by Gary Gauer

issued 28 December 2017 with new stories
and introduction split from the Erickson Family page

Larsved Olof Mattson
was a Lake Lillian pioneer from Sweden
and father of Anna Olson

The first 3 Swedish settlers in the township of West Lake Lillian came in 1869.

Larsved Olof Mattson came from a small neighborhood called Larsved at the North shore of lake Moje and the Moje area is just east of the small town of Gagnef on the Dal river. There is a large and beautiful church there in Gagnef with a cemetery holding the remains of ancestors of Lake Lillian people.

See much more about this place in the story of our 2014 trip to Sweden and Norway .

They found land to claim near several Norwegians who had arrived starting in 1864. My Swedish great great grandfather Lars Olof Mattson arrived in Minnesota in July 1869 and filed on his section 2 homestead on November 15th that fall.

My great grandmother, Anna (Olsdottor) Olson, had emigrated in May of 1869 at the age of 11 with her father, Larsved Olaf Mattson, born 20 nov 1827, and mother, Halvars Brita Olsdotter.

Larsved Olof Mattson family

Three of their children were born in Sweden and one in Lake Lillian:

The first threshing machine in the town of Lake Lillian was a horse powered rig purchased by L. O. Mattson.

Case had the horsepower in its catalog from 1878 to 1917.

To watch a video demonstration of Horsepower Threshing

please copy the following address into your browser:

So we see that operating a horse powered threshing machine was a collaborative effort with ,family and neighboring farmers. No doubt that Olof had his sons in laws, John Erickson and Peter Lindquist involved.

Anna's Mother, Halvars Brita Olsdotter died in Jan 1885 followed by father, L O Mattson in Nov 1885. They are buried in the Christina Cemetery at Section 21 of Lake Lillian Township. The stone has iron bars on the back to attach an upper half to the lower portion. The Lake Lillilan Township Map of 1886 showed Mattson estate land in portions of sections 2, 3 and 11.

The Willmar Argus, Thursday Jan 29 1885, Lake Lillian
Lars O. Mattson’s wife died last Friday of consumption.
The Willmar Argus, Thursday December 8, 1885
L.O. Mattson of Lake Lillian died last week, and was buried Saturday.  By his death Kandiyohi county loses one more old settler, as he was among the first to locate here.  Deceased was a widower and leaves three daughters and one son to mourn his loss.


The Find a Grave web pages for the Christine cemetery has the names and dates of all the markers and monuments that can be found.

Brita was the first adult person buried in the cemetery with a monument. Some persons were buried without permanent markers; Including our Great Grandparents Anna Olson Erickson in 1892 and John Erickson in 1928.

The Christine congregation was organized March 8 1875 and they established the cemetery and met in homes and schools before the church exterior was built in 1886. The inside of the church was completed in 1889 and dedicated on Nov 21 1889.

Shelter and barns and community roads and schools had priority over church buildings as the frontier prairies became settled. Time leads us to wonder if a better obituary existed or can be found. They lived 16 years here and died young at ages 58 and 55.

The following article is a portion of the Peter Lindquist section in the "Pioneers of Kandiyohi County, Minnesota". It was sent to me by Sandra Moore, Sandy Lindquist was a daughter of Orville and originally from Lake Lillian. The article was authored by Ruth Olga Eugenia Lindquist, Mrs J. Gordon McLay. She was the 10th and last child of Peter and Brita Lindquist. 4/24/1899 - 9/1/1989.


Brita Olsdotter (or Brita Mattson, Brita Olson or Betsey or Bessie) was born March 4, I 855, in Moje, Gagnef Socken, Dalarne, Sweden. Her father was Larsved Olof Mattson of Larsveden, their home on the bank of Lake Moje. a small lake. Her mother was also Brita. She attended school in Sweden and wanted to become a teacher like her cousin, John Frid, but this was an unattainable dream. In the winter of 1868 and 1869 her father began to make plans to go to America. He was a carpenter and had this farm but hoped for greater opportunities in this new land they heard so much about. Brita was enthusiastic about the idea even though her mother did not wish to go, and sorted belongings and helped pack. Her father had to dispose of the cherished horse and cart which they used for going to church and also arrange about the farm, Larsveden, which now in 1970 belongs to a descendent of Olof’s brother, Larsved Matts, Birgit Nyberg.

They sailed from Goteborg and arrived in America in May 1869. The family consisted of the father, mother, Brita (the eldest) and Anna and Olof. Olof located on a farm, probably a homestead, in west Lake Lillian Township. Her father had arranged with friends who had gone before to build a cabin for them. Mother tells about their arrival in a rain after a long trip by ox team and wagon, only to find that the cabin had no roof. Although this farm was in an area where there were many low places where the water stood much of the year, they got along. A family picture taken about that time shows how they looked at that time, very nice. Mother is not on the picture as someone had to stay home to watch the grazing cattle, so her picture taken alone shows her as a plump-faced teenager. (They had landed in Quebec while my father landed in New York).

Brita was confirmed in the Svea church in 1870. She was eager to learn English and visited school whenever possible, and even after she was married, in 1873, she was enrolled as Bessie Lindquist. Her efforts were rewarded for she read English readily in my day. Though she never could teach school, two of her daughters were teachers.

She was married to Peter Lindquist on March 3, 1873. Peter had built a cabin on his homestead and bad a barn and a well. The cabin had a dirt cellar and a loft where the children slept.

Mother was light skinned with light brown hair and blue eyes. She was small boned and very slight in the time when I knew her when she was so thin. She had been heavy for some years as family pictures show. She was a very capable and energetic woman, was able to organize her household to care for and feed the children and a large number of hired men, care for a large garden. preserve food, make bread and make butter, ad take part in community affairs. Both father and mother were conservative, common sense, religious persons and brought up their family to be likewise. Like father, she did a lot of reading.

At the age of 50, she took my brother Fred's month-old motherless child. Verna, to raise, and had her until Verna died in September, 1908, when she was 53. About 1903 or 1905, she had a severe illness, a kidney ailment, the doctor thought. and had to have a nurse come out and stay to care for her. Again a few years later she was very ill again. and it was diagnosed as Bright's Disease. It left her with all feeling gone from her legs so that she could not feel it when the doctor pricked her with a needle. She had to learn to walk and talk all over again after this illness. In December, 1910, she slipped on an icy spot and fell and broke her thigh bone an inch from the joint. She was left with only a slight limp after recovery. She was always so determined and kept practicing so hard after each illness that she seemed to be quite recovered.

In early fall in 1914, Brita fell in the kitchen of our apartment of our old home where she and I were living after father's death and broke her hip. D. Harold Frost set it and sent out a trained nurse to take care of her. After a few weeks, the nurse could leave and I cared for her and she was recovering nicely so that she was promised to have the cast off for Christmas. But one night she had a severe stroke and passed away the next night, December 20, 1914, in the early morning hours.

Mother's mother, Brita, suffered from some form of asthma and had difficulty in breathing for years, often had to sit up during the night to breathe. She had an infection set in from wading in a slew after cattle and it grew worse in the winter • and she passed away January 9, 1885, at the age of 55. Mother's father died that same year, November 24, 1885. They are both buried in the old Christine Churchyard.

Mother also was buried in the old Christ Churchyard where there is a monument labeled "Lindquist", which father had put up. Both mother's and father's funeral services were conducted in our home, in the old parlor, which in mother's time had to be cleared for Oscar and family lived downstairs and used it for a bedroom.

On the day of mother's funeral the snow was flying as we drove in sleighs to the cemetery. After it. I stayed on with Oscar and family for some weeks.

After father's death in 1912, in the Summer of 1913, Brita bad supervised the distribution of father's estate. Of the eight children, six received 160 acre farms and two money in place of land. Only the homestead and personal possessions were left for her, besides money in the bank. In dividing the property both after father in 1913 and after mother in 1915, the children used a fine, fair method of dividing. A private family auction was held and all could bid on whatever they wanted more than some other thing. Then it was all added up and some owed for their share and others received some because they bad not bid in much. It meant that even though a large family, there were no hard feelings and all have remained friendly through the years, which does not always happen among heirs.

Viola Renstrom helped me locate mother's old home where she lived with her parents before she was married. It is located in Lake Lillian Township, in the south half of Section 2, and in 1966 a clump of trees still marked the place though no buildings remained. I remember driving east on County road No. 16, and seeing a farm place to the north on a knoll with a grove which mother pointed out as her home. I didn't know what road it was. Grandfather, Larsved Olof Mattson, was the first settler in the area which later became Lake Lillian Township, in 1869. This township was organized in January, 1872: From 1886 to 1891, mother's brother, Olof Olson, held the post of Assessor of this township.

The first threshing rig in this township was owned by Olof Mattson, a horse power rig. Mother's father was known for his clever repartee and practical jokes. He must have made quite an impression on his area in Sweden for he is written up on page 7 of the book "Moje"*Garder och slakter i en Gagnefsby" by Olof Montelius published by Westlund & Soner Boktrykeri in Gavle 1965. He records that in the area of Lake Moje in Dalame the farthest north and loveliest old time homestead was LARSSVEDEN. also called Larssven and also in the local language called Lassven {dropping the "r"). He goes on to say: "La.rssve Olle (my grandfather) born 1827, of the Larssved blood, also lived on Larssvedgarden, until in the year 1869 he and wife and three children emigrated to Minnesota in America. His son Larssved Olof Olson still lives there. .... Olof Mattson was a 'filur' [sly dog], a great humorist, a joker and entertaining in company, and full of practical jokes, which he often and joyfully carried out. He always kept his eyes and ears open. .. " and then the author goes on to tell about some, outwitting liars and even thieves and earning respect from his neighbors.

In the book, "Moje Arbetslivet i en Gagnefsby, kring segelskiftet" by Olof Montelius, published 1962, page 52, the author tells about threshing in Sweden. He says that a grain fanning machine that was in use by his family and two other families at about the time of the tum of the century was made by Larssved Olof Mattson of Moje. He goes on to say that Olof Mattson "was besides a farmer, a carpenter and a blacksmith". I think he must have built ~ good machine to last that long.

In the book, "Gagnef and Mockfjard, en hembygsbok (meaning a book on regional geography and folklore), published by Falu Nya BoktryckeriAB. in 1952, the history of the Gagnef Church where my mother went to church as a child is told, page 73. Also on p.44, there is a discussion of the dialect used by the people of the area she came from and also how Swedish resembles Norwegian and Danish and also German and English.

PETER LINDQUIST Pioneers of Kandiyohi County, Minnesota • 16

More notes

Section 24 in Roseland township is located southeast of Blomkest and just south of hiway #7. That location is about 3 miles west of the Christina Church site.

Some of the above is in the 1970 Centennial History of Kandiyohi County and The 1905 Illustrated History of Kandiyohi County.