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Page Index of Forest to Field Volume One
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The Anders Jansson Family. Back Row, Left to Right: Elis, Ruth, Paul. Front Row: Olga, Beda, Robert, Anders and Edith.
The three oldest children they took with them, but realizing the hardships of the long boat journey, they felt that the two younger children would probably have too hard a time. Helmer was left with one sister and Konrad with another with the intention that they would be taken to Canada at a later date. It must have been heart breaking for these parents to leave two of their children and go to another country. We cannot really imagine what suffering they encountered.
They moved into what is now the northern Scandinavia or Norland district on S.E. 14-18-17W.
In 1895, Olga was born. The weather of this time was so bad that no help could be had. Life in Scandinavia was, according to Beda, a happy one, although there were no luxuries and the family had to live in a tiny house, with only a few animals.
In 1896, the first of many sadnesses hit the family. The baby, Konrad, who had been left in Sweden, had died. He had not been a strong child and he and his maternal grandfather left this world without Konrad knowing anything about Canada. In 1897, Edith was born and in 1899 another son, whom they called Konrad to replace the son who had died in Sweden, and in 1901, Robert. The house in Scandinavia was a happy place with so many little ones, and by now some teenagers who could help with the pioneer type farming, who could cut wood to sell, and who could help to babysit. This period of happiness came to an end in 1903 when typhoid fever struck and both Edith and Konrad became very ill. Konrad, only four, was unable to fight the disease and the Jansson's lost their second son. No family could remain in the area where the water was apparently contaminated and the family moved to a farm in the Smoland area. Astrid was born in 1906, and this com pleted the family of ten children born to the Janssons.
The family moved into the Hilltop district to take up permanent residence on N.E. 17-17-17W. A homesteader's farm was bought and the family built a house, broke up land and settled down.
Beda was an unusually industrious person and planted many types of trees, grew large gardens, formed a
miniature fruit garden and held the family together. The older members of the family branched out and Paul and Elis, filled with adventurous natures, went north to try to find furs and to search for rich minerals. This left Anders with the bulk of the farming on his shoulders.
In 1916 while Paul and Elis were in the North prospecting for gold, disaster struck again and Elis was killed in an explosion in northern Manitoba. His body was brought back and the family continued to farm. Paul returned home to help his father and set up a fur farm to supplement the grain farming. Paul was an active curler and spent much time in Clanwilliam but he did not live very long. In 1935 Paul died of cancer. The Janssons felt, with good reason, that they had not been lucky in their sons as Robert was unwell, through much of his life suffering from asthma. The Anders Janssons continued to live in their home on the farm until Beda passed on in 1938 at the age of 79 and Anders in 1940 at the age of 75.
As all pioneers who came to the Clanwilliam municipality, the Janssons took their place in society. They raised a family of ten, five of them predeceased them. They took an active part in the life of the com munity, they cultivated and improved their land, they probably lived with some regrets of having left Sweden but they became true Canadians. Anders was well versed in politics and spoke English very well.
No other members of either Beda's or Ander's family came to Canada. Helmer was left in Sweden and his parents never saw him again. He was well looked after by his family, given a good education, became a doctor and practiced his medicine in many parts of Sweden including the northern island of Spitzburgen. He married Nizza Palin and had two children, Allan and Ann-Mari. It must have been difficult for the family to know of their son only through letters. Would the present generation have been strong enough to do what these pioneers did? Helmer died in 1969 at the age of 78.
The family of the Janssons still live in the area. Ruth, the eldest daughter married Albert Nystrom and lived only a mile from the parent's home place. The Nystrom's had six children that grew up, Margaret, Milton, Einar, Nancy, Roy and Rose. Of these Einar and Roy still farm the Nystrom home place and Nancy still lives in Clan william municipality. Ruth, at the age of 93, is in the Sandy Lake Nursing Home. (refer to Nystrom, Albert and Ruth)
Olga married Harry Fredricksen and they had three children, Melvin, Douglas and Robert. They lived in the Clanwilliam municipality for many years, for a short time in New York state, but in the 1940's moved to British Columbia in the hope of finding a warmer, more pleasant climate. Olga, at the age of 88, still lives alone in her own home, a very spry and alert lady. She is truly a grand example of pioneer stock.
Olga remembers that money was hard to get. What you needed or wanted was homemade - sleds, skis and stilts for the boys, spruce cone dolls for the girls. They would carve toys from pieces of spruce boards. Saturdays would bring mail, groceries and sometimes a bag of mixed candies. Paul and Elis harvested deer and jackfish to supplement meagre crops of grain. They trapped beaver and from the sale of furs the family could buy necessities.