I had the mistaken impression that other relatives had already done all the research on these two families. As it turns out, the other researchers had indeed built fairly complete family trees, but I’ve been able to track down some good stories these past several weeks. Here’s a wrap-up.
(Note: this is the second of two blog posts today – see also my post about Louis Hanson’s homestead application.)
Louis Hanson was my first Swedish ancestor to come to the United States. He was from a parish in Sweden that was heavily involved in the Jansonist movement, and he may have been part of this religious sect himself for a couple of years. I realized the other day that I had overlooked another clue: one of the signature crops in the early years of the Bishop Hill Colony was the raising of “broom corn”. And they had a factory for manufacturing brooms (watch the video). One of the newspaper articles I uncovered said that Louis won first place at the Riley County Fair for his broom corn crop. Coincidence? Hmmmm….
And by the way, “broom corn” is a beautiful decorative plant when cured and dried; I might see if I can get Dale to grow some in the garden this year.
Louis died at age 64 of “lung fever” which I understand to be an antiquated term for pneumonia. His wife Lisa Stina also died young – only 56 – of heart disease.
Their children who lived to adulthood were:
- Emma Caroline (1860-1926). I will have to write about Emma sometime. She buried her first husband (who was killed in a freak train accident) and many babies. Only two children, both sons, survived infancy, and one of them was killed in some sort of training accident in boot camp during World War I. The other son, Waldon, married and had children, and retired with his wife to a nursing home in Arvada just a couple blocks from our house. I remember visiting Waldon and Hilda when I was a kid. I have seriously impressed many of Katie’s music teachers by telling them how one of Waldon’s sons married the sister of Dorothy Delay, a famous violin teacher at Juilliard. [UPDATE: while looking up some facts about Emma’s son who died in boot camp, I discovered that he was born in Wahoo, Nebraska in 1887. That means Emma, not Edward, may have been the first Hanson sibling to come to Nebraska. And maybe brother-in-law Swan Carlson got Edward his job on the railroad. And maybe Emma introduced Edward to Anna Martinson. Darn it! More questions to answer!!]
- Franklin “Frank” Soloman (1864-1946) eventually ended up in California with his wife Anna and several children. I have been in touch with one of Franklin’s grandsons.
- Edward Cornelius (1866-1937) is my great-grandfather. I wrote about his early years in Nebraska in Part 8.
- Louise Juliana (1869-1936), known as “Lou”, remained in Kansas and married Albert Peterson. I don’t know much about her beyond that. She was one of the aunts that looked after Mabel when Anna Martinson Hanson died in 1897.
- Louis Alfred (1872-1942), known as Alfred, had a general merchandise store, possibly in Randolph, before retiring to Manhattan. My great-grandfather Edward also ran a general merchandise store in Ceresco. Someday I’ll have to figure out which brother got in the business first. I have been in touch with one of Alfred’s descendants off an on through the years.
- Edna Medora (1874-1954), known as “Dora”, married Frans Lindstrom and lived in Leonardville, Kansas (not far from Randolph). One of her sons, Wallace Lindstrom, ended up in Arvada too, and I went to high school with their daughter. I remember mentioning to her once that we were cousins and she was not impressed.
- Effie Marie married Walter Nordmark. They lived in Blue Rapids, Kansas for a while before moving to Iowa. They must have visited in Ceresco quite often because Grandma and Esther had photos of their Nordmark cousins in their photo albums. Here’s one of them; it looks like all the girls had fun braiding their hair that day.
- Esther Clarinda (1882-1952), known as Clarinda, married John Wesner and ended up in Grand Junction, Colorado. They had two children. That’s all I know about this family.
- Alfonso Emanuel (1885-1928) is someone else I need to write about – his only son died from a freak gun accident and after he himself died, his widow and her second husband were murdered! They lived in Wyoming.
Here are some more photos and I think they are all good-looking people! I wonder what brought them together for these photos, taken (I’m guessing) between 1910 and 1920. Maybe they all came back home for Uncle Joseph Hultman’s funeral? (Just a wild guess.)
Look at this photo of the sisters – I would love to be able to hang out with this group over a cup of coffee. They seem like they could be interesting and intelligent people.
Their mother was, of course, Lisa Stina Hultman. She came with her family to the United States in 1854 and settled in Henry County, Illinois. I do not believe they were part of the Jansonist movement but I don’t know for sure. Lisa married very young (16!) and left Illinois with her husband Louis in 1866. The rest of the Hultmans remained in Illinois for about 20 years. Eventually, most of them made their way to Kansas. Jonas Peter and Anna Christina, Lisa Stina’s parents, and their unmarried children seemed to have been the first to arrive. The other children and their families made their way to the Randolph area over the years.
This photo was probably taken in the mid-1890s, after the death of Jonas Peter’s wife. Mustaches were apparently “in”.
Lisa Stina looks a little better in this photo; not as gaunt as in the Hanson family photo. I think it was taken a few years earlier. I also noticed going through the dates that three of the four sisters died very young. Anna Louisa died at 51; Lisa Stina at 56; Edna Pauline at 48. Only Lena Karin (far left in photo) had a long life. She died at the age of 91 – and had a different mother. I would like to do some more research on this; did they all die of heart disease like Lisa Stina did? That would be a notable for our family genetic history.
A book about Riley County pioneers1 contains an entry for the Hultman family. Here are excerpts:
JONAS PETER HOLTMAN, son of Isaac and Stina (Olafson) Hultman and grandson of Jonas and Christina (Jonson) Hultman was born in 1812 in Sweden.
Jonas Peter Holtman was a descendant of Johan Hultman, a member of the staff of King Karl XII. In 1854 he and Anna and five children migrated to the U.S., settling in Cambridge, LK where, during the next twelve years, four more children were born.
In 1881 he moved to KS, settling in northern Riley County. Within the next three years all but one of his children, some married and with families of their own, also moved to northern Riley County. There, through marriage, they added to an ever-growing list of Carlsons, Hansons, Lindstroms, Peterson, Nordmarks and Nordstroms.
In Sweden Jonas Peter’s surname had been spelled Hultman, but upon becoming naturalized in Cambridge, IL it was somehow changed to Holtman, a name retained by his male descendants.
All of Jonas’ descendants had large families, resulting in more than 400 now [this was written in 1976]. Jonas was a farmer but only a few of his descendants took up that occupation. Mostly they have become educators, ministers, lawyers, physicians, dentists, merchants, etc.
The entry was submitted by D. Frank Holtman, the same guy who put together the big black book, “The Holtman Clan in America.” He did some really great research and was the guy who tracked down the whole King Karl XII thing (I get a lot of good mileage out of that at my Swedish Genealogical Society meetings). He was a professor of microbiology at a university in Tennessee.
Other than Joseph, I don’t have any details on the Hultman siblings and have not made contact with any of their descendants. They were still having reunions in Randolph in the early 1970’s. I don’t know if those have continued.
Did you notice all the recycling of names through the generations? My grandmother Effie Clarinda was clearly named after two of her Hanson aunts. Other names enjoying a great deal of recycling among the Hanson and Hultman families are: Frank, Edna, Pauline, Louis, Cornelius, and Esther.
I hope you have enjoyed this exploration of the intertwined Hultman and Hanson families. I hope to do some traveling in western Illinois later this year and to maybe visit the Bishop Hill Colony. Stay tuned!
1“Pioneers of the Bluestem Prairie”, Riley County Genealogical Society, 1976.