Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ida Petronella Landberg (52 Ancestors #4)

Ida Petronella Landberg, or Nellie, as she preferred, is the inspiration behind the name of this blog and I thought it fitting that she be the subject of an early entry.

One of my favorite old family photos - Victor and Nellie
On occasion, my immediate family calls me “Nellie” and upon hearing this, my Grandma Lorayne told me that her grandmother also went by the same name. About a year ago, as my grandma was getting ready to move from the farmhouse that had been her home my entire life, my dad brought home for me a small covered basket. It had belonged to my great-great grandmother Nellie. I don’t know how old it is or what its original purpose would have been, I just know that Grandma wanted me to have it and that is good enough for me. It’s Nellie’s Basket.

Ida Petronella Landberg was born on February 2, 1879 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Christine Louise (Nelson) and Absalom Johanson Landberg. She was the oldest of 12 children. Her family moved to Carver County, Minnesota when she was a few year old. On October 14, 1896, at the age of 17, she married Elias Alester Hanson. The couple lived in the area of Princeton, MN. They had one child, Hester Louisa who died when (according to my grandma) Nellie's mother-in-law left the door open, causing the baby to become too cold which led to pneumonia and death. Grandma also remembers hearing that the couple was very poor, and Elias' mother would sometimes bring food to their house, but she would only bring enough to feed her son, and not Nellie. On February 12, 1898, Elias died of consumption, having been sick for some time.

Nellie and Elias
The story goes that after her first marriage, Nellie returned to her parents’ home and stated that she would married the first man who asked her. Victor Vidlund, a hired hand on her parents’ farm, asked and they were married on Dec 5, 1898, just 2 years and 2 months after her first marriage. The couple had 6 children.

It seems that Nellie was a bit secretive about both of her marriages. The newspaper account of her first marriage, published over a week after the event, still didn't have the name of the groom. The marriage of Victor and Nellie wasn't reported by the Carver County News until 2 weeks after the marriage. “As the boys kept their bells very quiet, we knew nothing about the affair until the present time.”

From her obituary: “When still a young girl she learned to know Christ as her savior. It was her desire to serve Him who had died for her and she always had a strong faith in God. In the home she was a faithful wife and a devoted mother.” Nellie was a charter member of the Watertown Evangelical Free Church. She was also a great organ player as one granddaughter remembered, “She would be pumping her feet to run the organ and they would be going full force! ... She wore her hair in a bun and it would be bobbing with her head. Everyone would sing along.”

Nellie and Victor both died from stomach cancer, Victor in 1934 and Nellie on March 24, 1948. They are buried in the Watertown Public Cemetery.

Nellie and grand kids;
Grandma Lorayne on her right knee
Sources: Carver County News, Sherburne County Records, Family memories.

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