We have retitled the “Weekly Radio Readings” to “Historic Happenings.” Each week’s story will be posted in its entirety. The stories can also be heard Sunday mornings around 10 am on WILD 102’s “Looking Back in Time” program.
Weekly radio stories are researched, compiled, and read by Sheila Winstead, RCHS Board Member.
Available recordings will also be linked to the Wild 102 “Looking Back in Time” page.
February 19, 2023
These past two weeks, I’ve been telling about the Sjoberg family, Swedish immigrants and entrepreneurs in Roseau County’s early settlement. Two brothers, Israel and Peter Sjoberg, had started several businesses and were active in the communities of Badger and Roseau. Peter and his wife Christina had 5 children. Israel and his wife Laura had no children of their own, but cared for Carl Dahlquist, a relative of Laura’s who was born 2 years after their marriage.
On November 19, 1991 Carl Dahlquist shared information with Paul and Rosella Knochenmus about his upbringing at the Sjoberg home in Roseau. At that time, Paul and Rosella were living in the home Carl had grown up in. Here are the notes recorded by Rosella Knochenmus who gave them to the new owners, Kate and Trevor Hammer.
Carl Dahlquist was born in 1899. He was cared for by Laura Sjoberg from infancy until sometime into his teen years. Laura tutored Carl until he started school at age seven. Carl was told that he advanced quickly in school because of his early tutoring.
An incident that Carl remembered well took place on a very hot summer day. Mr. and Mrs. Sjoberg were lounging on their lawn swing on the east side of the house while Carl, at approximately 12 years old, mowed the whole lawn. He said it was so hot that day that the train couldn’t run because the tracks had moved from the heat.
Carl told about the only spanking he remembered. He was still living with Israel and Laura Sjoberg. There was an outdoor toilet between the carriage house and the barn. It was all under the same roof. Carl was in the toilet, and they had a roll of toilet paper in there. He was so fascinated by this that he sat and unrolled the whole roll down the toilet hole!! He thought he was about 12 or 13 years old at the time. Later, Laura questioned him about it and he said he had done it, so she spanked him for it!!
Another memory that Carl shared was that Israel did not like sparrows. He went and bought a .22 rifle, with some birdshot, to be used by Carl to keep the sparrows away. One time Carl shot, and some birdshot had hit a man in the leg as he was walking by. Later, Carl saw the man come walking into the yard, so Carl ran and hid under the sofa in the library. The man came and complained to Israel. Israel got rid of the man so it was safe for Carl to come out again from under the sofa.
Carl said that the clerks that worked at Mr. Sjoberg’s store were expected to come to the home to also care for the cow and the horse. He hired other caretakers to take care of the yard and grounds. Ida Osterlund and her sister Hilma Osterlund worked as housekeepers and maids in the Sjoberg home for many years. Carl had been away for some time, but returned and then he clerked at Israel’s store, but he also cared for the animals and the gardens. The fence and the rose gardens made the yard so beautiful.
The house had carbide lights. The carbide tank was kept in the basement. Wood was burned for heating the home. All the bedrooms were upstairs.
The first telephone was installed in the home in 1915 by a Rudy Johnson from Roosevelt, Minnesota. Carl also told about one of the carpenters that helped build this home. His last name was “Wegster”.
Carl told us that Mr. Sjoberg bequeathed the Sjoberg home to his wife, Laura, plus $5,000. He willed the rest of his estate to the Swedish Lutheran Church in Roseau. Laura challenged this and won.
Following Israel’s death, his widow made some changes in her situation. An article tell that Mrs. Laura Sjoberg Tuesday sold her residence property on Pearl Street in the Court House block to Mr. and Mrs. E. B. Sillerud. The new owners will take over as soon as Mrs. Sjoberg can pack and move from the house.
It is a modern house and the largest residence in Roseau. It has a convenient location to the courthouse. The spacious grounds surrounding the residence permit the fine setting.
Mrs. Sjoberg plans to live in California during the winter and the rest of the time to visit sisters and other relatives and friends. She is a long-time resident of this community, and her leaving is of much regret to the folks here.
Later, a surprise party was given in honor of Mrs. Laura Sjoberg Friday evening at the First Lutheran church parlors. The event had been arranged by the ladies of the congregation, but other friends also had the privilege of attending. An interesting program was given. The church parlor was beautifully decorated for the occasion. The evening closed with a tasty lunch. Mrs. Sjoberg was presented with a purse of money from the friends together with the good wishes for much happiness in the years ahead. Mrs. Sjoberg has been a faithful and active worker in the congregation and her leaving the group is a matter of a great deal of regret.
Thank you to (www.roseauonline.com) for letting us share our county’s history with your listeners by donating air time, studio time, and production staff every week.