Oscar Wendel Swenson

by

Tim Swenson

 

6th Grade 1995, Lancaster School, Lancaster,MN

 

Oscar Wendel Swenson
Born January 25, 1918

My Grandpa Oscar Swenson was born on a farm in section16 of Granville Township to Adolph and Signe (Hendrickson) Swenson. Therewere 6 children in the family including Edwin, Alton, Carl, Oscar, Frances,and Elmer. Alton died in 1918 at the age of 5. His dad (Adolph) died in1923 at the age of 36 from pneumonia. In 1925, Signe married Martin Peterson,her brother-in-law. Martin's wife, Esther, had died in 1924. To this relationship,Martin brought three children: Harvey, Harriet, and Raymond. When I askedOscar what he remembered most about being a kid he said that there alwayswere a lot of chores to do including herding sheep. The fun times he rememberedmost were listening to the radio, playing cards, playing with wooden toys,and just talking to the family. When asked what he wanted to do when hegrew up, he said he wanted to be a detective. He attended school in Lancaster,and had to quit after eighth grade to work on the family farm.

On February 2, 1942, he was drafted into the army and reportedto Fort Snelling. After three weeks of basic training, he went to Australia. There he was an airplane mechanic and an engineer on flight missions. After four years of service during World War II, he returned home to farmwith his brother, Carl, in a partnership. A few years later, their brother,Elmer, came back from the cities and they let him into the partnership.

In 1950, he married Margaret Murray in Hallock. This relationshipbore four children: Randal, Cheryl, Leland, and Owen. In 1957, they builta new house in Lancaster. During his years of farming, he worked at severaldifferent jobs during the winter months, including Lancaster police officerand worker at America Crystal Sugar.

Oscar has been involved in many other community activitiessuch as member of county extension committee, lifelong Lancaster Legionmember and past Commander, Lancaster fire department member, and CovenantChurch board member. When asking him about his favorite things he had donein his life, he responded that being an airplane mechanic and farming becausehe enjoyed tilling the soil and watching plants grow. Both things requireda lot of fixing of equipment which he found was always a challenge. Grandparetired from farming in 1991. At the present time my dad and I farm hisland.

He currently stays busy by making things for his grandchildrenand decorations for the house. His favorite thing to do is entertain thegrandchildren.

I love my grandpa.

Interviewed April 26 and 27, 1995
SIZE=+1>Interviewed April 26 and 27, 1995