Familj B/Family B

Axel Johan Amnéus (1833 – 1881), stamfader för Familjen B, fick sin doktorsexamen i Uppsala. Han studerade sedermi Preussen, Österrike, Frankrike, Turkiet, Grekland och Italien. I ett år arbetade han som läkare i London. Han bodde en tid i Borås och fick en gata uppkallad efter sig. Alltså finns Amnéusgatan nära Alingsåsvägen. Så småningom blev han andre stadsläkare i Göteborg. När han hastigt avled höll han på med att författa en skrift om Karl XII: död. Han var gift med Mathilda Wilander (1851 – 1925), som tillhör samma släkt som tennisspelaren Mats Wilander.

Axel Johan Amnéus (1833 – 1881), the first Amnéus in the B-Family got his doctor’s degree in Uppsala. Later n he studied in countries like Preussia (Germany), Austria, France, Turkey, Greece and Italy. Fora year he served as a doctor in London. He livesd for some time in the town of Borås (east of Göteborg) and even had a street named after him. So that’s why there is Amnéusgatan in this town. Eventually he became second city physician in Göteborg (Gothenburg). He was working on a treatise concerning the death of King Charles XII when he suddenly died. He was married to Mathilda Wilander (1851 – 1925), belonging to the same family as the legendary tennis player Mats Wilander.

Hans son, Anders Johan (Jeanne) Amnéus (1871 – 1943) blev också läkare. Han gifte sig med sin kusin Anna Amnéus (1874 – 1945) som var lärare efter att ha fått sin examen vid Uppsla universitet. Hon hade studerat franska utomlands.

His son, Anders Johan (Jeanne) Amnéus (1871 – 1943) also became a doctor. He married his cousin Anna Amnéus (1874 – 1945) who was a teacher had graduated from Uppsala University. She had been studying French abroad.

Familjen B har utökats med många medlemmar. Nils August Amnéus (1878 – 1952) utvandrade till USA, kom tillbaka med familjen men tyckte illa om ojämlikheten i Sverige och återvände till Amerika för gott. Han och hustrun Harriet Sophia Anchersen (norskt påbrå), 1883 – 1962, fick fyra söner Thomas (1907 – 2004), William (1909 – 1996), John (1917 – ) och Daniel (1919 – 2003). Genom dessa finns en stor släkt i USA, främst i Kalifornien och närliggande stater.

The B-Family has expanded and has lots of members. Nils August Amnéus (1878 – 1952) emigrated to the USA, returned with his family but disliked the lack of quality in his old country and went back to America where he stayed for good. He and his wife Harriet Sophia Anchersen (Norwegian origin), 1883 – 1962, had four sons Thomas (1907 – 2004), William (1909 – 1996), John (1917 – ) and Daniel (1919 – 2003). Through them a large family has developed and is now represented in California and adjacent states in the first place.

1. USA – Harriet Anchersen (by John Amnéus)
2. Tom’s Recollections
(Tom Amnéus)
3. Axel Johan Amnéus – minnesteckning
av C.F. Berggren /memorial sketch by A.F. Berggren

  1. USA – Harriet Anchersen (by John Amnéus)
  2. 2. Tom’s Recollections (Tom Amnéus)
  3. 3. Axel Johan Amnéus – minnesteckning av C.F. Berggren/memorial sketch by A.F. Berggren

1. USA (THE US B-FAMILY DOCUMENTS) Harriet Anchersen
Written by John Amnéus

It is interesting to know how one’s parents met and came to know each other. This is the story as best I can determine it, or my parents Nils Amnéus and Harriet Anchersen. Perhaps others in the family will also be interested. Most of the hard evidence comes from old newspaper clippings and a photograph Tom has. Beyond that there are memories of conversations both Tom and I had with our parents, Nils and Harriet.

The undocumented part of the story has been interpreted from the available facts and the memories of Tom and myself. Harriet was born in Gothenburg, Sweden April 10, 1883 to Sea Captain Thomas Christian Anchersen and Augusta Wahlberg.

Harriet had three sisters, Mary, Alice, and Jane. When Harriet was not quite nine, Captain Anchersen’s ship the Alma, was caught in a storm on the Baltic Sea February 1892 and he went down with his ship.

She apparently continued to attend school through the sixth grade when her mother married Karl Lindequist (born 1865) in 1895 and the family moved to the US. Karl and Harriet came on one boat and Augusta and the other three girls came on a different ship.

We know Harriet, after coming to this country, worked in sweatshops when she was a girl, making shoelaces, and fancy candies- this was to help support the family. When Karl Lindequist arrived in this country in 1895, he was thirty years old. He had studied Architecture but worked as a draftsman at Blake Pump Works in East Cambridge, Mass.

This is where Nils came to work in June 1901. Since Nils also worked there as a draftsman from 1901 until 1903 it would seem probable that the two Swedish emigrants working in the same office would have known each other and perhaps had social contact. There is however no hard evidence for this.

Assuming they had contact, Nils would probably have become aware of Harriet, Karl’s stepdaughter, Nils’ salary as a draftsman in the same office with Karl was barely enough for him to live on. Karl had a family of eight to support on what must have been a similar salary.

Based on a picture Tom has, showing Karl with his twin sons, Nils and Charlie Lindequist, in an elaborately furnished room, he thought Karl must have had a substantial salary. (Photographic studios, then and now, have elegant furniture in their studios for people to pose on and around.) I suspect this picture was taken in one of those elaborately furnished photographic studios and has no relation to Karl’s financial situation.

If Karl’s salary supported the family adequately, Harriet would have been going to school, not working in the sweatshops, hence the cessation of her education at the sixth grade. My interpretation is that Harriet’s sweatshop experience went from the time she arrived in this country till she started working in various sewing shops, some time before the drowning accident when she was 21 years of age.

The accident: August 22, 1904, the first day of his vacation, Karl rented a sailboat (the “yacht” VISION) to take five-passengers on a sail around Boston Harbor. I remember Harriet saying the boat was overloaded. According to the Cambridge Chronicie. Karl Lindequist (39 years old on Sunday) was just starting a planned one- week vacation on the day he drowned.

The group consisting of Karl Lindequist, Harriet Anchersen, her sister Mary, Rolf Jacobson and Karl Umblant left about noon; the accident was about 3:00 O’clock near Boston Light. (The accident was apparently caused by everyone going to one side of the boat to retrieve one of the girl’s straw hats off the water when a puff of wind caused the boat to capsize.)

The Boston Globe of August 25, 1904 said: Captain Johnsen (born in Norway) was in command of the yacht Arleta. On seeing the struggling people in the water he got into the Arleta’s tender (dory) and rowed to the victims, followed by a boat with fishermen who had also witnessed the accident. The Captain pulled Harriet into the dory, and resuscitated her. Harriet had been face down in the water and her face and fingers were black. He slapped and rolled her causing her to throw up a little water and then open her eyes.

After she became conscious he passed Harriet up to Mr. Towle in the yacht Arleta. Mr. Towle continued resuscitation till she was well enough to be taken with Karl Umblant, who saved himself by treading water along with Karl Lindequist’s body to Boston in the fishermen’s boat since they were on their way back to the harbor.

The bodies of Mary Ancorson (Anchersen) and Rolf Jacobson (15 years old) were recovered several days later near Boston Light. The felt hat of Karl Lindequist, with some papers and currency attached, was also found.

All five people were residents of Cambridge. Augusta, waiting for return of the party, was shocked when a reporter came to the No. 10 Lawrence St. house and informed her of the accident. Karl Lindequist was buried in Cambridge Cemetery.

In June 1903 Nils left Blake Pump Works and went to work for Steel Cable Engineering Co. in Everett, Massachusetts, some miles from Cambridge. It appears that on reading about the drowning accident in the newspaper, Nils, to be closer to Harriet, left his Everett job and moved to East Cambridge taking a position as Chief Draftsman with Chapman Ball Bearing Company where he worked till 1909.

After the accident from age 21 to 23, Harriet worked in some of the fanciest sewing and tailoring shops in Boston. In fact at the time of her marriage her coworkers made Harriet’s elegant wedding dress and gave it to her for a wedding present. Nils and Harriet were married June 4, 1906.

John Amnéus, September 12, 1999 LOMPOC

In 1927. When I was eight years old, we left Point Loma. For a short time my father worked with a Mechanical Engineer in San Diego. He subsequently took a position as a draftsman with the Celite Company located near Lompoc, California.

Our move there involved going by steamer from San Diego to Los Angeles where my father met us in a newly purchased 1921 (six year old) model “T” two-door Ford sedan. From there we drove through the hills to Lompoc. This Ford car was primitive in appearance.

From the side it looked like a stagecoach with its symmetrical layout about a vertical axis. The roof had a slight arc that rose perhaps six inches in the center. The bottom of the body was a circular arc tangent to the two vertical ends, which contained the windshield and rear window. The two side doors were on the centerline with bale handles.

The windows were raised or lowered by aid of leather straps with a series of holes along their length and held the weight of the window by being hooked on a nubbin at the top edge of the door. The gas tank was under the passenger seat. Initially there was no windshield wiper; either a raw potato or plug of chewing tobacco were used to rub on the wet windshield causing the water to sheet instead of forming droplets.

Later a manual wiper was installed. It had a crank inside that was swished back and forth by hand to activate the blade on the outside. Getting into the back seat required folding down the back of the front seat. Getting into the front seat required slipping ones feet between the front seat and the door-post. Lompoc, with its mission, was located on the El Camino Real; now state route 1.

The Pacific Ocean is about 10 miles to the West, which can be reached by a small service road connecting the town to the railroad at a junction called Surf. At the time of our move the total population of Lompoc was around 3,000 people.

The two major activities that supported the town were 1) the mining of “Celite” and 2) agriculture.

1) Celite, a diatomaceous earth, is so light it floats on water. It has good therinal insulation properties and is fireproof The Johns Mansville Company purchased the Celite Company some years later. Occasionally the mining operation would uncover fossilized fish skeletons, many of which ended up in museums around the world. It was here that my father worked and my brother Tom later obtained a job.

2) Because of the persistent fog that rolled up the Santa Ines River valley each night, the mild climate and the good adobe soil, the Burpee Seed company planted seed crops of sweet peas and mustard. As a result there would be a patch of many acres in red sweet peas, next to a similar patch of purple peas and so on for other colors for several miles.

When driving by with open windows (weather permitting) you got the benefit of sweet floral scent from the blooms. There were hundreds of acres of mustard that tumed brilliant yellow on the spring. This valley was the major source for mustard seed for the whole country. Harvesting the sweet pea and mustard seed provided summer employment for the high school boys.- my brothers (ages 18 and 20 years) included.

The other main agricultural crop was sugar beets. There was a spur rail line from Surf to Lompoc that brought in equipment and supplies for the town and the Celite Company. It shipped out Celite and agricultural products.

On moving into town we took up residence in a Victorian house owned by a Mrs. Mc Laughlin. She was a spry old lady, perhaps in her 80’s. She had a boarder named Mr. Green who worked for the Burpee Seed Company.

The house was fumished with Victorian furniture including a classic Victorian sofa in the parlor, upholstered in red velvet that penetrated your clothing and prickled you. I think there was only one toilet in the house so we had to use a “thunder-mug” which was emptied every morning.

There was a freestanding wash bowl and pitcher for washing one’s hands and face. The kitchen did have a cold water faucet and a “pitcher pump” that got water from a cistern in back of the house that collected rainwater from the roof The sink and drain boards were wood.

To take other than a cold bath, water had to be heated on the wood stove and carried upstairs to the bathroom. There was a chicken yard on the back part of the lot. On one side of the house was a vegetable garden. In the other side yard rested an old automobile, probably about a 1910 model, abandoned by a previous boarder.

Even as a ten-year-old I thought it would be a neat car to own. While we lived there someone from town talked the old lady out of it. There was a spur RR line running along the far side of the street in front of the house. It initially was a novelty when the train came by and shook the house. It didn’t take long before getting used to it and you weren’t even aware of it going by.

Across the street from the house was a sugar beet farm run by an elderly Mr. French and his two sons. I remember watching them driving a very old, open-cab, stake-bodied truck in the field to pick up the sugar beets as they were plowed out. With one of his sons driving the truck, Mr. French would stand on the passenger-side runningboard.

I inquired as to why he did that rather than sit on the seat and learned that at one time the truck had rolled over on him and he barely escaped being crushed. By standing on the running board outside the cab, he was in position to jump clear of the truck if it should start to tip. On the far side of the street, at the next street-intersection, was a large family, obviously living off the land. They had a small vegetable garden and the luxury of a water-powered clothes washing machine with wooden tub located on their back porch.

After the water motor had done its thing, driving the washing machine, the water was discharged on the garden. I can remember the man of the house cleaning his hunting rifle on the back porch. Their meat was venison.

Most of the side streets in town were not paved, but were dressed with gravel containing what appeared to be a dense form of diatomaceous earth. While walking along these roads as a boy I picked up many rocks containing fish fossils. Twice a day a horse drawn water tank would come down the street and sprinkle the gravel to keep the dust down.

Once every couple of months a horse drawn grader would smooth out the bumps and holes. We didn’t live in this house very long before moving to a small house across town. There was space for a vegetable garden and it had a large chicken yard and small barn.

The street on the far side of the block the house was on ran past the sloping ground next to the foothills. On the side of one of these hills, visible from the house, was a large earthquake crack, possibly ten feet wide and equally deep. It extended up the hill for a couple of hundred yards.

At the lower end of this crack, on gently sloping ground between the base of the hill and the road was the site of the original La Purisima Mission. Construction of this mission started in 1788 with completion in 1791. An earthquake then destroyed it in 1812.

At the time we lived in Lompoc, some of the old adobe walls of this original mission were still standing. There was considerable broken red roof tile on the ground. Years later I visited Lompoc (in the 1980s) and looked up the location of the original mission and was dismayed to see that the area had been subdivided with many houses on the ground where the original Mission buildings had stood.

One resident bad bored holes into the one remaining adobe wall in his back yard and planted geraniums in them.There was one small area marked off around one place wherethere was a stub of a wall and some broken red floor tiles scattered about being ground to pebbles under foot. To salvage some of the broken tiles from complete destruction I picked up a few recognizable pieces and still have them in a box in my garage. I don’t know if any museum would want them but they are available.

The replacement mission was built some five miles from the original site between 1815 and 1818. I can remember visiting this new site, (before the reconstruction) seeing a row of square red brick columns with an adobe wall some ten feet away. There were several walls standing but I don’t remember any roof structure.

Some time later much of the Mission complex was restored and is now a State Park. One night while living in this second house, we experienced a sharp earthquake. I slept through the quake while the rest of the family ran outside for safety. When they gathered outside in the dark they realized I was not with them; either Tom or my father came into the house looking for me and found me on the floor next to the bed, fast asleep.

They picked me up and carried me out. The earthquake had apparently knocked me out of bed and dumped me on the floor without waking me. The next day we found out that most, if not all, the chimneys in town had been knocked over except the one on our house. Since everyone cooked on wood stoves, we had many people coming to make their meals.

The grade school I attended was about a mile from home. I walked the same route each day, passing an old-fashioned blacksmith and farrier shop. The building was about 30×60 feet in size with a corrugated sheet-iron roof 12-foot above the undulating dirt floor and supported by overhead open timbers.

The large sliding barn door on the street side stood open much of the time for ventilation and access. There were two wood-bound forges about three-foot square by 2-1/2ft. high. They may originally have been equipped with large manually operated bellows but when I saw them, electric blowers supplied combustion air. When no iron was being heated the blowers were idled; the fire pot would then cool down to a dull red glow.

When it came time to heat some iron, fresh coke would be added to the fire pot and blower tumed on, bringing the fire pot to white heat. There was a big coke bin against the back wall between the two forges with a short handled scoop type shovel. There were two anvils, innumerable tongs, hammers and fixtures hanging from hooks and rods fastened to the wall and sides of the forges.

On one of the columns was mounted a manually cranked drill press. This cast-iron contraption had a manually operated crank on the side and on top a manually adjusted ratchet that controlled the rate at which the drill was advanced. All drills, regardless of size, had Morse tapers on their shanks. This avoided the need for a complicated and vulnerable three-jaw chuck.

Then there was the ever-present scrap bin, mostly full; oversize pieces were stacked near-by. Here was the possible source of materials for future jobs; one never knows what might be useful. As a last resort there was a rack of iron rods of various cross-sections at the other end of the building.

Several water troughs and buckets were conveniently located around the floor for quenching hot iron. An overhead horizontal rod for storing finished horses hoes was suspended from the rafters. The place was not neat. Regardless of the outside temperature the two smithies in their leather aprons and long-sleeved cotton undershirts were always sweating because of the hot forges and hard work.

Frequently while walking home from school, I stopped to watch these men working. Their jobs consisted mostly of repairing broken farm equipment; occasionally shrinking new iron rims onto wagon wheels or perhaps making some brackets or hinges out of scrap from the bin.

Because of their different sizes the anvils rang like church bells of different pitches asthe iron was pounded into useful shapes. When there was nothing else to do the men would make and stockpile horseshoes, stashing them on the suspended rod. Frequently they would re-shoe a horse. Their stock horseshoes didn’t always fit and had to be re-shaped.

Watching the bright yellow iron come out of the forge and be beaten into some useful shape on the anvil or a horse being shod made a good show for me, a ten-year old boy and well worth my time. On several occasions the family would cram into the model “T” and go to the ocean so we could play in the sand. There was no swimming because of dangerous surf and besides it was always too cold and windy, The smell of the salt sea air was always invigorating.

You came home with sand in your hair, under your nails and adhering to your legs and feet, and probably also in your shoes. I remember one year my older brothers, with some other young men, built a swimming hole by damming the Santa Ines River using sacks filled with sand and gravel. I am sure the winter freshet washed the dam out.

Much of this area is now part of Vandenberg Air Force Base, which today is the major source of revenue for Lompoc. These memories are from a time when Lompoc offered a simple unhurried life. Today Vandenberg Air Force Base brings the rush and crash of the Space Age.

John Amnéus, Aug. 22, 1999
© Copyright John Amnéus

2. Tom’s Recollections

Tom Amnéus´ Recollections Tom Amnéus, född 1907, och son till Nils August Amnéus (född 13 oktober 1878), som i sin tur var son till Axel Johan Amnéus (1833-1881)och Anna Herta Wilander (född 1851). Toms mamma var Harriet Sophia Anckersen (född 1883) och hon var dotter till sjökapten Thomas Christian Anckersen och hans hustru Augusta Sophia Widell.Dessa minnen skrevs i Eagle Rock, Glendale, Los Angeles under hösten 1994.

My first memory is almost like a dream but seems very definite. It is of my father and myself lying on a soft bank of moss by a pond of water on a pleasant, sunny day. This must have been when we were visiting Sweden when I was two years old.

There are several memories from East Walpole, Massachusetts, which we left in 1912 so I was less than five years old. My father worked for Birds & Son, which was the big employer in East Walpole. They manufactured roofing products and my father obtained some thin asphalt-type paper from which we made a sail boat, using sand and earth for ballast to provide stability.

We used to sail this on the small pond, which was just across the street from our house.The next memory from East Walpole occurred long before black people had powerful organizations like the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) to represent them and had few rights.

East Walpole was in Massachusetts, which had fought hard to end slavery, so that negroes, as they were called by polite people, were probably treated as well as they were anywhere else in the U.S.

On holidays like the 4th of July carnivals were held near where we lived where games and contests for prizes were held. I will never forget one of these so-called games.

There was a rather long table where balls that looked like baseballs, but hopefully were softer, were offered for throwing for a few cents for a few balls. About 15 or 20 feet from this table there was a heavy canvas curtain with a hole cut in the middle of it through which a negro put his head while dutching the sides of the hole so that we could move his head back and forth to dodge the balls, which were thrown at him.

The young men who paid for the use of the balls typically were well-dressed wearing stiff-brimmed straw hats. They threw the balls as hard as they could. The prize was loudly announced:” Hit the nigger in the head and get a 5 cent cigar”. When someone bcame worried about the possibility of injury to the negro someone else indicated that there was nothing to worry about because “niggers have thick skulls”.

Imagine how desperate a human being must have been to risk a fractured skull in order to get a few dollars if it was even that much.

Before we left Beverly, Massachusetts, to go to Point Loma in 1920 Wil and I used to go to Lotus Group in Boston. Lotus Group was sort of a Theosophical Sunday School and my mother´s sister Jane Anckersen used to take us there till we learned how to get there by ourselves.

Jane would always like to talk to my parents till the last minute before leaving to catch the train so when we were about a block from the train station we would hear the train´s whistle and Jane would grab each of us by the hand and we would run to catch the train in the last possible minute.

The people who conducted the Lotus Group were wonderful. Another lady, Mrs. Thompson, played the piano to accompany our singing. There were small sheets of paper with little stories, which illustrated some of Life´s lessons.

The other girls belonged to the GNCC, the Girls´ New Century Club, and they had songs, many from Civil Wars days, which were adopted for their use.Mrs. Caroline Hanks Hitchcock, descended from Abraham Lincoln´s mother´s family, whose name was Hanks, headed the theosophical Society in Boston.

Thomas Amnéus 2440, Yosemite Drive Los Angeles California 90041 USA

3. Axel Johan Amnéus minnesteckning av C.F. Berggren

Ur AXEL JOHAN AMNÉUS MEDICINE DOKTOR MINNESTECKNING AF C. F BERGGREN Uppläst vid Provincialläkare-Föreningens Årsmöte i Jönköping den 13 juli 1882 Göteborg Göteborgs Handelstidnings Aktiebolags Tryckeri 1882

Vorden gymnasist hade han vanligen informatorsplats i en grannsocken, der han, redan då storväxt och kraftig, lär i fulla drag njutit sitt sorgfria väsen bland jemnåriga. Det har berättats från denna tid att han af skolkamraterna varit afhållen såsom lefnadsfrisk och pålitlig.

De yngre årens friska lif i den aflägsna, på skog och sjö rika hembygden, dit ingen landsväg den tiden förde, der ynglingarnes klädsel och öfriga behof voro inskränkta till ett minimum, som medgaf full frihet för allsköns idrott i skog, i mark och i vatten, vid jagt och fiske, torde nog, i förening med den härdning, som deltagandet i vissa husliga göromål medförde, ha stärkt hans fysiska och intellektuela krafter och lefnadsmodet samt öppnat ögonen för naturens skönhet och arbetets värde.

Detta lefnadssätt i hans och andra närbelägna hem har man tillskrifvit en del af den käckhet och oförsagdhet, som man tyckte sig finna hos Axel Amnéus, mer än hos många andra.

När han vid denna tid en gång skulle lära en yngre bror att simma, tillgick detta helt enkelt så, att denne först fick en dufning för sin rädsla och sedan togs under den äldres arm med tillsägelse att hålla munnen igen, hvarefter det tvärt bar af till sjöbottnen.

Memorial sketch written by C.F. Berggren at the Local Doctors’ Annual Conference
While he still was at college Axel Johan used to be a private tutor. In those days he was already a big, strong young man. He was described by friends as a carefree and reliable person. His childhood in the back country, where clothing and other needs were limited, he spent his days in the forest, hunting and fishing. This strenghtened his physical and mental capability.Once when he taught a younger brother to swim he simply brought the victim to the water, held him under his arm and then they got under water.