Jonas Victor Swenson Family Photos

Monday, September 26, 2011

50. March 7, 1909

Another letter from Anton Gustafsson, in his twenties and nephew of Jonas Victor Swenson.  He arrived in Cleburne and is giving his impression of America.     Roselyn

Cleburne, Riley Co, Kansas March 7, 1909
My Dear Parents and siblings in the native land!
     I will now let you know that I have reached the travel's goal.  I am now sitting in my room in Cleburne and am well, as I was during the whole trip.
     I arrived in Cleburne last Tuesday.  I had sent a telegram from New York.  I was afraid it would be hard to find my way.  For that reason, my Uncle asked a person from the town to meet me on Monday, because they thought I would come that day.  On Tuesday, nobody met me and my Uncle was not at home.  He arrived that evening.  
     It was easier than I thought, because nearly all are Swedes or talked Swedish. (Roselyn--at that time the Cleburne area was a Swedish community with many Swedish immigrants living there)   It was very nice to come here and hear my own language.  Since I left Chicago, I had only talked to two who could speak Swedish, and they were civil servants on the railway.
     It is two miles to Uncle's farm (6 1/2 English miles=1 Swedish mile).  The farm where I am staying is 4 1/2 miles from Cleburne in the opposite direction, 6 1/2 miles from here and to Uncle's house.   Farms have no names here.  I am staying with a family named Velen. (Roselyn--HF, son of Jonas Victor married Ida Velen later.  They had been neighbors).
     At every station there is a town, where you can buy what you need.  Swedish and American churches are here, but only in the towns.  A special part of the country belongs to the towns.
     With the mail, at every farm,  there is a mail box, where you fetch and and leave your mail.  Then there is a mailman who visits these boxes twice a day.  Of course, nearly all have a telephone, but not Uncle Victor.  Aunt Anna does not like to hear the ringing.
     I moved here last Friday, when my " house farmer" fetched me last Wednesday.  I went with Uncle and Aunt to Randolph 4 miles away and on last Thursday, we went to Cleburne (Uncle and I).  
     We have two big horses.  It is not like Sweden, where you walk on the hills.  Here there are only deciduous trees and fruit trees, and there are large hills.  There are no roads on the large hills.
     At last I will tell you that I am well, and have not yet regretted my travel, and have not been deceived about my ideas about this country.  Everything is good if I stay well.
     I have seen that the work must be done quickly here, but the work is easy.  There is not enough paper to tell you about what I have already seen in America.
     Greetings from Anton L.(Leander)  Gustafsson.

Do read at last!  Do not forget that there is no rule without exception.  So it is also with what I have written.  This is not Sweden.  It is America.  (Roselyn--Could he be quoting his Uncle Victor?)

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