Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthAugust 9, 1888
Place of BirthBälinge, NederluleГҐ, Norrbotten
Marital StatusMarried
Service Details
BranchSoldier Biographies
Death Details
Date of DeathJanuary 24, 1966
Age at Death77
Buried AtPark Hill Cemetery, Duluth, Minnesota, USA

Wickstrom, Isaac Albert

Isak Albert Wikström was born on 9 August 1888 in Bälinge, NederluleГҐ in Norrbotten, Sweden. Bälinge is in northern Sweden close to the Finland border. His parents Nils Petter Wikström and Maria Langström were both from the area, marrying on 19 October 1873 in Bälinge. In the various Swedish records Nils’ occupation was given as torpare (crofter) and arbetare (labourer). Children born to the family were Nils Mauritz (1875-1887), Petrus Reinhold (1877-1878), Maria Nikolina Ingeborg (1879), Syrena Petrovina (1880), Petrus Linus (1882-1883), Petrus Linus (1884-1886), Nils Reinhold (1886), and Albert. Sadly Nils Maurita, Petrus Reinhold, and both Petrus Linuses died in early childhood.

Syrena was the first to immigrate to Canada, leaving the parish on 11 January 1900. Ending up in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario, she married Sven Oscar Cronlund in June of 1902. Nils, Maria and children Reinhold and Albert left the parish in April of 1903, embarking from Göteborg for Hull in England aboard the Ariosto on the 17th, eventual destination on the passenger list given as Rat Portage. Once in Canada the surname was anglicized to Wickstrom. Albert’s sister Ingeborg married Nils Helmer Johanson in 1898 in Sweden and immigrated to Canada with their two children in July of 1905. Sadly Ingeborg died late that December in Kenora followed by her husband Nils in early January of 1906, both of typhoid. While in Kenora Albert was a member of the Bethesda Lutheran Church, later becoming their organist and choir director.

Around 1906 or 1907 Albert moved to the United States to attend the Gustavus Aldolphus School of Commerce in St Peter, Minnesota where he also studied music. He graduated in 1910. He then moved to Duluth where he married Olga Elisabet Murvold on 4 June 1917. Born on 23 May 1892, Olga was the daughter of Olaus Murvold and Emma Augusta Robertson. Her father was born in Norway while her mother was born in Sweden, the couple marrying on 27 June 1891 in Superior, Wisconsin. The day after their marriage Albert signed his WW1 Draft Registration Card. At the time he was working as a bookkeeper for Gowan, Lenning, and Brown Company in Duluth. Although details of his service are unknown, the later 1930 US census confirmed that he served.

Over the years in Duluth Albert and Olga lived with her parents, with Albert eventually opening his own accountant business. It appears that Olga worked with him as his secretary. Albert was a Sunday school teacher at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Duluth for forty years as well as served as organist, choir master, and on the church’s administration board. He signed his WW2 Draft Registration card on 27 April 1942.

Following a lengthy illness Albert died at his home on Kent Street in Duluth on 24 January 1966. He was survived by his wife Olga as well a nephew and three nieces. He was predeceased by his three young siblings back in Sweden. He was also predeceased by his sister Ingeborg in 1905, his father Nils in 1926, mother Maria in 1933, brother Reinhold in 1950, and sister Syrena in 1962, all interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. Olga later died on 5 June 1971. Albert is interred in the Park Hill Cemetery in Duluth.

By Judy Stockham

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Isaac Albert and Olga’s grave marker photographs provided by J Huntley,