Land of Opportunity: Engaged Woman Finds a Different Fate

Reaching destination in this land of opportunity, engaged woman finds a new love, and grandparents start family in North Dakota.

| Good Old Days

This family’s journey in the land of opportunity took a few unexpected twists. The tale begins with Augusta Sofia Amelia Hermanson, who was born in Nye, Smaaland, Sweden, on April 13, 1869. She spent much of her childhood with her maternal grandparents, Adolph and Elizabeth Nelson, and attended a girls' school. At age 18 or 19, she became engaged to a man named Emil. They decided Emil should go to America and save his earnings to send for her. Emil had a married brother living in Davenport, North Dakota, at the time.

In May 1890, she bade farewell to her mother, Caroline; stepfather, Carl Peterson; younger sisters, Ida and Hilda; and her grandparents. After a stormy voyage, including a three-day stopover in England, they arrived in New York.

Augusta took the train to Davenport, where she arrived June 5, 23 days after leaving Sweden. To her dismay she discovered Emil's brother had died, and Emil was more interested in his brother's widow. Augusta was dressed in drab, dull clothing; Emil and the widow pointed their fingers at her old-world costume and laughed.

Augusta saw right away that Emil was involved with this other woman, and she was very upset. She did not have any more to do with Emil. She hired out to the Nels Braaten family, where she made many friends, especially within the Hendrick Clemenson family.

Augusta met Gilbert, who had emigrated from Norway with his parents, Hendrick and Berthe Clemenson, and family in 1870.

Augusta and Gilbert married June 6, 1891. Soon afterward they sent tickets to Augusta's sister, who later married Gilbert's brother.

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