Monday, August 25, 2014

Eva Margareta Nilsson (1866-1947) (52 Ancesters #29)

Eva Margareta Nilsson > Edward Lundeen > Marion Elisabeth Lundeen

I love Eva's wedding dress!
(click on the picture for a closer look)
Eva Margareta Nilsson was born to Johan Nilsson and Anna Jonasdotter on Oct 12, 1866 in Lekaryd, Kronoberg, Sweden in the province of Småland. In 1884, at the age of 17, Eva came to America.** She was in Bay City, Wisconsin for a short time before moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota. While living there, she visited the area of Albion, near Annandale, Minnesota. It was on that visit that she met John Lundeen. The couple was married in Minneapolis on April 16, 1887.

John and Eva lived and worked their farm in Albion. Eva gave birth to 6 children including Alice who died at the age of 3 years old. (I remember hearing something about an accident with a stove or fire?) The couple also had an adopted daughter, Agnes. In 1917, John and son Carl opened a garage in Annandale, called “John Lundeen and Son.” Later, John would step aside and his sons Walter and Henry would join Carl. The business became Lundeen Bros., Inc., a Ford agency, and is still in business in Annandale. 

Ed, John, Carl, Agnes, Eva, Walter, Joe

Son Edward continued to work the family farm, and the 1940 census shows Ed’s family and John and Eva lived on the farm together. Following John’s death in 1940, Eva moved to Annandale and lived with her youngest son, Henry (or as I remember him, Uncle Hank). Eva died on January 18, 1947 and is buried in the Albion Free Church Cemetery. One of the 4 pastors that officiated her funeral, Rev. Wallace Larson (at that time pastor at the Annandale Free Church) was my first pastor more than 30 years later, (then at the Albion Free Church).

In April 1937, John and Eva, along with 350 family and friends, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The afternoon included an informal program where memories of their love and generosity were shared and congratulations from those absent were read. The final speech was given by son Carl, and as the local paper reported, “In the remarks by Carl, the stranger could picture this couple starting married life in a very small house, the floor of which was of wide, rough and loose boards, with very little furniture. Little by little improvements were made until the farm was comfortably equipped with buildings and furnishings that makes farming easier.”  

The conclusion of Eva’s obituary focuses on her faith. At a young age, Eva had given her heart to the Lord. She was a faithful member of the Albion Free Church and the oldest member at the time of her death. As stated in a family history, “John and Eva’s high ideals and Christian hospitality were an inspiration to all who knew them and lived in their children’s lives and that of successive generations.”
Eva and her sons

Sources: Newspaper articles from Annandale Advocate from Wright County Historical Society; Census records from; family photos and clippings.

**Does anyone know if she came on her own or if she was traveling with or meeting family in America? The info I have says her parents died in Sweden and her obit only mentions siblings in Sweden.

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