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Swedish Settlers – Anders and Charlotte Nystrom – Garfield Cemetery, Garfield, Pawnee County, Kansas

The third-largest immigrant group to come to Kansas were the Swedes. In 1869, the town of Lindsborg, McPherson County, Kansas was founded. Today it is known as “Little Sweden.”

When excessive rain, followed by severe drought wiped out their crops creating a famine, the Swedish people looked to America. Kansas offered 160 acres of free land if you could live on it for seven years and make improvements.

One of those Swedish pioneering families was Anders and Charlotte Nilson Nystrom. They were both born in the same Swedish town. The year 1869 was an important milestone as the two came to America, settled in Chicago, Illinois, and were married on October 27th. They were the parents of six children with two girls being born in Ilinois.

Anders, Charlotte, and their two daughters, Ellen and Amanda, came to Kansas in 1878 and settled west of Garfield. Unfortunately, three-year-old Amanda died a few months after their arrival.

Those early settlers experienced some of the most challenging events Mother Nature could throw at them; drought, hail, and grasshoppers to name a few. Families also experienced a variety of illnesses because of a lack of medicine, lack of knowledge, or even the dangers of childbirth

In 1895, their 25-year-old daughter died of consumption. She had lived with the disease for twelve years. Emma, their youngest daughter, had married a man who deserted the family leaving Emma and an infant. Emma passed away in 1903. On her death bed, she gave her mother the 2-year-old son to raise. Anders and Charlotte formally adopted their grandson. Their only son, Carl, was crushed by a sand slide while working with a crew to repair roads. He was 47 years old. He left a wife and eight children. The youngest were 5 and 8 years old.

Anders died in 1916 and Charlotte in 1929. They are buried in Garfield Cemetery with five of their children and one grandson.

The rest of the story: The picture which accompanies this story is of Anders and Charlotte with their grandson, Fredrick Henrich Nystrom (1901-1982).

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