Uncle Dave's book

Saturday, August 15, 2015

52 Ancestors Year 2 #34: Ander Wilhelm Ludwick Almquist

     My Grandfather told me many stories of his family, both his father's and mother's sides.  He happily told me the story of how his mother's father left his wife in Sweden and married another woman on the boat to America (which I discovered wasn't exactly true)(see blog on Nils Johan Almquist) but he didn't tell me about the illegitimate daughter that she had back in Sweden(see blog on Anna Charlotta Johansdotter).  And he didn't tell me about his uncle Ander.

     Ander Wilhelm Ludwick Almquist was the second son of Nils Johan Almquist and Anna Charlotta Johansdotter. He was born on 7 Oct 1852 in Brunn, Alvsborg, Sweden. He was the only child with three personal names.  His father left the family for America in 1864 and he and his older brother, John, followed in  1865. They lived with him in Dassel, Meeker, Minnesota but didn't get along with Nils' new wife.  His brother, John, is found working in a Mill in Stillwater, Minnesota in the 1870 Census but I haven't found Ander in 1870.

     By 1880 he was living in Cokato, Wright , Minnesota.  It is here that he married Julia Kneeland on 30 May 1880. In the 1880 Census, he and Julia are listed in Cokato where he is a dealer in Hardware. In the 1895 Minnesota State Census he, Julia and their children, Walter, Raymond and Amy are found living in Cokato where he has a Hardware Store. In the 1900 Census I found Julia and the three children living in Owatonna, Minnesota.  Where was Ander?  I finally found him--as a patient in the Fergus Falls State Mental Hospital! What had happened?

     Eventually I found a newspaper article from 1896 which notes that A.W.L. Almquist has made "an assignment with out preference" and that assets and liabilities are not known.  This means that he had gone bankrupt.  The period from 1893 to 1898 was one of a major depression throughout the US but especially in the Midwest. Several Railroads went out of business.  This would most likely have affected a hardware dealer and Ander went under.  It appears that this completely unbalanced him.  At any rate in the 1900 and 1910 Census he is in the State Hospital and he died there on 30 May 1918.  His wife, Julia, never remarried. This is a sad story.  My grandfather was in touch with his cousins and I find Walter's son, Ralph, in his address book.  But he never told me the story.

1 comment:

  1. He certainly had a good deal of tumult in his life, as he would have been 12 when his father left for America and 13 when he and his older brother left their mother to join their father. I feel very sorry for Julia and the children, though, to have husband/father go broke and end up in the mental hospital.

    I'm glad you got all the stories and data you did from Grandpa Peterson, though. I don't recall him talking about these relatives . . . but I guess I never asked!