- Project Runeberg -  Year-book of the Swedish-American Historical Society / Volume 10 (1924-1925) /
57

(1908-1925)
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this time almost completely forgotten his mother tongue, but he
practiced and improved himself again in the language of his
childhood by conversation and intercourse. He secured land and
settled in the neighborhood of Afton in Washington County,
where his sons still live. In the later years of his life Falstrom
became deeply religious, showed great piety, and worked seriously
and zealously in spreading the Word of God among the Chippewa
Indians, among whom he labored as a missionary. He even used
to conduct prayer meetings among the newly-arrived Swedish
settlers, but his language was a mixture of Swedish and English,
often quite unintelligible to his listeners. He was very modest
and did not wish to attract much attention. In entering the
house of a stranger, he would generally find a place in an obscure
corner by the door. If, as often happened, he was called master
by his countrymen, he would answer, “I am no master. There is
only one Master and He”, pointing toward the skies, “dwells
above”. Falstrom died about ten years ago and it is said that
at the time of his death he was about eighty years of age.

The first Swedes to secure land and settle in this region were
three young men, who came here in the fall of 1850. One of
them was the present treasurer of Chisago County, Oscar Roos,
the other was Chas. Fernstrom, now, it appears, living in Iowa,
and the name of the third was Sandahl, who later returned to
Sweden. They secured land under the “pre-emption” law and
settled near Hay Creek, but transferred their rights to the land
the following spring to Daniel Nilson, who was then a recent
arrival.

Six families from Helsingland came in the spring of 1851.
All of them had intended to settle by Chisago Lake, but two,
namely Daniel Nilson and Englund, found the land overgrown
with exceedingly dense woods and too difficult to break, and so
they decided to hunt for better places. They went southward
and settled by Fish Lake, a short distance north of Big Lake, in
town 32. The other four families remained at Chisago or Swede
Lake, as it is also called, and were the first Swedes to settle in
that county. Daniel Nilson and Englund at once built log houses
for themselves and the same spring planted some corn and
potatoes. The returns from this planting the following autumn
was the first harvest by Swedes within the Marine settlement.

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