Edlund Family History Wasilla, Alaska

coleen _mielke@hotmail.com

The John Fredolph and Lillie Rosella (Mead) Edlund Family 

Information on this page was taken from online interviews  with
*Gloryjean Fritzler-Wilson
*George D. Hanson
*Jim Fox interview with Diane Hugh-Evans
*Jim Fox interview with Pearl Edlund-Oberg-Farr
*U.S. Census records
*Immigration records
*BLM Land Records
*Herning Diaries

Edlund Road, in Wasilla, Alaska, is named after this family.


All photographs used on this page are courtesy of
Gloryjean Fritzler-Wilson and George D. Hanson

  J.F. "Fred" Edlund age 23 departed from Liverpool, England on a ship called "City of Paris" and
arrived in New York on May 8, 1889.

The "City of Paris" (Inman Line) built 1888

Fred Edlund was born in Bräcke, Sweden in 1866. Five years after he arrived in America, he married 16 year old Lillie Rosella Mead and settled in Verndale, Washington; they had twelve children. Fred's parents, Erik O. (born 1827 in Sweden) and Elizabeth (born 1838 in Sweden) came to America in 1895, settling in Verndale with their sons Edward, Olof Anton and "Fred" Edlund. Fred's wife Lillie was born (1878) in Mecklenburg, New York, to George and Frances Holly Mead.

In the spring of 1914, Fred decided it was time to move his family to Alaska. He and his daughter Rose (and her husband Herman Hugh)  came to Alaska first. The steam ship journey brought them as far as Ship Creek (one year before Anchorage existed) where they took a scow across Cook Inlet to the small town of Knik (three years before Wasilla existed).

That first summer, Fred Edlund staked his homestead which was (by today's landmarks) off of Fairview Loop and Davis Road. He received Land Patent #854587 for his 240 acre homestead in 1922.

The John F. Edlund homestead
(According to the Herning diaries, this home burned down on May 31, 1939)

In the fall of 1914, after staking his homestead and building a tiny cabin, Fred went back to Washington for the winter; his daughter Rose and her husband Hans stayed in Alaska and wintered in the town of Knik.

In the spring of 1915, Fred brought his wife and the rest of his children to live on the homestead in Alaska. Family legend has it, that the cabin was far too small for the large Edlund family and there were many hardships until a larger home was built later that year. In 1917, Fred's wife, Lillie, briefly went back to Washington to give birth to their youngest child, a daughter named Lily May.

            Born 3/12/1896 Washington    Died 3/18/1896 Washington
2. AMELEA "Malie" ELIZABETH EDLUND (married Hans Hugh )
            Born 7/29/1897 Washington
          Died  8/20/1915 Matanuska Valley      Amelea's Children: Hans ("Danny")  and Fredolph ("Dolphy")
3. ROSALIE FRANCES EDLUND (married Herman Hugh & Asa A. "Jack" Wilkinson & Elmer I Tucker)
            Born 12/23/1898 Washington
            Died 1970 Los Molinos, California    Rosalie's Children: Josephine ("Lila") and George
4. ARNOLD ANTON EDLUND (married Hulda Lothrop and Mary Marsh-Cornelius)
            Born 1/23/1901 Washington
            Died 9/3/1974 Port Angeles, Washington     Arnold's Children: Elsie and Maxine
5. EDA "Dee Dee" MYRTLE EDLUND (married Merle McCambridge and John D. Urban)
            Born 1/21/1903  Washington
            Died 4/8/1983 St. Petersburg, Florida   Dee Dee's Children: Margery, Merle and John D.
6. FLORENCE EVELIENA EDLUND (married August J. Strigga and Sharon Fleckenstein)
            Born 11/29/1904  Washington
            Died 1/1/1985  Wasilla, Alaska  Florence's Children: Lorraine, Shirley, Sharon ("Dan") & Joseph
7. GEORGE ERIC EDLUND (m. Olga Finn, Edith Davenport and Mae Byers)
            Born 10 /4/1906 Washington
            Died 7/3/1989 Wasilla, Alaska  George's Children: Alice  Step-children: Ruth, Marian, James and Harold
8. PEARL EDLUND (married Gilbert "Gib" Oberg and William Farr)
            Born 11/4/1908  Washington
            Pearl's Children: Gilbert Jr. and Joan
9. JOHN FREMONT "Monte" EDLUND (married Lillian "Virginia" Grantham)
            Born 4/29/1911  Washington
            Died 1/10/1963 San Francisco, California               No Children
10. HEDVIG MABEL "Vicky" EDLUND (married Gusta Neilssen and Carl Fritzler)
            Born 8/12/1913  Washington
            Died 11/29/1996 Wasilla, Alaska            Vicky's Children: Gloryjean and Carl
11. HILDA VERN EDLUND (married Harry Sears)
            Born 2/28/1915  Washington
            Died 11/7/2007  Kelso, Washington     Hilda's Children: Donald, Verna Mae and Rosella
12. LILY MAY EDLUND (married Ernest Ohlin)
            Born 2/25/1917   Washington
            Died 9/6/1986 Red Bluff, California     Lily's Children: Ruby, Vonnie, Lois, Janet and Ernest

The Edlund family was a musical family, playing guitar, mandolin, violin and accordion. Orville Herning called them the "Edlund Orchestra" and they played for local dances, special occasions and holidays.

Arnold and Fred Edlund  and Ed Fries
Barn Dance at Matanuska Junction
(little girl in front row-white  dress  is Hedvig "Vicky" Edlund)

The Edlund Brothers
Edward, John Fredolph and Olof Anton Edlund

The two oldest Edlund daughters married the two Hugh brothers. Amelea "Malie" Edlund married Hans Hugh and Rosalie "Rose" Edlund married Herman Hugh. According to their WWI draft registration cards, Hans Hugh was born 9/5/1891 and his brother Herman was born 2/ 14/1893, (both in Basel, Switzerland). They were the sons of Gottfried  J. and Elizabeth Hugh who immigrated to America in 1911 and settled near the Edlunds, in Verndale, Washington.

Amelea  Edlund and her husband  Hans homesteaded  (by today's landmarks) near the intersection of the Parks Highway and Seward Meridian Road in Wasilla. Amelea died after only a year in Alaska (unknown illness), she was only 19 and was buried on her parents homestead. Her husband and two young sons, Hans and Fredolph (who went by the nicknames of Danny and Dolphy) moved back to Washington after her death.

                                                                                   Amalea "Malie" Edlund-Hugh           Hans Hugh
Amelea and Hans Hugh's vacant homestead was assumed by Oscar Anderson. Other well known Valley pioneer names, that subsequently owned Amalea's homestead, were Swaboda, Hurley and Fritzler.

The Edlund's 2nd oldest daughter, Rosalie "Rose" Francis, was married three times. Her first husband was Herman Hugh and they had 2 children: Josephine Mary born 1914 in Knik and George born in Washington in 1920. Josephine went by the nickname of Lily in her early childhood, however when her maternal grandmother gave birth to a baby girl in 1917 (named Lily May), Josephine's parents changed Josephine's nickname to Lila. Rose (Edlund) Hugh's 2nd husband was Asa "Jack" Wilkinson. When he passed away, she married Elmer Tucker in 1961.


The Edlund's 4th child was Arnold Anton. He and Canadian born wife Hulda Lothrop, had two daughters, Elsie and Maxine. Hulda was the daughter of Robert Bloomfield Lothrop  and Hulda Isabelle (Gustafson) Lothrop, and the step-daughter of Joseph Jussa.

Arnold Edlund's 2nd wife was Mary Marsh-Cornelius, widow of Roy A. Cornelius. That made Arnold a step-father to Mary and Roy Cornelius' 4 children: Frank R., Kathleen E., Ruthie M. and Eugene R. Cornelius.

Arnold Edlund was granted Land Patent #1043745 for 159 acres in the Matanuska Valley, in 1931.

Arnold Anton Edlund

The Edlund's 5th child, Eda Myrtle "Dee Dee", married Merle David McCambridge; they had two daughters, Margery in 1922 and Merle Corine in 1924. According to the 1910 US Census for Pennsauken, New Jersey, Merle was the son of David and Louisa McCambridge of Canada. Merle's WWI draft card lists his birth date and place as 6/7/1888 Omaha, Nebraska. It also says that Merle's right hand was partially crippled from a gunshot wound. He died of the flu in 1925, while working as a baggage handler for the Alaska Railroad and is buried in the  Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery. "Dee Dee" married John D. Urban in 1926. He was born in Portage, Wisconsin (1882) and came to Anchorage in 1922; they had a son named John D. Urban Jr. in 1927.

The Edlunds 6th child, Florence Eveliena, married (Russian born) August J. Strigga who was stationed at Matanuska Junction as a Private in the U.S. Army Co. B, 21st Infantry. They had two children, Lorraine and Shirley. In 1929, the Strigga's were granted a land patent #1030361 for Lot 4 Block 13 in the town of Anchorage. Florence's second husband was Sharon Fleckenstein, son of Joseph Bernard and Marie Antionette Fleckenstein; Florence and Sharon had two sons: Sharon (nickname "Dan") and Joseph Fleckenstein. Sharon Fleckenstein's first wife was Maxine Crocker, daughter of a Wasilla rancher named Fred Crocker (Sharon and Maxine were the first couple to be married in Wasilla) Maxine drowned on July 4th, 1932 when their car went out of control, coming down Hatcher Pass road and landed in the Little Susitna River. 

The Edlund's 7th child, George Eric married Olga Finn who died in a car accident. His second wife, and mother of his daughter Alice, was Edith Davenport. His third wife was Agnes May (Roulo) Byers, widow of Harold Byers. George Edlund was granted Land Patent #1076065 for 150 acres in the Matanuska Valley in 1935.

The Edlund's 8th child was, Pearl Edlund; she married Gilbert "Gib" Oberg and they had 3 children children: Gilbert Jr., Joannie and Gary Jr.

The Edlund's 9th child was John Fremont "Monte" Edlund. He married Lillian "Virginia" Grantham. They had no children.

The Edlund's 10th child was Hedvig "Vicky" Edlund. When she was 17, she married Gusta Neilssen, a young Swedish immigrant (came to USA 1928) who was the nephew of Oscar Anderson. Shortly after they were married, the two moved back to Sweden where they lived for about 3 years. The marriage was short lived and 20 year old "Vicky" came back to America on the S. S. Drottningholm, leaving Gothenburg, Sweden and arriving in New York on 1/4/1934. Vicky Edlund-Neilssen's 2nd husband was Carl Fritzler (1936); they had two children, Gloryjean and Carl Mark Fritzler. Carl Sr. applied for and received Land Patent # 1110217 for 160 acres in 1941 and Land Patent #1172531 for 240 acres in the Matanuska Valley in 1957.

The Edlund's 11th child, Hilda Verna married Harry Sears. As a wedding gift her father gave the young couple a section of the original Edlund homestead which was (by today's landmarks) between Fairview Loop and Matanuska Road. Hilda and Harry had three children: Donald, Verna Mae and Rosella Sears.

The Edlund's 12th and youngest child, Lily May married Ernest Ohlin (nephew of Oscar Anderson); they had five children: Ruby, Vonnie, Lois, Janet and Ernest Ohlin.


Fred Edlund's maternal cousin, Johan Albert Bodin immigrated from Sweden on the S. S. Lusitania, arriving 8/17/1912, with his six year old son Swen R Bodin. Their immigration records list Morton, Washington as their final destination.  Eventually Albert and Swen came to Alaska and staked a homestead near the Edlunds. Since Albert was a single father, the Edlunds took care of young Swen when his father was away, which was often. Eventually, Albert Bodin left Alaska, leaving Swen permanently with the Edlunds. The deserted Bodin homestead was taken over by Fred Edlund's brother, Olof Anton Edlund.

*Swen Bodin
*Alton Edlund (son of Olof Anton Edlund)
*Carl Fritzler

Building on the Fritzler homestead log house
about 1939 or 1940

Oscar Anderson (not to be confused with the Oscar Anderson of Anchorage fame) immigrated from Sweden in 1909. By all accounts, he was a kind and generous man. Gloryjean Fritzler wrote the following about him: "Oscar built his log gambrel roofed house on the hillside, which was below our house. When he knew he was going to marry Lillie Mead-Edlund (and get her daughters as a bonus) he cleared some land to the east and moved his house there. Later Oscar built a 20' x 20' house just a bit to the west. My folks used the old log house for a barn until they got into the dairy business, then dad tore it down and built the milk house there. Dad built onto the little white house and later sold it to Ed and Dot Frandson."


One Edlund legend tells how Oscar Anderson and Swen Bodin  went moose hunting together and Swen mistook Oscar for a moose and shot him. The injuries were severe enough that Oscar lost part of his arm and wore a metal hook the rest of his life, however, he never held Swen responsible, saying "it was just an accident". Oscar married Lillie Rosella (Mead) Edlund in 1930 after she divorced John Fredolph Edlund.

Fred Edlund, Florence Edlund-Strigga-Fleckenstein, Robert Lothrop, Sharon Fleckenstein,
Gloryjean Fritzler holding brother Carl "Mark" Fritzler, Monte Edlund, George Edlund.
Photo taken 1951 at the Fleckenstein's.


          #1 Mabel Spybrook  (teacher)
 #2  as Pearl Edlund
 #3  as Monty Edlund
 #4  as Vicky Edlund
 #5  as Hilda Edlund
#6  as Lily Edlund

Fairview School House 1926
Hilda Edlund, Vicky Edlund, Velma Soper,
Bessie Rowe (teacher) and Lily Edlund


Fairview School 1929-1930
Written on the back of the photo: Clarence Watters, George Edlund, Monty Edlund,
Gu'sta Nilsson, Oscar Anderson, Vicky Edlund (dark dress in doorway). Laura Soper,
Kenneth Soper, Wanda Soper, Lily Edlund, Velma Soper, Hilda Edlund, Teacher Bessie Rowe,
Florence Watters.

Walking to School (along the railroad tracks)
Lily Edlund, Wanda Soper, Vicky Edlund, Pearl Soper, Hilda Edlund,
Velma Soper, Kenny Soper and Stewart Vail

Wasilla School Kids 
Do you know who these Wasilla school students are?

7.  Elizabeth "Pat" Snider
10.  Billy Tryck
11.  Marie Snider Betts
12   Charlie Tryck