Eric Olav Olsson Risberg was born 16 August 1855, village of Flasta, parish of Arbra, Gavleborg lan, Sweden. Ana Kajsa Pehrsdotter Engstrom was born in the sea coast village of Njutanger, Gavleborg lan, on 9 September 1854. As a girl growing up it was her job to herd the cows up the mountain to the summer pasture. Here the girls did the milking tended the cows, which was a job reserved for the women only.
Anna was confirmed in the Lutheran church at Arbra in 1870. They were united in marriage there on 27 October 1876.
To Erick and Annas union one child was born: Karin (Carrie) on 27 February 1880 at Arbra. She emigrated to the United States in April of 1901 with some friends.
It was June 16, 1902 that Ericks father died and his half sister Kristina (Christine) Nystrom moved in with them. She was eight years old.
Here in Arbra, they lived on a farm with an orchard surrounded by a large stone wall. They decided to go to America so they sold their farm in February of 1903. On the passenger list we find many people from the village of Arbra emigrating to America. They left on the ship Germanic on 4 March 1903 and arrived at New York on 13 March. With them they brought their "immigrant trunk" stamped "E.O. Riseberg", and other essentials. From New York they went to North Dakota where Karin (now Mrs. Lewis Nelson) was living.
From the book of First Papers (or Intentions) we see Erik O. Riseberg, filed his intent for citizenship at Minot, North Dakota on 21 May 1903. They remained in the Niobe area until the fall of 1905 when they moved to Pozerville, Alberta, Canada. Ericks mother (Karin Peterson) and his brother (John Blostrnad) were living here, as was Annas cousin (Anna Elisabet Norlund). On the mortgage paper of Ericks farm in Pozerville (near Vegreville) we see Theodore Hanell had signed on 21 August 1907. He was married to a daughter of Nils and Ana Nordlund.
On 19 May 1909 they applied for a homestead at the land office in Strathcona (now Edmonton). The application was approved and they were given 160 areas (S.W. ¼, Section 20, Township 53, range 10 west of the 4th meridian) in Alberta near Manville. On 7 October 1909 they had a sale and in November they started over again homesteading near Manville. Due to Ericks failing health, they quit faming and moved back to Niobe, North Dakota. The homestead in Canada was sold 25 August 1911.
Anna with her love of plants now had the opportunity to grow flowers and trees. She planted a small orchard of plum trees and various berry bushes at their home on the out skirts of Niobe. Although it may not have had the variety or been as productive as the one she had in Sweden it served its purpose well. To this day there are still plum trees producing this grove. Erick played the zither which he learned as a young man in Sweden. Their daughter Karen played the guitar, and it is said they played together for the folk dances in Sweden. Anna didn't necessarily approve of dancing (or card playing either!).
Erick and Anna were truly of Swedish stock. They left behind them their land of beautiful wooded mountains, and rugged fjords to establish a new way of life. Coming to the U.S. meant often having to give up customs and traditions taught from early childhood. This wasn't always easy as this following incident relates: In Sweden the parish pastor was looked upon with the greatest respect. A man was expected to tip his hat when he met the pastor, and the pastor always entered the building first if two people met at the same time, but in America it was different, each man was as good as the next - and a man was always a gentleman. So when Anna and the Pastor met on the church doorsteps, who should enter first? Agnes was with her grandma Anna and she remembers quite well what happened. The Pastor reached the door first so to open it for the women. Agnes walked in and when she turned around, Anna was waiting patiently for the pastor to enter. He bid her enter first but she said "no, you." She stood her ground until he went in first. Some customs never change.
Erick died of "dropsy" on 24 February 1915 at their home. Funeral services were held in Niobe and he was buried in the church cemetery. His tombstone being one of the first there was the only one to carry a Swedish inscription. Since there were no trees or bushes at the cemetery Anna planted a bush by his grave. She walked daily to the cemetery to water it until it was established.
Anna continued to make her home in Niobe, where she was an active member in the Swedish Lutheran Church (Elmadale). In 1937 she fell and fractured her hip, which confined her to the hospital. She was able to return to her home in Niobe in March. She died in her home on 10 April 1937 of noncontiguous meningitis. Services were held in Niobe and was buried beside Erick. Anna had a big heart and helped raise two children other than her own. Erick's half sister Christine Nystrom and Annas nephew Carl Engstrom. Anna's sister took Carl with her when she went to America in 1893.
Anna became a member of the Lutheran Church in
Niobe in 14 March 1915 by confirmation. Erick was not a member at the time
of his death.