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Photographs - Collections - 2014 - #2014-P-017

Title: Sweningsen Family            

Dates: 1870s-1920s

Collection Number: 2014-P-017

Quantity: 36 items

Abstract: Photographs document the family of Mogens and Mary Sweningsen, their children Samuel, Halvor, Carrie, Anna, and Aleck , and their grandchildren Stella, May, Oliver, Samuel William, Ella, Oliver, Merle, Nellie, and Milton Briggs (who attended North Dakota Agricultural College). Also includes photographs of relatives Emma (Anderson) Sweningson; Ole Sweningsen; Knut Sweningson, his wife Betsy (Garder) and son Oren; and Knut Sweningson and his sons Peter (Peder) and Swening. A photograph of the Lerud family outside their Lyle (MN) home is also in the collection. Supplemental information such as news clippings and a wedding invitation is located in the case file.

Provenance: The Sweningson Family collection (2014-P-017) was donated to the State Historical Society of North Dakota by Sheila Rohrer on August 14, 2014. 

Property rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to the collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to materials in this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs.  Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code and an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.  Permission to use any radio or television broadcast portions of the collection must be sought from the creator.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

Transfer: 1916 and 1917 volumes of "Wau-Kan," published by the Junior Class of Fargo College, were transferred to the State Archives Publications on August 14, 2014.


Mogens Sweningsen was born in Norway in about 1831. He married Mary Halversen, who was born about 1830 in Norway and died in 1896. Mogrens was naturalized May 3, 1853. The family settled in the town of Howard and later moved to Durand (Winnebago County, IL). His occupation in Norway had been that of a carpenter and builder, but he engaged in farming when he came to the U.S. to work. He then settled in the neighboring village of Durand, Illinois. They had five children:  Samuel (1849-1912), Halvor (born in about 1854), Carrie (born in about 1857), Anna (Annie) (born in about 1863), Alexander (1866-1914).
Samuel (Swenning) Sweningsen was born June 29, 1849, at Laona (Winnebago County, IL). He received an education in the common schools, Durand Seminary and Decorah (IA) Lutheran College. In 1871 he located in MN and was first employed on a farm near Zumbrota for two years, when he moved to Mower County. In 1875 he formed a partnership with Oscar N. Olberg and engaged in the general mercantile business. This firm operated at one time three stores, located at Rose Creek, Adams and Taopi, on the line of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad in Mower County. In 1880 this partnership was dissolved, and the following year Sweningsen located at Austin. He formed a partnership here with C. I. Johnson in 1882, and engaged in the boot and shoe business. This partnership was dissolved in 1887. Sweningsen then engaged in the jewelry trade. Subsequently he took a partner by the name of Frederick E. Gleason and conducted their business under the firm name of Sweningsen & Gleason.

Mr. Sweningsen was a Republican. He was appointed postmaster of Adams, Minnesota, by President Hayes in 1876. In 1881 he was elected clerk of the district court in Mower County, and re-elected in 1886 and 1890. He occupied the position continuously for thirteen years, and this is believed to be the only instance on record in Mower County where a county officer held a position continuously for that number of years. In 1890 he was nominated by the Republican party for representative, but he declined on account of being a candidate for clerk of court at the same time. In 1894, while still a clerk of the district court Sweningsen was nominated by the Republicans for state senator, was elected and served in the twenty-ninth session of the Minnesota legislature.

He was married November 16, 1876, to Miss Margaret Carr. She was born in Dundee, Illinois, January 15, 1855. Mr. and Mrs. Sweningsen have three children, Stella May, Oliver and William (1891-1983).
Anna (Annie) Sweningsen married Andrew H. Anderson on April 7, 1884. The lived in Laona (Winnebago County,  IL) and had four children: Ella (born about 1896), Oliver (born about  1899), Merle (born about 1904) and Nellie (born about 1907). She died on March 27, 1963.
Alexander Sweningsen was born January 1, 1866. He married Jessie Briggs on November 3, 1892. He served in the militia in Austin, MN. By 1900, the family lived in Moorhead (MN). Sweningsen was President of the State Board of Optometry. Alexander and Jessie had one son, Milton Briggs (1895-1990, attended Fargo College and served in World War I). Alexander died February 19, 1914 and is buried in Fargo (ND).


Box 1:    Photographs 2014-P-017-001 -  2014-P-017-008

Box 2:    Photographs 2014-P-017-009 -  2014-P-017-022

Box 3:    Photographs 2014-P-017-023 -  2014-P-017-036

2014-P-017-001                 Mogens Sweningsen portrait     ca. 1900               
2014-P-017-002                 Mary (Halversen) Sweningsen (print made from portrait)             ca. 1871
2014-P-017-003                 Samuel Sweningsen portrait       ca. 1872
2014-P-017-004                 Samuel Sweningsen outside mercantile store in Taopi (MN) ca.1875-1880
2014-P-017-005                 Samuel Sweningsen portrait       ca. 1890
2014-P-017-006                 Samuel Sweningsen in his office               ca. 1900
2014-P-017-007                 Samuel Sweningsen in fur coat outdoors in winter, probably Austin (MN)             ca. 1900-1917
2014-P-017-008                 Portrait of Alexander Sweningsen with Minnesota militia ca. 1896
2014-P-017-009                 Portrait of Alexander Sweningsen ca. 1884
2014-P-017-010                 Portrait of Alexander Sweningsen ca. 1887
2014-P-017-011                 Portrait of Alexander Sweningsen ca. 1898-1899
2014-P-017-012                 Portrait of Alexander Sweningsen and Arnson Gunderson ca. 1890
2014-P-017-013                 Wedding portrait of Alexander and Jessie (Briggs) Sweningsen November 3, 1892
2014-P-017-014                 Portrait of Jessie (Briggs) Sweningsen    ca. 1900               
2014-P-017-015                 Portrait of Alexander and Jessie (Briggs) with son Milton Sweningsen ca. 1900
2014-P-017-016                 Alexander with wife Jessie and son Milton, Margaret and William Sweningsen (son and daughter of Sam Sweningsen) on Spanish cannon, Los Angeles (CA) ca. 1900
2014-P-017-017                 Portrait of Jessie (Briggs) with son Milton Sweningsen    ca. 1905
2014-P-017-018                 Alexander Sweningsen in rain coat seated on rocks before 1914
2014-P-017-019                 Portrait of Samuel William Sweningsen  ca. 1911
2014-P-017-020                 Portrait of Oliver Sweningsen     ca. 1910-1915
2014-P-017-021                 Portrait of Oliver Sweningsen     ca. 1915-1920
2014-P-017-022                 Portrait of Milton Sweningsen   ca. 1900
2014-P-017-023                 Portrait of Milton Sweningsen   ca. 1916
2014-P-017-024                 Portrait of Milton Sweningsen in uniform ca. 1917
2014-P-017-025                 Portrait of Milton Sweningsen   ca. 1920
2014-P-017-026                 Portrait of Milton Sweningsen   ca. 1901-1902
2014-P-017-027                 Portrait of Knut and Betsy (Gaarder) and son Oren Sweningsen ca. 1880
2014-P-017-028                 Unidentified portrait, possibly Knute Sweningsen ca. 1870s-1880s
2014-P-017-029                 Portrait of Knut, his wife and sons Swening and Peder (Peter) Sweningsen ca. late 1870s
2014-P-017-030                 Portrait of  Peder (Peter) Sweningsen (son of Knut Sweningson) (dual portrait) ca. 1910
2014-P-017-031                 Portrait of Swening and Peder (Peter) Sweningsen (sons of Knut Sweningson) ca. 1880
2014-P-017-032                 Ole Swenningson, wife and three daughters in front of house in Sevik, Norway ca. 1905
2014-P-017-033                 Ole Swenningson, wife and three daughters in front of house in Sevik, Norway 1907
2014-P-017-034                 Portrait of Emma (Anderson) Sweningson ca. 1915
2014-P-017-035                 Portrait of Emma (Anderson) Sweningson ca. 1895
2014-P-017-036                 Lerud family outside Lyle (MN) home  ca. 1880s-1890s

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