Persson Family Papers, 1911-1930
Extent: 0.25 Linear Feet
Date Acquired: 00/00/1996
The Persson Family Papers consist of letters and letter fragments, written mainly in Swedish, to Adolf and Victoria "Tori" Persson from family members in Sweden and in the United States. The letters span the years 1911-1930 and have been translated by Special Collections Norwegian student assistants: Ann Catrin Jern, Anne Berit Hamar, Nina Berg, and Ada Jonsson. Because the letters are handwritten in an older form of Swedish, there are probably some errors in the translations.
Correspondents in Sweden include Victoria's father, August Andersson, and her sister, Wilhelmina or Mina, and Adolf's sister, Tekla. Isaac and Elin Persson often wrote from their home in Dunlap, Illinois. Isaac was Adolf's brother and Victoria and Elin seem to have been good friends. Other correspondents include John and Hjalmar Persson (brothers to Adolf), Edna Persson (niece) and Hjalmar Larson and John Magnusson (friends of Adolf).
Correspondents generally reported news concerning family members and friends in Sweden and in Illinois. The letters contain information on births, deaths and marriages. Crops, livestock, weather, and other affairs of daily rural agricultural life are often discussed as well. There are some references to World War I in the letters, but very little commentary on other world events.
Per Adolf Persson (aka Adolph Pearson) was born 9 January 1884 in Veinge Parish, Halland County, Sweden, the son of Per Svensson and Kristina Larsdotter. His father Per was first married to Petronella Persdotter who died in 1882. Adolph emigrated in 1904, arriving 28 October at New York on the S.S. Carpathia. His destination was Peoria County, Illinois, where his brother, Sven Isak (Isaac), was living.
Josefina Viktoria Johansdotter was born 7 December 1883 in Gullered Parish, Älvsborg County (now Västra Götaland County), Sweden. Her parents were Johan August Andersson and Justina Jansdotter. She emigrated as Josefina Anderson in October 1906 and arrived 8 November at Boston on the S.S. Saxonia. Her final destination was Auburn, Rhode Island. She was known as Victoria or Tori in America.
According to Adolph's obituary from the Grand Forks Herald, he and Victoria were married 11 December 1909 in Illinois. They had three children: Raymond, Edith, and Harry. Adolph and Victoria farmed near Dunlap, Peoria County, Illinois and moved to Sullivan Township, Polk County, Minnesota around 1915. Adolph's brother and sister-in-law, Isaac and Elin Persson, also lived near Dunlap, and two other brothers, John and Hjalmar, lived in the same area. Several of his sisters also emigrated. A brother to Victoria, Per Gustaf Johnson, lived in Polk County, Minnesota, after relocating there from Peoria, Illinois. Victoria died 23 June 1961 followed by Adolf, who died 14 August 1966. They are buried in Bethany Lutheran Cemetery, north of East Grand Forks.
Access Restrictions: Open for inspection under the rules and regulations of the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections.
Acquisition Source: The original acquisition records are unavailable
Acquisition Method: 99-2381
Preferred Citation: (Description of Item). Persson Family Papers. OGLMC 1399. Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections, Chester Fritz Library, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.
Finding Aid Revision History: Finding aid revised and added to Archon in October 2015
Browse by Box:
- Box 1
- Folder 1: Correspondence from Victoria's family in Sweden, 1911-1914
- Letters are from sister Wilhelmina (Mina) and father Johan August Andersson to Victoria and/or her brother Gustaf
- Folder 2: Correspondence from Victoria's family in Sweden, 1915-1916
- Letters are written by sister Wilhelmina (Mina) and father Johan August Andersson to Victoria and/or her brother Gustaf
- Folder 3: Correspondence from Victoria's family in Sweden, 1918-1930
- Letters are written by sister Wilhelmina (Mina) and two of her children, Villy and Gustav, and by father Johan August Andersson. They were sent either to Victoria or including her brother Gustaf.
- Folder 4: Correspondence from Adolf's sister Tekla in Sweden, 1911
- Folder 5: Correspondence from the Isaac Person family to the Adolf Person family, July-August 1915
- Letters from Isaac, his wife Elin, and daughter Edna to Adolf, Victoria (Tori), and their chidren. The letters from Edna are in English, while the others are in Swedish and include translations.
- Folder 6: Correspondence from the Isaac Person family to the Adolf Person family, September-December 1915 and undated (probably 1915)
- Letters from Isaac and his wife Elin to Adolf, Victoria (Tori) and family. Includes a couple of letter fragments that are probably from this same time period. Letters are in Swedish and have been translated.
- Folder 7: Correspondence from the Isaac Person family to the Adolf Person family, 1917-1919
- Letters from Isaac and his wife Elin to Adolf, Victoria (Tori) and family. The original of the 21 January 1917 letter is missing (copy only). All letters are in Swedish with translations.
- Folder 8: Correspondence from other siblings to Adolf Person, 1909-1918
- Letters from his sister Alma (Mrs. Niel Larson) in Brooklyn, New York; brother Hjalmar in Dunlap, Illinois; brother John in Peoria, Illinois; and sister Clara (Mrs. Gust Johnson) in Los Angeles. All are in Swedish, but the letter from Clara has not been translated.
- Folder 9: Correspondence to/from John Magnuson, 1915-1919 and undated (ca. 1917)
- John was an acquaintance of the Person family in Illinois and came to Polk County, Minnesota, to work in 1915. Includes a letter probably from Hjalmar Person in 1915 as well as later letters by John to Adolf Person and Gustaf Johnson in Polk County, Minnesota. All letters are in Swedish with translations.
- Folder 10: Correspondence - assorted, 1907, 1915 and undated (ca. 1910)
- The 1907 letter fragment (copy only) appears to be from a female acquaintance of Victoria, while the 1915 letter fragment was probably written by Adolf when he arrived in Grand Forks with others from Illinois. The last letter was likely to Adolf from a friend, Hjalmar Larson, in Peoria. All are in Swedish and have been translated.
- Folder 11: Correspondence, undated
- Letter fragment in broken English mentioning Victoria and probably written in the Peoria area. Folder also contains addresses of people in Peoria and information about a train ticket from Illinois to East Grand Forks. All are undated.
- Folder 12: Obituaries from the Grand Forks Herald for Victoria and Adolph Pearson, 1961 and 1966