Axel E. Anderson Family of Merrick County, Nebraska

Axel E. Anderson was born in Edsberg, Sweden, on March 23, 1865. He confessed his faith in Christ and joined the Lutheran Church when he was fifteen years old. On August 18, 1882, at sixteen years of age, he came to the United States and settled in Tabor, Iowa, with his brothers and sisters who had come before. His parents came later.

On March 23, 1888, he married Miss Clara Grahn in Stanton, Iowa, and in 1889 they moved to Nebraska, settling on a farm in Polk County. In 1895, they moved to a farm in Hamilton County where they lived for eight years. They had four daughters: Aleda, Ina, Edith, and Ruth.

In 1902, they purchased a farm in Merrick County, one mile north and one mile east of Palmer, Nebraska, where they spent the rest of their lives.

Mr. Anderson was active in public life. He served four years as County Supervisor of Loup and Prairie Creek townships. He had read much about law and was a great help at school board meetings and other meetings, and was missed when he was unable to attend. They were all members of the First Church of Christ in Palmer.

In the winter of 1920, Mr. Anderson had the flu, from which he never recovered, and was an invalid until his death on July 7, 1928, at the age of 63 years. He was cared for in their home by his wife, with the assistance of their family.

Their daughters all married and they were: Mrs. Ivan (Aleda) Swadley, Mrs. Ray (Ina) Shull, Mrs. Ross (Edith) Cox, and Mrs. Thure (Ruth) Anderson. There were 12 grandchildren, three of whom, Cameron, Taylor, and Jean Cox, lived in their home after their Dad passed away in 1923.

I do not recall which year Palmer first had electricity, but in the year 1927, there were no lines out in the country, so a group of farmers northeast of town decided to build their own line. It was the Mary O’Hern family, Truman Gee’s, Janssen Brothers, Frank Danker’s, and the Andersons. This made the line about 2 1/4 miles. With the help of an electrician, the homes were wired, and they bought their electricity by contract from the town of Palmer. A while later, a short line was built east of town, and then it was several years before the REA came through so all the farmers could have electricity. However, a few farmers had installed individual light plants, but understood they were quite expensive. After Mr. Anderson passed away in July 1928, and Mrs. Anderson in February 1930, Thure and Ruth bought the home farm and continued living there until 1962 when they purchased a home in Palmer and retired.

At this time Ruth had lived on the same farm for almost 58 years and has now lived in Merrick County for over 77 years.

Submitted by Ruth E. Anderson.

Mr. and Mrs. Axel E. Anderson L-R — Ruth, Edith, Aleda and Ina.
Mr. and Mrs. Axel E. Anderson L-R — Ruth, Edith, Aleda and Ina.


Persinger, C. E., A History of Merrick County, Nebraska: From “the Beginning” to 1895, Dallas, Texas : Taylor Publishing Company, 1981.

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