Ida (Carlson) Eklund




Life and Work

Ida Carlson EklundIda Carlson was born in Blekinga, Sweden on June 10, 1872. In 1884, at the age of 12 her family moved to New York. She grew up in the United States and during her younger years she worked as a maid. It was during this time she was introduced to "marsh hare." She always thought this was a delicious dish until she discovered it was muskrat.

Looking for adventure, Ida decided to visit her second cousin in the North West Territories. It was here she met and married Oscar Mountain. In 1900 their son, Wilfred was born. Unfortunately during the following winter, Oscar and Wilfred became ill and passed away with pneumonia.

Ida was responsible for running the first Post Office in the Battle River district. In order to establish a post office in the district, 27 homesteaders had to apply. Ida's second cousin's husband arranged this in 1905. Ida would sort the mail, which came twice a week, and put it into the respective mail cubbies.

When Ida's neighbours came to assist her with putting in her crop she met one of the helpers, John Dahlberg. Eventually they were married and together had four children. Unfortunately, John passed away in 1913.

Ida Carlson Eklund In the fall of 1913, Ida met David Eklund, who came to Wetaskiwin to sell fish. While there he roomed at Ida's place. After several exchanges of letters and trips, Ida and David were married. In 1915 their son, Martin was born. David died for pneumonia in 1917.

Ida passed away in March 1942.

Throughout Ida's hardships she kept her faith. Along with running the post office, she looked after the farm, baked, and made preserves for her family. She was very hospitable and often had out-of- town guests stay overnight in her home.

"The love of God seemed to penetrate her whole being." - Son Martin Eklund


A Mother's Influence by Martin Ecklund

To Whom It May Concern:

"This is how my mother influenced my life. First of all I must say she influenced my life for good. In 1884 when she was 12 years old, a revival swept through Sweden and she learned about God and decided to live for him. The love of God seemed to permeate her whole being, and was the centre of her life until she passed away. She read her bible every day and put into practice what she had learned.

She never lost her patience and was always cool and collected. Always trying to look on the bright side when things went wrong. If a neighbour was sick she would do some baking and go and visit her friend, clean up her house and look after her children.

This wonderful mother left an imprint on my life. I have tried to follow in my mother's footsteps. When problems come into out lives, which we know they do, I can rely on the wisdom I learned from my mother's life."

Respectfully submitted, Martin Eklund


Sources: Research and Writing: Janis Ruitenbeck Contributors: Martin Eklund Curator: Janis Ruitenbeck