Ecklund Family





Emma Christine Olausdotter (Olson) was born March 25, 1865 on a farm in Persnäs, on the island of Öland, Sweden. Her father, Ole Magnusson, was a tenant farmer, so the family moved around the area wherever work could be found - in a province where too many people crowded a small amount of usable agricultural land. (See Swedish Roots.) She was the third of five children who lived to adulthood. Like many Swedish girls of big families, Emma worked as a piga, or a maid on local farms. After her father Ole died in 1878, her Emma's mother Christine remarried (to a cousin of her late husband) and eventually moved to Stockholm. Meanwhile, the children fended for themselves. The eldest brother, Nels Alfred, emigrated to America in 1883. (See Olsons from Michigan to Colorado - Alfred Olson and his Descendants) Emma's older sister Alma and younger sister Anna both married and moved away. Emma followed Nels Alfred to America in 1884, traveling to Minnesota where Alfred was working as a farm laborer. Within the year, though, both of them moved to Chicago. In the bustlng city they found work - Alfred in the steel mills of the southeast side, and Emma doing housework and cooking for wealthier families. Soon they were joined by their younger brother (our own great-grandfather) Johann August in 1885.

Adolph Frederick Ecklund was born in 1862 in the province of Östergotland, Sweden. When Adolph was six his father died. His daughter Effie Ecklund Lerner wrote many years later,

"Since his mother was unable to support him, he was taken in by an uncle named Quarsell, who was not kind to him...He was entered early in an apprenticeship in the smith trade. He was put to making tacks before he was old enough to reach the bench. He was placed on a high stool in his uncle's shop, working at night and going to school in daytime. He studied by the light of the furnace in the shop at night when he was not working. He was abused at home and at work."

Adolph emigrated in 1883. With his background and a family tradition in the steel industry, he naturally found work in the steel mills of Chicago's southeast side. He applied for and was granted U.S. citizenship.

In Chicago Emma Christine attended a Swedish church, and she met Adolph at a Sunday School Picnic in Jackson Park. They were married on February 15, 1889. Their first child, Ernest, was born in February 1890; their daughter Valencia was born in June 1891, a son Fabean in November 1892, and son Joseph in October 1894. Effie Lerner wrote:

"During the financial panic of 1893 and '94, the Illinois Steel Mills ceased to operate for a period of seven months, thereby leaving their four thousand employees, including Adolph, without a means of earning a living for their families. After several months of waiting for this situation to improve, Adolph and Emma decided to move to the country. The old Viking spirit of adventure, and a desire for independence and freedom from the noise, soot, and congestion of the city urged them onward. They traded their home, consisting of two five-room apartments, for a farm of eighty acres in northern Michigan, with a house and barn and a mortgage of five hundred dollars."

Charlevoix, Michigan was an old logging town and lake port turned resort town on the east shore of Lake Michigan. In April of 1895 the Ecklunds were met at the train station there by Emma's brother Alfred Olson, who loaded everyone into a lumber wagon for the seven-mile trip to his cabin. When the Ecklunds' furniture shipment arrived a week later, they moved into their own place, a hillside cottage on "bush land" a mile and a half from Alfred and Augusta's. There the Ecklunds learned to farm, beginning with the purchase of a single milk cow, trading labor for the loan of a neighbor's plow horses, planting potatoes and beans.

After celebrating one successful harvest, Adolph and Emma may have been optimistic for the future, but there were many hardships ahead. In the middle of a freezing February night their cottage was lost to fire, along with most of their furniture and clothing. They were able to stay with Alfred until new accommodations could be built, while generous friends and neighbors helped the family get back on their feet. Adolph built a small shack for the family so they could continue to work their farm. Their daughter Alice was born there on May 27, 1896. Adolph labored to cut logs for a new home, and they were hauled to the mill for sawing - but in June the sawmill burned, and Adolph's stored lumber along with it. Then, hauling logs in the dark of winter, Adolph's sleigh overturned, leaving him disabled for months with a serious ankle injury. In spite of the setbacks, the family finally moved into their new house two weeks before Christmas, 1897. Their few years of experience were beginning to show results, and with Emma selling produce from the farm, the Ecklunds began to prosper. A daughter Nettie was born in January 18, 1899, and Effie was born on March 6, 1901. That same year Adolph's mother came to live with the family until she died in December 1909. On February 7, 1910 the last child, Selma, was born.

Changes were coming, however. Adolph became ill with tuberculosis, and went off for a year to a Chiropractic College in Grand Rapids for treatment. He returned healthy and enthusiastic for the practice of chiropractic, which he had studied during his convalescence. Giving the farm to his sons, he opened an office in Charlevoix.

In the fall of 1911, Daughter Valencia enrolled in the Bible Holiness Seminary in Owosso, Michigan; in February, however, she became ill, and died of typhoid fever and pneumonia the following February. Nettie enrolled in the seminary in 1914, accompanied by Alice; but Alice soon made the move to Chicago for work as a housekeeper and cook. Adolph, meanwhile, opened a chiropractic office in Chicago, and a year later moved to Chesterton, Indiana, about 25 miles east of Chicago near the present-day Indiana Dunes State Park. Emma soon joined him, along with the younger girls. Effie went to high school in Chesterton. There was also a lot of commuting between Chesterton, Chicago, and Charlevoix as the women sometimes traveled back to help their brothers out on the farm. In 1919, Effie went to the National College of Chiropractic on Chicago's west side; her sister Nettie, fresh from a couple of years at the Bible Holiness Seminary, joined her. Upon completion of her chiropractic training, Effie entered practice with her father.

Ernest Ecklund continued to work the family farm in Charlevoix after Adolph left. He married Martha Brackett and they raised two children in Michigan: Herbert and Elizabeth ("Betty"}.
HERBERT ECKLUND married Betty Bradis. They had six children: Michael, Judy, Steven, Deborah, Richard, and Amy. Herb was a salesman and moved to Texas in later years.

  • Michael Ecklund married Charlotte Stevens; their two children were Daniel and Joy. Daniel married Mary and their son Adam was born in 1995.
  • Judy Ecklund married Rick Rowe; their children are Shannon and Neill Rowe. Shannon's children are Cheyanne and Chelsey. Neill married Debbie and their son Justin was born in 1995. Judy's second husband is Richard Colbath. Their son in James Richard.
  • Stephen Ecklund married Pamela Hunter; their children are Steven and Catherine.
  • Debra Ecklund married James Flanigan; their children are Sarah and Shawna Flanigan. Debra married Dennis B. Shattuck in 1990.
  • Richard Ecklund married Rhonda Praytor; their children are Amanda, Angela, and Jordon.
  • Amy Ecklund married the Rev. Wesley Marks; their daughters are Alicia and Lauren Marks.
    ELIZABETH "BETTY" ECKLUND married Gilbert Casler; their children were Suzanne and Lori.
  • Suzanne Casler
  • Lori Casler married Dwight Laidler. Their children are Aaron and Christina.

    Fabean Adolph Ecklund visited his sisters working in Chicago and met Greta (Margaret) Erickson, who was a friend of Alice.

    The relationship continued in Charlevoix the following year, and Fabean married Margaret on December 20, 1916. They lived on the farm in Michigan, raising five children: Alice, Adolph, Lawrence, Eleanor, and Donald. Fabean died March 21, 1938.
    ADOLPH FREDERICK ECKLUND married Iva Howe(they were married 62 years.) Their children were a son, Fabian, and a daughter Carol. Adolph owned an Elevator company in Springport, MI from 1959-1980 and was active in Lions Club and volunteered with Michigan State Holiness Christian Campground. He died in Eaton, MI on Aug. 18, 2003 at the age of 85.

  • Fabian "Bob" Ecklund was killed in an accident in 1959 at the age of 17 years.
  • Carol married Gary Searles; they live in Eaton Rapids, MI. Their children are Alan and David.
    ALICE ECKLUND married Clare Beattie in 1941. Their son is Arthur Beattie and daughter Barbara Ann. They retired to Florida until Clare's death in 1990. Alice married Lee Shapton back in Charlevoix in 1993.
  • Art Beattie is a computer engineer living in Tavares, FL.
  • Barbara Ann's first husband was Stanley Shaw. Their son Steven was born in 1972. He married Jeanene English in 2003, and they have a son Frederick Alexander Charlton.
    Barbara's second husband was Jack Gardiner; she married Jerry Martin in 1987.
    ELEANOR CAROLINE ECKLUND married Winford "Dutch" Bright in 1943. Their children are Charles and Randall. She married Louis Corangelo about 1985. She was also married to Robert E. Green. Eleanor died in 2007.
  • Charles married Carol Ann Vanlaan in 1972 and their children are Andrew and Timothy. Andrew (1973-2002) married Amanda Miltenberger. Timothy married Marcy and their daughters are Amber and Natalie.
  • Randy married Martha Vanzale and they have six sons: Matthew, Phillip, Benjamin, Nathan, Samuel, and John
  • Matthew married Sarah Lynne Tillotson and their children are Nathan, Kelsey, and Carolyn.
  • Nathan married Michelle Kay Reece in 2003.
    LAWRENCE ECKLUND was married to Agnes O'dell. They had four children who lived to adulthood. Larry was killed at their Florida home.
  • Ila Jeanne married Jack Stokes in 1972. Their son John was born in 1980 and died in 2003. (Ila and Jack were divorced in 1988.)
  • Lars married Aino Brita Pikkat in 1976. Their children are Marie and Daniel.
  • Deborah married Donald McCormick in 1982. Their children are Sherrie and Donald.
  • Karl Louis was born in 1957 and died in 2006.
    DONALD EDWIN ECKLUND married Margie in Oklahoma City in 1953, and they raised two children:
  • Donald Kory married Donnita and their child Jordan Tensley was born in 1958.
  • Kari Lee was born in 1956. Her child Morgan Grant was born in 1996.

    Joseph Bernard Ecklund suffered a weak heart from several childhood bouts of rheumatic fever, and declined to stay on the farm with his brothers. He married Nellie Sophia Anderson, and worked various jobs near his parents' Indiana homes, from the Gary steel mills to the New York Central Railroad. In the railroad yard he was injured in an accident and died from his injuries in 1922. He left behind his wife and his daughter Gladys Jo, who spent some years living with her aunts Effie and Nettie in Chicago.
    GLADYS JO IRENE ECKLUND married Richard Mills, and their chldren were Nancie Ellen and Richard Powell Mills. After Gladys Jo and Richard Mills divorced, Gladys Jo remarried to Donald Mays.

  • Nancie Ellen Mills married Jeremy Allen: their children were Lisa Dawn and Jeremy Dean Allen. Nancie and Jeremy Allen divorced, and she remarried to James Donald Chapman.
  • Richard Powell Mills married Janet Lynn Stibbins, and their children were Richard Everett and Kimberly Lynn Mills.

    Alice E. Ecklund married Leroy Smith in Denver, Colorado on April 8, 1920. In July they moved into a house in Englewood, Colorado, where the vacant land around them allowed them to keep a large garden plus a cow, chickens, goats, and rabbits. Leroy worked for the post office, and Alice found a job at Barth's Greenhouse across the street. They raised four children: Marion, Beatrice, Gene, and Arvid. Leroy died August 4, 1977. Alice in her 80's was most instrumental to the author in documenting the Ecklund families.
    IRENE BEATRICE SMITH (b. September 9, 1921 - d. October 20, 1940.)
    GENE STANLEY SMITH (b. December 3, 1923 - d. March 20, 1974.) graduated from medical school and married Virginia Hardgrave in 1947. They lived in Ft. Worth, Texas while he did his internship and residency. The army then sent Gene to Edwards Air Force Base in California, and the family ended up settling in Lodi, California. They had three children: Sharon, Michelle and Lorelei.

  • Sharon married Harris and has a daughter Brenda.
  • Michelle Diane Smith (b. March 26, 1952) first married Japeson; her second husband was Robert Gates, and their son was Brandon Gates, born in 1971.
  • Lorelei Lynn Smith (b.Oct. 8, 1953 - d. Sept. 7, 1973.)
    After his wife Virginia's death in 1966, Gene remarried to Susan Gross. Their daugher was Elizabeth Beatrice, born 1968.
    ARVID DAVID SMITH (b. Apr. 7, 1926) became interested in construction work in the navy, and later bought a crane to work for contractors in the Denver area. He married Doris Camp in 1950. Doris's son was Larry. Arvid's second wife was Raedine Meyerhoff, married in 1998.
  • Larry married Dee Nelson and they had two children, Laura and Jeff.
    MARION AUGUSTA SMITH (b.May 12, 1929 - d. Nov. 16, 2007) became a specialist in Physical Therapy, working in hospitals close to her homes in Colorado. She married Robert Walters and their daughter was Dorothy.
  • Dorothy married John O'Leary and their son was Hilding Henrickson.

    Nettie Christina Ecklund employed her training in medicine as well as her religious background as a missionary. Her first husband's name was Michael Leo (1863-1936). They had a son, John Frederick, who died in infancy. Nettie worked along with her sister Effie as a chiropracter in Chicago for some years. Settling in Oak Forest, Illinois, she later married Frank Gustafson, and they had a daughter Jeanette. Nettie died in 1982.
    JEANETTE GUSTAFSON married Paul Gorman and they had three children:

  • Timothy Paul Gorman married Rhonda Richardson in 1987.
  • Pamela Christine Gorman (1967-1978)
  • Lawrence Edward Gorman married Lara Coyne in 1993.

    Effie Ecklund took classes at the University of Chicago, finishing her pre-med studies in 1934; she received her medical degree, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Rush Medical College, and opened her own practice in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. Effie became pregnant by her first husband, named Kilbrid, who beat her and caused her to lose the baby. She interned at Walther Memorial Hospital, where she met Dr. Harry Lerner, her future husband. They were married in early 1941, but soon found themselves separated by the war when Harry was posted overseas to Europe and Effie studied, practiced medicine, and worked at Ft. Des Moines, Iowa. After the war Effie went into general practice and specialized in otolaryngology. For many years she and Harry lived and worked in Oak Park, Illinois, enjoying the symphony and dinner parties with family and friends. After retirement, Effie served on the board of the Newberry Center, and did volunteer medical work with children at the Marcy Center. From the early 60's she and Harry had attended the music festivals in Aspen, Colorado; eventually they would make it their summer home. Effie Lerner died in December 1995. Her love and devotion to her family was a great motivation for the writing of Effie's memoir, the unpublished manuscript "A Saga of Swedish Immigrants" quoted and used as a reference throughout this site.

    Selma ("Sally") Ecklund married Milton Lee "Bill" Rollins. She lived on the South Side of Chicago where she was active with youth in the church. Sally and Bill had two children, Patricia and William.
    PATRICIA ROLLINS, a registered nurse, married William "Van" Bonds and their had three children:

  • Teresa Lee (Van's daughter from a previous marriage.)
  • Patricia "Ann" married Kevin Doyal, and their children are William and Alexis.
  • William "Bill" Bonds is a policeman in Plano, TX. He married Shannon Nell.
    WILLIAM "Bill" ROLLINS (1941-2001) married Peggy Shackelford in 1970. They raised two children:
  • Tammy Lynn was born in 1975.
  • William Scott was born in 1977.

  • Research Notes
    I have used Effie Lerner's manuscript as a primary source for most of the family history above, verified where possible by census records and other online resources. The recent family details were hopelessly out of date, based as they are on information received from Alice Smith and others about 1982. I encourage Ecklund family members to contact me with corrections, omissions, and new information. Photos and copies of documents are always welcome.
    I have already been able to make significant revisions thanks to the excellent genealogy furnished by Art Beattie.
    The Memoirs of Effie Lerner are now edited and available on line in their entirety in eight chapters: Link to Chapter One HERE.
    -- Raymond G. Ziemer, Warrenville, IL
    Please sign the guest book.


    1900 Census
    Ecklunds in
    1910 Census
    Ecklunds in
    1920 Census
    Ernest & Fabian Families
    1930 Census
    Ernest & Fabian Families
    1920 Census
    Adolph, Emma, Selma
    & Joseph's Family
    in Chesterton, IN
    1920 Census
    Alice in Chicago
    1920 Census
    Nettie in Chicago
    (Boarding Home)
    1920 Census
    Nettie in Chicago
    (Hyde Park Job)
    "A Saga of Swedish
    1930 Census
    Adolph & Emma
    167th Street
    1930 Census
    Effie, Nettie, Selma
    in Chicago
    1930 Census
    Alice & Smith Family
    in Englewood, CO
    Effie Ecklund Lerner
    Family History & Memoirs

  • Correspondence from Alice Smith 1982-83
  • Correspondence from Sue Casler 1982
  • Correspondence from Gladys Jo Mays 1982
  • Social Security Death Index
  • Miscellaneous Online Resources (See Rootsweb)
  • Ecklund Genealogy and Family Portrait by Art Beattie
  • Links
    Mapquest Map of Charlevoix, MI
    Charlevoix, Michigan Chamber of Commerce
    Interactive Map of Charlevoix
    Historic Post Cards of Charlevoix
    Charlevoix Historical Society

    View the complete Family Tree of Ole Magnusson and his descendants in Rootsweb.

    This page was last updated on: Saturday, 08-Sep-2018 04:25:50 MDT