Rev. O. C. Wieden: Sixteen Years of New Sweden Baptist History
Reverend Oscar Carl Wieden was minister of the First Baptist Church of New Sweden for sixteen years from 1910-1926. He was born 26 August 1868 in Borgvik, Varmland, Sweden. Selma Swanson was Oscar’s first wife. She was from Skane, Sweden. The couple lived in Wilmington, Delaware. Selma died 8 September 1910.
They had four children: Clifford Oscar Titus, Mildred S. R., Floyd, and Reuben (Lawrence.) Clifford (30 August 1902 in Wilmington, Delaware-3 March 1997 in Presque Isle, Maine) was president of the University of Maine at Presque Isle retiring in 1969. Rev. Wieden performed his son Clifford’s wedding ceremony as a gift to him. Mildred (5 November 1904-December 1984) graduated from Caribou High School in 1922. She was buried near her parents in New Sweden.
Floyd was born 12 August 1907. His brother Clifford tried to trace his whereabouts in the 1940’s through the Selective Service but he was not found and was presumed deceased. Reuben (19 August 1910- 18 October 1978 ) was adopted by his uncle Otto Swanson. Reuben’s name was changed to Lawrence Swanson.
After his first wife’s death, Oscar moved to New Sweden in 1910 with his three young children, Mildred, Floyd and Clifford. The children’s aunt (their mother’s sister), Hilma Swanson, accompanied the family as housekeeper to New Sweden on a temporary basis.
Oscar’s second wife was Annie D. Nelson who was a widow. She was married to George A. J. Stadig on 26 June 1901. Annie and George had a son Alger Joseph (15 July 1903-26 April 1954 in Pembroke, Plymouth, Massachusetts). George died at age 34 on 11 October 1909 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Annie was born in New Sweden on 29 October 1881. She taught at the East Road School in New Sweden 1899-1900. Annie remembered how her mother related how snakes sometimes wriggled up between the flooring logs of the first log houses where the family lived. She told how people’s homes served early on as schoolhouses and if a boy was naughty, he was often tied to the bedpost.
Annie and Oscar had two children, Elida (1912-1916) and Lindley (born 10 February 1920.) A stained glass window in the First Baptist Church of New Sweden was given in memory of daughter Elida Wieden 1912-1916. The window was restored in 1987. The Wiedens lived across the road from Herman Anderson, the mailman.
O. C. Wieden died at age 83 on 10 September 1951 and was buried at Capitol Hill Cemetery in New Sweden, Maine. Annie died in 1960 at age 78 years.
Written by Jean Duncan, Madawaska Lake, Maine, July 2007.
Arcturus. Caribou High School: 1922.
Cemetery stone. Oscar and Anne Wieden. New Sweden, Maine.
Fisher, Rhonda. “Stadig Ancestors: Seven Generations.” The Stadig Family Website. 3 June 2005. <http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Village/2245/7Generations.html>
Maine’s Swedish Colony files. 2007. New Sweden, Maine: Capitol Hill School.
Maine’s Swedish Colony, Inc. Nonagenarian Booklet.
New Sweden Baptist Church. Genealogy records for 1987 restoration of memorial stained glass windows.
Nilson, Dr. Allan T. New Sweden, Maine: Changes and Characteristics among Swedish Descendants as Compared with some other Ethnic Groups within Northeastern America. Goteborg, Sweden: Sjofartsmuseet, 1973.
Silver, Nathan. Ravenwing: All My Relations. Feb. 4, 2001. Sept. 17, 2005. <http://www.ravenwing.freehomepage.com/stadd001.HTM#id283>
The Church of Latter Day Saints. Family Search. 2007. http://www.familysearch.org/
Young, John. “ Dr. Clifford O. T. Wieden.” University of Maine at Presque Isle. Sept. 30, 2003. <http://www.umpi.maine.edu/info/lib/history/cotwie~1.htm>
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