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Thure Theodore "Swede Bill" Strombeck
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Birth: Feb., 1829
Stockholms län, Sweden
Death: Nov. 6, 1910
Fresno County
California, USA

Thure Strombeck was a Swedish seaman who deserted his ship in 1849 in San Francisco [Extracted from records located in the Stockholm, Sweden, City Archives, signum D1h:1 (1841-1859)].

In 1860 Theodore was a miner residing in Township 2 (Millerton PO), Fresno Co., CA with his wife Memjelitt and daughters Mary and Kate.

In 1870 Theo farmed in Township 1 (Millerton PO), Fresno Co. with his children Mary, Annie, Leonard, Josephine, and Christine and school teacher Reuben Bramlette (25 IL).

In 1880 T. T. Strombeck still farmed in District 1, Fresno Co. with his wife Memjelitt and children Leonard, Josephine, Christine, Charles, and William (Theodore was the census enumerator and signed his name Thure Theodore Strombeck).

In the 1880 Great Register of Voters for Fresno County (recorded 11 Sept 1878) Thure Theodore Stormbeck farmed at Crane Valley (now Bass Lake); he reported being naturalized a US citizen on 20 Oct 1857 at Mariposa.

In the 1898 Great Register of Voters for Madera County (registered on 3 Aug 1896), Thure Theodore Strombeck farmed at Gold Gulch, Coarsegold. He was naturalized a citizen of the US on 20 Oct 1857 at Mariposa. He was described as 5-7½" tall, fair complexion, blue eyes, and gray hair.

In 1900 he was a widower and mining district recorder living in District 41, Township 4, Madera Co., CA with his sons Charles, William, and John (Madera County formed from part of Fresno County in 1893). In 1910 he was the father-in-law living at 385 Poplar Avenue, Fresno with Frederick Charles Ninnis, his wife Christine, and their son Ross Alberjack Ninnis.

Theodore Thure Strombeck was born in 1829 in Stockholm, Sweden, the son of a Collector of the Court. He ran away from home when he was 16 and went to sea as a cabin boy for two years. In 1847 his ship sailed into the harbor of Yerba Buena, now San Francisco, where he left it.

When gold was discovered, Strombeck rigged up a launch and started up the San Joaquin River to Stockton, which then was the main distributing point to the mining country. After two years shipping freight, Strombeck made another move to the southern mines and at Coarsegold Gulch and the Fresno River he not only engaged in mining but also supplied the adjacent camps with meat. Since there were no roads at the time his supplies had to be taken over the trails by Pack train. By that time, the summer of 1851, the Fresno River country was well populated. About that time Strombeck gave himself the name of "Swede Bill."

Strombeck's ranch here at Coarsegold was the rancheria of the Chukchansi tribe of Indians, many whom still are residents of the district. He married Memerite Melliot, the daughter of Chief Hawa of the Chuckchansi Indians.

The daughters are Mrs. J. H. Elam of Coarsegold, Mrs. Frederick Charles Ninnis of Fresno, Mrs. Mary Jones of Coarsegold and Kathryn Strombeck. The sons included Fred, William, Leonard, Charles and John Strombeck.

The Strombeck property later belonged to Will Krohn and is now the home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wells. 
Family links: 
  Josephine Holly Strombeck Elam (1867 - 1958)*
  Christine Strombeck Ninnis (1869 - 1963)*
  John Strombeck (1883 - 1956)*
*Calculated relationship
Note: California Death Index has him as Theadore T Stromberg
Created by: Lester Letson
Record added: Apr 03, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 67862370

- Lester Letson
 Added: Apr. 4, 2011

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