Andrew Webster

Share your story submitted by: N. Downey | Leesburg, VA

 In August 1862 my great great grandfather, Andrew Webster age 37 and his wife Ingrid Catherine Johannesdatter age 32 lived in Section 13 of  
New Sweden Township, Nicollet County with their three children, John age 14, Mary age 8 and William age 3. Ingrid was also pregnant and would give birth to a daughter on August 27.  They had immigrated from Sweden by way of Kane County, Illinois and settled into their farm in New Sweden township in July 1857. When word first reached them that the Indians were attacking settlers, they loaded their wagon with a few belongings and supplies to be ready to flee to St. Peter should it become necessary.    After a week or so they could see more cabins burning so they decided to move into their church, Scandia Grove Church, along with several of their neighbors. After a day or so in the church, they decided to form a scouting party to go out and gather information about the Indian activity. Andrew Webster and his brother-in-law, Martin Peterson, both had horses so they were chosen to be part of this scouting party. They hadn't ridden very far when they saw a group of men in the distance under a grove of trees. The men waved at them and bid them to come on, so they did. But, as they got closer, they were fired upon and they realized to their horror that they had been tricked and these men were, in fact, Indians. They turned and raced away. All the men in their group were on horseback, but two, Peter Lundquist and Nels Youngdahl were in a wagon. As Lundquist was turning the wagon, Youngdahl jumped out of the wagon and unto one of the horses that was hitched to the wagon and unhitched it and rode away leaving Lundquist alone in a wagon with only one horse. The Indians gave chase and they rode around Lundquist in the wagon without firing on him. The scouting party split up and the Indians continued to give chase. Soon the Indians found the Erick Johnson farm and killed Mrs. Johnson and her son. Andrew Webster and Martin Peterson escaped. Martin Peterson returned to his cabin, took his gun and climbed on the roof of his cabin to defend it but the Indians turned back before reaching his place. Andrew Webster returned to the Church to find his family. On August 27, 1862 these neighbors formed  The Scandinavian Guard of Nicollet County and both Andrew Webster and Martin Peterson were members. Gustaf A. Stark became their captain and they patrolled the prairie around Nicollet County. They also built a stockade with sod walls nearly six feet high near the church.  Here is
Andrew Webster biography from The Scandinavian Guard "Captain Stark's Company"

  • " Andrew Webster - Private; born to a professional soldier and his wife at Hemmsjo, Kronobergs Lan, Smaland, Sweden on November 20, 1825. Along with Charles Johnson  Andrew was the first to settle in New Sweden Township, Section 13, in July 1857. He also owned land in Section 24. He was the brother-in-law of Martin Peterson. Andrew died in Nicollet County on May 2, 1886.



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