August Okeson 1948 August Okeson
1877 - 1951

BORN: 13 Nov 1877
         near Malmohus, Skane, Sweden
MARRIED: Hannah Theodora ECKLUND
         Henning, Minnesota
DIED: 16 Jul 1951
         Springfield, Oregon

August Okeson was a grain buyer for the Andrew Grain Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota and the first Okeson to receive a college degree. August was good with figures, as well as history and geography. He was also a handsome man. He had a great sense of humor and when he smiled, people seemed to gravitate to him.

August was born in Skane Providence, Sweden in 1877 and emigrated to America with his family at the age of 5. August was a clever boy and could speak Swedish with the brogue common to the Skane province or Swedish without any regional accent at all. It did not take him long to pick up English.

August's father, Ola, was fond of striking August on the head whenever he was displeased with him. August also felt that Ola favored his brother Nels over him and that he would never inherit anything. Very smart and an avid reader, August left home and worked his way through college at Fergus Falls, Minnesota by working odd jobs.

Before leaving his father's farm, August fell in love with a young girl that his father hired to help around the house and in the fields named Hannah Ecklund. She was only 13 years old at the time. Ola liked Hannah so much he tried to interest her in Nels, hoping she would stay with the family permanently, but Hannah only had eyes for August. August and Hannah married when she was 17 and August was 27. Three years later their first child, Clarence, was born. Three weeks after that, August moved his small family to Minnewakin, Minnesota where the Andrews Grain Company had hired him to run one of their grain elevators.

The Andrews Grain Company soon transferred August to Turtle Lake, North Dakota where he would live for more than 25 years. Besides running a grain elevator, August owned a small farm outside town where he and Hannah raised their three children: Clarence, Virgie and James.

Okeson Family, 1932
The August Okeson Family
Abt 1932
back row: James, Virgie and Clarence
front row: August and Hannah

The Dust Bowl years of the Great Depression eventually drove the Andrews Grain Company into insolvency, leaving August without a job. Fortunately he had managed to hold onto enough of his money so that he could retire. August never bought anything on credit. He and Hannah (plus two of their three grown children) moved to Springfield, Oregon in the summer of 1936, leaving the day after Clarence's son Gyman was baptized in Parshall, North Dakota.

August was smart and well read. He could carry on a conversation on almost any topic. He enjoyed playing Bridge, gardening and fishing. He knew the Bible backwards and forwards but never went to church.

August Okeson died at home in Springfield of a heart attack on July 16th, 1951. He was 73 years old. He was buried in the Eckland Family Plot at the Creswell Cemetery in Creswell, Oregon.

View the Okeson Family Photoalbum, 1900-1962

WIFE of August Okeson:
    Hannah Theodora ECKLUND

PARENTS of August Okeson:
    Ola OKESON

    Bengta Augusta NILSDOTTER

CHILDREN of August Okeson:
   1. Clarence Wilford OKESON

   2. Virgie Adeline (WOODWORTH)
   3. James Burnett OKESON


  The Family History As I Heard It, by Nora Fayme Okeson
  1885 Minnesota State Census
  1895 Minnesota State Census
  1900 U.S. Federal Census for Henning MN
  1910 U.S. Federal Census for Lake Williams ND
  1915 North Dakota State Census
  U.S. World War I Draft Registration, 1917-1918
  1925 North Dakota State Census
  1930 U.S. Federal Census for Lake Williams ND
  1940 U.S. Federal Census for Eugene OR
  U.S. World War II Draft Registration, 1942