Herman Erickson Tribute
Contributor: RWhisnant Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
By his daughters Edna Briggs & Phyllis Smith
Herman Erickson was the son of Erik and Kristina Anderson Erikson. (When Herman came to America he changed his name from Erikson to Erickson). He was born November 30, 1877 at Stenbron at Bodahult, Trokorna, Sweden.
The property of Bodahult Estate was composed of several small farms. This place had been owned by nobility at one time. The home in which Herman was born was called Stenbron on the Bodahult Estate. He was born in the same home in which his father had been born. It was a small house in the woods. It was surrounded by tall firs, beautiful pines as well as the birch, aspen, and other leaf bearing trees and shrubs.
Herman's five older brothers were also born here. They were Ander Johan, Axel Edvard, (died when two weeks old), Axel Emil, Karl August, and Svante Alfred. Two sisters, Matilda and Emma were born at Stora Bredang in Bjork Parish, Elfsborge Province, Sweden, where the family later moved. They moved in the year of 1879 1880. The family was growing larger and Herman's parents decided to buy a larger place. After living there several years his father sold Stora Bredang and leased a place that lay on the other side of a small river, called Skogebo, in Osaka Parish, Elfsborg Province.
While living here Herman and his brothers attended Kilbacken's Folk School. In the summer Herman herded cows for other farmers. The cows kept him pretty busy because the flies really bothered them. He and his brothers went barefoot, even in the wheat stubble and rocks. It was quite painful until their feet toughened up. In the winter they wore wooden shoes. In the spring Herman and his brothers would 'log roll' across the river that separated the farms. This was a very dangerous form of sport but boys will be boys. In Skogebo Herman attended school and the school children would fight among themselves just like kids do today. He wasn't bothered very much because he was larger than most of them. One of the boys at school wanted to have a running race with Herman. His opponent was really tall. His legs seemed to start at his waist. It didn't seem to help him any though because Herman won the race.
Later, Herman's father and family moved from Skogebo to a place called Haberg Estate. He leased a place called Fahaga. The sons helped pay the rent entirely by giving five days of labor a week. Herman and his brothers took turns in doing the work required before migrating to America. When Herman was 15 years old he attended a Lutheran School to become a member of their church. One day the minister told the students not to get married for if they did they would go to their grave early. Herman didn't agree with the minister because he knew of many couples who had been married for a long time. One day Herman saw the minister's wife and thought, 'My she is ugly. No wonder the minister felt the way he did'.
Herman passed the course he was assigned to take. Soon after the Erikson's moved to Haberg Estate Herman's brother Karl became acquainted with the Mormon missionaries, and the whole family became interested in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. On one of Karl's visits home he asked his family if he could bring the Mormon Missionaries to their home and hold a Cottage Meeting. His parents consented and the missionaries came. Herman wasn't going to listen to the missionaries so he went into his bedroom and shut the door. His curiosity got the better of him and he opened the door a crack so he could hear what they were saying. As he listened he knew what they were saying was the truth because he had heard it somewhere before. A great change took place in Herman's life from then on. This was the church he wanted to be a member of. He told his parents he had made the decision to quit the Lutheran church. His parents advised him to keep going to church or he would be counted as a heathen. This didn't bother Herman at all. His mind was made up The people around the area had heard of the Mormons and all their wives and made fun of them. One day Herman was hauling hay for a farmer. The fellow workers knew he was interested in the Mormon Church. They started making fun of him. This made Herman angry. He was on a load of hay and they were throwing the bundles at him. He took it as long as he could, then stuck his fork into the bundles and threw the hay back at them burying them up for awhile. When they crawled out they never made fun of him any more. After accepting the gospel Herman had a sincere inexpressible desire to become united and associated with the Saints. He was baptized a member of the church on April 14, 1895, in Hullajo, Sweden and confirmed the same day. (I remember my Dad saying that he was baptized at night so there would be no on lookers). He was 18 years old.
One time he walked many miles in the rain to attend conference at Gotteberg. When he arrived there his collar on his shirt was like a rag around his neck. In order for Herman to come to the United States he had to have the priest (who was Lutheran) to intercede with the 'King' for consent to leave Sweden. That was the custom before anyone could leave. His parents gave him the money necessary for the journey to 'Zion'. He left Sweden on the ship "Furnwisa' in April of 1898 with a company of saints and missionaries. He was 20 years old. It took nine days to come across the ocean. Spain and the United States were at war and while they were coming across the ocean the Saints on the ship were afraid the ship would be fired upon. The missionaries told everyone the ship would not be harmed because it was an English Ship. The ship landed at New York Harbor through Ellis Island where all emigrants had to go through. Herman went on to Salt Lake City where his brother Karl met him.
Karl had come to the United States in 1895 and was a 'tailor'. Herman's brother Emil immigrated to America in 1893 settling in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where several cousins were living. Alfred emigrated in 1896 and settled in Utah. His father and mother and two sisters, Matilda and Emma left for America May 10, 1900 arriving in Salt Lake City June 3rd. Herman's father and mother became members of the LDS Church after they arrived in Archer. They were baptized by Elder Olaf P. Johanson Sept. 9, 1900. Herman's brothers Emil and Anders Johan never became members of the church but Anders Johan would have except he became very ill. While on his deathbed, he desired that he be baptized. This work was performed for him in the Salt Lake Temple.
Herman went to work for Mr. Ash in Pleasant Grove, Utah. He lived in the Linden Ward. The farmer's son was on a mission so Herman stayed and worked for him until his son arrived home. Mr. Ash told people that he was certainly blessed to have Herman working for him. He worked for two years at $10.00 a month. During this time he learned and mastered enough English to make his wants known. Not knowing the English language made living quite miserable for awhile. His future wife helped him learn the language better. While living in the Linden Ward he helped build their chapel.
(One day as I was sitting with Dad on the couch before he passed away he told me what happened to him when he was working for someone. I can't recall who it was. He said that the people he worked for did not let him sit at the table with the rest of the family. When they were through eating then Dad could eat. They told him they didn't have much even though' the others ate 'high on the hog. They kept all the good food back in the kitchen and gave Dad crumbs. They had him sleep in the barn. I thought this was a little strange because Herman's parents treated the missionaries with much respect and care. You would guess that they would want to give the same care and treatment to Herman for all his folks did for their sons.
Herman's brother Karl purchased 120 acres of land in Archer in 1899 forty acres each for Karl, Alfred and himself. It cost $150.00 for forty acres. The only thing found on the land was sagebrush. Herman busied himself clearing the land of sagebrush. He and his brothers had many hardships and troubles in breaking the land to farming. Money was in short supply so Herman decided to go back to Utah and look for work. Bishop O. P. Johanson talked to him and advised him to stay. His advice was taken and Herman went back to pulling sagebrush. It was a good thing he stayed because he became one of the most successful farmers in the community. The first thing Herman owned was a 'Barn Wagon' which is still on the farm. He had a Mr. Romeish build a fine two bedroom home and a barn, which are landmarks of the community. Besides the land obtained by his brother Karl, he added to his holdings until he owned over two hundred acres. Herman's parents later came to Archer and purchased 10 acres of land where they built a one room cabin with his help. The brothers were very happy to have their parents with them.
However, this happiness didn't last very long. Their mother became very ill. From the rigors of traveling over land and sea she had become weakened and suffered severe colds and much coughing. Emma, the youngest was summoned to come from Salt Lake and take care of her. After five months Mother Erikson died, Dec. 14th 1900 at the age of 56. Her grave is in the Archer Cemetery where her grandchildren and great grandchildren go every year to pay homage to her. She was a great woman and made many sacrifices to be a member of the church. Shortly before their mother passed away she had a very remarkable vision or experience as she lay on her deathbed. She thought that there was a man who walked around her bed and promised that he would take her cough away and she was so sure of it. About this time, Patriarch Liljenquist came and anointed her with holy consecrated oil and blessed her. Two days later she died quietly and peacefully. (taken from Uncle Karl's history)
Several years later Emma, and Matilda came to Archer and made their home with Herman for awhile. Herman's father returned to Sweden about three years later because of homesickness. He returned to Archer and stayed for several years then went back to Sweden for the second time. He died there the 26th of April 1917. He was 74 years old. It is interesting to note that Herman's father paid all of his own funeral expenses and had $600.00 left. Each of his children inherited about $100.00 each. At the time of his death his two sons, Karl and Alfred were on missions in Sweden at the same time and were able to attend his funeral.
The only thing found on the land at Archer was sagebrush. Herman busied himself clearing the land so it would be farmable. There just didn't seem to be any money around so he decided to go back to Utah and look for work. Bishop O.P. Johanson talked him into staying. Herman took his advice and went back to pulling sagebrush. In order to obtain extra money Herman worked on the Danish Ditch and later became President of the Danish Ditch Co. It is now known as the Sunnydell Irrigation. Herman helped build the Ricks College Administration Building. His job was to help carry mortar for the bricklayers up on the scaffolds. There was no way for him to get back and forth from his work so he just stayed in Rexburg, sleeping on a bedroll out in the sagebrush at night. This building is known as the Spori building and is still standing today. (At this point in time they are wondering what they should do with the building preserve it or tear it down. (1999). The first building on campus was a log cabin built in 1888.
Herman served as first Counselor in the Sunday School when Archer was first organized as a ward in 1902. A few years later he was sustained as President of the Y.M.M.I.A. He was a great leader for the young people in both organizations.
In the year 1904, Herman became acquainted with a young lady by the name of Gladys Edna Blackburn, from Brigham City, Utah. She visited her older sister, Lulu, many times who was the wife of Charles O. Jeppson. On one of these visits she went to church and met Herman who was impressed with her beauty and charm and fell in love with her and proposed marriage. The young lady must have been smitten with Herman's fine qualities and good looks too. She went home to Brigham City to prepare for a marriage. Herman took a train from Thornton to Brigham City where he was met by his bride to be and her father, Bishop Thomas H.
Blackburn. From there they went to Salt Lake City. These two wonderful people were married for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple Nov. 18th, 1904. He was 27 and Gladys was 18.
On their return home, Bert Carlstrom, met them at the train. When they arrived in Archer he had prepared a delicious meal for them. Bert was a brother in law to Herman's brother Karl, and he was a very dear and close friend.
Gladys was a good helpmate and companion. She not only did housework and prepared meals she helped in the fields when she could. Their first child, a son, was born October 11, 1905. His name was Herman Eugene. Ten more children came to bless this union, Joseph Alvin, Henry Erick, Howard Blackburn, Bernarr Blackburn, Norman Blackburn, Gladys Edna, Stanley Blackburn, Ada, (she was accidentally electrocuted on the 7th of April, 1929) Olive Gladys, and Phyllis.
Nine years after their marriage Herman had a case of Bright's Disease. He went to the Bernarr McFadden Health Institute in Chicago, Illinois where he recovered. His good friend Bert Carlstrom accompanied him. When their 5th son was born they named him Bernarr.
One day while working on the farm, Herman was greasing the binder and his fingers went around a cogwheel nearly severing them from his hand. The team of horses that were hitched on the binder had suddenly moved ahead a little. Thank goodness no more harm was done. Living on a farm had so many hazards that it is a miracle they could survive some of them. Bulls were a problem, ornery cows, and stubborn horses and miscalculations were a problem every day. When Henry was a youngster he enjoyed playing with the family dog. One day they noticed it was acting strange. Herman talked to the County Physician about it and wondered if it had rabies. The physician said it couldn't be rabies because there wasn't any rabies around. One of their cows was acting peculiar so they shot it. One of the heifers started foaming at the mouth. One of the horses would hold its head in the air and make funny noises. It soon died. Henry continued playing with the dog but it did not harm him. One day it ran at one of the older boys with his eyes glowing, so they had to shoot it. It made them all wonder if the world was coming to an end because of the strange behavior of the animals.
Although Herman's education was limited he was highly regarded as one of the more successful farmers of the community. He educated himself in the art of agriculture and in business. He made a great name for himself and people all over the area came to him for advice. He was well respected and admired for his integrity. In 1918 Herman and Gladys and their six sons and daughter moved from their old homestead to where Olive and Eddie now live. It was only a two roomed house. Herman added a basement, kitchen, living room, and bathroom. A Delco light plant was installed in the basement, which furnished light for the home as well as the old rock church house. He later helped to bring electricity into the Archer area in 1925 26. In the spring of 1939, Herman was elected as a director in the Madison, Teton Loan Association and was given a beautiful framed tribute in appreciation of his long standing services to the community.
He organized the first group known as the Sunnydell Farm Loan Association and was the only President for 20 years. After that three counties joined in what is now the Idaho Land Bank Association. The following information was taken from the records of a former Bishop of Archer, Bsp. O.P. Johanson. A.P. Young and others asked the Bishop if they formed a company and built an amusement hall if it would be all right. The Bishop at that time was George Briggs Jr. He gave his OK and told them that they should go ahead with it. In 1911 the Tabernacle for the Stake was being built in Rexburg and the Bishopric did not feel that they could take the responsibility of raising funds for the two buildings. The Archer Amusement Company was formed with four Squires' two Youngs' Herman, George Weekes, Roger Millward, and Carl Johnson. Herman later became sole owner of the hall. Many enjoyable times were had there. C.M. Squires drew the plans for Ricks Academy and also was the architect for the Hall. Henry and DeVeda had their wedding reception here and this is where Phyllis sang her first solo. The following news item appeared in the Rexburg Journal in the fall of 1937. "Erickson Hall at Archer is being torn down and the material will be used for other buildings. For 28 years it has been the place of amusement for young and old" (The shingles were used for years to start early morning fires both in the church and Scout House and at home.)
Besides Herman's civic and community undertakings he held many positions in the church. He was ordained a Deacon, Dec. 4th 1898, Teacher, Nov. 12th, Priest by Geo. Briggs, March 26th 1902, Elder April 10th, 1904, Seventy by Apostle Anthony W. Ivins, Dec. 14th 1913, High Priest by Arthur Porter, July 20th 1930. Herman was President of the High Priest's Quorum, Chairman of the Archer Ward Choir for years and years. He was first assistant in the Sunday school, President of the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association, President of the Sunnydell Farm Loan Association for 21 years, and custodian of Archer Ward Chapel since about 1918. (Around 67 years). That's quite a record. As well as cleaning, many hours were spent keeping fires going and putting props up for Ward and School plays and other functions. When the Scout House was added Herman kept that up too. (At this time the old Scout House is in Heise above the pool on a hill that overlooks the area. Melvin and Phyllis had their wedding party there before it was moved.)
We are all proud of the heritage our parents have given us. Their lives have been examples of industry, thrift, honesty, service, unselfishness, integrity, stick to itivness, trust and loyalty. Herman had a strong testimony of the gospel and was a believer in prayer. He taught his children through quietness and never through harsh words. Their home was always open to friends, relatives, and strangers. They were known as "Uncle Herman and Aunt Gladys" to everyone. Herman's hair was beautifully white and wavy. The little kids thought he was Pres. David O. McKay. The last words spoken by Herman were to his Great Granddaughter, ArLana Youmans as her parents were leaving to go to North Carolina. He smiled at her and said, 'Nice baby'. Herman was the last surviving member of his family. He passed away quietly at his home, Sept the 4th, 1970. He would have been ninety three in Nov. 1970. In 1944, Herman had given each one of his children 20 acres of land or property as their inheritance. He requested that the land always be kept in the family and as of this date, 15 years later, all of the land he had is still in the family. How many farmers give land to their kids without any strings attached. He wanted each one treated equally.
I am going to say a few words about my Dad. There is hardly a day goes by but what I think about this great, kind, gentleman. Tears well up within my eyes just thinking of the sacrifice he made to come to America and the hard, hard work he did on the land to get it ready for farming.
He wasn't a complainer or a quitter. He helped to make Archer what it is today. He had the first Holsteins, the first electricity, the first radio, the first player piano, the first phonograph and he always provided his family with the things they needed. His hobby was 'work'. He always did his best no matter what. His rows of plowed ground were straight like his character. He was a man whose 'word was as good as his bond'. I'll never forget the happy hours spent listening to him sing as I played his part on the organ or piano or combing his hair as he read the evening paper or the walks down the lane to the 'Old Place'. To me next to the president of the church or nation there is not a greater man than 'My Dad'.
Autobiography of Erik Erikson written by Karl August Erickson
Contributor: RWhisnant Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
(A record of the Erik Erickson family written by Karl August Erickson while living on his forty acre farm he named Rosendal (Valley of Roses) in Archer Ward, Madison County, Idaho. Translated from Sweedish by his nephew Alvin R. Erikson in Salt Lake City, Utah on August 10, 1938.)
Father’s father, Erik Swenson, was born on the 16th day of March 1800 in Trokorna Parish, Skaraborgs province, Sweden. His wife, Annika Erikson was born in 1802 in Mallby Parish. They farmed one half of a taxed estate at Bodahult, Trokorna parish, Skaraborg Province, Sweden, where my father was born. They were the parents of several children. Grandfather Erik Swenson was juryman while residing at Bodahult Estate.
My father, Erik Erikson, was born at Bodahult, Trokorna Parish, Skaraborg Province, Sweden on the4th day of December, 1842. Father’s father died in 1842 before my father Erik Erikson was born. It was impossible for Grandmother to farm this place alone. She, therefore, had a small house built father in the woods. This home was surrounded by tall firs, beautiful pines as well as the birch, aspen, and other leaf bearing trees and shrubs. This home was called Stenbron (Rock bridge). Here Grandmother raised her family, lived and died, in a home that was secluded, grand and beautiful. The sound of the wind rustling through the trees and the beautiful chirping of the birds could be heard. During July of 1916, my brother Alfred, our Elderly Father, and I visited this home which was filled with many memories. The house Grandmother built was still standing and occupied by the family of Mother’s brother August Anderson who had lived there ever since my Father and mother and we children had moved from there. The property of Bodahult Estate is composed of several small farms. This place had been owned by nobility at one time, but at present it is the property of the Government of Sweden.
It was at this lovely home called Stenbron, on Bodahult Estate, where my brothers and I were born. My sisters, Matilda and Emma were born at Stora Bredang, Bjorke parish, Elfsborgs Province, Sweden. Father was the only son in his parents family. He had two sisters, Maja Greta and Kattrina, who lived long lives and had families.
Father Erik Erikson farmed Stenbron. It was here that he married mother in about 1867. Mother’s maiden name was Christina Anderson and she was born in Krycklehult (farm) only a short distance from Bodahult (farm). As our family grew larger, our parents decided to buy a larger place and moved from Stenbron around the year 1879-1880 to a place called Stora Bredang, in Bjorke parish. It was here that our sisters were born. Brother Emil and I went to Bjorke Folk School. Our teacher was Svante Bjorklund who was related to us on Father’s side. After living here several years, Father sold Stora Bredang and leased a place that lay on the other side of a small river running nearby. The place he leased was called Skogebo, in Osaka Parish, Elfsborg Province, Sweden. While here, we children attended Kilbacken’s Folk School. I was confirmed in the Osaka Lutheran Church by Priest Fjelldal. About this time, I began my apprenticeship in tailoring under Bengt Muvits in Trokorna Parish.
Later, father and the family moved from Skogebo to a place called Haberg Estate where he leased a place called Fahaga. The rent was paid entirely by giving five days labor weekly on Haberg Estate. Brothers Emil, Alfred, and Herman took turns doing the work required before migrating to America. I didn’t stay at home at this time inasmuch as I was required to stay away from home serving my apprenticeship in tailoring.
It was around 1890 that our parents moved to Haberg Estate where the greatest challenge took place in our family. It was at this place that our entire family emigrated to America except our eldest brother, Anders Johan who died there and was buried in Flo Church Yard. Alfred, Herman, Matilda, Emma and I became converts of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints commonly called the Mormon Church. I accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ in the year 1892 when I was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on August 1st, 1892 by a missionary from Zion, Elder A.G. Johanson from Pleasant Grove, Utah. The baptism took place just below Trollhatten Waterfalls. At this time, I was working as a tailor in the City of Trollhattan.
I was the first of our family to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ known as Mormonism. Shortly thereafter, my brothers and sisters were baptized by the missionaries. Father and Mother were baptized in Archer, Idaho after they came to America. Emil and Anders Johan never became members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while they lived. However, Anders Johan would have been baptized a member if his sickness had not ended his life span on earth. While on his death bed, he desired that we be baptized for him which was able to do for him later in the Salt Lake Temple where blessings, endowments and ordinances for the living and the dead are given and performed.
Brother Emil emigrated to America around 1892 or 1893 settling in Minneapolis, Minnesota where Mother’s brothers Karl and Otto Anderson and several of our cousins were living. I immigrated to America on the 25th day of April, 1895 with Salt Lake City, Utah as my destination. Before leaving Sweden, I had performed missionary labors for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My missionary labors began January8, 1894. Alfred emigrated in 1896 and Herman immigrated in 1897 to Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America. Father, Mother, Matilda, Emma, and a neighbor girl, Anna Verner, left Sweden on the 10th day of May 1900 arriving in Salt Lake City, Utah on the 3rd of June 1900. Being recently married, my wife and I were living at 569 East 2nd South Street, Salt Lake City, Utah where our parents stayed with us. We had rented two rooms at this time. Our parents lived with us until the end of the month of July when they traveled to Archer, Idaho with their youngest son, Herman. It was here that I had previously purchased 120 acres of farm land duringAugustof1899; 40 acres for Herman, 40 acres for Alfred, and 40 acres for myself. This land lay in Archer Ward, which was Fremont County at that time. Part of this county became Madison County in Which Archer Ward is now located.
Happenings in America
The only thing found on the land we had purchased was sagebrush. Father and Herman built a one room log cabin in which they later lived. Father had purchased 10 acres of land on which they built their home. The happiness we had with our parents did not last long. Mother was weakened from severe colds and much coughing. After a short illness in bed, she died on the 14th day of December 1900 at the age of 56 years, 5 months and 21 days. She was buried in Sutton’s (Archer Cemetery) Graveyard where a beautiful headstone has been placed in her memory by her children.
Father and Mother both accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the church. They were baptized by Elder Olaf P. Johanson and later confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints in the Archer Ward. Elder Atkinson was Bishop at this time. Some years later, Olaf P. Johanson was ordained Bishop of Archer Ward.
Shortly before Mother’s passing she had a very remarkable vison or experience as she lay on her death bed. She thought that there was a man who walked around her bed and promised that he would take her cough away and she was so sure of it. About this time, Patriarchal Liljenquist, came and anointed her with holy consecrated oil and blessed her. Two days later, she left this earthly existence. She died quietly and peacefully on the 14th day of December 1900. The funeral services were held in the Old Archer Ward Chapel. Relatives present at the funeral were Matilda, Emma, Herman, Father, and I.
At this time, my home was in Salt Lake City. I had a four room white brick home built at 377 Fifth Avenue. My wife and I lived here a short time. We sold this place on the 30th day of September 1907 and moved on the 28th of October to our 40 acre plot of land in Archer, Idaho. This land was unbroken and was entirely covered with sagebrush.
On the 26th day of October 1907, I gave up tailoring for my good employer O.C. Hansen at 65 West 2d South Street, Salt Lake City, where I had worked for about 12 years. All the tailors, I worked with, gave us a farewell party at Hansen’s Shop. That evening at 11:45 p.m., my wife and I left by train for Rexburg, Idaho arriving there at 11:30 a.m. on the 29th day of October.
On the 23d of November 1907, we moved into a twelve by twelve foot lumber dwelling located on our land. We had many hardships and troubles the first part of the time we were there in breaking the land and farming. I do not desire to relive these same experiences or attempt anything like this again; no never.
Father returned to Sweden going by way of Minneapolis, Minnesota where his son Emil resided. He stayed there for some time and then continued his way home to Sweden in about the year 1903 or 1904. He again left Sweden returning to Archer, Idaho staying with us for several years. He left for Sweden a second time on the 26th day of April 1913 traveling by train from Thornton, Idaho at 6:00 p.m. o’clock. My wife and I went to Grover’s where he stayed and bade him farewell. On the day he left, Emma went with him as far as Pocatello. Father visited and bade farewell to his son Alfred and his family who were living at 1045 Pierpont Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah at the time.
In the year 1915, my brother Alfred and I were called and labored teaching the gospel as missionaries in the Swedish Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Alfred left a few months before I did. I left Archer, Idaho on the 27th of November 1915. I traveled through New York City and sailed on the Norwegian Steamer S.S. Kristianiafjord to the City of Bergen, Norway, arriving on the 20th day of December 1915 and then on to Kristiania which city was later named Oslo, Norway. I finally arrived in Stockholm, Sweden at the Swedish Mission headquarters on the 23rd of December 1915. My brother Alfred and I served on our missions teaching the gospel for over two years. Alfred labored in the City of Gothenburg and I labored in the City of Malmo, Skane Province, Sweden. At mission headquarters, in Stockholm, Sweden, we received instructions as to our duties and assigned to our respective fields of missionary labor. President Theodore Tobiason sent me to the Skane Conference of District which took in Skane, Halland, and Blekinge Provinces in Sweden.
After I had visited a few of my wife’s relatives in the city of Eskilstuna, I went to greet my father. I arrived in Grastorp, Vestergotland on the 5th of January 1916. The Estate of Bodahult is located a good distance from Grastorp. It was at Bodahult estate where my father was staying with the widow of our relative, Olaf Swenseon. This was the same place on which my father was born. Our relatives received me very warmly and they were so good to my father. I felt a peculiar and inexpressible feeling within me knowing that here my father’s infant steps were first made where we were now staying, he and I without a home in our native land. Bodahult is a beautiful place with its rolling knolls and rustling forests. Memories filled my soul to overflowing with joy and happiness as even I again relived a part of my childhood days.
I continued on to Gothenburg, Sweden, arriving there on the 11th day of January 1916. It was here that I met my brother Alfred, as well as Elders Vern Stromberg and Peterson doing their missionary work. I then traveled on to the City of Malmo where I arrived a t 12 o’clock midnight on the 15th day of January 1916. No one met me at the railroad station. I was alone, tired and hungry. The money I had with me had been spent before reaching Malmo, but my good wife soon sent me additional funds to carry on my labors for the Lord. Mission life is wonderful. We must pay our own expenses from our own funds. We travelled and went by foot a good deal while tracting from house to house where we gave out small religious tracts and sold many church books at cost. On the 30th of June, Elder S.P. Nielson and I travelled together to Summer Conference at Mission headquarters in Stockholm where we all received encouragement, instruction, and advice in our missionary duties. During the time we were in Stockholm, we visited many museums of historical interest. We also visited the Stockholm Palace which was a magnificent place to see and admire. Gustaf the 5th was King of Sweden at this time.
Leaving Stockholm on July 8, 1916 and on the way back to Malmo, I visited my wife’s relatives in Eskilstuna and other cities. I also visited Father in Bodahult again on the 18th day of July 1916 in company with my brother Alfred who was also present at the Stockholm Missionary Conference, at which all missionaries are expected to be present. While in Bodahult, Alfred and I visited our brother Anders Johan’s grave which is located in Flo Church Cemetery. I left Bodahult for Gothenburg on the 24th of July and reached Malmo on the 28th of July 1916. On the 12th day of October I visited the Danish Mission headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Copenhagen, Denmark. We visited the various museums while there. One of the museums was the well-known Thorvaldsen Museum. I stayed only a few days in Copenhagen.
We traveled much during my mission labors in Skane, Halland, and Blekenridge Provinces. On several occasions, we labored in the City of Karlskrona, a very noted Swedish City with forts and strongholds both on land and on the sea.
During the month of April, our Father became very ill and weak so that he was bed ridden. On the 7th day of April, 1917, my brother Alfred and I were again in Bodahult to comfort our Father while he was sick. We were with him nearly all the time. While we were away for a few days, Father had passed away before we could return. Alfred arrived before I did. I came back the day after he passed away. Now there was much sadness in our Father’s death but he wanted so much to go, and we were thankful to God for that which had now happened through his allwise guidance. Father died peacefully and calmly on the 26th day of April 1917 at 5:00 p.m. at the age of 74 years, 4 months and 22 days, from cancer of the liver. Father’s burial took place Many 4, 1917 from Bodahult where father lived and was well treated during the last four years by Anna Stina Olofson. They were so kind to him and they will be rewarded. He was buried in Trokorna Church Cemetery where we bought a place for two graves and also raised a headstone over his grave. The Lutheran Priest performed the Burial ceremonies. Many of our friends and relatives came to the funeral. We paid for a large dinner which was served after the funeral services, being a custom of Sweden. Eight wagons of relatives followed the procession to the grave side. It cost us 936 kronor for the preparations, burial costs, and gravestone. We gave 300 kronor to the widow Anna Stina, after the funeral as a gift of thanks for her kindness towards Father. Thus our Father Erik Erikson completed his earthly mission after having lived a good and peaceful life filled with many experiences. He travelled over the Atlantic Ocean four ties after he was 58 years of age.
He paid for all of his own expenses and at the time of his death he had $600.00 left. Each of his sons and daughters inherited about $100.00 each. On May the 8th, 1917, my brother Alfred and I visited Trokerna Church Cemetery to see Father’s grave for the last time and I dedicated his grave as his final resting place. We left Bodahult the following day which was the 9th of May.
Many remarkable things happen in life. Our Mother is buried in Sutton’s Cemetery, Archer, Idaho and our Father is buried in Trokorna Church Cemetery, Skaraborg Province, Sweden about 6,000 miles from each other. I have had the wonderful privilege of being present when both of my parents were buried.
My brother Alfred and I served in our respective missionary fields of labor until we were honorably released by President A.P. Anderson. I traveled back to America on the S.S. Bergensfjord from Kristiania (Olso), Norway on the 7th day of February 1918. Alfred had travelled home to America a few weeks earlier. I arrived in New York City on Monday the 18th of February 1918; arrived in Chicago February 23rd; reached Salt Lake City on February 18th, and on Sunday, March 3, 1918, I finally arrived at my home Rosendal, Archer Ward, Idaho. My wife was not very well when I came home but became better after a short time. I am forever thankful to my wife because she said that I should fill a mission for the Church. She sent me money the whole time that I was away and while she and her brother Bertil were home working and looking after our farm. Her father also with her for a time. That which my wife has performed for the sake of the gospel is much and the Lord will bless her richly for it. She sacrificed much in the two years or more that I was serving in the mission field. She has been faithful to her duties in the gospel all her life having been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since her childhood. During her younger days, she labored for the gospel and its promulgation while she lived in the city of Stockholm, and Eskilstuna, Sweden. The Lord knows that her faithfulness in the gospel is such that shall be rewarded with blessings.
Well, I was home again after having filled two missions for the Church in Sweden. My first mission was completed before I left Sweden the first time. The second mission being filled from America to Sweden. The total time of both missions was about 3 years and 6 months all at my own expense. I have also performed many other church callings and I am now an ordained Seventy having been ordained by B.H. Roberts, in the Presidency of the First Council of Seventy. Israel’s God shall have all praise and glory for all that I have received permission to perform in his services. It is now the 22nd of November 1922 and I have labored considerably at farming here in Archer with its many problems and worries.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Salt Lake City, Utah, August 10, 1931, I am now living in my own home at 28 East 17th South Street, Salt Lake City, where I am now writing. I still own the 40 acre farm in Archer, Idaho where my youngest brother, my two sisters Tilda and Emma have farms and homes. My brother-in-law, Bertil J.B. Carlstrom, also lives there. We all own farms in the same Ward in Archer, Idaho, the Archer Ward.
I was born June 11, 1873 and was the first of my father’s family to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on August 1, 1892 in Trollhatan, Sweden below Trollhatans waterfall in what we called “Karlekens Stig” (Loves Step). I was called to labor as a missionary in the Swedish Mission as one of “Landet’s Soner” (Native sons, or home missionary) in Skovde Branch, Gothenburg District, Skaraborgs Province, Sweden beginning in January 8, 1894.
I was ordained a Deacon March 12, 1893 by Elder John Christenson and Elder C.A. Carlquist, both missionaries from Zion. The ordination took place in Trollhatan Branch, Gothenburg District, Sweden, where I first heard and received the Gospel. I was ordained a teacher September 24, 1893 by Elder A.J. Walquist who was President of the Gothenburg District. Elders A. Johnson and Kindberg were also present. The ordination was performed in Jonkoping where I labored at my trade as a tailor. I was ordained a Priest, March 27, 1894 by Elder John M. Mattson who was president of the Skovde Branch. He was assisted by Elder C. Lindell. The ordination was performed at Sister Stina Kajsa Wennerlin’s beautiful home, Alehagen under Sargarden, Osterplana Church, Kinekulle. At this time, I was a home missionary in the Skovde Branch. Elder J.W. Mattson was Branch president and my first companion in Kinekulle, Sweden. I was ordained an Elder May 15, 1894 by Elder John W. Mattson in Brother Anderson’s home in Malltorp near Karlsborg’s old fort at the recommendation of District President A.J. Walquist.
I was ordained a Seventy, November 18, 1913 in the First Ward Chapel, Rexburg, Idaho by Elder B.H. Roberts, of the First Council of Seventy. At the time, I was living in Archer Ward on our 40 acre farm. I was ordained a High Priest November 27, 1927 by High Priest Charles S. Woodward in the Wells Ward Chapel, at which time I resided at 28 East 17th South St., Salt Lake City, UT. This was in the McKinley Ward, Grant Stake, now the Temple View Stake.
A few days before my father died, my mother’s brother Andreas Anderson, from Krycklehult had come to bid farewell to Father. They had grown up together and had always been close friends. I sat in silence in a corner of the room and listened and saw what took place. Both were concerned as to whether father would be prepared to meet his God. My good Uncle Andreas asked my father if he desired to have the Priest give him the Sacrament (Communion) . I listened to what he answered him from Revelations 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will, come in to him, and will sup with him and he with me.” His voice was so clear and distinct that we were startled. As I saw my father’s silver-white hair and his white beard as he laid in bed, I felt happy for such a good father. My uncle was satisfied with father and seemed to understand all was well as he said to father that all would no doubt be well as long as father was saved. My father was a “Mormon” but my Uncle Andreas did not know that and it was therefore that my father knew all would be well.
The Story of My Father's Life
Contributor: RWhisnant Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
The Story of My Father’s Life
By Norman B. Erickson, November 1, 1938
My Dad, Herman Erickson, was born November 30, 1877, Trokorna Parish, Skaraborg Province, Sweden, the son of Erik Erikson and Kristina Anderson. He was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 14, 1895 in Hullsjo, Sweden and confirmed the same day.
He left Sweden in April of 1898 when twenty-one years of age bound for America to answer the call of the restored gospel. It was the custom in Sweden for the priest(who was Lutheran) to intercede with the king for consent before Dad could leave Sweden.
While crossing the ocean, war broke out with Spain causing a great deal of excitement among the voyagers. However, the trip was made without mishap.
Not knowing the English language made living quite miserable for awhile. He was able to procure work from a Mr. Ash a farmer of Linden, Utah (near Pleasant Grove) who had a son on a mission. (According to his brother Alfred, Mr. Ash said he was certainly blessed to have Dad come just when he did to work for him.) Dad worked at this place for two years at ten dollars a month. During this time, he learned and mastered enough English to make his wants known. He later received training from his future wife in the English language. A Sunday School teacher in Salt Lake City gave him the Alphabet to study, but Dad said he didn’t have time to bother with it. While in Linden, Utah, he helped build their church house.
Dad first came to Archer (then Lyman) in 1900. The first thing he owned was a Barn Wagon which we still have and could still use. He has helped to build in this community, a recreation hall, Church House, school house, Ricks Academy, Rexburg Stake Tabernacle, contributing on an organ for the Archrer Ward and finally the construction of the scout house, which was the last addition. He had a Mr. Romeish build a fine home and barn which are landmarks of the community.
In 1900, Uncle Karl purchased 40 acres for himself, 35 acres to Dad, 35 acres to Uncle Alfred, and 10 acres for Grandfather. Dad had added to his land until he owned over two hundred acres.
A case of Bright’s Disease sent him to a McFadden Health Institute in Chicago, Ill. where he recovered. as a companion, he had Bert Carlstrom who was almost a brother. In about 1918, he was quite delirious with the “flu.”
While greasing the binder, Dad’s fingers went around a cog wheel nearly severing them from the hand, when the team moved up.
Herman Erickson married Gladys Edna Blackburn on November 18, 1904 in the Salt Lake Temple. John R. Winder performed the ceremony. Eleven children were born to this union: H. Eugene, J. Alvin, Henry E., Howard B., Bernarr B., Norman B., Edna, Stanley B., Ada who was accidentally electrocuted on the 7th of April, 1829, Olive G., and Phyllis.
A patriarchal blessing was given to him on June 19, 1904.
Priesthood, auxiliary and civic positions held by Dad: Deacon December 4, 1898, Teacher, November 12, 1899, Priest by Geo. Briggs March 26, 1902, Elder by Nephi Johnson April 10, 1904, Seventy by Apostle Anthony W. Ivins December 14, 1913, High Priest by Arthur Porter, July 20, 1930. President of the High Priest’s Quorum, First assistant in the Sunday School to Luke Briggs, President of the Young men’s Mutual Improvement Association, Chairman of the Ward Choir, President of Sunnydell Farm Loan Association, for twenty-one years, and custodian of Archer Ward Chapel since about 1918.