smoland, and he came with a nice buggy and 2 horses as swell as any wealthy man in Sweden. After he had put his horses away at Andrews, he invited me to follow him. When all was clear, August took out a bottle and invited me to have a drink. Mr. Andrews was a politician and a lot of people believed in his ideas. Mr. Andrews and I got very well acquainted.

Then we were invited to our relative Carl Berglund and he lives in town and works in a bakery and restaurant. I even helped him grease pans for his baking. At Berglund's home there was both food and drink. Berglund was like a shining sun. (Poem) A Baker's Life.

Then in the afternoon we went back to our headuuarters at Peter Nelsons. The following day was Whitsunday and was communion Sunday and I was at the same church I was confirmed in, and it reminded me of the promises I made at Confirmation. And I asked myself, after making those promises, how do I stand now? Out in the Churchyard we met many more old acquaintances, were invited to visit many more people which we did. When we came we had a Sunday dinner.

In the afternoon we walked to their park. Close to the park the Nelsons' sons were building new houses which we looked at.

The following day it was a beautiful day and we visited my sister Josephine Johnson. We came to the house before she came home, and when an came, she thought there were visitors there from Parkers Prairie. It was warm greetings and embraces. She never was a farmer, but now appeared as a good farmer's wife. I congratulated her on her third marriage.

After dinner, I went with my wife to her sister's home. My wife rode with my sister and Frank Nelson. We all went together, including Clara Vitalis, and were taken to Sunrise Prairie. At 5 o'clock we were back home with brother-in-law Peter Johnson. More welcome. Peter lifted the ladles out of the buggy. Now first to get acquainted with my brother-in-law which went very quickly. We went in the house and were made to feel at home. My sister had a good home as everything seemed to be in order. They had children and they seem so strong and healthy, like the song, "A thousand in a night".

We stayed at North Branch several days and this family was always so friendly. After leaving 30 years ago, I never expected to see such green grass and good crops as they have now. Brother-in-law Peter Johnson drove us to North Branch their nearest town. All looked so beautiful on the farms.

On The north side of my brother-in-law's farm lives my sister's son Carl Nilsen. We were there and visited him and his wife. He had a very nice place and we were invited for dinner - which seemed like they expected us. Carl waited table and that gave me a good appetite. When we left they wished us a long and lucky life.

The second of June after we had stayed awhile with my sister and brother-in-law, we had to say our goodbyes to all in the house and thank for a good visit. They took us 10 miles over to Almelund to visit Harry Vitallis'. We got there at 12: o'clock and him and his wife were so very happy to see us which is easy to understand. Harry is my sister's son and Alice is my brother's daughter. And here we had dinner and talked about the old and the new. And then brother-in-law Johnson and Josephine went home and we stayed over night. They seemed to nave such a happy home. Harry had a very nice farm. We went to bed. When we awoke it was daylight. We had breakfast. Time seemed to fly like it had wings as it was now 11 o'clock. We said our goodbyes and Harry hitched up the horses and took us to an old friend Johannes Magni, and he was by a little lake and that was an eleven mile trip.

On the way over we drove across country and came to a real large residence, and he was Swedish. He wondered what kind of work we were doing since we didn't follow the road. Then Harry told him what visitors we were, and then we stood and looked at each other. And then I said, "You are Willie po rosten and I am Anders i Olsagard". Then we shook hands, as we hadn't met for 46 years. We didn't have too much time to visit as we were invited to Magni's for dinner.

But Magni was not home, so then I asked Harry to take us to Matias Bengtson who lived close by. When we got there I went in and told is son' wife who we were. But she was a liberal soul, and invited us all in for afternoon coffee. Unnitched the horses. Matias was sitting out on the lake in a sailboat and trying to adjust the sails to the weather. I went to the lake shore and waved to him with my hat.

He was having trouble with the sails so I went back to the house. But by this time his son was home and right away he said, "Be so good and stay over night.". And we thanked him for that. About this same time Bengtson came to shore, with a big string of fish. We had to renew our acquaintances and shake hands, and then we had a good supper. Then we sat in the dining room and talked about old times. Then Harry and his wife said goodbye and hitched up the horses and we wished them a good trip home.

Then came Magni in and invites us to his home over night. Then we went to Magni's home and they made us feel at home. It was great to stay with them and talk over old times and our visit went into the night. They showed us to our room that we could rest in. Before they went to bed Magni and his family had their devotions and thanked for day and care for the night and that is the way it should be. I felt myself very small and took a sigh that we could have a good rest and wake up to another beautiful day. We slept so good it was late when we awoke. After breakfast we go out to look things over. He had the biggest and nicest barn I nave seen in Chisago Lake. Honestly, it was 100 feet long, 40 feet wide and 14 feet high. It did me good to see such good buildings5 and the house all in proportion.

Now they hitched up horses to the double buggy and we said our goodbyes and got in the buggy and my wife got in the front with him. I asked Magni where we were going and he said, "to David Hawkinson's." During the ride he commanded me to hold my mouth which was very hard to do as I wanted to know who lived in these places. Then he stopped and went into a house and out came a shining little man Peter Johnson and he introduced him and we shook hands. We talked so fast that neither one had time to listen to what the other one said. Then we left and he hollered to Peter Johnson, "Good Luck."

Then Mr. Magni said, "you have to be quiet and calm down till we come to Shafer. Here is where Jacob rules." So came Jacob out and we greeted each other. We hadn't seen him since 30 years. And there we also met Elias and Willie Granstrand, sister's children to my wife. We talked a little bit there about old times. And then we drove on to David Hawkinsons.

David was home to greet us and right away it was dinner. And we all ate a very big meal. Then we said Goodbye and God only knows if we will meet again on this earth. Carl and Alfred Hawkinson lived very close that we visited. Carl's place is a big nice place. They seemed to have most on their mind to get rich. After visiting a little we left. David had bought a new buggy and we were the first to ride in it. And then we drove home to David's, and then he took us to Osceola. And here we met George Vitalis, older brother to Harry, and after visiting some he stuck a bottle of health water in my pocket, and then we said goodbye.

We didn't have time to see the health cellar that comes out of the earth. We went to Hanson to see the fish dam and there they were seining fish and separating them. There was so much to see here it was impossible to write it. You would have to see it for yourself. Then we drove home to David's and got there just in time for supper and then we went to bed.

The following day we visited the widow Hawkinson. She was home and glad to see us and had a very fine home. Her son Joseph has his chiropractic office there. He has many patients that seem to be getting better and I congratulated him and said goodbye.

Then we went to visit Alfred Hawkinson. He was out in the pasture driving fence posts and the sound of the mall you could hear way to Wisconsin. They invited us in for dinner and after visiting awhile we thanked him and said goodbye. His wife and children went back to David's. Israel Hawkinson didn't forget to say goodbye, "your visit will always be remembered." Alfred's hired man took us to Johan Elof Johanson. When we arrived we saw very nice buildings. The hired girl showed us in and then we met the old Mrs. Elof, also the son's wife welcomed us and showed us our room.

In the late afternoon son Peter came home. He had been to the neighbors laying brick. We had a good visit for 2 days. We went swimming out in the river. We also did some fishing and they tasted very good. Then we went home the following day. They seemed to live such a harmonious life. The son Peter is a smart man and his wife is very good and understanding, and it is a blessing the old and young can live there together. Then we left and Peter stood ready with the buggy to take us to Frank Olson's.

Widow Stena Marie that is crippled with pain, sat in her chair and bid us welcome. Son Frank invited us as relatives to stay overnight. The following day we said goodbye to Peter Elof. Then Frank Olson and I went to visit Gustaf Boline. I hadn't seen him for 46 years. We were like strangers, but after visiting we got together again. He was in his shop making beehives and outside he had many beehives. And he invited us in for refreshments. After looking over his place, I must admit he was one of the most skilled men I ever met. He could do anything. We were invited back there the next day which was Sunday which we accepted, and then Frank and I went home.

Sunday was a fine day and after breakfast Boline came and got us. And when we got there there were many strangers gathered there. We must have met 50 new people there for dinner. It was a real kalas. Old friends were Otto Anderson, Peter Hoberg, Wideen, Johannes Vitalis and wife. We couldn't stay very long as we were going to Franconia for the night.

We went to the home of Elof Vitalis who is married to Alice Lindahl, daughter of my sister Josephine. We said goodbye to Boline and wished him all good luck and health. Then Frank Olson drove us to Franconia. Elof was home and we stayed there until next morning and then said goodbye.

They took us to Gustaf Lindahl's but he was not at home. But his wife was, and invited us in for a meal. We said goodbye and went to John Vitalis' place. Here we said goodbye to Frank Olson the old wood boss and wished him a long life and could keep on as boss.

It looks now that we were at a better place, everything looks so good and the buildings are so big. Then we met the father and mother. They looked the same as ever and we were made so welcome to stay overnight. We visited and the table was set beautifully. After dinner went over to his place. We walked over the fields and then walked home. This was the largest farm I have yet seen. They showed us our room an we slept very well that night. After breakfast, the buggy was waiting to take us to Lindstrom. They said goodbye to their good children and they went with us to Lindstrom.

Now we are back at Peter Nelsons. They are so hospitable to guests. After unhitching the horses we went in for dinner. After dinner we talked awhile and then they got the horses ready and we went to my sister's son, John Nelson brother to Peter. They were both there to greet us. He called us Uncle and Aunt and asked us to stay overnight. In the evening we went a mile north to visit an old friend John Friman, but he was not at home. We stayed a little and talked with his wife and then went back home. To bed and up for breakfast and weather is nice. Nelson and I went out in grove and talked. Along came Karolinen Friman who was going home and John Nelson called to him to stop, and then I called "Good morning Mr. Friman." But he did not remember me. But when I told him my name, he remembered me and began telling me all the bad things and good things he had gone thru in the old land and here. After a lot of talking he continued his walk home. We stayed at John Nelson's until after dinner and then said goodbye to his lucky family.

Our next visit was at Gustaf Wiberg. Going over to Wibergs we just got the horse in the barn in time and it started to pour down. Gustaf was not at home but his daughter was. We stayed there during the rain. This time we were going to look at our first home in this land. On the way over there we met a neighbor, Gustaf Abrahamson, who invited us to drive over. He wanted us to go with him to look after his crop after the heavy rain storm, and his wife and daughter went along. Then we went back and had goodies and took our farewell.

Then we were going to see widow Melander, but we drove wrong going over there and got to K. Kjellberg. We talked a little with him and then looked in on P. Hammarlund and he was very weak and pale. Then we stayed overnight at John Melin. Here we ate and drank and they were very courteous people. Melin seemed to be one of the most well-off around here. After breakfast we said goodbye and went to widow Wiberg again. It was great to see this old person in such vigor. She could get around like any young person. And here we were asked to stay for dinner.

After dinner we said goodbye to this old lady friend and went to the church. They were having a mission meeting at the church. Here I also met many old acquaintances namely: Andrew Lundgren, Johan Gustaf Johanson, and his wife Karesta. We shook hands like we'd known them a long time. Then we went to Fredel Brothers and refreshed ourselves with mineral water. It was said to be good for both old and young. Then John Vitalis said we should take another glass for our good health.

Then me and my wife went to Andrew Hultman and they were home and both elderly. We had a good time and refreshments. And then we went on to Carl Lindahl's, who had invited us to visit at his nome. We were very well received and stayed overnight with them. The next morning for breakfast we ad fish and many other good things.

Then we continued our journey. Our next stop was at Mrs. Glader, a widow. Her son Solomon lives with her. He seemed to be a very nice boy. He took care of the garden and helped around the house so she did not need to do much in her old age. We had dinner. Our plans were to go and visit John and Peter Lind, but changed our minds and went back to Peter Nelsons.

In the evening we went to visit our old childhood friend John Artig and stayed at his home for the night. And as we visited many questions were asked and many answered. On Sunday morning we said our goodbye and said we wished we could have stayed longer. Then we returned to Peter Nelsons.

A 2 o'clock Ernest Nelson said, "Now you have just one more place to visit, that is Gustaf Viborg po Malon." Then the buggy stood ready and Mrs. Peter Nelson went with us, and Ernest drove and soon we were there. They greeted us and we stayed there for the afternoon. This was our last visit in Chisago County and we decided to go to St. Paul Tuesday.

In the evening before we left, they had a big gathering of the close relatives. This was perhaps the most enjoyable evening of our visit. After the evening they all went to their homes and we retired.

On the following day after saying our farewells, Frank and Ernest followed us to the railroad station and helped us get on the train. Arriving in St. Paul we went to our friend Anderson and stayed there overnight. Next day we visited in Minneapolis with widow Allen and we stayed with them overnight. After a good visit with the Allen's we went back to Anderson's.

The next morning we took train to Alexandria. Here we stayed 2 nights with Paul Monson. On Sunday we went to church, visited the Confirmation class, went to the service and communion. On Monday our son Rudolph came drove us home.

To the story of our trip I just want to add a few words. It impressed me greatly to return to my old home. There is a new generation but many of the older folks still remain. The most of them are religious people and are also interested in politics. Most of them are Republicans. A heartfelt thanks to all.