Adolph F Gustafson

Adolph F Gustafson

Death 22 Apr 1929 (aged 93–94)
Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
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Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 106911393 · View Source
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Son of Gustaf Gustafsson and Stina Cajsa Johansson Gustafsson of Sweden. (Source: "Descendants of Nils Peter Gustafson" by Sharon Dalke Crowder - which is available at the Westchester Twp History Museum in Chesterton, IN)

Adolph came to the US in 1857. He married Clara Swanson in 1858. Clara died in April 1881.

He helped to build the first Augsburg Lutheran Church (Porter, IN) when it was founded in 1858 and was an early pastor there.

He was in the Civil War from Indiana.

Around 1871, he went to farming in Chesterton on South Calumet Rd. In 1883, he bought out Jay Penny's general merchanise store in Chesterton. (3/5/1885 Chesterton Tribune) He moved in 1888 to Quincy, MA.

He became a naturalized US citizen in 1888 in Massachusetts. (Source: Index to New England Naturalization Petitions 1791-1906)

Father of 14 children with two wives. He married Mrs Josephine Johnson of Boston in 1885.

According to the 1920 Quincy, MA census, he was a laborer for the City of Quincy at 84 years old!

Eight of the children were alive when he died in 1929.

He left three sons behind in Chesterton when he moved to Quincy in 1888.

Anton R Gustafson of Chesterton, IN
Arthur Young (adopted by Martin Young) of Chesterton, IN
Edward A Gustafson of Chesterton, IN

George Gustafson of Quincy, MA

He visited his children in Chesterton two years before he died in 1929.

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More than 100 years ago in the rural area of Sweden near Goteborg there was a very disturbed young man: Nils Peter Gustafson. Here he was almost 40 years of age with a wife and eight children with what seemed a very dull future before him. He was a farmer but there was little chance of his ever owning his own farm due to the land purchasing system then in use in Sweden. Besides, poor crops were plaguing the farmers. Reports coming from America were so bright. Government land was to be had. And hadn't America been good to his brother, Adolph had arrived in Chesterton, Indiana in 1857 where he taught school. At Bailly Town he helped build the first church and served as its pastor. Besides this he farmed the Fred Linderman farm just south of Chesterton. Later he had a store in town. He married and raised a family of fourteen children. He stumped the country for Lincoln and organized the Scandinavian Clubs to support him. Later Adolph served in the 73rd Indiana Volunteers in the Civil War.

With such reliable first-hand reports, Nils decided to try his luck in America near his brother. Naturally his wife's people heartily disapproved of this move but to no avail. Another obstacle was in store for Nils and his family. In converting his Swedish money to American, Nils was short changed. So instead of the whole family sailing together to the new land, Nils and the four older children (Andrew 11, John 10, Christina 9 and Charles 7) arrived in New York on August 24, 1868 leaving his wife, Anna Louise, and the four younger children (Mary 7, Adolph 5, Anna 3 and Clara 1) to come later.

Nils worked and sent passage money for the rest of his family. During the voyage little Anna became very ill -- so ill that her mother held her most all of the time for fear the sailors would think the little girl was dead and would bury her at sea.

Supplies ran low on the long trip. Adolph with his little pail could always get extra water rations for the family since the sailors found him cute and amusing and would give him more.

America proved to be a great disappointment to Anna Louise since she ended up living in her brother-in-law's granary. This first home in America was a far cry from her dream of a country whose streets were "paved with gold." She died broken hearted after a few short years in the new land. This left young Christina to mother the growing children...

Andrew Gustafson married Hod's sister, Lenore Babcock. They farmed the land on the corner just north of the present Dewey Babcock farm. Andrew and Lenore had two girls: Frances and Inez, and three sons: William, Art and George. Lenore died and Frances was now the 'mother'. Later Andrew married a widow, Olia Carlson. They moved to the 300 block on Greenwich Street in Valparaiso where they ran a rooming house for the Valparaiso University students. Oliva's daughter lived with them. Later they had a daughter, Althea.

In those days there was little work for young men except farming, so John Gustafson went to work for a young widow, Laurie (Stauffer) Robbins who lived in the house on the corner of Robbins Road and Highway 149 with her daughter, Olive. John later married Laurie and they had two children -- Edward and Blanche. After John died his brother, Adolph, helped Laurie farm and there he met Inez McConkey, teacher of the Robbins School who boarded with Laurie. They were married and for many years farmed the "Od" Gustafson farm south of Valparaiso. They had three sons: Robert and two who died in infancy.

Charles became a railroad man and lived in Port Huron. He lost his hand in an accident on the railroad He married Elizabeth Mitchell. They had no children.

Mary Gustafson went to work on the Morgan farm. The Morgans were pioneers who settled east of Chesterton -- the original name of which was Morgantown. From the buildings and school house still standing, we know that they were a very prosperous family. Mary must have been a diligent, responsible person for she worked in the 'main' house.

On this same farm a young neighbor, Willard Friday, worked. Willard and Mary met here and were soon married. They lived on the Friday farm where several children were born to them with only Grace and Russell growing to adulthood. Russell lived with his father until the father's death (Willard had been born on this farm, lived there all his life and died there at the age of ninety.) Russell then farmed alone...

Source: A Biographical History of Porter County, Indiana, 1976.

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Link to his brother Nels P Gustafson's Find-A-Grave memorial:

Nels P Grustafson

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  • Created by: Eva Hopkins
  • Added: 18 Mar 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 106911393
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Adolph F Gustafson (1835–22 Apr 1929), Find A Grave Memorial no. 106911393, citing Mount Wollaston Cemetery, Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Eva Hopkins (contributor 47159848) .