Augusta Gustafson Swanson was born in 1862(?) in Hygnestad, Vaderstad, a province of Ostergotland, Sweden. On July 28, 1889, she was married to Carl Swanson in Sweden and emigrated with him to his home in Iowa. The couple settled on a farm in Grant Township in Montgomery County, Iowa. Carl Swanson, born in 1850 in Sweden, emigrated to Iowa in 1868. Augusta and Carl Swanson raised a family of nine children. Carl Swanson died in1922. Augusta later moved to Red Oak, Iowa.
The Augusta Swanson papers measure 5 linear inches and date from 1884 to 1938. They consist of photocopies of letters written in Swedish by Augusta Swanson to her family in Sweden, along with English translations of the letters. The papers are divided into three series: Correspondence, Transcripts, and Newspaper clipping.
The Correspondence series consists of 109 letters written in Swedish by Augusta Swanson describing day today activities as well as events of national importance. Family members' health, the births of her children, school and church activities, weddings, funerals, and landmark events uch as acquisition of the family's first car, are all documented. Daily activities around the farm, the weather, harvests and yields, prices of grain and livestock, the remodeling of the house, and the activities of the persons hired to help on the farm and in the house, are also covered. One letter(number 40) includes Carl Swanson's financial statement for 1901.
Swanson mentions many events of national importance, among them the Chicago World's Fair of 1893, the bank crisis of 1894, the re-election of President McKinley in 1900, McKinley's assassination in 1901, the 1901 beginning of Rural Free Delivery of mail, World War I, the events of the stock market crash in 1929, the election of Franklin Roosevelt, and Prohibition.
The Transcripts series consists of English translations of the correspondence, translated by Ellen Swanson. Preceding these translations is a calendar listing of each letter by number and date written, followed by a brief description of its contents, and four pages of photocopies of personal photographs, including one of each of Swanson's two homes in Iowa, one of her birth home, and one of Swanson and her nine adult children. Also included are a brief narrative description of Carl Swanson's two return trips to Sweden, during the second of which he and Augusta Gustafson were married.
The Newspaper clipping series consists of a photocopy of a newspaper article about Ellen and Julia Swanson from The Red Oak Express about the donation of their mother's papers to the Iowa Women's Archives.
Access: The papers are open for research.
Use: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.
Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 127) were donated by Ellen Swanson in 1993. The originals are held by Ellen and Julia Swanson.
Preferred Citation: Augusta Gustafson Swanson correspondence, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.