Peter Settergren was born on February 25, 1830 in Sweden. Peter was one of 7 children born to Gustaf and Kristena Gustafson. (It is not unusual that children had different last names. The name chosen was oftentimes based on employment of the father.) At the age of 25, Peter married Anna Mary Settergren in 1855. Peter and Anna had 7 children, 4 of whom were born in Sweden. They arrived in America in 1866 when Peter was 36.
The family history in America started in the spring of 1868 when Peter and Anna and their 4 children landed in New York. They settled first at Rockford, Illinois where they remained for one year. They moved next to Topeka, Kansas in 1869, then left there to go to Emporia in 1870. From Emporia, Peter walked to Augusta where he gave a man the only $5 he had to stake a claim 6 miles to the northwest of Augusta. The abstract was signed by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1871.
Peter worked 6 miles northwest of ElDorado building a small rock school house. Each Saturday, he walked to his claim to sleep and then walked back to his job on Sunday. In order to hold the claim, he was required to spend part of the time on it. Peter built a 12x12 foot house cutting logs and boring holes in them. The logs were then placed in an upright position. He made hay ropes and wove them into the holes in the logs. Then he built a loft. It was plastered inside and outside, first with clay and then with plaster. Anna and the children came from Emporia in the fall of 1871. Other farm buildings were built later. Through the years there were fires in the barn and the home, with structures built to replace them.
Peter and Anna went on to have 3 more children and continued to farm their land until his death in 1909 and her death in 1918. Both are buried in Elmwood Cemetery.
Photos: Peter Settergren; 1885 Towanda Township Map showing Settergren’s 160 acres; and, the Settergren’s headstone from Elmwood Cemetery.