Walter Swanson was born October 12, 1862, and passed away April 1, 1913. He came to the Blabon area from Illinois in 1885 and homesteaded Section 2 Melrose Township. Nettle Swanson was born November 6, 1864, and died December 25, 1928. She came to this area from LaPorte, Indiana, to be a cook for a family. When Father died she was left with seven children to raise.

1.     Clifford John was born July 14, 1894. He married Nora Wigtil of Walcott, North Dakota. He passed away in 1935.

2.     Anna Elizabeth, born December 19, 1885, later married Floyd Nelson of Cooperstown, North Dakota. They had two children: a daughter who died at birth and a son, James, who passed away from multiple sclerosis December 16, 1974, in Elfrida, Arizona. James was married and had four children.

3.     Joseph W. was born May 21, 1898. He farmed with Clifford in the Blabon area, on the home place. He passed away in August 1942.

4.     Ruth Sarah was born September 9, 1901, married Arnold Valentine, and passed away in Modesto, California, March 1, 1977. They had two sons: James and Marvin.

5.     Nellie May was born May 16, 1903. She married Thomas Beadle and were Hope residents. She passed away in 1963.

6.     James Dewitt was born on his mother's birthday, November 6, 1906. He went to Minneapolis to work when he was nineteen years old, and passed away three days later from pneumonia, November 2, 1925.

7.     Vivian Jeanette was born August 14, 1909. She married Palmer Nelson of Cooperstown, North Dakota. They currently reside in Modesto, California.

My father had a new barn built which he had filled with hay and feed for winter. A crew of men came to put lightning rods on it. When James asked what they were for, he was told, "So the barn wouldn't burn". So later he took a match, lit it in the hay, to see if it would. It did! He was about seven years old at this time.

I recall the train setting a prairie fire west of the house on a windy day. The house was saved.

Our farm was called the Willowdale Grain and Stock Farm. Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Richards now own and reside on this farm. The original home is still there.

Submitted by Vivian Nelson

Source: Hope Through the Century - Hope, North Dakota 1882-1982 Page 612

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