A Swedish Farmer

by

Kevin Lofberg

Senior High Division

 

My Grandfather had an exciting life! He immigrated fromanother country, Sweden, which must have been exciting and frightening atthe same time. When he came, all he brought with him was baggage of clothesand money. Also, he did not know the language so he had problems gettinga job.

He was both a lumberman and a farmer during his life. Afterhis retirement from farming at eighty years of age, he moved to a housein Hallock. He liked to garden and mowing the lawn was a favorite job ofhis. After a long life, he died at ninety-seven years of age.

Ninety-nine years ago, give or take a day or two if youwill, a baby was born to a Mr. and Mrs. Larson. The baby was a boy and wasgiven the name of Lars. It was a common name as many Swedes have that name.

When he was a small boy, he helped his mother as most kidsdo. Then, in time, he was helping his father who was a farmer.

When he was fifteen, he got a job in the shipyards, carriedbags and bags of salt. He worked there and at home for a few years untilhe was eighteen.

Then, like all Swedes who were of age, he joined the Army.He didn't have any choice about this matter.

In the service, there were too many Larsons, so my grandpahad to change his name. He was given a choice of many different names, buthe picked Lofberg out of all of them. It is funny because Lofberg is a Jewishname and he was a Swede. so, that is how he became Louis Lofberg. Afterhe served his two years, he came home and stayed there for about ten years.

During this time, he got married. His wife was KirstinAnderson. They had two sons and two daughters in Sweden. Their names were:Carl, Art, Marie, and Ester.

But the promise of a better life in American convincedhim to leave his wife and children. So, in 1904, he left Sweden on a steamship.

When he arrived, he had plenty of problems. He couldn'tspeak English so he had trouble telling people what he wanted. Some peoplewere not friendly to them and wouldn't give them jobs. And, since they didn'tknow English, they were cheated out of money and were treated rudely bythe people. Farmers didn't want them to buy land because they were afraidthe immigrants would run them out if they got too strong.

His first job was at a lumber camp in Eastern Minnesota.The job paid good, but was no place to raise a family. So, he moved to theKennedy area and bought some land there. He also had owned land near Lancasterand Hallock. After he got settled, he sent for his family.

In the old days, they didn't have tractors, everythingwas done by horse. The horse was the most important single item on the farm.On their farm they had two kinds of horses.

From the huge draft horses to the small but spirited Morgan.The Morgans were used to go to church and for riding, but the draft horsewas used just for work. If a man took care of his draft horses, they couldwork all day. They also had long life in their huge bodies. When he boughta tractor, the horses were used just as much as they had been used before,they were sold for extra money.

My dad was born in 1922. They named him Alan. In the springof that year, they got their first tractor. It was called the Titan. (1)

After grandpa got settled in his new house, he never wenthome to see his parents. He was too busy on the farm and it cost too muchto travel all that way. Nothing is known about his parents, I do not knowwhere they lived, not even their names. I don't even know when they died.I know that they lived by the sea because his first job as a boy was carryingbags of salt. Only two of his brothers came with him. They were not happyin Sweden. Their names were Nells and Bernard. His brother Otto stayed athome.

My grandpa had many hobbies as a younger man, he lied tofish and went hunting once in a while. But his real interest was horses.He had over twenty-five when he lived on the farm.

As my grandpa got older, he might have slowed down a littlebut not very much! He worked the farm until he was nearly eighty years old.

He had been all by himself since his wife died in 1930.When he moved to Hallock, he really must have felt alone and out of place.To be a farmer all your life, then finding yourself in town must have beenquite a shock.

After he retired, he lived in a little white house withtwo rooms. He liked to sit outside in the sun and watch the birds in thetrees. But he also kept a large garden, something which is pretty good fora ninety year old man.

When he was ninety-five, we persuaded him to enter therest home in Hallock. He said that if he ever went there, he would not comeback. He was right, the only time he came home was for special occasions.

After a man has lived nearly one hundred years, I guessdying is not so bad. Just think of all the marvels that he has witnessedduring his lifetime!

He also left many descendants behind. He had forty grandchildren,sixty great grandchildren, and ten great great grandchildren.

So, a man who was born August 14, 1876, after nearly onehundred years of life passed on October 21, 1972. And, I feel that he hasno regrets of the life he lived.

(1) Alan Lofberg, Humboldt, MN, Interview, January 23,1975

Bibliography

Chase, Edward L., The Big Book of Horses, Grosset and Dunlap,New York, 1951

Lofberg, Alan, Humboldt, MN, Interview, January 23, 1975

Lofberg, Hazel, Humboldt, MN, Interview, January 23, 1975

 ry 23, 1975

Lofberg, Hazel, Humboldt, MN, Interview, January 23, 1975