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Bodelson family papers, 1860-1944

Size: .25 linear feet, 1 box

Acquisition: Transferred to the Swenson Center from the Special Collection at Augustana College Library in 1981.

Access: The Collection is open for research.

Processed by: Mary Weidlich in 1983.

Control Num.: SSIRC MSS P:19


Mr. and Mrs. Trevor of 1820 40th Street, Rock Island, Illinois donated the Bodelson family papers (Peter, his wife Cecilia and his daughter Ellen) to the Augustana College Library on April 12, 1944. Mrs. Trevor was a direct descendant of the Bodelson family. The papers were initially incorporated with the Scandinavian-American Portrait Collection, but separated and transferred to Swenson Center in the fall of 1981. Mary Weidlich processed the collection in January 1983

Biographical Sketch

The Bodelson family arrived in America from Sweden in 1851. After living in Galesburg, Illinois, for a year, they moved to Moline, Illinois. Peter Bodelson (1810-1895) was one of the first employees in the blacksmith department of Deere & Co. He was a member of the Swedish Lutheran Church in Moline, Illinois. Bodelson died of natural causes in 1895 and was buried in Moline Cemetery. He is listed in The Past and Present of Rock Island County, Illinois (Chicago: 1877), p. 322, as a laborer for Deere & Co.; his political affiliation is given as "rep" (Republican). He is also listed in other directories under various spellings of his last name.

Cecilia Bodelson (1815-1895) was born in Länsboda, Skåne, Sweden. In America she was employed as a midwife. She was a member of the Swedish Baptist Church. She and her husband had two daughters: Karna, later Mrs. John Lindner of New Boston, Illinois; and Ellen, of Moline, Illinois.

Ellen Bodelson (1841-1932) was born on July 31, 1841, in Sweden. She was confirmed in the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church, Moline, Illinois, in 1865. She left home when she was 17 years old and worked at various jobs. She attended school in Normal, Illinois, and graduated in 1878 from Dr. Mary Thompson College, Chicago, Illinois. Ellen was one of the nation's pioneering female physicians and she worked as a physician in Omaha and later at the Women's clinic at the State Hospital of Lincoln, Nebraska. She resigned her position in Lincoln to take care of her ill parents. After her parents death, she moved to New Boston, Illinois and resided there until her death in 1932.

Organization of the Collection

The collection is organized in the following 4 categories;

I. Bodelson family. Genealogical notes, 1944.
II. Bodelson, Peter (1810-1895). Papers, 1860-1895.
III. Bodelson, Cecilia (1815-1895). Papers, 1895; n.d.
IV. Bodelson, Ellen (Helen) (1841-1932). Papers, 1930.

Folder Inventory

1. Genealogical notes on the Bodelson family: copied by Dr. Conrad Bergendoff and dated April 12, 1944.
2. Bodelson, Peter (1810-1895). Papers. 1860; 1862; 1872; 1895; n.d. Declaration of Citizenship Intent, July 31, 1860; Naturalization Certificate, September 19, 1862; Cemetery Lot Certificate, May 8, 1872; Obituary (Newspaper clipping), [1895]; photograph, n.d.
3. Bodelson, Cecilia (1815-1895). Papers. 1895; n.d. Obituary (newspaper clipping), [18951; photograph, n.d.
4. Bodelson, Miss Ellen (Helen) (1841-1932). Two newspaper clippings regarding Miss Bodelson's 89th birthday dated July 23, 1930, and July 31, 1930.