Thursday, December 15, 2011

SweAme User Recognition Award

As a wrap on the year 2011 SweAme User Recognition Awards, the SweAme Board of Directors issues a very special award to illustrate their sincere appreciation to Arnold Peterson, Round Rock, Texas for his major contribution to the Swedish America Heritage Online website.

This User Recognition Award is intended to recognize specific individuals such as Arnold, who has demonstrated a major desire to research, document, preserve and share our Swedish America heritage.  Arnold has accomplished this by submitting a significant amount of data and photos of Swedish Americans and their descendants, who primarily lived in the Stamford, Texas (Ericksdahl) and the Central Texas communities of Williamson and Travis counties.

If this were the Hollywood Oscars, this award would be called a “Life Time Achievement” award.   Within a month of our original Swedes-In-Texas (now SweAme, ) website going online in May, 2007, Arnold registered for a user account.  During these past 4 ½ years Arnold has submitted 2,464 images of individuals, families, headstones and obituaries.  One of his contributions is a special favorite of mine - a step by step process for making his famous Swedish cheesecake dessert - “ostakaka” (OOS-tah-kah-kah) .  See:  Arnold's Ostakaka.  Arnold uses a recipe by Mrs. Eric (Martha Olson) Rosenquist who lived in Jones County, Texas. 

Of course, Arnold did not take all those pictures himself, but besides being very capable on the computer and using a scanner, he is also an accomplished photographer.  You should see his picture of the famous “round rock” in the middle of Brushy Creek as the spring-fed waters meander through the city of Round Rock, Texas.  This same Brushy Creek also flows quietly past Arnold’s back yard.   In addition to enjoying being with family and friends, Arnold enjoys collecting stuff, in particular, antique oil lamps.  This passion has held his attention for many years and has now filled part of his basement with over 200 oil burners.

Arnold lives in Round Rock with his wife Wilma and they will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on the 22nd of December, 2011.  Arnold is no “spring chicken” like most of us, well, some of us.  But, his desire and passion to help in the documentation of our Swedish American heritage is stronger than most of us.  Wilma has told me that she really appreciates the website as it gives Arnold something to do and keeps him out of her hair. 

Carl Arnold Peterson was born in Stamford, Jones County, Texas on March 20, 1927 to Carl Henry Peterson and Bernice (Swenson) Peterson. His parents were farmers, raising cotton, milo and cattle. He attended a rural elementary school, Pleasant Valley and graduated from Stamford High School in 1944.  

After high school he joined the U.S. Army on September 18, 1945 (just a couple weeks following the surrender of Japan), and was assigned to the 9th Army Signal Corps, stationed at Sendai, Honshu Island, Japan.  He served with the 62nd Signal Detachment, which included the time in Japan, as a radio repairman.  After his discharge from the military on February 6, 1947, he returned to Stamford where he helped his father with the farming operation for two years.  In the spring of 1949 he entered Texas Lutheran College at Seguin, Texas where he majored in physical education and minored in mathematics. While at Texas Lutheran College he met his future wife, Wilma Kaiser. They were married on December 22, 1951.  After graduation they moved to Round Rock, Texas in the fall of 1953, where they were employed to teach school.  Arnold taught high school mathematics for 17 years.  After two years as principal of Pond Springs Elementary School, he became assistant superintendent in charge of transportation and maintenance. The remainder of his tenure he served as Director of Transportation. He retired at the end of June, 1987.   Arnold earned his Master of ED degree at the University of Texas. He also studied one summer at the University of Maine and two summers at the University of Delaware.  

Arnold also served one term on the Round Rock City Council.  He has also served on the Palm Valley Lutheran Church Council, where he has been a member since 1953.

It has been a great honor to present this significant recognition to Arnold.  He has been a hard driver and has been very persistent in preserving online his large collection of family data and pictures.

Thank you very much Arnold for your outstanding effort in helping document our common Swedish American heritage in “Words and Pictures” for future generations.

You can offer your congratulations and comments to Arnold by sending a note:

Learn more about Arnold, his family and his Swedish ancestors at:   Carl Arnold Peterson

(Note:  You will need to be a SweAme website Registered User and logged in to view the information about a living person as provided by the above LINK.)

1 comment:

  1. Arnold Peterson has called me to help in the research of my biological grandparents and family- Ed and Anna Belle Axell. He is very knowledgeable and generous with his knowledge of Swedes in America.