Jonas Victor Swenson Family Photos

Friday, December 30, 2011

94. November 1928 Part 1

Jonas Victor writes about the presidential election in 1928 when Calvin Coolidge was reelected.  You can receive these blogs by email if you sign your email address in the place on the right hand side below "followers".  Roselyn.

Randolph, Kansas
November 1928  Part 1

Dear Brother Albert with Family.
     Thanks for the letter.  It is always so nice to get a letter from the place where I was born and have grown up, and hear how you are.  I remember when I wrote the last time, I said that it could be the last letter.  I can say that my health is better now than it was that time, thanks to God.
     I have been with my son in Clay Center for 5 months.  Now I am with my oldest son, who lives at a farm 4 miles from Randolph.  I have a good time with my children wherever I am.  Everybody is so kind to me.  I pay well for my housing.  
     We are having beautiful weather.  It is great, brother Albert, that God has blessed us so we do not have to be thinking of poverty in our old age.  We have worked hard, and that has been our duty, but others have worked, but have not succeeded.  We have free access to God, who gives us  both what we need spiritually and bodily. 
     Now it is another day, so I have forgotten what I had thought to write.
     I can tell you that we have had a presidential election and that was good.  The Republicans won, so we have the same president (Calvin Coolidge).  He is an economical man.  He was vice president earlier, but when the sitting president died, he was the new president.  During that time many national debts have been paid.  The taxes have been a little smaller.  This is the third time I am writing.  The last time I was writing, clouds came in front of the sun, so I could not see.  
     There are many debts in the country which are enormous.  No debts to the foreign countries.  Instead there are great claims in this country.  Here, the rich people have much to claim, also those who are not as rich, and the workers, too got a chance to pay into what was called savings stamps.  They could pay 25 and 50 cents, also 1 dollar, 5, 25, 50, 100, up to 500.  They could put in for 5 years.  By then it had grown much.  If they wanted to take out the money after 5 years, they could do that.  They did not have to do that if they did not want.  I have put in 500.  I get 4 1/2 % interest, which I get every sixth month sent to my home address.  It is good, because there is no tax on this money.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

93. January 1, 1927 Part 2

Jonas Victor writes of Christmas and church customs in America.  Roselyn

Randolph, Kansas
January 1, 1927

We are now in the Christmas week.  No church communion has early church service more than Swedes here in America, but every church has a Christmas tree, a spruce dressed up before Christmas Eve.  Everybody pays an entrance fee of 10 cents.  Many people are there, but not as many now as before, depending on how many parties there are.  The reason for the fee is that there is so much to do with decorating the church.  Many people come who never visit the church.  There is a varied program with choir singing and speech.  I think that you have it this way, too. There are not many churches in the countryside.
     I do not know what I should write about, what is interesting to you.  You say  that when everything is investigated, you will tell me how things are. Thank you for that.  We will see if we live.
     I think of Sunday School.  It is the only occasion when the children get to hear God's word and learn to know God and Jesus.  Everybody is interested in that school.  Those who never visit the church, send their children there.  There are many classes for children and young people in English.  At the church Christmas party, the children take part and everything nice is done for them.  It is the same in the English and German churches, but some of the young people go out when the Sunday School is over.
     I will now finish this letter.  While I write this, I have my feet on a warm brick with woollen cloth.  My feet are cold and the pain in my legs is worst during the night.  With the warm brick during the day, it helps me during the night.  I have it much better than many others, who are 10 to 20 years younger than I am.  They have to lie many years in bed with pain and get help like children.  In the winter I cannot go anywhere.  In the summer when it is warm and in the spring and autumn I can be out.  
     I cannot read, but my eyes are good enough that I can write.  I do not hear when the clergyman preaches.  My body is as lithe as when I was 40.  
     When you get this letter the Christmas holidays have passed.  I hope you have had a glad and happy Christmas.  We are a year closer to the end, where we will go.  May God help and lead us, so our rest will be pleasing until the resurrection's morning.
     Lovely greetings to your all.  My thoughts are often of you.
J.V. Swenson

I said that all were interested in the Sunday School.  Most people are, but not all.

Friday, December 23, 2011

92. January 1, 1927 Part 1

In this letter Jonas Victor writes about the movement, etc of his family members.  I believe it was in 1926, that Sweden passed a law that changed land ownership requiring that some people move to another place.  I saw the stone outlines of the house Jonas Victor's wife, Anna Greta, had lived in as a child.     They had to move the house to another location.  Roselyn

Randolph, Kansas
January 1, 1927

Brother Gustav Albert,
     I have received two letters from you since I wrote to ask you to answer some of my questions, so you are probably tired of that.  Thanks for everything you told me.  Do you pay anything for my letters?  The postmaster says that it costs 5 cents.  When you write, do not pay the letter.  I pay because it is for my sake you send the letters.
     Did not Gustav get another old field?  It was the worst soil, lying fallow in Hamra.  It was waterlogged a great deal, but that was 68 years ago, so it may be otherwise now.  I think it is too little for him.  I think he should get the meadow below and the fen cultivation, which cannot be good land.  I do not think that rye can grow there.  Did Gustav get forest ground in the enclosed pasture, which borders on Spakarp?  If Gustav buys Peter's part, he will get the large courtyard. Is it the yard where Gustav and Algot lived or is it more?  Who will get the field where Gustav and Algot have their cow barns?  Where does Algot get his part of the old field and swamp cultivation? Does his land border on Solebo cottage?  Gustav and Algot have a third part and an eighth over (?) in Hamra, so they need to get more.  It will cost much money to move their houses and pay the surveyor.  Does Algot have grown boys who can help him?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

91. January 11, 1926

Jonas Victor tells of the time after harvest as being "Prayer Week", which we called Thanksgiving.   Roselyn

Randolph, Kansas
January 11, 1926

Dear Brother Albert and Family,
     I have got your letter some time ago, so now I know how old you are.  Thank you so much.
     I can tell you that I am in good health, and I wish the same to you.
     Now we have begun a new year.  The old is behind us with sorrows, joys and troubles.  God has been our help, leader and comfort with everything.  We do not know what the new year is bearing in its bosom, but we know that God is the same, loving and merciful as He always has been.  He will help us this year, too.
     If I look back, the time has passed quickly.  If I did not know which year I was born, I would not think that I am 90 years old.
     Now we have a little snow, but is not more than that the ground is white.  No cold and no frost in the ground.  It is good weather for an old man, but I like it best if there is no snow on the ground.
     Here in the eastern part of the state, the harvest of all sorts is good.  Thirty miles to the west, the harvest was bad or no harvest at all.  The autumn was fine and there was time to get in the harvest before Christmas.  On my old farm, which now my children own, there was 7,000 bushels of grain in spite of the fact that on 10 acres they had wheat and oats.  
     When they have now done with the work with the harvest, they have "Prayer Week", and there are gatherings in various places for thanking God for his goodness.  He is worth thanks and praises.  The weather must be warm and fine  for me to be able to be there.
     I read in your letter that Gustav's son in Hamra is at home from "Sletten" and now has been out and shot moose.  If I understood Selma's letter, he has been there for two years and has another three years.  How old should they be when they are allowed to begin and how many years will they stay there?  (Is he talking about a school?  I am not sure).     It is difficult to see today.  It is cloudy and has been that way for a long time.  I am old so something is wrong with my seeing.
     Now I will finish for this time.  May God help us so we will be happily saved.  The person who will believe in God to the end will find salvation.

Your brother JV. Svenson.

Please write to me!

Monday, December 12, 2011

90. November 5, 1925 Part 2

Jonas Victor talks of problems of smaller churches--says "preacher must speak English" for younger ones.   In Sweden there was a law passed that changed the farms, so some had to move from their homes.  He asks about it in Hamra.  Roselyn

Randolph, KS November 5, 1925  Part 2

     The small churches have difficulty paying the preacher because the salary is high.  The preacher must speak English, or the young people will go to the American churches.  There are several churches that cannot pay a preacher.  The small churches are closing.  The big towns have large mission churches.
     There are big revivals in this country.  The largest churches are all unanimous against anything new.  They have been gathering together for several days.  It seems that they do not believe more than what they can see and what the brain can understand.  It is good to know that God has the power to do what is best.
      There has always been a disagreement about the Bible, but the Bible will exist when heaven and earth come to an end.  The colleges are a danger for the young people.
     My thoughts are with you, and I wonder how you are feeling.  Dear brother, if you are well and can, write to me.  I want to know how everything is, if Fia (his sister Sofia) in Aggebo still is alive and how it is in Hamra. There should be a lawful partition in Hamra.  If it has been done, let me know the results.  Perhaps some had to move away.  It is nice to hear about the place where I used to live.
     It is good for us that we may have our hope and trust in God.  When I go around, my old friends are gone, and I ask myself why I am here so long.  I want to be beside my wife, but at the same time, I want to be satisfied with God's leadership and care.  The day is coming soon, when I will do my last moving.
     I am doing well.  Everybody is kind to me and do the best they can for my well being.  God is good.  Until now the Lord has helped us sinners.  He forgives.
     I hope that my letter finds you in good health and well being.


JV. Svenson.

I would like an answer.

Monday, December 5, 2011

89. November 5, 1925 Part 1

Jonas Victor is "home" with his oldest son in Randolph, Kansas, near his old home where he feels the weather is "fine".  Roselyn

Randolph, Kansas
November 5, 1925

Dear Brother Albert and the Whole Family,
     God's peace preserves our hearts in Jesus Christ.
     I thought I would write a letter to you.  I have time.  I am now at home.  I went from here June 15 to Clay Center.  I stayed there until August 23.  In June and July, it was hot, and I felt that I had difficulties to keep going on as before.  I felt that my health had become worse during the last year.
     Now it is difficult for me, both with hot and cold weather.  Here there is such fine weather, autumn and spring, neither too hot nor too cold.
     We have fine weather now.  In Clay Center and also in Osage (where his daughter, Matilda Skonberg, lived) the ground is not good for barley, but here we have fine barley and it is a rush to find people for picking.
     On my farm, the renter's farmhand and a boy, who is 15 years old, do the work. They get 6 cents a bushel.  They earn 5 dollars a day each or more.  The farmhands earn generally 40 dollars a month.
     When it is time for barley picking, they say that they want to be paid per bushel.  When they can earn 5 dollars a day, it will be different. 
     Next Saturday, the Mission Church will go to my farm to pick the barley.  Both girls and boys and whole families are coming with horses and carriages.  They bring their food and have a nice time.  They can pick barley, and the church gets the money they earn.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

88. April, 1925. Part 2

Randolph, Kansas
April, 1925  Part 2

To brother Albert,      
My thoughts are with you and the area where I was born in Horn's parish.
     I stopped the paper.  I did not know if you liked that.  There are many papers in Sweden now, which you perhaps have.  If you want the paper, let me know.  You should not worry about the costs.  It is not very much.  Tell me if you want the paper, and I will send that.
    I have been at home quite a lot.  During the winter, it is too cold.  I went to church on Easter Day.  We always go by automobile and are quickly there.  It is   difficult for me to hear everything and my eyes are weak, but I am glad that it is as good as it is.  It could be worse.  Here there are many who are blind when they are old.  There is a woman not far from here who is not as old as I am, and she is blind.  She says that the time goes so slowly.
     It has been a few days since I wrote the previous to you.  I have to finish.  I am incompetent to write.  You can see that, when you read the letter.
     How is it in Hamra and with the wood's business?  I will pay for the letter.  You do not need to put on some post money.
     I enclose me and you in God's protection and help, so we will be happily saved and can meet with God.
     Kindly greetings to all of you from your affectionate brother.
                  J.V. Swenson

Let me know you need to pay for my letters.