Herman and Hannah Anderson House

Twenty-year-old Herman K. Anderson arrived in the United States in the late 1880s. One of over 1.5 million Swedes who left their homeland between 1850 and 1930, he quickly found work in North Dakota and eastern Montana on the Northern Pacific Railroad. Lonely, he corresponded with an old sweetheart, Hannah Svenson, and convinced her to join him in America. She traveled first to New York, where she worked at a children’s home to earn money before moving west. The couple married in 1895 in Glendive, Montana. In 1902, the Andersons returned to Sweden to visit family and investigate buying a farm. Some 13 percent of Swedish immigrants to the United States returned home, but the Andersons soon decided that they preferred life in the United States. Herman once again found work with the Northern Pacific, and the family lived briefly in Howard, Montana, before moving to Forsyth in late 1903. In 1908, longing for their own home, the Andersons hired contractor J. W. Waddell to build them an eleven-room house. It was completed just in time for the birth of the family’s fifth, and last, child. The comfortable, two-story, clapboard residence with a large wraparound porch was within easy walking distance of the railroad shop where Herman worked until his retirement in 1935. The home remained in the family until 1954. A subsequent owner converted it into five small apartments, but the building’s exterior looks much as it did when Swedish, rather than English, resounded in its halls.

Images

Map

209 South 7th Avenue, Forsyth, Montana ~ Private