Weyburn Pioneer Woman Sculpture

Svea Flaten nee Soderberg

Submitted by Delbert Flaten 

Mom’s parents August and Augusta Soderberg were born in Dalarna Sweden in 1864.  They and their two year old son Gunnar came to America on the steamship Teutonic 

The 1200 passengers landed in New York on May 13, 1893.  After clearing customs at Ellis Island, they travelled to Hartford, South Dakota where her dad started a blacksmith shop and machinery business, with living quarters in the back. 

An infant son Albert, died in 1895, Yngve was born in 1897, Sigurd in 1899 and Svea in 1905.  

Svea Flaten

In 1907 the family boarded the train and headed north.   They arrived in Weyburn in May after a very severe winter.   A former friend met them and took them 20 miles by train and sleigh through snow and water to Pete Heglin’s farm.  They had a small house and so many people!   

Grandpa Soderberg built a one-room tarpaper shack as soon as possible.  What a difference for everyone – hard work and no conveniences!  They added one room to the house each year until they had five rooms.    

Mom started school at Rockfield when she was seven years old.  She wrote one Grade VIII exam which finished her formal education, however this is not indicative of her knowledge because she has always been an avid reader and learning oriented.  In 1920 she had scarlet fever and her dad looked after her when she was in bed for five weeks.  A bachelor neighbour used to come over to their place and because he was 12 years older, everyone thought he came to see her brothers. 

Nels Flaten and Svea Soderberg were married at home on December 21, 1925.  It was the first time Mom had been to a wedding. 

They went to Minneapolis for a honeymoon to visit Aunt Gertrude and family, then on to Chicago to visit Mom’s brother Yngve and stopped in Glenwood to visit the Barnesses on the way home. 

First child, Norman, was born December 18, 1926.  Mom had never been to a doctor during her pregnancy, never looked after a baby or even changed a diaper before Norman was born.   

They bought the Carlson farm in 1928.  Glenn was born in September 1929, and they moved to their own farm in April 1930.  Audrey was born in 1933, Delbert in 1936 and Beverly in 1939.  All of us were born at the Weyburn General Hospital. 

In 1941 they added two rooms on the south side of the house, put a cistern and furnace in the basement, but still had to haul drinking water from the well. 

Mom and Dad made a trip to Norway in 1953.  They took the plane to New York and the Grepsholm ship to Norway and Sweden.   

Dad passed away January 4, 1959 in Brownsville Texas.  Mom bought a house in Weyburn in 1961 

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