It’s kind of fun to be writing about Per Nilsson. Yes, he was born in a Leap Year, on the 29th of February in 1856 in Malmo, Sweden. He was my great-great grandmother’s brother (making him my second great granduncle!). What is fun is that my great grandmother, Ingrid Olauson, was visiting him and his family in 1899 in Rankin, Illinois when she met my great grandfather! More on that soon.
Per was seventh of ten children born to Truls and Bengta (Andersdotter) Andersson. He married Kjersti Mortenson around 1884 in Sweden and they had five children. Their first two children, Nels and Magnus were born in Sweden in 1885 and 1887. Per came to the United States in 1888, and his wife and sons came over the next year in 1889. According to family records Per and his family lived "100 English miles from Chicago." Since his third child, Anton, was born in 1891 in Iroquois County, Illinois, I am assuming that this is where the 100 miles from Chicago was.
In 1893, their fourth child, Anna, was born in Rankin, Illinois. The family stayed there for several years, which is where Ingrid Olausson met Charles Oscar Seeber at a Swedish dance hall in 1899.
The family must have moved soon after that because by June of 1900 they were living in South Platte, Hamilton County, Nebraska. The 1900 Census shows that “Peter Nelson” was a farmer. He was listed there with his wife and four children. In July of 1900, another son, Oscar, was born.
Sadly, Per’s wife Kate (Kjersti) died in 1903, leaving Per with their five children, ages eighteen to three.
Peter Nelson was listed in the 1910 Census in the same place with his sons, Magnus and Anton, along with daughter, Anna. Apparently, his son, Oscar, had died by this time. I have not found him listed in any census for 1920.
Per Nilsson died on the 5th of May in 1929 at the age of seventy-three. Or in Leap years, he was eighteen years old!