The little town of Wataga is situated in Sparta township. The first Swedish settler arrived in 1849. They were: Lars Olsson and family, from Bollås Helsingland, Peter Ericksson with wife and two sisters-in-law from Alfta, Helsingland; Olof Påhlson and Anders Danielsson from Ockelbo, Gestrikland. The first named died in 1864. having livedlong enough to recap the fruits of his labor as a pioneer. One of his sons Wm. H. Olson enlisted as a volunteer in Company I, 102 nd Ill. Infantry on August 9, 1862. He was soon promoted to corporal and died March 26, 1865 from wounds received in battle. His brother L.W. Olson died in 1907. In 1880 he was a member of the firm Olson and Bergman. Two of his sister were also living at the time. Peter Ericksson and his wife and one of her sisters after a few years moved to Bishop Hill where all died prior to 1880. Olof Påhlson moved first to Minnesota and then to Kansas. Anders Danielson was still living in Wataga in the early eighties.
In 1850 N.J. Lindbeck came over from Ockelbo and settled two miles east of Wataga; also Jonas Pettersson and his wife from Alfta,, the Williamson family from Jerfsjö Helsingland and Lars Williams from Ljusdal in the same province. Lindbeck left after nine monthsstay subsequently moving from one place to another finally settling at Victoria where he was still living in 1880. The head of the Williamson family died in 1885. His five sons all became prominent citizens in their respective communities. William Williamson went to farming on a large scale near Wataga, owning over 400 acres of land in 1880, a general merchandise store in Galesburg and a large interest in the grocery store of Nelson Chester & Co. in Moline. Jonas Williamson at that time also owned a large farm near Wataga.
The third brother Peter Williamson had a valuable farm in Lucas county, Ia. The fourth John Williamson in 1862 enlisted in Company K 83 rd Illinois Infantry was wounded and received an honorable discharge the following year, dying shortly after his return homr Moses O. Williamson, the fifth of the brothers was born on the Atlantic on the voyage over here.His career began as a harness maker ans later he went into public office until he was elected State Treasurer.
Swedes in Illinois
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