THE EARLY ARNQUISTS AND RULIENS IN ST. CROIX COUNTY WISCONSIN
WRITTEN BY JAMES D. REPPE
MADE POSSIBLE BY THE WORKS OF
STAN DANIELSON and others
April 17, 1999
UPDATED September 30, 2002
THE ARNQUISTS AND RULIENS
Back in the mid-1800ís, three Swedish brothers and their families made a decision to come to America. If you are reading this article, most likely you are a descendant of one of these three men. Perhaps the Arnquist and Rulien names have never meant anything special to you. Maybe it is a name you write daily as your signature but without any thought of where the name came from. Possibly you are aware of some of their contributions these early settlers made to Americaís earlier development years. Regardless of what you know about this familyís history, hopefully you will find this compilation interesting and informative. I took up the study of this familyís history within the past year. I was astounded to find a number of people out there that are dedicated genealogists who have devoted so much time to the study of this family. Names like Tom Satterlund, Carol McConaughy, Don Reppe, and the most learned of all, Stan Danielson. It is from these people that I have acquired much of the content within this article. Over the past half year I have collected numerous pieces of information about the family. Like any gathering of information though, it was starting to become a massive pile of folders, envelopes and floppy disks. I also felt compelled to organize it in some fashion so that it would all tie together. I also wanted to have a document that would possibly inspire interest in the study of this familyís history to new found cousins around the world. Meeting new distant cousins is an easy task to do with the Internet capabilities today. It is how I met Tom, Stan and others. As other new cousins are found out there, this document can be sent as an introduction to the familyís history. I need to add though that this document alone will not clarify all the connections. With the other documents that are available, such as a family tree, it will all make sense with a little study.
I also need to mention that I had to draw the line as to what the content would be. My concentration of effort is with the three brothers, Nils, Otto, Peter (Per), and their children. To go any further than that is a larger task than what I currently want to pursue. It is one that could be done, but not at this time. There were also the siblings of these three brothers that remained in Sweden. Over time, some of their descendants emigrated to the United States too. Some family members remain in Sweden and they too share the same interest in the study of their history. My apologies if I have overlooked any family members that deserve recognition. The content is also more concentrated towards the Arnquist lineage. This is simply because I found more documentation available about this family. If I am made aware of other historical facts of other family members, I will be glad to add to this living document.
The Three Swedish Brothers
Who are the Arnquists and how is it that they are connected so closely to another family called the Ruliens? How is it that an Otto and Per Rulien are the brothers of Nils Arnquist? How can blood brothers have different last names?
The Arnquists and Ruliens settled in the New Richmond/Star Prairie/Huntington area located in northwestern Wisconsin in the 1860ís. I have recently acquired a number of plat maps of this area that were done in 1897. Where most of these families lived is easy to see when viewing the maps. They were some of the very earliest settlers to the area and made their impact known by being actively involved in their communities and churches.
I prefer to start this document with a family named Högfeldt. The name Högfeldt, means "high field". "Fldt" is the old spelling for the current "fålt". The hemman name "Högden", means the "height". Many of us reading this document have Måns and Kjerstin Högfeldt to be thankful for our existence today.
Måns Jönsson Högfeldt was born October 25, 1792 in Hedås, Grasmärk, Värmland Sweden. He was married in 1817 to Kjersti Nilsdotter. She was born February 5, 1792 at Kymmen, Gråsmark, Vårmland Sweden. She died November 9, 1877 at S. Runketorp, Gräsmark, Värmland, Sweden. Måns died September 8, 1866, S. Runketorp, Gräsmark, Värmland, Sweden.
Måns and Kjerstin are the parents of Otto, Peter (Per) and Nils. The two of them had four other children besides these three. They also had Jon, Olof, Magnus, and Jans. These children carried the name of Månsson. Their last name comes from the fact that they were, "Månís sons", thus the name "Månsson". Otto, Per and Nils took on different last names for different reasons later on in life. The other four sons remained in Sweden. It is not understood for sure where the name Rulien derived from. Some have speculated that it is an Ellis Island assigned name. There was often a great deal of confusion in registering oneself in America because of language barriers. Stan Danielson commented to me these thoughts of the derivation of the name:
"The name Rulien, we believe, comes from the place called Ronketorp, until recently, spelled Runketorp. It was originally named after a Finn named Simon Ronken or Ronkinen, who lived there. It is located on Norvästerottna, far up in the hills in itís northwest corner. It was originally a säter place, where the girls took the cattle to graze in the summer. Ronkinen took it over as a tenant in the 1600ís and it has had the name ever since. One of the stay-in-Sweden brothers of the travelling three bought the place and rebuilt it. I think that was Jon Månsson. On the back of the photo of Per Månsson Rulien, he wrote and signed his name as Rulin (sic)."
The Arnquist name is better documented as to where it derived from. Måns Jönsson was a corporal in the Swedish army, serial number 73. The last name of Jönsson was a very common name back then and the army needed an additional means to identify him. The name Högfeldt was the name assigned to him, meaning "high field". He came from an area of high fields thus the name was fitting. Approximate dates for his service was 1813-1816. It is estimated that he married in 1817 to Kjerstin. By 1824 they were farming in an area called Högden. His son Nils was born in Uddeden, an area just west of Gräsmark across the river. Records show that Nils was at Högden until 1834 and then the name was crossed out of the record book. The name reappears in 1838 as "Soldier-Nils Månsson Arn, No. 89, Vice-Corporal". He and his wife lived in an area called Arneby-Säter. Like his father, (who was assigned Högfeldt to distinguish his common name), Nils was assigned Arn, the first three letters of Arneby. Then, in the 1860ís, the Swedish government, for purposes of clarifying names, requested that citizens add a suffix to their last name if it was a single syllable last name. The word "quist" was added; thus "Arnquist" was developed. In the Swedish language, "quist" means "a tree branch".
The Gräsmark Church
The church in Gräsmark was the center of many of the Swedes lives. The Arnquists and Ruliens were active in the churches when they settled here and one can only assume that they were also active in Gräsmark. Church records are also very important for genealogy studies in Sweden. Their records have been instrumental in much of the history that is documented today about the Arnquists and Ruliens. I therefor must cover some information about the church that these early settlers left behind. Although they left the Gräsmark church behind, many of the same fundamental beliefs and traditions were established in the new churches they developed. If you look with an observant eye on the churches in the New Richmond area, one can find some of these beliefs and traditions still in place.
The following was translated from Swedish by Stan Danielson. It was published in the annual Gräsmark Church bulletin, 1996. Stan has visited the area in Gräsmark several times and is very knowledgeable about the church and itís community.
The first church, built in the 1660ís had become too small because of a population increase caused by many things, among them the emigration of Finnish settlers. After some 75 years, perhaps with poor maintenance, the church was decaying and a new larger church was needed. In the beginning of the 1730ís it was decided to build the new church of stone. At this time the Swedes and Finns united to build the church, even though it was a difficult time of barkbread and hardship. The construction is thought to have taken 7 to 8 years, and by the fall of 1738 the new church was dedicated by the minister Gabriel Wahlström from Sunne, on St. Michaelís Day, October 1, 1738. In his sermon he spoke of Jakobís dream about the steps which went all the way up to heaven, from the first book of Moses, Chapter 28, verses 10-17.
In that year of dedication, 1738, the tower was set up in stone as high as it is today. In the spring of 1740 the bells were hung in the tower. At that time it was decided that the Finn settlers should build the sakistran, and after many hardships and sacrifices it was ready in 1762.
When the church was dedicated, the parishioners wished to have a fine church, so in 1745 they bought a new candelabra for the churchís altar. The pulpit, which was from the first church, got a beautiful canopy made by the casket maker, Wilhelmi, from Karlstad, 1746. The new altarpiece was made by the well-known woodcarver, Isak Schullström, also from Karlstad. The year was 1753 and six years later it was the pulpitís turn to be decorated by the same person. Schullström was a diligent and skillful craftsman. He had worked in more that 30 churches in Karlstadís diocese. The people wanted the figure painting to be done in velvet paint, and in spite of the clergyís stand against it, a known church painter, Erik Joneaus from Karlstad was called. He was in Gräsmark for a whole year and painted the ceiling and wall paintings that are still found in the church today. He was paid 900 riksdallers in cash.
These paintings were left untouched for 100 years, but then, in 1870, they were painted over. A new time had come, that the old and beautiful be put away, and the whole church be painted over with white paint. Ceilings, walls and fixtures were all painted white. After 50 years, in 1924, the white paint was removed and the interior was returned in all its glory. Since 1924, there have been no changes to the paintings. In the 1700ís the painter made paints of quality.
The choir windows were installed in 1920 and the round window over the south door was installed in the 1940ís. The organ facade is from the 1880ís when the organ was built by the organist Sjöholm from Sunne. Gräsmarkís Church stands yet today, more that 250 years after its construction, as a monument to the peopleís desire that a House of God be built during a hard and difficult time.
As mentioned above, the region in Sweden that these early settlers came from was the Gräsmark Parish. This parish is about 50 miles north of Karlstad and runs about fifteen miles from north to south and six miles east to west. The parish is then subdivided into forty-four hemmans. A hemman may be called a homestead. It is a parcel of land which was believed to be the amount of land necessary to support one family, about 3,000 acres in this region. That may seem like a lot, but keep in mind that the land was very hilly, rocky and heavily forested. The Gräsmark parish church that these folks attended is still an active church and appears much as it did when built in construction was completed in 1737.
The Soldier, Måns Jönsson Högfeldt
Måns was born on October 25, 1792 in Gräsmark Parish, Värmland, Sweden. Kjerstin, his wife, was born on February 5, 1792 at Sunnänden, Kymmen, Sweden. Måns died September 8, 1866, Kerstin died November 9, 1877. The two of them had seven children. Three of these children emigrated to the U.S., Nils, Per (Peter), and Otto. Nils was born October 5, 1817 and died January 24, 1889. Per was born February 3, 1829 and died in 1909. Otto was born January 4, 1833 and died September 20, 1899. Otto and Per rest in the New Richmond cemetery about fifty yards apart. Nils is buried just north of New Richmond at the Oakland Cemetery.
Reasons for Leaving Sweden
Why did some of Månís children choose to come to the United States in the first place? What was wrong with Sweden at the time? Sweden is a beautiful country, why would one want to leave their homeland and family behind? I do not know the specific facts as to the reasons for the three brotherís departure. One can only speculate that America looked like a better place to live for them, for whatever reasons. I feel they were correct in moving to the States, most of them prospered and did well for themselves. This was not true for all of the emigrants though. Many of them struggled in those early years and probably wished that they had never come to America. It was by no means an easy task to be a settler in the area. Farmland had to be made from forestland. There were Indians, though peaceful, that intimidated many of the new settlers. Society as they knew it was left behind, a new society had to be made. Many of them did return to their homeland. The toughest and most determined folks made a go of it though in their new surroundings. This is very true for the Ruliens and Arnquists. Their family history is inundated with successful and prosperous people. These were determined people who made the best of a tough situation.
This was a difficult time in Sweden. In Värmland, the mining industry had all but come to a halt because of cheaper and better ore in continental Europe. The economy consequently was suffering. There were several years of successive crop failures. People were struggling to keep themselves fed. There was also some interference by the government in the operation of the churches. Life was not good in Sweden. The Swedes were suffering and this new country called America started to sound very promising to them. The land was plentiful and very inexpensive. One can just about imagine the conversations the three brothers were having.
The following is an excerpt I found on the Internet at
At the end of the 1860s, Sweden was struck by the last of a series of severe hunger catastrophes. The agriculture which was still only partially modernized had been struggling with difficult times. Now came a series of crop failures. 1867 thus became "the wet year" of rotting grain, 1868 became the "dry year" of burned fields, and 1869 became "the severe year" of epidemics and begging children. Sixty thousand people left Sweden during these three "starvation years". It was the beginning of the mass emigration which, with short intervals, was to continue up to World War I. During the era of mass emigration 1868-1914 more than a million Swedes emigrated, mostly to the U.S. The emigration resumed after the war, but on a more modest scale. It ceased completely during the depression at the end of the 1920s.
The Swedish mass emigration would not have been possible without the Swedish railroads and the organized passenger traffic over the Atlantic. At this time no Swedish line carried passengers directly from Gothenburg to New York. The Swedes therefore had to use British or German ships. The emigrant route started with the train ride to the big port of Gothenburg, where the complete passage, such as Gothenburg-Chicago, of the British Wilson Line, which brought the emigrants to Hull in England. A train took them across the country to Liverpool or Glasgow; from there the Inman Line or some other companyís ships sailed them to New York. The whole voyage Gothenburg-New York need not take more than three weeks in 1870.
For most immigrants New York was just the halfway point. In the early days the journey continued by paddle steamer up the Hudson River to Albany. Before the railroads were built the Erie Canal, completed in 1825, served as the link between the Hudson River and the Great Lakes. From Buffalo the emigrants were taken by paddle steamer over the Lakes to Chicago, Milwaukee or Duluth. The last part of the 1-3 month long journey was spent on horse carts or walking through the bush. This itinerary was, of course, completely changed by the railroads, which from the 1850s brought the emigrants straight to Chicago. Modern communications made the overland route to the homestead region relatively simple from the beginning of the Swedish mass emigration.
The Arnquists Arrive in America (taken from Ox Cart Days)
In 1866, the settlements around the Apple River were beginning to be populated with an influx of immigrants from Europe. Two of the earliest ones were Andrew Arnquist, (24) and his brother Nels, (22). They were the sons of Nils Arnquist. They came with a number of other Swedish immigrants and settled in Vasa, Minnesota. Their stay here was brief and they soon traveled to Star Prairie, Wisconsin. The logging industry was starting to boom and the industry needed hardy men to work the woods and in the drives. They must have liked the area and convinced their father to come. Two years later, their father, Nils came with the rest of the family. Nils settled at first in a home in Star Prairie. Later they moved to a farm west of town. This house was built by Nels and Andrew. The children that came were: Kate (28), Mary, (8), Otto, (10), and John, (17). One daughter, Christine, (21), stayed behind and married Robert Hedback in 1870. They came at a later date. The Arnquists lived in the township of Stanton.
Nels Arnquist Ė Father
New Richmond News, January 26, 1899
Obituary - Mr. N. M. Arnquist died early this morning at the home of his son, Nels Arnquist, in Huntingdon. The funeral will be held at the Huntingdon Church Thursday, at 1:00. Mr. Arnquist was the father of Otto, Nels, John and Andrew Arnquist, all well known here. He was born in Sweden, October 5th, 1817 and moved to Star Prairie in 1868, where he has since resided, and was one of our oldest settlers.
The funeral of the late N. M. Arnquist was held this afternoon in Huntingdon. The Reverend Bengstrom and Adams officiated. All the relatives and many friends were in attendance.
Obituary, Hudson Star Times, January 27, 1899 - NELS MUNSON ARNQUIST
Arnquist - The aged father of Judge Otto. W. Arnquist died at his home in Star Prairie, early Tuesday morning, after an illness with winter cholera of only two or three days duration, aged 81 years and three months. Funeral at the Huntington Church, Thursday.
Deceased was born in Sweden where he served in the army for thirty years. He came to America with his family in 1869 and settled upon a farm in Star Prairie, which continued to be his home to the end. His wife passed on to the other shore nine years ago; several adult children survive. Deceased was an intelligent, industrious citizen of exemplary life, who left his impress for good wherever his activities extended.
Anna Arnquist - Mother
Anna's obituary in the Hudson Star Times, July 18, 1890, read:
"Died July 8th, 1890, at the resident of John Johnson at Little Falls, Polk County Wisconsin, Mrs. N. M. Arnquist, aged 74 years and 29 days."
Anna Asp was born in South Arneby, Sunne Parish, Wermland Sweden on the 14th day of June, 1816, was married to Nils Mansson Arnquist, January 1, 1838, and with her husband and family, emigrated to America in the spring of 1868, coming direct to Star Prairie, this county, where she has since resided until recently when she went to visit with her eldest daughter and her husband at Little Falls.
She thus became one of the pioneers of the Swedish settlement in Star Prairie and known and beloved by them all. Possessing a generous and affectionate disposition she was a good neighbor, a true and trusty friend, a loving and tender mother. her life extended over the scriptural limit and was well rounded and complete, rich in life's varied experiences of joys and sorrows. She had been quite feeble for over a year and her life of useful and unselfish labor had already been brought to a close and she had reached the state of quiet waiting to enter the blessed rest which remains those who have done their life's work well.
Her departure shall cause no sorrow to her numerous family and her large circle of friends for she had fulfilled her mission here and her faith rested on the solid Rock of Promise. While her physical and mental powers were failing and she was unable to recognize her children standing by her bed or remember and understand earthly events, her spiritual visionseemed clearer than ever and with a smile lighting up her face she could say almost with her last breath, "Oh yes I know Jesus."
She leaves a husband and nine children to hold her name in loving remembrances. She was buried in the cemetery in Star Prairie in the presence of a larger gathering of relatives and neighbors at 4:00 on July 14th, 1890."
Andrew settled on a farm just south of Star Prairie in 1871. He married Kjerstin Jansdotter in 1876 and had a number of children who all grew up to be well educated and industrious. Andrew died in February of 1916 and is buried at the Oakland cemetery not far from where he lived. Kjerstin died in 1901.
From the New Richmond News, Feb 26, 1916:
Headline: Andrew Arnquist Dies Suddenly.
Andrew Arnquist, one of the pioneers of this region and well known all through this section, died suddenly in a hospital in North Yakima, Washington Thursday night. The expectation is that the remains will arrive here Wednesday, tho nothing definite has been received to date on that point nor concerning the funeral. The end came quite unexpectedly. The last previous advice received locally was to the effect that Mr. Arnquist had undergone a surgical operation, which was apparently successful but the shock was too much for him and he failed to rally. Decedent was 74 years of age. He had been in rather frail health practically all of his life, but his iron nerve and sturdy grit tided him over many a crisis until he finally passed the allotted three score and ten.
From the New Richmond News, Mar 1, 1916:
The remains of the late Andrew Arnquist, who died at North Yakima, Wash. Feb 24th, arrived in town last evening and were taken direct to Mr. J. Casey's undertaking rooms. The funeral will be held on Friday afternoon at one o'clock from the Swedish Lutheran Church in this city, interment following in the Huntingdon cemetery beside the remains of his wife who died many years ago. The Reverend T. J. Kjellgren, the pastor, will officiate, assisted by Reverend A. E. Fraser. Victor Arnquist, the only one of the children who was not with their father when he died, arrived in town yesterday morning from Hoffman, Minnesota with his wife and children. Accompanying the remains on their arrival to this city were Mabel and Irving Arnquist. With their father when he died are the following sons and daughters: Irving Arnquist of Hoffman, Minn., Miss Mabel Arnquist and Mrs. Ida McDonald of Seattle, Mrs. Edna Gilberson of Henderson, Montana, and Miss Inez Arnquist of Sedro-Woolley, Washington.
HISTORY OF THE ST. CROIX VALLEY - 1909
Andrew Arnquist was born in Sweden, June 20, 1842, son of N. M. and Annie (Asp) Arnquist, who left their native country and settled in Star Prairie, St. Croix County, Wis., in 1869. He attended the common schools of Sweden and then worked at the lumber business, laboring in sawmills in the summer time and in the woods in the wintertime. Upon coming to America in 1866 he worked on a farm near Red Wing, Minn., six months and then attended school for a similar period. In 1867 he came to Star Prairie and took up farming and lumbering on Apple river, which at that time was one of the centers of lumbering activity in this section. Two years later his parents came to America and settled in the same town. In 1875 Mr. Arnquist purchased 160 acres in Star Prairie township. House and barns soon adorned the property, and the numerous outbuildings were not long in building. For several years the principal crop was wheat. Later Mr. Arnquist took up general farming. Among the buildings on the farm that never fail to attract the attention of persons passing the place is a large and modern barn, built in 1908 at a cost of over $1,500. Mr. Arnquist was married in Star Prairie, May 4, 1876, to Christina Johnson, a daughter of John and Carrie Johnson, well known farmers of Sweden, who lived and died in the old country. This marriage was blessed with six children. Edna, the oldest, taught school for a time and is now the wife of William Gilberson, of Cantlean, Idaho. Mabel, the second daughter, is now a school teacher. Inez teaches school at Seattle, Wash. Ida is a telephone operator at Cantlean, Idaho. Victor and Irving are at home on the farm. Edna, Mabel and Inez graduated from the New Richmond, Wis., High School. By a previous marriage Mrs. Arnquist had two children, Hilda and Carrie Paulson, the latter of whom is now deceased. Mrs. Arnquist passed away in the month of March, 1903, at the old homestead, where she had been brought as a bride and where she had spent all of her married life. Mr. Arnquist has always taken a deep interest in public affairs and has been honored by his fellow townsmen of Star Prairie with such positions as side supervisor, director on. school board and assessor, the latter position having been held by him for a period of five years. He is a staunch Republican and attends the Lutheran church. There were nine of the Arnquist brothers and sisters, all of whom have had a part in the development of St. Croix county. The oldest is Mrs. Kate Johnson, who now lives in Polk county, Wisconsin, in the city of Little Falls. Andrew was the second child and the oldest boy of the family. Nels is a farmer of Star Prairie township. Christina lives in the same township. John M. lives in Stanton township. Mrs. Annie Holmquist is now dead. Mrs. Carrie Libby lives in New Richmond. The eighth child is Judge Arnquist, of Hudson, and the youngest is Mrs. Mary Anderson, of New Richmond.
Nils Arnquist, jr.
Nils started a farm in 1867 in the Star Prairie area. He married Kathryn Johnson, sister of Kjerstin Jansdotter, his brotherís wife, in 1870. They had eight children. Nils died November of 1924. Kathryn died November of 1906. Both are buried at Oakland Cemetery.
From the New Richmond News, Dec 20, 1924:
Nels Arnquist, for many years one of the best known citizens of the town of Star Prairie, who passed away on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 1924, at the home of his sister, Mrs. Mary Anderson, this city, was born in Arnbysaeter, Gräsmark Parish, Värmland, Sweden, September 18, 1844.
Decedent, with his elder brother, Andrew, emigrated to America in the spring of 1866, stopping at Red Wing, Minnesota. Later he came to northern Wisconsin to work in the woods with his brother, Andrew, bot an 80 acre farm in the town of Star Prairie. He was married to Catherine Johnson at Vasa, Minn., November 5, 1870, and in the fall of 1871 came to Star Prairie with his wife and child, making his home just west of what was known as DuBois corner where Ole Engstrom now lives.
He lived on this farm the greater portion of his life, but for a time was manager of a store in New Richmond, where his wife died November 2, 1905.
After disposing of his farm he lived for a time in Zilla, Wash., operating an apple ranch, which he later sold to his sons, Conny and Oscar, returning to New Richmond where, he made his home until his death spending a portion of his time his cousin, A. Asp, in Alden.
Two daughters, Emma and Lottie, died before their father, who is survived by three sons, Connie and Oscar, Zillah Wash., and Elmer N., New Richmond, and two daughters, Mrs. Clara Gunn, Pasco, Wash., and Josephine, Ames, Iowa, also by one brother, Judge Otto W. Arnquist, Hudson, and four sisters, Mrs. Mary Anderson and Mrs. R. W. Hedback, New Richmond; Mrs. Caroline Libby, Yakima, Wash., and Mrs. John Johnson, Amery.
Mr. Arnquist's last illness was of brief duration, the immediate cause of his death being pneumonia following a paralytic stroke.
The funeral took place Nov. 30, from the English Lutheran Church, Rev. H. Folkestad, Deer Park officiating, with Fred Pearson, Andrew Carlquist, Chas H. Smith, Howard Humphrey, Ole Engstrom and A. L. McDonald as pallbearers, interment being had in Oakland Cemetery in Huntingdon.
Mr. Arnquist for many years took an active part in public life, holding several offices in the town of Star Prairie, serving many years as the chairman of the town and during that time was an influential member of the county board. In his passing the community has lost a good citizen and a loving father.
Mr. Arnquist was one of the charter members of the Swedish Lutheran church in Huntingdon, and was for many years leader of the choir. Many a service was held in his home before the church was built.
Christine Arnquist Hedback
Christine came from Sweden with her husband, Robert Hedback, in 1882. They had seven children. They lived in New Richmond for one year and then settled on a farm in Star Prairie. Later on they bought an improved farm about a mile and a half west of Huntington. Their children attended the Huntington school for the early years and later attended the New Richmond schools. Her husband, Robert was the clerk of the school district and held various town offices. Christine was active in the Huntington church in Sunday school and in the choir. Robert died in 1910 at the age of 63. He had been bedridden for three years from a stroke. Christine died in 1925 at the age of 78. It is documented that they were loved and honored my many. Two of their children became doctors. For years a Hedback family picnic was held each Memorial Day Sunday in Huntington for the children and grandchildren.
From the NR News, 6/24/1925:
Mrs. Hedback in her girlhood attended the country school. At the age of 16 she received a teacher's certificate and for nine years she taught rural schools, "boarding around" as was the custom. The Hedbacks moved to New Richmond in 1882, and then for many years resided on a farm near Huntingdon. Of late years, and following the death of her husband, Mrs. Hedback made her home in New Richmond and for the past year lived with her sister, Mrs. August Anderson. Mrs. Hedback was a devoted member of the Mission Church, always active in all its affairs and especially interested in the work of the Sunday School and also in the musical activities of the church. She was the superintendent of the Sunday School for many years and also the choir leader.
Anna Arnquist Holmquist
Anna married a John Holmquist in 1872. They had seven children. Anna died in 1901 and John in 1903. They are buried in Oakland Cemetery.
From the New Richmond News, May 2, 1901:
Headline: Died While at Church, Mrs. John Holmquist Stricken While Teaching Sunday School Class.
While teaching a Sunday School class at the Swedish Lutheran church at Huntingdon, April 28, 1901, Mrs. John Holmquist was stricken with paralysis about 1 o'clock and died in the church parlors within an hour.
Annie Arnquist Holmquist was born in Värmland, Sweden, January 22, 1849. She came to this country with the rest of the family in 1868; was married in Star Prairie, June 23, 1872, to Mr. John Holmquist. She was the mother of eight children. The surviving children are: Mrs. A. L. McDonald and Julius, Ferdinand, Frank, Herman, Richard and George Holmquist. Deceased was the first of a family of nine children to pass away and her sudden death reminds one of the uncertainty of human existence. Among her neighbors, and especially the poor, she was an earnest worker for their welfare, and she will be missed in various ways by the entire community.
The funeral was held Tuesday in the Swedish Lutheran church at Huntingdon. Reverend A. Bengston, of South Stillwater, preached the sermon, and Reverend Courtney, of this city, spoke words of comfort and cheer to the bereaved. The remains were interred in the Huntingdon cemetery.
Among relatives present at the funeral from abroad were: Mr. and Mrs. Gust Anderson of Amery; Mr. and Mrs. John Johnson, Ole and John Asp, Little Falls; Mrs. Jas. Flannegan and Mr. and Mrs. Jensen of Volga, Wis; and Judge Arnquist, Elmer Arnquist and Mrs. Ruth Hedback, of Hudson.
Caroline Arnquist Libby
Caroline married Lyman Libby in 1875. Lyman was listed as a carpenter in the 1880 census. They had four children. Caroline died on March 14, 1936 and Lyman February 19, 1895. They are both buried in the New Richmond Cemetery.
From the New Richmond News, Mar 18, 1936:
Headline: Mrs. Carrie Libby, N. R. Pioneer Dies in Washington
New Richmond relatives were advised Monday of the death of Mrs. Carrie, Libby, widow of the late Lyman Libby in Wapato, Washington, who passed away at the home of Mrs. Alice Huntington, also a former New Richmondite, after a months illness.
The body will leave Wapato Wednesday for New Richmond accompanied by her son, Lyman Libby, and possibly by her daughter, Mrs. C. W. Arnquist, arriving here Friday morning. The funeral will take place that afternoon at 2 PM in the English Lutheran church, Rev. C. W. Almen officiating, preceded by a brief service at the home of Mrs. August Anderson, where the body will be taken from the train. Interment will be beside her husband in the Masonic cemetery in this city. W. W. Beebe having charges of the arrangement.
Mrs. Libby was born in Sweden. She was 83 years old March 6. She came to America when a young girl and most of her life was spent here. She went west a number of years ago to be with her son and daughter. Besides her children and grandchildren she is survived by a sister, Mrs. August Anderson who is the last of that generation of the Arnquist family and numerous nephews and nieces.
Kate Arnquist Johnston
From the New Richmond News, Apr 4, 1925:
Mrs. Kate Arnquist Johnston, widow of the late John Johnston, who passed away at the home of her daughter, Mrs. J. P. Jensen, in Volga, Polk County, March 21. At the age of 85, was born in Gräsmark, Sweden, February 19, 1840. She was married in 1868 in Vasa, Minn. to John Johnston, and shortly after they moved in Huntington, this county, where they live until 1877 when they moved to Polk County, settling near Little Falls. Eleven years ago Mr. Johnson passed away and since that time Mrs. Johnston has made her home with her daughters, Mrs. James Flanigan, Mrs. J. P. Jensen, Mrs. E. L. Guanelia, and Miss Emma Johnston. There are also surviving two sons, Judge J. L. Johnston, Fessenden, ND, and A. G. Wallin, Amery, one brother Otto W. Arnquist, Hudson and three sisters, Mrs. August Anderson, Mrs. Catherine Hedback, and Mrs. Caroline Libby, Wapato, Wash., 15 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.
Funeral services were held at the Congregational Church in Amery, Rev. J. M. Allison officiating, interment followed in the Huntingdon cemetery.
Otto, born March 31, 1858, attended school in Huntington, a small village about two miles west of Star Prairie. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1884, was the Clerk of District Court in 1885 and became the county judge in 1898. His first wife was Caroline Jacobson. She died in 1889. His second wife was Hanna Michaelson, born 1n 1874. They married in 1893. Otto died in 1935 at the approximate age of 77 and is buried in Hudson where he resided. Hanna died in 1951, also at the age of 77. Hanna was the mother of all of their nine children. Otto died January 3, 1935. They had a number of children that died within their first two years of life.
Mrs. Harold, (Betty) Minnich of Cheney, Washington is a granddaughter of Otto. She mailed me a letter in April of 1999 and told me of some of the memories she has of her grandfather. They are as follows: "My grandfather, Otto Arnquist was a fine lawyer and County Judge for thirty-seven years. He used to organize Arnquist gatherings in New Richmond about every year, and they were such fun. So many, (Uncle John Arnquist had twelve sons and two daughters) relatives and friends that it had to be held as a picnic in a park. Uncle Johnís home and barn were still standing when my husband Hal and I drove through New Richmond in 1987, all buildings still apparently in good shape and occupied. I also remember I called Grandpa Otto "Daddy" and his Norwegian wife, Hannah, "Mama". My grandfather was a fine singer, honest, fair and an accomplished judge and lawyer."
Many of the family picnics, as mentioned before, were held in the Huntington Park. Al Johnson, resident of Alpharetta, Georgia, wrote a letter to the New Richmond News in May of 1999 about some of his memories of the park. He wrote, "I was born and raised in Huntington, so the story about the Squaw Lake School holding picnics in Huntington Park caught my attention. The Park, Mill and Store were owned by my Grandfather, Julius Johnson, and he would have me and my siblings out early on the morning of any picnic, armed with rakes and shovels to clean up after the cows, (only one as I remember), and also clean the picnic tables. I think he maybe paid us with an ice cream cone, which only cost a nickel, for two scoops.
My family lived across the street from what we called the "little dam" which controlled the level of the water in the millpond. That was our shower and cooling off spot, in the summertime."
Don Reppe recalls that Julius did charge a nominal fee to the larger groups that used the park. Don also attended many of these family gatherings and remembers the ice cream and the abundance of food available. Today the little dam and pond is still there but I do not believe the park area is maintained.
From a local newspaper, Jan 5, 1935:
Headline: Judge Arnquist Dies in Madison Following Operation, lives less than a day after submitting to Surgeon's knife. Funeral in Hudson Sunday. Judge Arnquist was 1 of 2 oldest county judges in State; in office 37 years; was clerk of Circuit Court 6 years previous to that.
All of St. Croix County suffered a shock of the 1st magnitude Thursday when it became known that County Judge Otto W. Arnquist had died that morning in a Madison hospital following a surgical operation the day before.
Judge Arnquist attended the state convention of county judges in Milwaukee last week and then pursuant to his plans before leaving Hudson, went to Madison for a physical examination. He was operated on Wednesday morning for an ailment of long standing. He died at 1:20 am Thursday.
The body arrived in Hudson Thursday night, will lie in state in the court house from 10 am until 4 p.m. Saturday. The funeral, which will be held under Mason's auspices, will be held from the residence at 3 p.m. Sunday, Res. H. A. Stoughton and C. W. Almen officiating, interment following in the Willow River cemetery. The arrangements are in charge of Geo. F. Trieb.
County Judge 37 Years - Had he lived until next April Judge Arnquist would have been 77 years old. He was born in Värmland Sweden, being a son of the late Nels M. and Anna Arnquist. He was 10 years of age when the family came to America and settled on a farm in the town of Star Prairie, a bit west of Huntingdon, now the Ernest Bostrom place. When a young man he came to Hudson and studied law in the office of the late Judge H. L. Humphrey, then he was admitted to the bar. This month he rounded out his 37th year in the office of County Judge. Previous to that he was the clerk of the circuit court for 6 years. His present term as county judge would have expired in 1937. His repeated reelections testified as to his popular hold on the people of St. Croix county, to the confidence, esteem and high regard in which he was universally held.
Judge Arnquist was not only dean and patriarch of the court house, but was also one of the two oldest county judges in the state in point of service. He rated high throughout the state as well as the county professionally and in judicial circles. He was a busy man. During his incumbency many duties were added to the office of county judge. He had criminal jurisdiction. He was also judge of the juvenile court. He administered the mother's pension law. He held court every month in New Richmond. He always had an especially warm spot for New Richmond and Star Prairie.
He was genial, neighborly, likeable, folksy; he took a keen personal interest in everyone with whom he came in contact. He was also stern when occasion demanded it. Judge Arnquist is going to be much missed by an unnumbered host of friends and admirers.
Decedent is survived by his wife, 3 daughters and a son, also 2 sisters, Mrs. August Anderson, New Richmond, Mrs. Carrie Libby, Tacoma. Judge Arnquist was a Mason and also an Elk.
Johan [John] Arnquist
John, born July 14, 1851, also attended the country school at Huntington in the 1860ís. In 1878 he married Edith Paulson. John and a friend, Gust Satterlund owned forty acres jointly and worked the fields around the farm with a team of mules. He expanded the farm after marrying. They lived on this farm on Wall Street for many years. They later moved to New Richmond where he worked in a grocery store. John and Edith had fourteen children! Many of these children grew up to be merchants in various towns in Minnesota and Wisconsin. John was very involved in his church and many of the meeting minutes he wrote over the years are still preserved at First Lutheran in New Richmond.
One of the best known was Charles or better known as "Doc" Arnquist, the owner of the Daylight Store in New Richmond. Doc was known throughout the area as a promoter of New Richmond. Due to this another nickname he acquired was "Mr. New Richmond". Johnís one son Otto, was killed in action and was buried overseas during World War I. Edith was designated as a "Goldstar Mother" by the U.S. armed forces and traveled overseas to see his gravesite in the early thirties. There were other mothers that traveled with her to see other sonís burial spots. One can only imagine the sorrow these people felt when they found their sonís gravesites. The two of them spent several years in New Richmond on the North Side but later moved back to the farm. John died in 1922 at the approximate age of 71 and is buried in the New Richmond cemetery. Edith died in 1938 at the approximate age of 81.
From the New Richmond News, September 2, 1922:
Obituary: John Magnus Arnquist was born in Gräsmark Parish, Wermland, Sweden, July 13, 1851, emigrated with his parents to America in 1868, arriving in Star Prairie in this county on July 12th of that year. He was married to Edith P. Paulson. March 23, 1878, moved to his farm in the town of Stanton in the year 1902, where he resided continuously until his death, except for a short time in which he made his home in this city. He died in the St. Paul Hospital in St. Paul, Aug. 24, 1922, and was buried in New Richmond cemetery on the 27th day of August, 1922.
His marriage was blessed with thirteen children, William R. Ethelyn McCurtie, James F., Nels L., John P., Charles S., Otto C., Henry H., Anna Lindem, Samuel A., Lyman A., Robert L. and Sigfried D. Of these both of the daughters died before him, and his son Otto C. fell in the battle of Argonne in the world war. His wife and ten sons survive.
Mr. Arnquist was a familiar and well known figure in New Richmond and neighboring vicinity, where he made his home for more than fifty years. A farmer by occupation, his beautiful home northeast of New Richmond is a splendid monument to his efficiency, industry and thrift. Always a man of sterling qualities and good judgment, he was a god citizen, one of God's nobleman, he became thru extensive reading, well informed not only in matters pertaining to his own occupation, but also on matters of general interest, in spite of his limited educational advantages of his youth.
He was an earnest and practical Christian, and efficient and useful member of the English Lutheran Church of New Richmond, and before his illness gave to the affairs of that church much of his time and effort. Loyal and faithful as he was to the doctrines of his church, he was, nevertheless, liberal and tolerant of the differing views of others, and wholly free from dogmatism in any form. The essence of his religion was service and sacrifice, which he exemplified by practice rather than by precept.
Simple and democratic in his tastes, not given to ostentation or display, cheerful and congenial in his intercourse with others, a staunch friend and a helpful neighbor, he won for himself a host of friends, who will long remember him. He was a good provider, a loving husband and a wise father, and his home was a center of social interest and good cheer.
He may have not been a great character, but it was an intensely interesting one - he was so delightfully human. He loved men and men loved him. He could never long hold a grudge, and it was as natural for him to forgive a wrong as to want to be forgiven. Quick in repartees, and willing to be the butt of any good natured joke, if it only brot laughter to others, the appearance of his quaint figure on our streets was the signal for the forming of a merry group of which he was the merriest.
After a brief prayer at the residence, the funeral services were held at the English Lutheran Church Sunday afternoon, Rev. A. Edward Peterson and H. S. Mahood officiating , where, banked in a mass of beautiful flowers, the remains were viewed by an unusually large concourse of relatives and friends. The solos, "Face to Face", and "Jesus, Lover of My Soul" were feelingly sung by Mrs. Walter Lynch and Mrs. Louise Lubka, respectively. Messrs. Nels Olson and Nels Johnson of St. Paul, Minn., Joe Hedeen, Fred Pearson, John Olson and A. L. McDonald of New Richmond, served as pall bearers.
Interment took place at the family lot in New Richmond cemetery, where "nearer MY God to Thee" was sung by a quartette consisting of Messrs. W. W. Silver, H. S. Mahood, J.R. Monroe, and W. E. Rentfrow.
Card of Thanks - We take this means of extending to the kind relatives, neighbors, and friends, our sincere thanks for the assistance rendered, the sympathy so generously given and the floral tributes following the death of our husband and father. The Arnquist Family.
Maria [Mary Ellen] Arnquist Anderson
Mary Arnquist, born June 3, 1860, was the youngest of the family. She married August Anderson in 1882. This union brought eight children into their lives. Three of these children died at relatively young ages. A son, Richard, died as a baby. Then in 1920, Olga died at the age of 26. The same year their other daughter, Esther, died at the age of 23 from impetigo. Esther is my grandmother.
In 1913, shortly after the lumber mill in New Richmond burned down, August moved to the state of Oregon to work. He did not return to live with his family. Mary visited him on occasion to Oregon. While they both lived together in New Richmond, they were very involved in the English Lutheran Church. August helped build the church and served on various boards. He turned the balusters in the church on a lathe. Mary was the Sunday school Superintendent and the president of the Ladies Aid for a number of years. She is commemorated on the back page of the Golden Jubilee booklet done by the English Lutheran Church in 1941. The church is still in existence today only now it is an Episcopal church. Mary raised several of the teenage children on her own and also raised her two grandchildren left behind when her daughter Esther died, Mona and Don Reppe.
Mary recalls that the trip from Sweden was a stormy journey and that they nearly starved to death because the ship had so little food. Maryís social life is well documented in the New Richmond News from the years 1904 Ė 1938. Each ward in the city had a reporter who sought out news to publish. Most of it was trivial news from the neighborhoods around the New Richmond area. Maryís home was a continuous treadmill of people coming and going. The home was a place for marriages, births, and dying. Mary died in 1943. The home she lived in, and built by August in 1890, was recently donated to the Heritage Center in New Richmond. Her grandson, Donald McIntyre, donated the house. It has now been moved to itís new resting spot at the Heritage Center in New Richmond. It is currently undergoing a restoration project. The home exemplifies a typical Scandinavian home for an early settler.
From the New Richmond News, April 15, 1943:
Obituary - Mrs. Mary Arnquist Anderson passed away at her home April 12th after an illness of several months. Services will be held Thursday, at 1:30 at the home and at 2:00 o'clock at the English Lutheran Church. Reverend C. W. Almen officiating.
Mary Arnquist was born in Värmland Sweden June 3, 1860, her parents were Nels and Anna Arnquist. She came to the United States with her parents when she was eight years old and settled in Star Prairie, later moving onto a farm west of Huntingdon. She was married to August Anderson in Deer Park in August 1883. To this marriage seven children were born, Esther and Olga having preceded her in death. ( a son, Richard, also died within his first year of life). Mrs. Anderson lived a very full life, always interested in her family and church. She is the last of her family of Arnquists. She is survived by her children Melvin and Ernest of Portland Oregon; Mrs. Grace Bix, Oconto Falls; Emma, Mrs. Charles Helstrom, Oshkosh; and Mrs. Edna McIntyre of this city; eleven grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Casketbearers: A. L. Arnquist, Glenwood City; Dr Sig Arnquist, Baldwin; Dr. Will Hedback, Cumberland; and C. S. Arnquist, R. L. Arnquist, and James Arnquist, all nephews of the deceased. Interment in the Huntingdon Cemetery. L. H. Beebe is in charge of the arrangements.
As a family, the Arnquists were very active in their churches and were instrumental in establishing some of the new churches in the area when they first arrived. At first, a lay preacher would show up on occasion and conduct a service at the Huntington schoolhouse or in a home. Many of these early services were held in Nils Arnquists living room. Records also show that the children were sent to Marine, Minnesota for religious instruction and confirmation. A Reverend L. O. Lindh was the minister to visit the area. A congregation was organized on May 14, 1876 at the Huntington schoolhouse. The church was named the Swedish Lutheran Church. Nils was the chairman. They decided that twice a year, an ordained minister would visit the area to administer the sacraments. The Arnquists that joined were: Nils, Andrew, Nels, Otto, a Christine, Nilís wife Anna, Carrie, Edith, Otto, and Betty. The church was received into the Augustana Synod in 1876. They withdrew two years later because they felt they were not getting from the synod the support they needed. However, they returned to the synod in 1881. A church building was built in 1879. It took numerous meetings and hard work to get this church built. Some of the meeting minutes, from 1876-1924, are preserved and kept at the First Lutheran Church in New Richmond. The records are filled with various Arnquist and Rulien names. The records are written in Swedish and contain the Constitution of the newly formed church, meeting minutes, budgetary figures and membership rosters. It is very apparent to see the vital role the Arnquists played in the formation of this early church once one reviews these records. The Arnquists held numerous positions that were available in the church. They served as deacons, trustees, secretaries, auditors, Sunday school superintendents, organists, janitors, and cantors. Other members of the church were Peter Rulien, Christine Rulien, John Rulien, Magnus Rulien, Carrie Rulien, Andrew Rulien and Conrad Arnquist. The church merged with the English Lutheran Church in New Richmond in 1924. In the 1940ís they merged with the Norwegian Lutheran Church to form the First Lutheran Church.
The Rulien Brothers
Unlike the Arnquists who were so well documented in local history books, the Ruliens documentation is harder to find. Their names permeate the early history books but specific details are tougher to find. They were here, they were involved, and they made their mark in history in this area. Many of the section generation Ruliens ventured off to other towns where they made significant contributions.
Per Månsson [Peter] Rulien
According to the book, Oxcart Days, Peter, (Per), Rulien, born February 3, 1829, came into this area two years prior to his brother Nels Arnquist. As mentioned before, it is only speculation as to why the brothers had different last names. This was common though amongst Scandinavian families. The Peter Rulien family made their home across the road from what is now the St. Croix County Health Care Center. A railroad now runs just south of the property. Just south of the tracks is now a beautiful 18-hole golf course. The Rulien property later came into the hands of the Tholiens. Daughter Kajsa married an Alfred Tholien and the two of them resided in Peterís house. According to Don Reppe, the Tholiens were quite upset with the railroad when they laid tracks through the middle of their property. Their primary concern was that they now had cows grazing on the opposite side of the tracks and now, to get the cows back to the barn, they would have to be led across the tracks. The railroad helped the matter out by constructing a tunnel underneath the tracks for the cows to use. This tunnel is still there today.
The children of Peter and Stina Rulien were well educated and prospered in later years. Two of the sons, Frank and Peter, became doctors and practiced together in Joliet, Illinois. There is a tragic story involving Dr. Peter Rulien and his brother Andrew, (Anders). According to The Republican Voice, (the local paper for New Richmond back then) Andrew died while his brother was performing surgery on him. He died June 29, 1902 while in Joliet. According to the paper, Andrew had been sick for several years, but his family felt that he was getting better and soon would be well. For some reason, his brother decided that surgery needed to be performed immediately and a letter was sent to Andrewís wife, Karolina, (Larsdotter Satterlund), special delivery, stating that he had to do the surgery. Tragically though, he died before the surgery could be performed while under the effect of Chloroform; the anesthesia used back then. The paper goes on to state that he was a prominent businessman and was a part of a company called Rulien Brothers and McNally. He was the clerk of the school board and held that position for many years.
Another son of Peterís was Nels, born December 13, 1863. According to an obituary provided by Ward Rulien, he was a prominent citizen of Baudette Minnesota. He was engaged in the farming, banking and merchandising business. He was a man rugged in health, young in spirit and had a good word for everybody. His heart was pure gold and he had a genial smile. When the stock market crashed in 1929, he was hurt financially. Even though he was in his seventies at the time, he pursued purchasing a farm and built a barn and house which was a showplace for the county. One of the first jobs Nels had was working for a kiln in Star Prairie, Wisconsin.
Other children of Peter are: Johan, Magnus, and William.
Otto Månsson Rulien
The third brother that came to the New Richmond area was Otto Rulien. Stan Danielson was able to provide me with the following information though:
Otto was the last of 7 sons born to the soldier, Måns Jönsson Högfledt, and his wife, Kjersti Nilsdotter. There were no daughters in this family. Ottoís early life was spent in the soldierís cottage on a place called Högden, just a few miles north of the church in Gräsmark, where he and most of his brotherís were born. As a young man he traveled north to find work in the forests. There he met and married Kattarina Eriksdotter who was from farm Stugsjö in Bräcke, Jämtland. They had 10 children and with the younger children, emigrated to America in 1881. Kattarina died February 5, 1893. Otto died September 20, 1899. They are both buried in the New Richmond cemetery.
Petition for Administration by Edward M. Rulien
In the matter of the Estate of Otto Rulien testimony Nov. 21, 1899
Joseph P. Rulien sworn testifies as follows: I live in New Richmond, Wis. I am a son of Otto Rulien. He died at New Richmond in St. Croix County, Wisconsin on the 20th day of September, 1899. His domicile at the time of his death was at said city of New Richmond. He was married about 45 years ago at Jämtland, Sweden to Catherine Erickson. The issue of such marriage are the following named children: Martha, Edward M Engia, Joseph P., Sigrid (also known as Sadie), Nels 0., Anna, Andrew, and Erica Mathilda. Mother is dead. She died before father. Martha is to married to Nils Olien and lives in Star Prairie, St. Croix County, Wisconsin. Engia is married to Andrew Olson, Sigrid is married to John Olson, J.P. Rulien, Edward M, Andrew and Erica Mathilda all reside at New Richmond in this county. Nils 0. resides at Cass Lake, Minnesota. Anna is married to Andrew Tholien and lived at Little Falls, Minnesota. There are no children of father and mother dead. Father left no real estate. He left personal property worth about $600.00.
Baudette Forest Fire
One of Ottoís sons, Edward, born September 15, 1859, was a well-known businessman in New Richmond. He was also active in city government serving as an alderman. He left New Richmond in March of 1907 and moved to Baudette in northern Minnesota. Unfortunately, he and his family met a tragic end in a forest fire in Baudette. This was the story according to the New Richmond News on October 12, 1910:
Entire Family Wiped Out by Forest Fire.
Edward Rulien, Wife and Seven Children Reported to Have Perished by Baudette, Minnesota
On Saturday, northern Minnesota was swept by a forest fire that entailed a property loss that according to the latest estimates will total at least $10,000,000, while the loss of life may reach 500. The number of known dead is 75. But that does not begin to tell the story for such a wide range was covered by the tornado of flame that it will be days, perhaps weeks, before an accurate estimate can be made.
Over five hundred square miles was laid waste, most of it virgin timber, and the homes of thousands of settlers were destroyed. Baudette and Spooner, near the Canadian border, were completely destroyed. Near Baudette, Edward Rulien, his wife and seven children, formerly of this city, were burned to death, according to the latest advises.
Of them, a Baudette dispatch had this to say:
"Perhaps the most tragic story of death that has yet been brought here was related by S. Larson, who has a claim 14 miles south of Baudette River. He saved his life by lying in the water half the night. It was Larson who first discovered the bodies of Edward Rulien, his wife and seven children. They lived quite close to his house, and he saw the bodies from the trail. The site was shocking. In the center of a plot of open ground before what had been their home the entire family was huddled together, their clothing partially burned off, their hair burned, and the bodies charred and blackened except where they had been protected from the furnace heat of the fire. The family consisted of a boy about one year old, the oldest boy, about seventeen, and four little girls, Agnes, Evelyn, Judith and Hildegarde. Every sign pointed to the fact that the family first took refuge in a small earth root house, and it is thought that, becoming suffocated with the heat, they rushed out to the center of the open space. The father had his arms around three of the girls when they found him, and the position of the family indicates they were enveloped in a sheet of flame. They were about two hundred feet from the timber through which the fire approached. William Rulien, a son, aged twenty-three years, who had a claim of his own, escaped by standing in the river. The family moved from New Richmond about three years ago, and is survived by three other daughters, who are employed in Minneapolis. A road is now being cut to where the bodies are and they will be brought into Baudette either tonight or in the morning."
"It was thought that the son, William Rulien, was in Crookston,, at the time of the terrible visitation. That was the latest advice New Richmond relatives had of his whereabouts."
Rev. Joseph Peter Rulien
Otto had another son who made his mark in history, but this time in not such a tragic way. This son was the Reverend Joseph Peter. Joseph was born October 25, 1863. He established a church by the name of the Pentecostal Assembly Tabernacle in Eau Claire, WI. The following are excepts from his obituary that appeared in the Minneapolis Tribune in December of 1952.
Reverend Joseph Peter Rulien organized the church in 1908. At first there were only five or six families that attended and services were held in memberís homes. Later, vacant stores and other churches were uses. He claims that God spoke to and asked him to build a tabernacle large enough to hold 325 people. In 1941 a site was selected and purchased along the Chippewa River. World War II broke out shortly thereafter and construction was delayed because of a shortage of materials. The congregation also had no money to support the project. Reverend Rulien was determined to move forward though. The congregation dug deep into its pockets, volunteered labor and prayed a lot. When a load of cinderblocks was stolen, they prayed for the blocks return and within a few days, the thief called and confessed. When it came time to tarpaper the roof they found that done was available because of the war effort. They again prayed and a local merchant found a forgotten supply of paper in a warehouse. The outside of the church was constructed of fieldstone that was hauled and cut by some of its members. The church was completed before his death at a cost of $47,000 and entirely debt-free. A neon light above the church proudly proclaims, "JESUS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD".
This church, with its brightly-lit light over the roof, is still an active Pentecostal church in Eau Claire. It is a beautiful church and has had additions added to it over the years. It is said that a number of the stained glass windows in the church have the names of his children on them.
The other children of Otto are: Martha Christina, Engla Kattarina, Signe, Nils, Anna, Andrew Ernest, Erika, and William.
Obituary from the NR News, 1/1/1953:
The Reverend Mr. Rulien, an uncle of H. T. Soderberg and second cousin of Mrs. E. Baker of New Richmond, organized the Pentecostal Congregation in Eau Claire in 1908. The family had formerly lived in New Richmond. Years ago Mr. Rulien told his congregation that God spoke to him and asked him to build "a tabernacle large enough for 325 persons." Construction of the new church began in 1941 on a site near the Chippewa River, not far from the sawmill where Mr. Rulien worked upon arriving in Eau Claire. There was little money in the congregation, and construction was delayed with the outbreak of WWII, but in 1944 Mr. Rulien said, "We will build our tabernacle on faith". Despite the many difficulties that slowed the construction of the church, the tabernacle was completed at a cost of $47,000 and entirely debt-free.
This ends my documentation of the history of the early Ruliens and Arnquists. It is fortunate for us to have such a well documented history. I am not speaking about my work here, but rather the work done by others that made this project possible for me. As you get to know this family better, you will understand what documentation I am speaking about. We can be thankful for the efforts of some of their descendants who have done this research and documented their findings. Some of these people are listed below. These documents are not only valuable today, but will be even more precious in the years to come.
I am more than willing to add data to this living document as it comes to my attention. If I have made any errors in my historical documentation, please let me know. My mailing address is: 525 Greaton Road, New Richmond, WI 54017. Also, donít think that what you see here is all there is to learn about this family either. There is much, much more information that was excluded from this document. By no means, is all is the research done either. There are other family members out there that have stories and information to share. Hopefully they will share this with us. As our Internet connections expand, I hope to see new family history coming in on a regular basis. I have just scratched the surface here. Hopefully this document will inspire you to investigate the families history on your own. All of us have our specific talents and interests that will enable us to learn more. Keep in touch and send other cousins and myself any contributions you would like to make.
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
Oxcart Days by Wallace Silver. Published in 1941.
English Lutheran Church Golden Jubilee booklet, published in 1941.
The numerous works of Stan Danielson.
Assorted works of Don Reppe.
Assorted works of Tom Satterlund.
Newspaper clipping from Ward Rulien
Newspaper clipping from Ione Rulien.
Assorted newspaper clippings from microfilmed issues of the New Richmond News.
More history on following pagesÖÖ
The following is some information that Stan Danielson contributed to this project. Some of the information you may have already seen in the above document. Stanís work here however, includes much more detail than I could cover with my chosen format. Stan was the originator and researcher of much of this familyís history. My task was to gather data from Stan and other sources and put it into a format for others to read and enjoy. I hope that you have found this family history as interesting as I have.
Descendants of Måns Jönsson Högfeldt
Written by Stan Danielson
Måns was a soldier and his station was the soldierís croft on the homestead, Högden, in Gräsmark. The soldiers living here were assigned the name Högfeldt. All of his sons were born here except the oldest, Nils, who was born in Uddheden, only a few miles away near the church. His father and grandfather were also soldiers.
i Nils b. 05 Oct 1817.
ii Olof b. 24 Sep 1820.
iii Jon b. 19 Jan 1823.
iv Jöns b. 17 Dec 1824.
v Per b. 03 Feb 1829.
vi Magnus b. 02 Apr 1830.
vii Otto b. 04 Jan 1833.
The Three Sons of Måns and Kjersti that Emigrated to the United States
Nils was assigned the name Arn as a soldier name in Sweden, which came from his station on Arnebys Säter in Gräsmark. Nils and wife Anna left Sunne, 06 April, 1868, with children: Kristina, Jan Magnus, Karolina, Otto and Maria, and departed for England from Oslo. Anna's brother, Olof Andersson, and his family with wife and 7 children came the same year. Nils took name Arnquist in USA. His son, Nils, who came 2 years earlier with the elder Nilsí brother, Peter Rulien, may have used the name first. Nils died at the home of his son, Nils, in Huntington, Wisconsin, with the funeral being held in the Huntington Church.
Peter was the first in the family to come to America accompanied by his nephew Nils Nilsson Arnquist. They came in 1866 and spent some time at Vasa, Minnesota eventually moving to New Richmond. Peter left his wife and children in Sweden during his journey. He then earned enough money to pay for their passage. Their embarkation record in Oslo is noted as "fare paid in Amerika." The only known photo of Peter was obtained form relative, Pirkko Kuosmanen, in Karleby, Finland. We have determined that the photo was taken shortly after his arrival in America before his family arrived here. A photo of his wife, Stina Danielsdotter, was obtained from the late Florence Strupe of Frontenac, Minnesota.
Otto left Gräsmark, 29 Feb 1856, for Bräcke, Jämtland. He presumably went there, as many of the men did at that time, to work in the forests.
A minister of Trinity Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Minnesota, was the officiant at Kattarinaís funeral, although she was not a member of that church. Her death is recorded in that church's records.
A psalm book that was passed down to Kattarina from her mother and grandmother is in the possession of Barbara Vannice of Everett, Washington. Inside the front cover is a record of these events. It reads, in Swedish, "Sigrid Henriksdotter of Grönviken, born 1775 in Nor, Bräcke, Jämtland. Martha Jonsdotter of Stugsjö, born 1799, the 23rd of March. She has inherited this book from her dear mother, whose name stands written here above. Kattarina Ersdotter is born, 1836, the 22nd of July. I have inherited this from my mother, 1879."
The Children of Nils Månsson Arn
1. Cajsa NILSDOTTER ARNQUIST b. 19 Feb 1840, Arnebys Säter, Gräsmark, Värmland, Sweden, m. (1) 07 Sep 1868, in Vasa, Minnesota, Johannes JANSSON, b. 03 Dec 1845, S. Ängen, Gräsmark, Värmland, Sweden, bap. 07 Dec 1845, Gräsmark, Värmland, Sweden, (son of Jan JANSSON and Marta NILSDOTTER) emig: 06 Apr 1868, m. (2) date and first name unknown to a WALLIN. Cajsa emig: Jul 1867, Vasa, Minnesota.
Kerstin may have used the name Kristina in America. Kristina was said to be a Paulson in the St. Croix Republican at her marriage. This may be the wrong person.
Nils NILSSON ARNQUIST b. 14 Sep 1844, Arnebysäter, Gräsmark, Värmland, Sweden, m. 05 Nov 1870, Catarina JONSDOTTER, b. 11 Jun 1844, Uddheden, Gräsmark, Värmland, Sweden, (daughter of Jan NILSSON and Karin JANSDOTTER) d. 02 Nov 1906, Star Prairie, St. Croix Co., Wisconsin, buried 1906, Oakland Cem., Star Prairie, Wisconsin, emig: 1868, Vasa, Minnesota. Nils died 27 Nov 1924, New Richmond, St. Croix Co., Wisconsin, emig: 1866.
Robertís father was born in Karlstad, his mother in Jönköping. He brought his family to New Richmond in 1882 and moved to Huntington 2 years later. Robert died in his home, "Birdwood," in Huntington. He had suffered a stroke 4 years earlier, and had been confined to bed the 3 years before his death. He was buried from the Mission Church in Huntington.
Anna was not with her parents when they left Oslo for USA.
Jan went by the name John. He was in Star Prairie in the 1880 census, and in Stanton township in the 1905 Wisconsin census. He lived on the farm on Wall Street Road in Stanton. His wife, Ida, was Edith Paulson in America.
Lyman was listed as a carpenter in the 1880 census, and living as head of his family in Star Prairie.
Otto emigrated from Oslo at age 10 with his parents in 1868. He is listed as teacher in the 1880 census. Judge Otto was married twice, all children by his second wife. He first became a lawyer in 1884, Clerk of District Court, 5 Jan 1885, and a county judge, 1 Jan 1898.
August Anderson's home in New Richmond was moved in 1998 to the Heritage Center in that town. His family has always occupied it. It is referred to as the "Northside House."
The Children of Per (Peter) Rulien
1. Johan Persson RULIEN b. 31 Jul 1855, N. Ängen, Gräsmark, Värmland, Sweden, bap. 05 Aug 1855, Gräsmark, Värmland, Sweden, m. Mussinia, b. 1879, d. 1959, buried 1959, Asbury Meth. Cem., Allen, Maryland. Johan died 1931, buried 1931, Asbury Meth. Cem., Allen, Maryland, emig: 15 May 1868, Prescott, Wisconsin.
Johan, or John, lived for a while in Devilsí Lake, North Dakota, where he had a farm.
Per became Dr. Peter Rulien of Joliet, Illinois. He practiced with his brother, Dr. Frank. There are no known descendants of Dr. Peter or Dr. Frank.
Used the name Andrew Rulien. He was a prominent business man in New Richmond, and part owner in Rulien Bros. & McNally. The family story that is told about his death is that he went to visit his brothers in Joliet, Illinois, both of whom were doctors, and was talked into having his hernia repaired. His brother, Dr. Peter Rulien, did the surgery and Andrew did not survive. The New Richmond newspaper account said he died just before the surgery was started. He was buried through the Swedish Mission Church, New Richmond.
In 1902 Nils was reported to be constructing a bank building and drugstore in Hoffman. He was a banker and did well until the depression hit in the early 1930ís. He moved from Hoffman, Minnesota, to Baudette in 1935.
There exists a good family photo taken just before the last child, Dorothy, was born. There are also individual photos of Nils and Ella taken in later years.
Went by the name Charlotte C. Tholien, but informally used the name, Kate. She and Alfred lived in her parents' house, across the road from the St. Croix County Health Center in New Richmond, Wisconsin. It sat abandoned for many years and was recently renovated into a familyís home.
Frank was a doctor in Joliet, Illinois, practicing with his brother, Peter.
The Children of Otto Rulien
1. Martha Christina OTTOSDOTTER RULIEN b. 18 May 1857, Bräcke, Jämtland, Sweden, m. 12 Feb 1877, in Bräcke, Jämtland, Sweden, Nils Erik PERSSON ÅHLIN, b. 10 Apr 1856, Räggmarken, Bräcke, Jämtland, Sweden, (son of Per Olof ANDERSSON and Magdelena ISAKSDOTTER) died of: Throat cancer, d. 04 Mar 1915, buried Oakland Cem., Star Prairie, Wisconsin. Martha died 10 May 1919, Star Prairie, St. Croix Co., Wisconsin, buried Oakland Cem., Star Prairie, Wisconsin.
On March 30, 1899, Edward Rulien was listed in the New Richmond newspaper as running for 3rd ward alderman. In the 1905 Wisconsin census, Edward, living in New Richmond, and his son William were noted as coal-yard employees. The daughter Anna was a domestic servant. Edward moved from New Richmond, Wisconsin, to Baudette, Minnesota, in 1907. Edward, Augusta and all of the living children except Ellen, the oldest, who was away from home at the time, died in the forest fire in Baudette, Minnesota, in 1910.
Engla was a widow living with her children in New Richmond, Wisconsin, according to the 1905 Wisconsin census.
Artilda used the name Della. Joseph was a Pentecostal minister. He started a church in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in 1908. In 1941 the congregation purchased a site for a permanent church, but the actual building was not started until 1944 because of the war. The Pentecostal Assembly Tabernacle holds 400 people, and was built at a cost of $47,000.
A photo of Joseph and his adult sons is in the possession of Carol McConaughey of Houlton, Wisconsin.
Signe used the name Sadie.
6. Nils OTTOSSON RULIEN b. 1868, m. Selma SHERN. Nils died 1916, Mukilteo, Washington. Family moved to Mukilteo, Washington, 1905.
Anders and Anna had about 10 children. See Little Falls (Minnesota) Herald, Nov 1, 1940, "Biographies of Morrison County People."
The family was living in Hudson, Wisconsin, 1905. Artilda went by the name Della.