Mrs. P. J. Sanden and son Hjalmar

This RPPC came to me from the United States. It is identified and says “Wife of the pastor that married us + son Sanden in Mongona”. And then it goes on to say something nowadays offensive but unfortunately politically correct at the time that “the son was crippled”. The reverse of the RPPC says “Till Arthur Anderson från Mrs. P. J. Sanden”.

The photo looks to have been taken in the 1910s. There is no clue as to where it was taken. The son looks pretty young in his 20s, early 30s.   

Sanden (or Sandén) is a very Swedish surname, and could “till… från…”, which means “to… from…”, in Swedish indicate that they were indeed Swedes? 

It wasn’t difficult to find this family in the records. Reverend Peter Johan Isaacson Sandén had been born on December 9th, 1838, in Jönköping in Sweden and immigrated to the United States in 1865 as a 31-year-old single man. In America, he became a member of the New Gottland Lutheran Church in Kansas.

His future wife Amelia Mathilda Lundberg was also Swedish, born on September 30th, 1844, in Åby, Sweden. She had emigrated to the United States on her own in August 1868. If they met in America in the Swedish immigrant community, or if they had been somehow connected already before their great journeys, we don’t know. But on December 29th, 1869, they got married in the New Gottland Lutheran Church in Kansas. 

The couple moved to Boone County, Iowa, at some point. They became parents to 7 children: 

1.Hilma Rebecka Kjellberg née Sanden (1870-1944)

2.Ernest Herbert Sanden (1873-1953)

3.Ester Amalia Anderson née Sanden (1875-1937)

4.Martinus Sanden (1877-1951)

5. Hugo Emanuel Sanden (1879-1955)

6.Arvid Reinhold Ebeneser Sanden (1881-1955)

The son in this photo was the youngest sibling of the Sanden family, Hjalmar Joel Walfrid Sanden, born on May 15th, 1885.

According to the WWI draft card, he was tall and slender with blue eyes and dark hair. The draft card also says that he had been suffering from rheumatism and neuritis since he was 13 years old and was physically “helpless” and unable to leave his chair. This might explain the politically incorrect comment written on the photo. 

Reverend Sanden passed away on May 9th, 1912, in Moingona, Iowa, and was buried at the Swede Valley Lutheran Church Cemetery in Ogden, Boone County, in Iowa. Perhaps this photo was taken in the following years after his passing. I found his photo on the Find A Grave page of the family (Source:

Bild von

Son Hjalmar passed away on December 27th, 1928 at a young age of just 43 years. He never married and was living in the care of his mother Amelia.  Mrs. P.J. Sanden passed away just 2 weeks later on January 8th, 1929 at the age of 84.  

I have added this photo of Mrs. Amelia Sanden and son Hjlamar to Find a Grave and FamilySearch.

3 thoughts on “Mrs. P. J. Sanden and son Hjalmar

  1. SH says:

    Hello ,
    I am from Germany but visit Sweden regularly and I feel that the emigration in the mid1800th is an impactful part in Swedish history. In our area there is even a small but very interesting museum that is dedicated to one specific emigrant. He left for the USA , became a photographer and later came back on visits to Sweden and took a lot of photos. He also left diaries.
    So if you by chance ever visit this part of Sweden , it could be interesting for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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