Swensen or Svendsen Family,

in South Arkdale Cemetery, Strongs Prairie Township, Adams Co WI

Contributed by Marlene Hintz

Halvor (or Halver) Svendsen was my great-great-great grandfather; Margit was his wife.  There are 2 grave markers for Halvor.
They were both born in Norway.  Ole Swenson, my great-great grandfather, was their son, born in Wisconsin in 1850; Halvene
(nee Eberlin) was his wife, born in Norway. 
-Henry M. Swenson was Ole and Halvene's son, their first-born, born in Wisconsin, who went by his middle name, Martin; and
his wife Mabel A. (nee Lonear) was also born in Wisconsin.  Viola E. Swenson was one of their daughters.
-Ole and Halvene's 2nd child, Anna, married Martin Lecy, and they, along with most of their children, are buried in Wood Lawn
Cemetery in Stewartville, MN, just south of Rochester.  There are no tombstones marking Martin and Annie's graves, but the
Stewartville Library has a complete record of Wood Lawn Cemetery.  They died 4 days apart, August 27th and 31st, 1949.  I
tried to locate obituaries for them at the library, to find out the causes of their deaths, but the microfilm/fiche for the
Stewartville Star for 1949-1950 was missing, and may have been destroyed years ago.
-Ole and Halvene's 3rd child, Albert Swenson, never married.  He died of pneumonia at the age of 19, in 1901.  I don't know 
where Albert was buried in Adams County, but presumably in South or West Arkdale Cemetery.  However, there weren't any other 
Svendsen/Swenson grave markers at South Arkdale, so he may be another unreadable one at West Arkdale, or buried in an unmarked 
grave in South Arkdale.
-Their 4th child, Inga Swenson, is also buried in South Arkdale Cemetery.  She never married, and lived in Adams County all
of her life.  She shares a tombstone with her brother John.  My great-grandmother, her sister Clara, told me that the reason
Inga never married was that she was afraid of men.
-Their 5th child, Helen, was born about 1885 or 1886, and died July 11, 1887, of pneumonia.  It is not known where she is buried, 
but may be buried in South Arkdale Cemetery without a grave marker, or may be buried at one of the markers without any information
at West Arkdale Cemetery.
-Ole and Halvene's 6th child, Hilbert Swenson, married and moved to Alberta, Canada.  His wife's name was Tina.  Based on Inga
Swenson's obituary which stated her only survivor was my great-grandmother, Clara Henriksen, Hilbert died before August 17, 1953,
presumably in Canada.
-My great-grandmother, Clara (nee Swenson) Henriksen, was the 7th child of Ole and Halvene Swenson, and is buried in East Arkdale
Cemetery.  She married Hans William Henriksen, and lived nearly all of her life in and around Arkdale & Strongs Prairie, until
the mid-1970s when she moved to Ft. Atkinson to live with her daughter Helen.  She died in 1982, the only member of the Ole Swenson
family to live past the age of 70.  She even outlived a few of her doctors who said her heart condition would kill her before she
reached 70!
-Ole and Halvene's 8th child, John Swenson was born in Wisconsin, never married, and lived in Adams County all of his life.  He
lived at various farms as a hired hand, including my great-grandparents' farm.  He shares a tombstone with his older sister Inga
at South Arkdale Cemetery.
-Finally, Ole and Halvene's 9th child, Thomas, who was only 4 or 5 when his mother died, and only 13 or 14 when his father died,
moved to Canada and then into Alaska while still a teenager, in hopes of striking it rich mining gold.  My great-grandmother
stated he may have married an eskimo woman.  She was not sure if he ever got rich, but his story ends with a mystery: he went
out on a fishing boat with his business partner and another man, and was lost at sea.

I found Halvor and Margit Svendsen's family listed in the 1860 census in Strongs Prairie, Adams Co, WI.  (Their names were listed
as Holney and Martha Severson, but all of their children's names, except daughter Margret--also listed as Martha--and their ages
matched the 1870 census, where they are listed as Halvor and Margret Svendson.)  My great-great grandfather Ole Swenson was born
in Wisconsin in 1850.  And since they are buried in the cemetery of the original log church, I am led to believe that these family
ancestors may have been some of the founding members of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church at Roche-a-Cri.

= = = =

Halver and Ann Maria Eberlin (buried at West Arkdale Cemetery): 
Halver and Ann Maria Eberlin arrived in the US from Norway in 1856
when their daughter, my great-great grandmother, Helvene Maria was a baby.  The group included Helvene's older sisters 
Sophie & Johanne and older brother Torger.

The family was included in the 1860 Federal Census for Strongs Prairie in Adams County, with the addition of younger brother Oliver 
born in April 1859 in Wisconsin.  The Eberlin Family is listed in the 1860 Census as "Oliver" (Halver) "Marion" (Ann Maria or 
Mariann) "Sophia" (Sophie) "Johanah" (Johanne) "Thomas" (Torger) "Hellen" (Helvene) and "Olliver" (Oliver) JOHNSON--not even close 
to "Eberlin"!  (This was the same census that listed Halver & Margit Svendsen, Helvene's future in-laws, as Holney & Martha Severson.
They are on the same page, 2 homes apart.)  

Oliver's obituary stated that he had been born and lived in the area his entire life.  Another younger brother, John, was born in 
November 1861.  So this family, along with the Svendsens, may have been some of the original or early members of the Norwegian 
Lutheran Church at Roche-a-Cri.

The 1870 & 1880 Censuses both spelled their surname as "Ablin".  In 1900 it was "Ebelein" for Sophie, and "Eberlein", the German 
spelling, for the boys and mother.  

Sophie never married.  She worked as a servant/housekeeper for Gullick Gullickson.  She is buried with her parents in West Arkdale 

Johanne married Andrew Gullickson in 1870.  They had 4 sons: August, Hilbert, Emil, and Gustav.  August & Gustav never married.

None of the Eberlin sons, Torger, Oliver and John, ever married, so the Eberlin name ended with their generation.

If you think you have found a family member here or wish to ask the contributor a question, 
send  Marlene  an e-mail here

This site is maintained by Joan and was last updated December 2006

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