Grandpa and Grandma Hanson lived in the small -- actually, tiny -- town of Tingley in Ringgold County, Iowa.I have fond memories of twice yearly visits to their small wood frame house along the main street of the town of perhaps 300 souls. My father was a teacher, so there was usually a summer trip to Tingley. At least several years, we also made the 200-mile trip from "North Iowa" to "Southern Iowa" on Thanksgiving Eve. Leaving after school on Wednesday, we usually made it just past Des Moines by the time "The Wizard of Oz" came onto the radio. Winding up and down the hills of Southern Iowa in the dark, I was terrified by the Wicked Witches. (Oh, I have no idea why the northern part of Iowa is called "North Iowa" and the southern part is called "Southern Iowa.")
|John Hanson, circa 1920s|
Born in Hyssna, Sweden, in 1888, he worked on a farm across the road from his home. On our 1993 trip, a descendant of the farmer told me that Johan sold everything he owned to pay for his passage across the ocean in 1908, under the name Johan Emmanuel Månsson -- son of Måns Hansson. He had taken no food with him and his family worried he wouldn't survive the trip
|Record of Departure from Hyssna Parish|
|Passengers leaving Göteborg|
|S.S. Kensington Manifest, Arriving Quebec|
I felt a deep sense of injustice when I read the file. He must have subsequently appealed and received his citizenship because the 1920 census stated he was a naturalized citizen and he later received a Social Security number. There should be court records to confirm this; I need to search for them.
Why did a 20-year-old young Swede go to Southern Iowa to live among English, Germans, and Americans? I will try to answer that question next week.