Boston Post Cane Recipients in New Sweden, Maine

Your tombstone stands among the rest, Neglected and alone.
The name and date are chiseled out…On old gray granite stone.
It reaches out to all who care…It is too late to mourn.
You did not know that I exist…You died…and I was born.
Yet each of us are cells of you…In flesh, in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse…Entirely not our own.
Dear Ancestor, the place you filled…One hundred years ago
Spreads out among the ones you left…Who would have loved you so.
I wonder when you lived and loved; I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot…And come and visit you.

Author Unknown

 

The Boston Post Cane for New Sweden is presented to the oldest living resident of New Sweden by the town of New Sweden. The canes were distributed to towns in New England by the newspaper the Boston Post for the purpose of recognizing the elders in each town. The original Boston Post cane for New Sweden is housed in the New Sweden Historical Society Museum and is ceremoniously presented to the recipients as the occasion presents itself. The following list of recipients accompanies the cane in the museum case.

List of Boston Post Cane Holders in New Sweden, Maine: (years the cane was held preceeds name of recipient)

1907-1910        Eric Sjoblum
1910-1913        Eric C. Olivenbom I

 

Eric Christian August Olivenbaum (1828-1913)

Eric Christian August Olivenbaum (1828-1913)

1913-1921       John Otto Wickstrom
1921-1925       Eric Malmquist

 

Eric Pearson Malmquist (1838-1926), Capitol Hill Cemetery, New Sweden, ME

Eric Pearson Malmquist (1838-1926), Capitol Hill Cemetery, New Sweden, ME

1925-1927      Truls Pearson

 

Truls Persson (1837-1927), One of the first fifty-one settlers on July 23, 1870

Truls Persson (1837-1927), One of the first fifty-one settlers on July 23, 1870

1927-1927      John Peterson
1927-1932      Anders Olson

 

Anders Olson (1836-1932), Capitol Hill Cemetery, New Sweden, ME

Anders Olson (1836-1932), Capitol Hill Cemetery, New Sweden, ME

1932-1935      E. C. A. Olivenbom II
1935-1935      Jonas Peterson

1935-1936      Maria Sundstrom

 

Israel Bodin and Maria Bodin Sundstrom (1845-1937), siblings among the first settlers July 23, 1870 in New Sweden; Photo taken in the 1930's

Israel Bodin and Maria Bodin Sundstrom (1845-1937), siblings among the first settlers July 23, 1870 in New Sweden; Photo taken in the 1930's

1937-1939      Nels Bengston

 

Nils Bengston (1849-1939) Capitol Hill Cemetery, New Sweden, ME

Nils Bengston (1849-1939) Capitol Hill Cemetery, New Sweden, ME

1939-1942        Lars Peter Larsson

 

Lars Petter Larsson (1855-1942)

Lars Petter Larsson (1855-1942)

1942-1952        Hana (Jenson) Larson
1952-1954        Eric O. Hedman

 

Eric Olof Hedman (1864-1954)

Eric Olof Hedman (1864-1954)

1954-1959        Martin Sandstrom

 

Martin Sundstrom. Born in Sweden in 1934 and died April 16, 1913.

Martin Sundstrom. Born in Sweden in 1934 and died April 16, 1913.

1959-1961        John N. Johnson

 

John N. (1866-1961) and Hannah P. Johnson

John N. (1866-1961) and Hannah P. Johnson

1961-1962        Lars N. Larson

1962-1967        Ellin (Olson) Johnson

1967-1968        Hilma (Peterson Carlson) Wickstrom

 

Hilma Marie (Carlson) Wickstrom (1876-1968)

Hilma Marie (Carlson) Wickstrom (1876-1968)

1968-1977        Alma Peterson

 

Carl J. and Alma (Johanson) (1879-1977) Peterson and family

Carl J. and Alma (Johanson) (1879-1977) Peterson and family

1977-1977        Dr. Jane Hall
1977-1989        Herman Anderson    age 93

 

Herman Edwin Anderson 1885-1989

Herman Edwin Anderson 1885-1989

1989-1993        Elvira (Johnson) Engstrom    age 93

 

Elvira Johnson Engstrom 1895-1993

Elvira Johnson Engstrom 1895-1993

1993-1996        Mildred (Hedman) Taylor    age 93

 

Mildred Hedman Taylor 1900-1996

Mildred Hedman Taylor 1900-1996

1996-2004        A. Forrest Nelson    age 91

 

Andrew Forrest Nelson 1905-2004

Andrew Forrest Nelson 1905-2004

 

2004-2005        Madeline Madge (Fay) Nelson        age 94

2005-2008        Helen (Johnson) Borjeson        age 94 ¾

 

Helen Johnson Borjeson (1910-2008)

Helen Johnson Borjeson (1910-2008)

2008-present         Edmund  F. Anderson     age 96

Edmund F. Anderson was born in 1912

Edmund F. Anderson was born in 1912

 

About the Boston Post Cane:

“In August 1909, Mr. Edwin A. Grozier, publisher of the Boston Post, a newspaper, forwarded to the Board of Selectmen in 700 towns (no cities included) in New England a gold-headed ebony cane with the request that it be presented with the compliments of the Boston Post to the oldest male citizen of the town, to be used by him as long as he lives (or moves from the town), and at his death handed down to the next oldest citizen of the town. The cane would belong to the town and not the man who received it.

The canes were all made by J. F. Fradley and Co., a New York manufacturer, from ebony shipped in seven-foot lengths from the Congo in Africa. They were   cut to cane lengths, seasoned for six months, turned on lathes to the right thickness, coated and polished. They had a 14-carat gold head two inches long, decorated by hand, and a ferruled tip. The head was engraved with the inscription, —Presented by the Boston Post to the oldest citizen of (name of town)— “To be Transmitted.” The Board of Selectmen were  to be the trustees of the cane and keep it always in the hands of the oldest citizen. Apparently no Connecticut towns were included, and only two towns in Vermont are known to have canes.

In 1930, after considerable controversy, eligibility for the cane was opened to women as well.”

Retrieved from http://web.maynard.ma.us/history/bpcane.htm

Feel free to leave public comments below! Thank you.

Please contact me for corrections, additions, updates, etc.

jeanbduncan@yahoo.com

Return to my Blog Home page http://jeanbduncan.wordpress.com/

Update on December 27, 2010: Edmund Anderson passed away on July 22, 2010. His wife Eloise Adele Larsson Anderson became the next holder of the Boston Post Cane. She was born in 1916 in New Sweden.

Eloise Adele Larsson

One Response to “Boston Post Cane Recipients in New Sweden, Maine”

  1. jeanbduncan Says:

    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/magazine/articles/2009/04/26/citizens_canes/

    The Boston Globe has a great article about the 100th anniversary of the Boston Post Canes.

    http://web.maynard.ma.us/bostonpostcane/

    Maynard (Massachusetts) Historical Society maintains a website tracking the Boston Post Canes!!

    New Sweden’s current Boston Post Cane is Edmund Anderson (born April 1, 1912.)

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