Documents Page #22




Etta was the second child and the first of four daughters of Charles and Christina Fredrickson. She was born December 25 1891, at Concordia, Kansas. It was apparent at an early age she would become her mother's No.1 helper. At country school she was an excellent pupil, excelling in spelling and penmanship. However, she missed considerable time from school to stay home and help when additional sisters and brothers were born. Her formal education ended at the 6th grade level.

Emanuel was born Nov. 26, 1889, at Backarne, Ucklum, Sweden. He had an older brother, Hjalmar, born Feb. 20, 1887. A sister, Hulda, born June 7, 1878, died at the age of 8, before Hjalmar and Emanuel were born.. Their parents were Benjamin Eliasson and Eva Beata Nilsdotter.

When Emanuel decided to come to America, he gave the following information to officials in charge of emigration:

Name Emanuel Benjaminsson ---Age 16 ---Home in Sweden Ucklum ---Port of Embarkation Gothenburg, Sweden ---Date he left May 18,1906 ---Destination I Lovewel1, Kansas (Jewel1 County).

He went directly to the home of an older uncle, Mathias Ross, in Jewell County, and worked on his farm. Later he was employed with railroad construction. In 1908, he returned to Sweden to visit his parents and brother, and to celebrate Mid-Summer with them.

Arriving back in America, he began working for different farmers in Cloud county, especially in the Hollis and Rice communities. He was considered a good worker and was being paid $25 a month, plus room and board. In July 1910, my grandfather, Charles Fredrickson, needing more help for his extensive farm operations, offered him $40 a month.. Emanuel accepted immediately.

etta.jpg (107135 bytes)Soon he was to meet and take a liking to my mother, Etta. Over a period of time they wereemanuel.jpg (102515 bytes) in love with each other, which created problems. My grandfather was a devout Swedish Baptist and Emanuel was a member of the Lutheran church in Sweden. In the mind of my grandfather, this made him unacceptable to become a part of his family. But the romance continued to blossom, and any plans they made to get married were promptly suppressed by my grandfather.

Finally Emanuel and Etta made plans for a secret trip to Jewell county. So that my grandfather would not be suspicious of their intentions, Emanuel left the morning of Jan. 4, 1914 to visit his uncle, Elias at Webber. He made the trip with horse and buggy. Etta came by train the next day to Webber, and the following day they traveled to Mankato and were ,married at the courthouse on Jan. 6, 1914. After a visit with relatives in Jewell County for a week or so, they returned to Concordia. When my grandfather learned they were married, he became very angry and gave them a stern lecture .

Needing a place to live and establish a home, my grandfather relented and decided to let ay parents rent some of his farm land and live in an old rock house he had located near the Republican river. For a11 this, my grandfather said he wanted a 50 percent share of all the crops. Emanuel agreed to this arrangement. Since he had saved most of the money he had earned working for others, he was able to buy necessary farm machinery and teams of mules to get his farming operation underway. Feb. 9, 1914, Hulda Evelyn was born.

The worst set back my father experienced in his farm operation came in June 1915. There was an extensive flood on the Republican River. Everyone living near the river was warned to move to higher ground. After getting his family moved elsewhere, my father returned and with a hand shovel began building an embankment around the house in hopes of keeping the flood waters out. By early the next day the flooding waters broke over the small dikes he had built and began to wash the house away. Later a neighbor came in a boat and rescued my father.

The old rock house had to be abandoned and a move to another place on higher ground was made. The flood destroyed all the crops in 1915, but by the next spring weather conditions were much more favorable for raising crops. On August 24, 1916, Millard Edward was born and two and one half years later, Feb. 19, 1919, Candace Virginia arrived.

For some time my father was having a problem with his left leg. None of the Concordia doctors were able to give him any help. In the last letter he wrote to his parents, dated Oct. 22, 1919, he said he was quite worried he would be unable to do the farm work. He gave some thought to having an auction, selling everything, and leaving the farm.

Also in his last letter he reminisced about his childhood home in Sweden, which he wrote in poetry form. A Mrs. Raymond Nelson of W1chita, who 1s very proficient in the Swedish language, translated the verses for me, which are as follows:

In one of Ucklum's valleys,
My cradle stood one time,
As a child I there have wandered,
With cheerfulness and song.

There have I gathered flowers,
there I have picked berries,
To me no other place on earth,
Is more dear.

When far I would wander,
From cherished fatherland,
Then shed I many tears,
And my heart burned.

I turned within my path,
Through teary eyes I saw,
That dear child's home,
Which there within the valley lay.

I never learned the exact nature of my father's health problems. Bed fast the last two months of his life, he died Jan. 26, 1921. Age 31 years, 2 months. The information on his death certificate was poorly hand written. Cause of death was described in two words-- "tuberculos signovita. When I was 13, a life insurance policy taken out for me listed ay father's death due to "inflammatory rheumatism". His grave is adjacent to my grandparents, Charles and Christina Fredrickson, located in Pleasant Hill cemetery in Concordia.

Postscript: When my father wrote his parents about my birth, he stated my name was Millard Edward .My mother always told me my name was Millard Emanuel. In 1949 I obtained a copy of my birth certificate and on it my name was plainly written--Millard Edward Ross. When I confronted my mother about this she replied, "Oh, that old Dr. Doty made a mistake." So my mother signed a statement to this effect and I obtained another birth certificate with my name registered as Millard Emanuel Ross. Now I know that Dr. Doty had it right!

After Emanuel' s death, our mother, with Evelyn age 6, Millard age 41/2, and Candace age 2, movedettachildren1.jpg (79187 bytes) back to our grandparents home. A year later, Mi11ard went to live with an uncle and aunt, Frank and A1ice Carlson. Evelyn and Candace remained with their grandparents. In the meantime, Etta became a caregiver, helping other Swede families, especially when babies arrived or there was illness. A few years later, she went to work at Sunset Home, sharing cleaning and scrubbing duties with Hannah Anderson.

In August 1933, Etta married Anton Landin of Morganvi11e. They moved to a farm near Anton's parental home, where they lived for seven years. In 1940 they purchased a farm at the west edge of Clay Center. Their first project here was to build a new home. During 1944 Anton began to have considerable health problems. He died in August 1945. Burial was at Greenwood cemetery, Clay Center. A few months later, Candice’s husband, John came home from mi1itary service and took over operation of the farm.

ettachildren2.jpg (97487 bytes)In the spring of 1947, Etta purchased a house in Clay Center, located at 1014 Clark Street, This was to be her home for the next 33 years. In 1980 she moved to Sunset Home at Concordia, which was to be her home for the next II years. She observed her 99th birthday on December 25, 1990.. Ten days later, Jan. 4, 1991, she died at St. Joseph Hospital, Concordia. A long time member o~ the Clay Center Baptist Church, her funeral service was held there Jan. 8, 1991. Burial was in Greenwood cemetery, Clay Center, Kansas.


(Profile prepared by Millard Ross with contributions from Evelyn Christensen)