Out of the blue, I got an email this week from Cousin Lee who, while digging around at the Wahoo Museum, came across an obituary for Christian Pearson. I had never seen this before, and it has some great stuff in it!
The text is as follows:
C.P. Pearson died suddenly Friday morning from heart trouble, at the age of 72 years 9 months and 21 days. The deceased was born in Sweden and came to this country in 1870, living in Ashland about three years where he married, his wife surviving him. From there they moved to a farm southeast of Weston and about five years ago they moved into town. The funeral services were held Sunday afternoon at the home and at the Swedish Baptist church, Rev. Bernston officiating. The remains were laid to rest in the Baptist cemetery southwest of town. A large number of friends and relatives were present to pay their respects to the deceased. He leaves a wife, six children and three brothers, town in Minnesota and one in Sweden, to mourn his loss. We join with the many friends in extending sympathy to the bereaved ones.
But there’s more! The newspaper also listed the out-of-town relatives who attended:
The following relatives of C.P. Pearson attended the funeral: E.H. Olson and family Omaha, Dee Peterson and family Stromsburg, Frank Magnuson and family Wahoo, N.P. Johnson and family Wahoo, Miss Johnson of Lincoln.
Some notes and observations about all of this:
- “C.P. Pearson” – it seems like it was quite the craze for men to go by their initials in the early 1900’s. Christian did not have a middle name, so I’m sure the “P” is for Pearson.
His age at death isn’t quite right. If you do the math with 72 years, 9 months and 21 days going backward from October 16, 1908, you land on December 25, 1835. Actually, he was born on December 31 – New Year’s Eve. Maybe they just got the holidays confused.
- Indeed he did come to this country in 1870. Records show that he left Helsingborg, Sweden on May 16, 1870.
- The bit about living in Ashland for three years is known from family legend but this is the first confirmation I’ve seen. I figured he had to have met Johanna there somehow – but it’s still a bit of a mystery why she ended up in Nebraska.
- Here we also have confirmation that he attended the Swedish Baptist Church in Weston and was buried in that Church’s cemetery. I would love to know why he abandoned Grace Lutheran…
- The three brothers that survived him are Andrew and John “Peterson” in Minnesota (I have information about them! Will share that another time!) and Per Persson in Sweden. Per was the father of Ida Kristina, and it was Christian who had paid for her ticket to come to America. Another brother, Nils, had probably died back in Sweden. There were two older sisters as well. More research to do on these folks!
The list of out-of-town relatives is interesting.
- E.H. Olson and family refers, of course, to Eulie Olson who was Johanna’s nephew. Eulie’s parents were probably still living in Wahoo and aren’t mentioned since they aren’t “out of town”. I am still having a hard time confirming their death and burial information. Lots of conflicting information on them.
- Dee Peterson – no idea on this! Lena married David Peterson in 1910, but I don’t imagine he would have been in Stromsburg, nor would he have been a “relative” in 1908. Is this a nephew from the Minnesota branch of the family, I wonder?
- Frank Magnuson and family refers to Ida Kristina Persson (mentioned above), who married Frank Magnuson. She was Christian’s niece and had worked for Christian and Johanna for a year to pay off her ticket. Ida was the mother of Gerda, an early genealogist on the Pearson side of the family.
- N.P. Johnson and family of Wahoo – this would be the family of Nils and Paulina Johnson. Paulina was another of Christian’s nieces (daughter of Nels Persson, mentioned above, who had stayed in Sweden) who had also worked for Christian and Johanna.
Christian continues to be such an enigma. I will have to write more about him another time. He had a terrible work history in Sweden – unable to hold a job EVER for more than a year. He was illiterate, unlike all of my other Swedish ancestors. He was rough on his kids, resulting in his his oldest son P.W. (my great-grandfather) running away from home. He split away from friends and family at Grace Lutheran, choosing to attend a Swedish Baptist church instead. And yet he generously helped many nieces and nephews come to this country and maintained family ties. He was incredibly successful as a farmer, and obviously very hard-working. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to figure him out.
Personal Note: I am back to work full-time! We decided to increase the family cash-flow to get the last two kids through college. This has seriously cut into my genealogy time! I used to tinker around with genealogy in the mornings and that’s not possible now. I will continue to do what I can. When the weather turns cold again, I’ll probably be able to ramp things up a bit more.