The Lundberg family was living at the parsonage in Svea Minnesota when Emilynn Elizabeth Lundberg was born, 8 May 1894. Amy, as she was called, was the third child born to Jonas and Anna Lundberg. She attended country school grades 1-8 in Svea. She was confirmed by her father at Svea Lutheran Church in 1908. Amy attended Gustavus Adolphus at St. Peter, for a two year course to further her education; similar to a high school. One thing Amy had always wanted to do as a young child was to learn to play the harp, but was never able to do so, as the Lundberg family did not have a great deal of money.
At the age of 15, Amy needed her appendix removed. The Lundbergs were already living in Beckville in Meeker County. Jonas brought Amy to Dr. Cassel in Litchfield, who diagnosed the appendicitis. Jonas then remarked to him; “I want to see you right before you operate on Amy, so I am sure that you are not drunk.” Dr. Cassel was known to drink liquor in excess, and Jonas needed assurance that the doctor would be sober when he performed the surgery. Amy had her appendix removed and recovered satisfactorily.
Beckville and First Lutheran Cosmos were both being served by Jonas during the years 1910 to 1911. It was during this time that Jonas came to know a young man named Merritt H. Nelson, from Cosmos, and he introduced Merritt to his daughter Amy. The two churches had Luther League groups that were attended by the young people of both congregations. Amy and Merritt would see each at other at these functions. Merritt and Amy dated and eventually married in 1914.
In 1911, at the age of 17, Amy’s father Jonas died. This was a terrible shock to the family. They moved from the Beckville parsonage to another farm place, south of the parsonage. Amy had always wanted to become a teacher. She attended Litchfield Normal Training School for one year, and became a school teacher in 1912. She taught in her first school at District #50, near Rosendale for two years. While Amy taught school, she lived with the Art Nelson family one mile southeast of the school.
In 1914, Amy and Merritt were married in a double wedding ceremony with Amy’s sister Laura and Edwin Danielson at Beckville Lutheran Church. Amy’s maid of honor was Ebba Pearson, a missionary from China. Amy and Merritt went to live on the Nelson home farm; southwest of Litchfield. August and Pernella Nelson, Merritt’s parents were also living there. The August Nelsons remained on the farm for six additional weeks before moving into Litchfield. Three children were born to Merritt and Amy Nelson. Merritta Ardis was born 28 January 1915 on the home place in Danielson Township as was Phyllis Lorraine on 22 January 1918, followed by Philip August John born on Leap Day, 29 February 1920. Philip was born at Anna Lundberg’s home in Litchfield Minnesota. August had offered Amy $100 for naming their son after him. Merritt and Amy chose Philip for his first name and the middle names of August and John, after both his grandfathers. Amy still received the $100 for naming their son after August.
When the children were little, Amy kept two yellow canaries in a cage in the dining room. She enjoyed cooking and baking. At one time, Merritt had six men employed to tile the farm. For six weeks, Amy baked bread every day and cooked to feed the men. One of her favorite hymns was “In the Garden”, and Amy would sing that as she washed the kitchen floor or did other housework. She loved to visit with people and she was very tenderhearted. Merritt was a Mason and a Shriner; subsequently, Amy was associated with the Eastern Star, where she was an active member for a few years. She was also involved in the Ladies Aide at church, and was a Sunday school teacher for many years, as well as playing organ and piano at the church.
Amy did not know how to drive a car, so Merritt offered to teach her in their Buick. One day they drove down the country road and as Amy was driving very slowly, Merritt scared her, telling her that she had to look out for something on the road. This frightened Amy, she got flustered, and drove off the road right into the ditch, with Merritt laughing at her. Amy immediately got out of the car, and never drove again.
One afternoon, Merritt and Amy were out for a ride with friends of theirs; Bernard Anderson and his wife Myrtle. He was the sheriff for Meeker County. The four of them drove by First Lutheran church, and Bernard commented, ‘why don’t we go in, it looks like there is something going on there’. So they went inside, and to Merritt and Amy’s surprise, it was an open house 25th wedding anniversary party for them. When Merritt and Amy walked in, Karl started playing the wedding march. It was a church full of family and friends. They had a wonderful time. In April of 1950, Merritt and Amy moved into their own home in Litchfield, where they would later celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.
Merritt and Amy lived in Danielson Township for many years. Their telephone number was ‘short and a long ring’, and they were on a party line of 22 families. When Merritt would pick up the phone to make a call, he could tell that there were others on the line just waiting to hear someone’s conversation. He would then say ‘if everyone could get off the line until I make the call, then you can get back on and listen’. Merritt and Amy were the first home in the Acton area to have a telephone.
Their son Philip married Muriel Bergquist of Cokato in 1947, and after returning from their honeymoon, Merritt and Amy stayed on the farm for six days, and then moved into Litchfield. They lived in an apartment across from the old hospital. Approximately one year after moving into Litchfield, Amy decided to return to teaching. She first taught in a country school at District #82 Cedar Mills Township, the school their own children had attended. Merritt would drive her every day, and sometimes would spend the day at Philip and Muriel’s to help out with some of the farm work. Amy taught at #82 for one year, and went on to teach at Wood school, located on old Highway #22 south of Litchfield. She was at this school for a few years and then retired from teaching.
Merritt and Amy’s first grandchild Linda was born in July of 1948. Muriel’s mother Karen had been at the hospital when Linda was born. Karen opened up the window at the hospital, and yelled across the alley to the apartment where Merritt and Amy were, and told them about the birth of the granddaughter.
In 1964, Merritt became ill and was admitted to the hospital. One evening Phyllis and Philip, two of Merritt and Amy’s children along with Amy went to visit Merritt at the hospital, and afterward went to Phyllis and Cliff’s home. Amy had stepped out of the car, and as she stood, she fell and was herself taken to the hospital, where it was revealed that Amy had fractured her hip. Merritt passed away while Amy was hospitalized and she did not attend the funeral. Amy returned to her own home to recover from her fractured hip, with a housekeeper hired to stay with her. She was able to resume walking and stayed at home until she was no longer able to care for herself. Amy moved into the Emmaus Home, until transferring to the Bethany Home, both in Litchfield, where she lived for a few years. Amy passed away on 21 October 1972. She was the last surviving member of the Jonas Lundberg family. Amy was laid to rest in Ripley Cemetery, Litchfield, next to her husband. Amy was survived by three children, 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.