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Monday, November 30, 2009

Upsala Cemetery Sanford Florida (Near Seminole Towne Center)

(Off Upsala Road in West Sanford near I-4)

This was the center of the earliest and largest Swedish community in Florida. Located here were the Scandinavian Society Lutheran Church, it's Cemetery, and a meeting house, which also served as a school until 1904.
Henry S. Sanford, Sanford, Florida
Wiki Link Henry_Shelton_Sanford
In May of 1871 thirty-three Swedish immigrants (twenty-six men and seven women) arrived under the sponsorship of Henry S. Sanford for the purpose of developing his citrus groves (St. Gertrude, which extended from what is now Central Florida Regional Hospital south to Third Street: and Belair, west of the railroad tracks on Old Lake Mary Road).
General Sanford's initial cost was $75.00 per person ($65.00 for transportation and 10.00 to a recruiting agent). He also agreed to give each immigrant free rations and living quarters for one year, after which each would be given a parcel of land. In November 1871 twenty additional Swedes arrived and joined the original immigrants to form the Uppsala community. Many descendants of these early immigrants still live in the Sanford area.
**From the historical marker placed at the Cemetery by the Seminole County Historical Commission.**

New Upsala Cemetery

This site was the center of the earliest and largest Swedish Community in Florida. Located here were the Scandinavian Society Lutheran Church: it's cemetery: and a meeting house, which also served as a school until 1904. In May of 1871 thirty-three Swedish immigrants (twenty-six men and seven women) arrived under the sponsorship of Henry S. Sanford for the purpose of developing his citrus groves (St. Gertrude, which extended from what is now Central Florida Regional Hospital south to Third Street: and Belair, west of the railroad tracks on Old Lake Mary Road). General Sanford's initial cost was $75.00 per person ($65.00 for transportation and $10.00 to a recruiting agent). He also agreed to give each immigrant free rations and living quaters for one year, after which each would be given a parcel of land. In November 1871 twenty additional Swedes arrived and joined the original immigrants to form the Upsala community. Many decendants of these early immigrants still live in the Sanford area.

A marker placed by St. Paul's EV. Lutheran Church of Orlando, Florida May 1951
Augustana Lutheran Synod 1892-1946
ALMAZU, Martin H. 1-15-198 - 3-30-1983
ANDERSON, John 1866 - ?
ANDERSON, Sofia M. 1858 - 1939
ANGEL of JOY (beloved daughter of Joyce marker made of wood & over grown with weeds)
ANSORGE (double head stone on bottom of head stone - In Loving Memory)
Pearl M. (Wife)12-18-1913 - 9-28-1994
Werner (Husband)12-12-1914 -1-10-1999
BENGTSON, Christina 1839 - 1929
BENGTSON, Edward 1881 - 1887 (Edward's grave was not next to the other Bengson's)
BENGTSON, Elias 1844 - 1883 (along the back row with Chirstina & Eric)
BENGTSON, Eric 1836 - 1934
BORELL, Chirstine 3-10-? - 3-? 1961 (90 years ?mo. 89days grave is sunkin)
BORELL, John E. 10-3-1857 - 8-27-1943(together in woods with Chirstine but 2 stones)
DAYALE, MARTI?? 3-30-? (2 years ?mo. ?days)
ERICKSON, Frank 1848 - 1928
ENROTH (double head stone)
Carl G. 1839 - 1913
Charlotte C. 1842 - 1903 (love never fails - on bottom of stone)
FRY, Albert A. 1894 - 1954 (son of Noah & Augusta)
FRY (double head stone)
Noah A. (Father) 1870-1936
Augusta B. (Mother) 1871 - 1972
GREEN, Marr 4-6-1960 (no other information)
HALLOWAY, Jossie L. 1887 - 1980 (wife of Walter)
HALLOWAY, Walter Brown 10-19-1889 - 7-3-1954 (Tennesse GM2 US Navy Chaplin - Gone but not forgotten on bottom of stone)
HALLOWAY, Patsy Ann 10-5-1935 - 6-11-1937 (Close to Jossie and Walter)
LUNDQUIST, Mr. Alex T. 7-3-? - 1953 (72 years 5 mo. 12days)
LUNDQUIST, JoAnne 1933 - 1942 (buried next to Mr. Alex)
LUNDQUIST, John Harold 7-16-1931 - 12-2-1957 (PVT US Air Force)
LUNDQUIST, John Gardar 1885 - 1943
LUNDQUIST, John 1885 - 1934 (three headstones together as one Lundquist & Starnes)
LUNDQUIST TWINS (Double flat marker)
Joane 1933 - 1942
Gerald D. 1933 - 1933
MARRS (double headstone)
Clover ?-?-? - 12-20-?28
Paul ?-?-1895 - 6-27-1953
STARNES Anne M. (Lundquist) 1905 - 1986
STARNES, Harley E. 1915 - 1982 (buried under the Lundquist head stone with John & Anne)
STEDT (next to each other)
Carl J. 1842 - 1929
Emma C. 1871 - 1932
SODERBLOM, Fred Gustaf 5-10-1930 (no other information)
TYNER, Gussiee 1909 - 1910
TYNER, Leonard B. 1905 1906
TYNER, James D. 1897 - 1957 (James, Leonard & Gussiee are together along the back row)
TYNER, Thomas Olin 7-10-1917 - 11-27-1943 (Florida SGT. Army AirForce WW2 PH. In memory of - is at the top of the stone)
**The next two double stones are side by side**
TYNER (double head stone)
Thomas D. 1877 - 1961 (Father)
Mitilda B. 1875 - 1969 (Mother)
TYNER (double head stone)
Elmer J. 1903 - 1982 (Father)
Louetta W. 1922 - 1975 (Mother)
? Robert R. 1963 (No other information, grave is under bushes with a funeral marker)
**Note, although every effort was made during the recording of this information, no guarantee is made of 100% accuracy.

The history of the Swedish immigration to America flowed into Florida too. In the mid-1800s, Sweden was a land of poverty, want and social frustration. Labor recruiters sent to Sweden touted America as a place to start a new life and through this promotion began a tidal wave of Swedish immigration. For the most part, these immigrants had to give up everything they owned, except for a few possessions that could fit into a steamer trunk. So great was this immigration that by the early 1900s, roughly one fifth of all Swedes lived in the United States.
The main story of Seminole County’s Swedish heritage begins with Henry Shelton Sanford’s labor problems in trying to establish his agricultural enterprises. In 1870, he purchased 12,548 acres on the south side of Lake Monroe, which became known as the Sanford Grant. Sanford, like many other entrepreneurs of the time, was infected by “orange fever” and the exaggerated promises of high profits for citrus growers. Due to labor problems, Sanford decided to replace his labor force with foreign immigrants under the Contract Labor Law.

Josephine Jacobs & New Upsala School Children courtesy of the Sanford Museum

In February 1871, Dr. Wilhelm Henschen approached Sanford with the prospect of recruiting Swedish laborers. The first sponsored group of Sanford Swedes arrived on May 30, 1871. This first group was promised paid passage to Florida, along with one year’s maintenance for themselves and family members in return for one year of labor in Sanford’s citrus groves. Later in an attempt to keep the immigrants satisfied they were promised five-acre lots to be given to the loyal and faithful ones after a year’s work. This inspired a few to write home to friends and relatives, encouraging them to make a contract and come over.
By 1873, Sanford’s emphasis was on Belair grove located on the northwest shore of Crystal Lake. With the skill and labor of primarily Swedish workers, the area’s pinelands were transformed into one of the most extraordinary groves in the country. Of the many citrus varieties Sanford is credited with introducing, the most important came in 1870, from the Thomas River’s Nursery in London, England. This was an orange called the Tardif-Brown’s Late, which was later cultivated and the name changed to Valencia. This was the basis from which evolved Florida’s citrus juice industry. Belair soon became known as “The Experimental Station” or “Tropical Garden,” and served as a source of nursery stock. Strains produced at Belair were rapidly distributed to growers throughout Central Florida.

New Upsala Presbyterian Church, Circa 1902 Courtesy of the Sanford Museum

New Upsala, named for Uppsala Sweden, was the first and largest of Florida’s early Swedish communities. Physically, the colony was separated by a swamp, dividing it in two parts; the upper and lower settlement. The upper settlement was built along both sides of the Upsala Road, and the lower part followed the winding curves of Vihlen Road. Most of the Swedish homesteads measured five chains by ten chains, or roughly five acres. For the land to be more useful, it had to be cleared of the native trees and thick palmetto underbrush. This labor-intensive task, along with building their homes, was often accomplished by a community effort of neighbor helping neighbor.
Within New Upsala these Swedish newcomers could adjust to the cultural differences at their own pace. The general store stocked some imported foods among which one would have found lutfist and salt herring. Swedish continued to be the predominant language for generations. Within the population were a wide variety of occupations, including carpenters, masons, painters, cabinetmakers, blacksmiths, and horticulturist. Each of these skills contributed to the prosperity of the settlement. The settlement grew to include the Scandinavian Hall and School, its own depot, Upsala Lutheran Church and Upsala Presbyterian Church. The two congregations were entwined and often combined their efforts for social affairs. As time went on, the Swedish immigrants spread across Central Florida into communities such as the Lake Jesup Community (now Oviedo), Forest City, Maitland, Lake Mary, Apopka and Piedmont.
Change came during the winter of 1894-95, in a double catastrophe called “the big freeze.” The first drop in temperature came on December 29th and severely damaged the citrus trees. But then January was warm and rainy. The groves were fertilized and already had signs of new growth. Then on the night of February 7, 1895, the area was hit with a second deep freeze. This caused total and pure devastation. The Swedes were almost entirely dependent on their citrus groves for income. Family after family became discouraged and left in search for other opportunities.
The freeze was a major turning point in New Upsala’s history, although many left, the community did not completely vanish. Swedish immigrants had continued filtering into the community well after 1900. Most of these were attracted by the area’s fertile farmlands. Many such as, Carl Carlson brought his family and became a successful celery grower. These farmers contributed to Seminole County becoming America’s Celery Capital. Some families that had moved away later returned. After returning to New Upsala in 1906, Emma Vihlen wrote, “Yesterday evening came all the settlement people to welcome us back. There were twenty-five people and they had seven cakes with them, so I had to make coffee.” Her daughter Olga wrote, “It seemed natural to be among the good old Swedes, as our family had always conversed in Swedish. My sister Signe and I conversed in Swedish until we started school in Sanford. It was then we found out that we were just dumb Swedes. We took such a kidding that we at once remedied the situation by becoming Florida Crackers… and we refused to listen to or speak the Swedish language from then on.”

Swedish pioneers at the picnic gathering Courtesy of the Sanford Museum

In Sanford, new residential areas now sit where Swedes once tended vast orange groves. Evidence of our Swedish past can still be found in the names of Vihlen and Upsala roads and the old Upsala Swedish cemetery. The old Upsala Presbyterian Church still stands near its original site at the south end of Upsala Road. In December of each year, local historical societies host the Swedish Christmas tradition of St. Lucia.
To learn more, these publications are available through the Sanford Historical Society, Inc.:
New Upsala a swedish settlement & its people

The Swedish History of Seminole County, Florida

Upsala Cemetery Pictures

Extra Information on the families buried in the cemetery

Elias Bengtson is listed in the 1880 Orange County, Florida Federal Census as an orange farmer, 37, wife Christina 39, daughters Augusta 9, Charlotte 7, Matilda 5, Hilda 3, sons Elaf 5 and Rueben 1.
In the 1920 Orange County, Florida Federal Census, Christina Bengston listed as a widow is living with her daughter Gussie and son in law Noah A. Fry along with nine boarders
John Borell is listed in the 1900 Orange County, Florida Federal Census born Oct 1857 in Swedenm married in 1893 to Christine born in Norway on April 1870. For John his year of immigration was 1883, Christines was 1871.
John and Christine are listed in the Seminole County, Florida Census. John is listed as a farm laborer for a orange grove. Living with John and Christine is Woodard Bertson age 11, nephew to John.
In the 1930 census Woodard is listed as Woodard Borell, nephew to John.
Both John and Christine are listed in the Florida Death Index
Werner and Pearl (Tyner) Ansorge are listed in the Duval County, Florida Marriage Collection. Married 1936, Volume 320 Certificate 447. Both are listed in the Florida Death Index.
In 1920 Frank Erickson was living in Lake Mary, Seminole County, Florida as a boarder in the home of Albert and Edith Rantoul. Frank is from Sweden.
In 1910 Noah Alexander, Gussie (Augusta) and son Albert Fry are living in Sanford, Orange County (now Seminole County) Florida. Also living in the household are Christopher Beudon and Jackarish Fry.
In the 1920 Gotha, Orange County, Florida census Noah is listed as .as a farm overseer and Gussie is the manager of the boarding house they are living in. Gussies mother is living with Noah and Gussie.
In 1930 Noah and Gussie are living in Sanford, Seminole County, Florida.
Noah is listed in the Florida death index
Joanne Lundquist is listed in the Seminole County, Florida death index
Paul Wampler Marrs is listed in the Seminole County, Florida death index
Anne Mae Starnes is listed in the Seminole County, Florida death index. Birth date is listed as 31 March 1905 death is 21 May 1986.
Harley E Starnes is listed in the Seminole County death index. Birth 11 March 1915 death 20 Mar 1982. Harley and Anne are both listed in the Social Security Death Index.
Carl and Emma and daughter Ebba Stedt are listed in the 1910 Orange County, Florida Federal Census. Carl is a fruit grower from Sweden he and Emma were married in 1894. Ebba was born in 1901
In 1920 Paola, Seminole County, Florida Carl is listed as a farm laborer for the local orange grove. Ebba is not listed as living with her parents in 1920.
The Thomas Tyner family is listed in the 1920 West Sanford, Seminole Clounty, Florida census. Wife Matilda 44, son's James D 22, Elmer 16, Thomas 2, daughters Florence 12, Eleanor 8, and Pearl 6. Thomas is from Georgia and a pipe fitter for a car shop. Matilda is from Florida as is all her children. Matildas parents are from Sweden.
The family is listed in the 1930 census as living in the same area as in 1920. Thomas is a pipe fitter for a gas company. Son James is listed as 32 still living at home with no job. Son Elmer is not listed with the family.
Elmer Tyner and Louetta W. Collins were married in Seminole County, Florida in Feb. of 1967. Elmer is listed in the Social Security Death Index, birth date is 13 April 1903 death date is November 1982. Louetta is also listed in the death index. Birth is 7 Oct 1920 and death is 26 Nov. 1975.

The Orange Belt Railway 

Founder and patriarch of the first Swedish settlement in Florida
Josef Henschen came to Florida in 1871. He was a medical student at Uppsala University when he got the opportunity to bring a group of Swedish workers to Sanford, north of Orlando.  He recruited 36 workers from Uppsala and brought them to the work at the 12 000 acres of orange groves owned by General Shelton Sanford in Seminole County, Florida. General Sanford had not been pleased by the workforce recruited locally and had heard that Swedes were hard working and honest.

A picture named M2
Josef Henschen, Sanford Florida
Courtesy Joseph Raymond Henschen

Josef Henschen in Florida 1923. 
Several groups of Swedes came to work in the orange groves of  Seminole county, they founded the first Swedish colony in Florida, the New Upsala Settlement.  New Upsala is today a part of Sanford.  A Swedish Presbyterian church, a Swedish cemetery and a street named Upsala Road are landmarks of Swedish influence on the town of Sanford.  
Investor in the Orange Belt Railway
Josef Henschen never returned to Uppsala, he stayed in Florida, and made his own imprints on the Florida map. He made a small fortune on his own orange groves and in the mid 1880s he was approached by three men who wanted Josef to invest in the Orange Belt Railway that would run across Florida from Sanford to the southern point of Pinellas County.
Headquarters was set up in Oakland where Josef moved in 1886 and lived for the rest of his life. He served for several years as Oakland Postmaster and Justice of Peace.  In memory of Josef, there is still a Henschen Avenue in Oakland.
Named  St Petersburg after a Russian friends hometown
The railway construction ran into many problems and in the end,  Josef lost all his money. Thanks to the railway though, a town was developed in southern Pinellas.  As one of the four  investors in the Orange Belt Railway, Josef was asked to name this new city. In honor of his Russian friend and co-investor, Peter Demens, Josef named the new city,” St Petersburg”, which was  the native city of Demens.
Swedish born artist Rebecca Weiss, who now lives in Tampa Bay, has written a book about Josef Henschen, who was the brother of her great grandfather
A picture named M2
Orange Belt Railway Map, Sanford to St. Petersburg, Florida
Henry Shelton Sanford (June 15, 1823 – May 21, 1891) was a wealthy American diplomat, businessman, and aristocrat from Connecticut who served as United States Ambassador to Belgium from 1861 to 1869. He is also known for founding the city of Sanford, Florida and for successfully lobbying the United States into recognizing King Leopold II's claim to the Congo region in central Africa, the area that would become Leopold's privately controlled Congo Free State.
Early life
Sanford was born in Woodbury, Connecticut into a family with deep New England roots. He was the son of Nancy Bateman Shelton (1800–1880) and Nehemiah Curtis Sanford, who made his fortune manufacturing brass tacks and served in the Connecticut Senate for the 16th District. He was a descendant of Governor Thomas Welles, who arrived in 1635 and was the only man in Connecticut's history to hold all four top offices: governor, deputy governor, treasurer, and secretary. He was also the transcriber of the Fundamental Orders. Nehemiah C. Sanford's brother was John Sanford, the founder of the Amsterdam, New York branch of the Sanford family.
Henry Shelton Sanford enrolled in Trinity College in 1839, but did not graduate. Trinity College later conferred on him the degree of L.L.D. in 1849. He was also educated at Heidelberg University, Germany from which institution he received the degree of Doctor of Canon and Civil Law or J.U.D. in 1855. He obtained the title of ‘General,’ which he is often noted by, after donating a cannon battery to the Union in the Civil War.
Sanford began diplomatic work in 1847, when he was named the Secretary of the American legation to St. Petersburg. In 1848, he was named acting Secretary to the American Legation in Frankfurt. President Zachary Taylor then appointed him to the same post in Paris, where he would remain from 1849 to 1854, the last year of which after a promotion to chargé d'affaires.
Minister to Belgium
President Abraham Lincoln appointed him as Minister to Belgium in 1861. There, apart from preventing Confederate recognition, he signed a number of significant agreements, including the Scheldt Treaties, concerning import duties and the capitalization of the Scheldt dues (1863), a naturalization treaty, and a consular convention including a trademark article supplemental to the commercial treaty of 1858.
In addition, Sanford co-ordinated northern secret service operations during the Civil War, arranged for the purchase of war materials for the Union, and delivered a message from Secretary of State William H. Steward to Giuseppe Garibaldi, offering the Italian patriot a Union command.
After the Civil War he bought an orange grove in St. Augustine, Florida, from John Hay, who had been one of President Lincoln's secretaries and later served as U.S. Secretary of State. It was the beginning of a large investment in the state. The St. Augustine grove was later developed as a real estate subdivision in the northern part of the city's historic Lincolnville neighborhood. It includes a Sanford Street as a permanent memory of its origins.
Marriage and family
He married on September 21, 1864, in Paris, France, Gertrude Ellen Dupuy, born on June 27, 1841, at "du Puy Place", Banks-of-the-Schuylkill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and died on June 1, 1902, in Derby, Connecticut. She was the daughter of John Dupuy and Mary Richards Haskins. Henry and Gertrude's children were:
Henry Shelton Sanford, Jr., born on July 17, 1865, at the U. S. Legation, Brussels, Belgium, and died on October 1, 1891, in New York City.
Gertrude Ellen Dupuy Sanford, born on November 16, 1869, in Brussels, Belgium, and died on April 28, 1893, New York City.
Frida Dolores Sanford, born on February 28, 1871, in Brussels, Belgium
Ethel Sanford, born on September 2, 1873, in Brussels, Belgium. She married her cousin on February 17, 1892, in Sanford, Florida, John Sanford (1851), the eldest son of Hon. Stephen Sanford and Sarah Jane Cochran and a grandson of John Sanford (1803), a U.S. Representative from New York and founder of a carpet manufacturing firm in New York.
Helen Carola Nancy Sanford, born April 10, 1876, Brussels, Belgium
Leopold Curits Sanford, born July 27, 1880, in Brussels, Belgium and died December 1, 1885, at Chateau de Gingelona, Belgium
Edwyn Emeline Willimine Gladys McKinnon Sanford, born on November 27, 1882, Brussels, Belgium
He was nominated by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1869 as U.S. Minister to Spain. His Senate confirmation, which was long discussed, was tabled due solely on the grounds that he was unwilling to move to Spain. As soon as President Grant appointed General Daniel Sickles U.S. Minister to Spain, he resigned his post at Belgium.
Investment in Florida
In 1868 Sanford began to invest his money in Florida, purchasing 12,547 acres of land in central Florida and founding the town which bears his name. He also established the 100 acre Bel Air Grove which at the time was the largest grove in the state. He then began experimenting with 100 varieties of citrus plantings which led to the production of new quality citrus fruits including the Jaffa, Mediterranean Sweet, and the Villa Francean. Sanford continued to travel throughout the United States and the world.
In 1870, Sanford paid $18,400 to former Confederate General Joseph Finegan to acquire his extensive land holdings along Lake Monroe and founded the city of Sanford, Florida. He founded an orange plantation at Lake Monroe that offered some promise to revive his flagging fortunes, but it did not prove profitable in the long term. In fact he poured quite a bit of precious capital into land speculation and town building in Florida in the hopes of turning around a family economy that spent far more than it took in, but with no success. The commitment of his time and resources to cashing in on the post-bellum Florida land boom was a miserable failure in the end. His wife was so disgruntled with his booster schemes that she lamented in a letter to her husband that Florida was "a vampire that... sucked the repose & the beauty & the dignity & cheerfulness out of our lives." Sanford had numerous other business interests, some in the Congo after his work for Belgium, but none were profitable.
Work for Leopold II of Belgium
In 1876 he was named acting Delegate of the American Geographical Society to a conference called by King Leopold II of Belgium to organize the International African Association with the purpose of opening up equatorial Africa to civilizing influences. Leopold II used Sanford to convince Henry Morton Stanley to explore the Congo basin for Belgium in 1878. He then hired Sanford in 1883 as his envoy to the United States to try to gain American recognition for his colony in the Congo Basin, which became known as the Congo Free State
In 1886, Sanford organized in Brussels and dispatched to the Congo and its tributaries the Sanford Exploring Expedition for the purpose of scientific and commercial discovery and for the opening up of an interior trade. His steamboats "Florida" and "New York" were the first commercial steamers to penetrate the waters of the upper Congo. Sanford employed [Roger Casement] from September 1886 to February 1888 on the Expedition, working on river transports. His project did not prosper partly because the Congo State was becoming increasingly restrictive in its attitude to other commercial interests.
Sanford remained loyal to the Belgian king until 1889, when serving as the American representative at Leopold’s Anti-Slavery Conference, Leopold betrayed his earlier free trade plans for the Congo and asked for the imposition of customs duties so as to aid the destruction of slavery in the Congo.
Further business ventures
His efforts on overseas matters resulted in his Florida groves failing as a lucrative business. To meet his labor shortages, Sanford brought 100 workers from Sweden, agreeing to pay for their passage after one year of labor. His workers eventually formed the settlement called New Uppsala. In 1881 Sanford brought seventy-five more Swedish workers to his groves under the same arrangement. Sanford then founded the "Tropical Garden "research station which conducted remarkable experiments in plant and fruit growth.
Sanford died at Healing Springs, Virginia on May 21, 1891. He is buried in Long Hill Cemetery, Shelton, Connecticut.
In her will of 1901, Gertrude Sanford expressed a desire that the city of Sanford, Florida have her husband's library as his memorial. Her daughter, Carola Sanford-Dow fulfilled this wish and in 1957 the Henry Shelton Sanford Memorial Library and Museum was built to house the books, papers, and decorative arts collection of Gen. Sanford. 
Museum Link Sanford Florida
The museum was expanded in 1973 and again in 1993, at which time the name was changed to the Sanford Museum.
He also appears in Mario Vargas Llosa's Nobel Prize–winning novel, The Dream of the Celt.







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