Pastor Westin: Musician, Woodworker, Hunter
Reverend John August Westin was born in Jemtland, Sweden on April 13, 1863. He was a Baptist minister. Rev. Westin pastored the Stockholm Baptist church 1915-1919 and 1927-1928. He was pastor of the First Baptist Church of New Sweden from 1895 to 1901.
In Sweden his name was given as John A. Vaster but was changed when he was in the military in Sweden.
John Westin’s woodworking tools are on display at the New Sweden Historical Museum, donated by his grandsons Jack, Paul, and Mark Westin. John played a guitar that had two necks. He also played the fiddle.
John’s first wife, Engla C. M., was born in 1865. Engla died at age 30 years on September 29, 1895 in New Sweden, Maine. She was buried at Capitol Hill Cemetery in New Sweden.
John and Engla had two daughters, Lillie and Minnie. Lillie Westin was born March 10, 1891.
John was married to his second wife, Mary Christine Bengston, on August 19, 1896. Mary was born in Undersaker, Jemtland, Sweden on February 29, 1868. She emigrated from Undersaker to New Sweden, Maine on July 23, 1871 as a three year old child with her parents Bengt and Brita (Stadig) Bengston.
Mary Westin wrote a diary in 1900 as a young pastor’s wife in New Sweden that tells about her family’s life. She relates the story of her husband becoming lost in the woods on a hunting trip near the time of his son Everett’s birth.
John and Mary had seven children: Florence Anne, Eunice Augusta, Everett A., John Archibald, Bernice, Gladys, and Doris. Florence, born and died in 1897 in New Sweden, was buried at Capitol Hill Cemetery. Eunice was born in New Sweden on December 29, 1898 and resided in Sarasota, Florida. Everett, born November 15, 1900, became a federal potato inspector and was an active member of the Caribou United Baptist Church. John Archibald, born on June 15, 1903 at Republic, Michigan, died in 1973 at age 69 years and was buried at Capitol Hill Cemetery in New Sweden. Bernice, born on December 21, 1904, died at age 8 years in 1913 in Manistee, Michigan.
John Westin died in New Sweden on May 31, 1929 at age 66 years and was buried at Capitol Hill Cemetery in New Sweden, Maine. Mary Westin died in September 1959 at Wakefield, Massachusetts at age 91 years.
Written by Jean Duncan, Madawaska Lake, Maine, August 2007
Cemetery stone. John and Mary Westin. New Sweden, Maine.
Maine State Archives. < http://portalx.bisoex.state.me.us/pls/archives_mhsf/archdev.marriage_archive.list>
Mary Westin. 1900 diary of Mary Bengston Westin. Copy to William Duncan from Jack Westin, Caribou, ME. October 2005
New Sweden Historical Society. New Sweden, Maine.
New Sweden Town Office. Death Records 1892-1920.
Silver, Nathan. Ravenwing: All My Relations. Feb. 4, 2001. Online. Sept. 17, 2005. <http://www.ravenwing.freehomepage.com/stadd001.HTM#id283>
William Duncan. Interview with Jack A Westin. Caribou, Maine: 2005.
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