Obed & Verona Lindgren Our Families Our Memories Uncategorized

Letter to Sweden

Discovered by Dave Lindgren

The following was discovered by Dave Lindgren in Obed F Lindgren‘s papers, which Dave acquired when OFL moved from Richfield to Bloomington MN in the 1970s. Dave prepared the typescript (below) from a handwritten translation of unknown origin.


DRAFT/Publish after proof with original translation (This copy by Dave L)

Paton, Iowa. December 9, 1899.

Dear parents, sisters. Hope you are feeling fine is my daily wish. I will now answer the welcome letter that I got today. It was so good to hear that you have your health and feel fine and I have the same good gift.

Soon we will have Christmas and I wish I could come home, but I’ll have to live on that hope one more year. You probably didn’t think I’d come home and I hadn’t planned much on it because I think I’ll go to Chicago and if I get work will stay there till next fall when threshing starts. Then when threshing is finished I will come home. So am I planning now? This if I live and God is willing. He has my way planned and I must go where that is.

Well, I must wish you a glad and lucky Christmas and a good new year, and may God be with us all on our separate paths – then all will go well. If we have Him then we have enough wherever we are.

I wonder if Ida will come here. I don’t know what it is with her, she writes so seldom. If you girls want to come here then it would be best if you come as soon as Amanda comes home for the winter. If you wait till then she can tell you about the trip. If I go home I may stay home a year and you can’t wait that long. I haven’t seen Amanda for a long time so I don’t know for sure if she’ll come home, but I believe she will.

I am thru picking corn. I am going to have an auction so it is only three days more that I will have four horses. I am also going to sell some machinery, then I will go (to Chicago).

When you write tell me all the news. You know it is good to hear the news from Sweden. Tell me if all the Hamneda girls are married by now or if there are any left for me when I come home.

I must now close for this time. Greet all acquaintances, but first you are greeted, my dear parents and sisters.

Frank Lindgren

I will greet you from John and his wife. Write soon again.


Swedish Letter

For further information, please contact Dave Lindgren (see contacts).

Obed & Verona Lindgren Our Memories

The Early Years

This is a brief notation about my parents, Obed and Verona Lindgren. There is much to write about my memories of both parents. Recollections begin before age three while we were living in West Richfield, MN on Russell Avenue. As a three year old, my impression of the home was that it was large and sat atop an enormous hill, which of course was probably less thatn ten feet above the Russell Avenue road bed. But in the Winter at about age three, I received a gift of skis and used them to descend the front yard; not likely with much success. Skiing didn’t take hold until about age ten. One time out in a foot of new snow, after a Thanksgiving dinner and I was hooked.

In point of fact, all of my brothers were also (eventually) hooked on skiing. We each pursued the sport with intensity. My involvement was mainly with the National Ski Patrol System, including Ski Patrol Director at Buck Hill. Dave and Steve also served with me on the Buck Hill Ski Patrol. Dave went on to become a Ski Instructor in Northern Minnesota during his college years in Bemidji, MN. Steve pursued Alpine Ski Racing at Richfield High School and was on the initial Buck Hill Racing Team with Coach Walt Eustis. Steve worked his way through college by establishing the Hoigaard’s Racing Team and coaching young racers for Hoigaard’s. He also established the Burnsville High School Ski Team in 1971.

Dad and Mom – Obed & Verona Wedding Photo (1936)*

I remember delivery of ice and coal as well as milk from Golden Guernsey Dairy in their yellow milk trucks. The Milk Man would come to the door with a wire carrier filled with our usual and customary products, but returning to his truck for anything unanticipated as requested by Mom. Milk was bottled in glass and typically in quart-sized containers. Pasteurized but not homogenized, the cream was contained in a bubble-like feature of the milk bottle. Ice was delivered by a horse drawn carriage, but infrequently because we had an electric refrigerator–Frigidaire, of course. Coal was delivered by truck and shoveled into a coal chute to the basement coal bin. The first phone number I learned was on the Whittier exchange — WH3270.

When Mom had delivered Dave, to keep her more comfortable, Dad built a cooling device made with an automobile radiator, a fan inside a wood frame. Cold well water was supplied by a garden hose. His inventiveness was always amazing.

The house at 6624 was heated with coal until around 1946-1947, when natural gas lines were installed in the street and a lateral tunneled into the basement. The coal furnace was converted to gas and the coal bin cleaned and repainted for another use including something of a play room for me and my brother Dave.

When I was five, Mom sewed an Indian costume. The fringe on the leggings caught fire while I was playing with friends near a trash fire across the street and a bit down the block from our house. Mother was at home and when I looked down and saw the fire flaming from my leggings, I began running for home. Fortunately, I tripped and rolled partially extinguishing the fire. A neighbor saw what was happening and helped extinguish the fire before carrying me home. Both Mom and Dad took me to the emergency hospital, Minneapolis General. The burn was 3rd degree and I was admitted to the hospital for several days. The Minneapolis Star ran a short clip of the incident with a headline: “Boy 5 Burned in Bonfire.” In 1945, the only anti-microbials available were sulfur compounds. Mom meticulously cleaned and re-bandaged the wound daily for weeks. Fortunately I have no memory of the pain that must have been present.

When I was six, I very reluctantly entered first grade at Woodlake School. Richfield at the time had no kindergarten, except at the Catholic School, but this was apparently never an option considered by my parents as they were both adherents to very fundamental, and I must say anti-Catholic, Protestantism in the denomination of the Covenant Church. It is likely, but beyond my immediate memory, that I was introduced to “schooling” as Sunday School at First Covenant Church in downtown Minneapolis. My memories of that church should await another time and location.

The trauma of First Grade is still palpable over seventy years later. Mrs. Greenhall was the teacher and the classroom was in the “portable” building just to the East of the original Richfield school building. The first grade classroom was the last room on the long hallway extending from the front door. The desks were arranged in rows, but each desk and its attached chair was separated.

By 1948, Dad acquired land on Harriet Avenue in central Richfield and very close to a new elementary school that was being built. I finished third grade in Richfield and sometime after the start of 4th grade the family moved to St. Louis Park, another first ring suburb of Minneapolis, but to the West rather than South. I finished 4th grade at Fern Hill Elementary. During the year away from Richfield, a new home was built. Still unfinished, we moved into 7212 Harriet Avenue before the start of school where I began 5th grade at the new Central Elementary with Miss Alice Kockum.

In 1949 Steve was added to our family. Here we are with our new brother just 10 days after he was born. We were still living at 6624 Russell in Richfield. Within a few months we moved to St. Louis Park while the new home in Richfield was being built. Dave tells us he still has that rocking chair in his attic.
Here we are a few months after Steve was born. Our dog then was a AKC registered Cocker Spaniel we called “Blackie.” The pups were sold and shortly there-after, Blackie went to a “new home.”

Mom and Dad were both committed to education for their sons. Mom graduated from the Red Oak High School in Iowa, intending to become a teacher. But leaving the University of Wyoming to marry, left her dream behind. However, in later years, from the mid-1950’s and through the 1960’s she was deeply involved with PTA (Parent Teacher Association), particularly at Central Elementary where Obed and Verona’s three sons attended through 6th grade. She became a leader in the state PTA organization. I remember many meetings at our home with principals, teachers and other parents.

In those early years we made many trips to Iowa to visit Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles. Gas was rationed, but Dad had purchased a new 1941 Chevrolet before the start of U.S. engagement in WWII. Because he worked for the United States Postal Service as a Supervisor in the Railway Division and was considered an essential worker, he was not drafted. The trips to Iowa always seemed long and in those days were certainly much longer than now. Highways were only double lane. Many of the trips were at night with parents and brother Dave. I remember Dad smoking a few cigars to “stay awake” while driving. Windows of the car were partially opened, particularly the hinged vent windows.

There is so much more to add with stories about Boy Scouts, Skiing, Swimming, Boats & Water Skiing, Paper Routes, and High School.

Last revised 15 November 2020

*Hauck Skoglund Studio – Lincloln, NB.