1983 Saunders County History - Family Stories

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In Tribute

Swanson Brother Swanson Brother

   The Saunders County Community has been fortunate to have two Osteopathic Physicians as their family doctors for a combined total of 92 years, in the persons of Drs. Jack R. and Roy C. Swanson. They have given generously of their time, talents, and means, in support of every worthwhile public endeavor and organization in this area. The churches, schools, Boy and Girl Scouts, local government and city service, you name it, and if it was worthwhile, the Doctors were its staunch supporters. Their only pay was the satisfaction that they received from helping someone, somewhere, in need. Willing cooperation of family members was a great contribution to the successes of all projects.

   Dr. Jack opened for business September 4, 1927, and was joined by Dr. Roy in the fall of 1937. Dr. Jack received his training in the Des Moines, Iowa, College of Osteopathy and Dr. Roy graduated from the Kansas City, Missouri, College of Osteopathy. Dr. Roy passed away May 3, 1982, age 84, in his home. Dr. Jack remains active after their retirement in 1978 and often hears his former patients tell him how much the former Doctors' office is missed by many people.

   The medical profession was much more difficult in what is referred to as "The Early Days." Hours were very long. They spent all day in the office and all evening out making house calls. They were available 24 hours a day to make house calls. Roads were not the roads of today. Often the doctors would be met by family members of the patient and transported by a horse-drawn wagon or buggy as the roads were impassable. Often the wives would accompany them since that was the only time they got to see them. One time the couples had guests over for a New Year's party and the wives entertained alone because both men were called away for the entire evening. Saturdays were the longest days with office hours from 8 A.M. to midnight. Everyone was in town and it was the custom to drive your car downtown in order to see all the other people who had come to town for their weekly business. They were often paid in farm produce, chickens and eggs. Sometimes they brought food to the needy upon whom they made house calls. During the Depression it was a time to share with those who needed help.

   The stress of house calls eased during World War II when people were urged to be kind to the very busy doctors and to make calls at the office. The advent of the sulfa drugs helped with the treatment of many diseases as did the later antibiotics and penicillin. The Salk vaccine wiped out the polio. When they started practicing there were 10 specific drugs; now there are hundreds.

   Health care in this community has been above average because there have been good Christian men working together in the community. The doctors' office had as their motto: "Concern, Kindness, Compassion."

   The Saunders County community appreciates the Swansons' loyalty, conscientious leadership, and dedicated service here among us over the years.

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In Tribute

Fredrik Franson
Fredrik Franson

   Fredrik Franson, founder of The Evangelical Alliance Mission, T.E.A.M., of Chicago, Illinois, was born June 17, 1852, in Pershyttan, Westmanland, Sweden. In 1869 he came to America to join two brothers, Frans and Eric. He was accompanied by his parents, a brother August, and a half-sister Anna. They settled in Saunders County, Nebraska, where the family establisbed a home, later known as the Roland Nelson farm, three miles north of Mead.

   In 1875 he united with a little Baptist Church near his home in Estina, Nebraska, and was baptized. Re preached his first sermon in that school house where the Baptist Church held its services. The building still stands in a farmer's place and a marker was put on the spot where the church stood.

   His next years were spent traveling to many countries teaching and preaching the Word of God.

   In 1890 he founded the Scandinavian Alliance Mission in Chicago, later known as The Evangelical Alliance Mission, also several missions in Sweden.

   Fredrik Franson died Aug. 2, 1908, in Idaho Springs, Colorado, where he had gone for some much needed rest. His age was 56. Services were held at the Presbyterian Church in Colon, Nebraska and burial was in Estina Cemetery, south of Leshara. His body was later moved to Chicago into the Franson Memorial Building.

   The Mission which Franson founded with 1 field and 50 missionaries has grown under the guidance and blessings of God until today has well over 1000 missionaries in over 20 fields.

   His motto was "Foward 'Till Upward."

   Two great-nephews remain in this area to keep his memory alive, Wallace Anderson, Colon, Nebraska and Robert Franson, Springfield, Missouri.

In Memory

Lt. Elmer F. Schulz
Lt. Elmer F. Schulz

   Elmer Fred Schulz, son of John A. and Zena D. Schmidt Schulz, was born October 28, 1915, at Yutan, Nebraska. He was a member of the Lutheran Cburch, a graduate of the high school in 1934. His father passed away May 5th of that year. After graduation, Elmer attended Highland Technical School in Los Angeles; then graduated from the Roswell Army Flying School of Roswell, New Mexico.

   Elmer volunteered his services to his country in April, 1941, at Seattle, Washington. He took training at the Primary Flying School in Oxnard, California, graduating in 1942. He received the Blackwell Trophy and the Moseley Medal which were given to the cadet in each class excelling in academics and flight training. He also received the Gold Star Award. On March 10, 1943, he received his "Wings" and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant at Roswell.

   In June, he went overseas. He participated in many bombing missions including the famous "Shuttle Trip" to Africa. He was based in England with the 560th Bombardment Squadron which was cited in the name of the president for outstanding performance of duty on the 17th of August, 1943. For this, he was awarded the Distinguished Unit Badge. On September 6, 1943, he was reported "Missing in Action" when he and his crew failed to return from a bombing mission to Stuttgart, Germany. He was last seen on the return flight when the crew was forced to abandon the damaged plane, approximately sixty miles southeast of Paris, France.

   On August 10, 1945, Elmer's family received word from the War Department that an official finding of death had been recorded.

   At the time of his death, Elmer was 29 years, 9 months and 13 days of age. His survivors included his mother; sisters, Leona, (Mrs. Walter) Kaltenborn, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Alice, (Mrs. Arthur) Morrill of Stromsburg, now Mrs. Dain D. Wainscott of Lincoln; Helen (Mrs. Rufus) Larsen of Los Angeles, California; a brother, Edgar of Yutan, now deceased, and many relatives. His mother passed away December 13, 1973.

   Elmer was awarded the World War II Victory Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 1 Bronze Service Star for participation in the Air Offense Campaign, the Distinguished Unit Emblem with 1 Oak Leaf cluster, the Aviation Badge "Pilot" and the Purple Heart, all posthumously.

   "He stands in the unbroken line of Patriots who have dared to die that Freedom might live and grow and increase its blessings. Freedom lives and, through it, he lives -- in a way that humbles the undertakings of most men."

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