Thursday, June 19, 2014

Return To Sweden, Part 17

This 17th installment update submitted by David Anderson documents an interesting reason for the need of a visit to the little village of Husby.
If you missed the near real time trip updates webpage, go to Trip Highlights .  Editor
June 18, 2014, Friday

I had several goals in mind today when I set out by myself to explore my ancestral home area.  Husby, was at the top of the list.  Husby is a small sleepy village on the banks on the wide Dalälven river not too far from Hedemora, It is no longer on the main road from Hedemora to Borlänge.  One of my ancestral families lived here for a brief 4 year period from 1779 to 1783 before he ultimately moved south to Hedemora.  None of my direct ancestors were born here, but an aunt was.  So, why was Husby so important to visit? 

I have been collecting information on Swedes in Oregon to the SweAme website for a while now.  A year or so ago, I was going thru prisoner records from the Oregon State Penitentiary looking for people who claim to be born in Sweden, extracting data for those and copying their booking photos if there are any left in the files. I call this select group of gentlemen, my “penpals”. 

One person I came across was from Portland, was prisoner 8289, one Anders Albert Ausplund, a Physician, who had been sent to the Pen for murder.  That caught my attention. 

What is a good Doctor doing getting charged with murder?  That sent me on a tangent, that still continues, to find out more.  Long story, short, the Doctor seems to have been a real Dr. Jekyll, Mr Hyde personality.  He did a lot of good helping people, but he also had a very dark side.  He had been sent to the Pen on charges of murder of a girl, who it turned out was engaged to be married and was pregnant. She died on Dr. Ausplund’s operating table from complications from an abortion.  After Dr. Ausplund had finished his sentence he was to be returned to Sweden. 

The girl’s fiancé came forward and said that no, the Doctor wasn’t the one who performed the abortion, it was a self- induced abortion gone bad.  That his fiancé didn’t want to be pregnant when they were married, and she had taken steps to terminate the pregnancy.  Things had gone badly and she went to the Doctor to try and get things patched up. 

Oregon’s governor at the time came to the rescue of the good Doctor, and issued a pardon and all things were bright and sunny again.  But, wait, not so fast.  Mr Hyde was always there lurking and waiting and popping up at all the wrong times.  There were marriages and divorces, even a duel with another Doctor over perceived insults.  There was even the death of his son who was saving a niece from drowning in the Columbia River.  There was the death of a younger brother who was also studying to be a dentist in Colorado, and a run-in with a neighbor in Hood River.

This is the material tragic Operas are written about.  And, if I could write one in Swedish I would be doing it. 

And on the farm Aspåker, in the parish of Husby, on the banks of the wide Dalälven is where it all began for Anders Albert Ausplund on 29 December 1866.
Read more about  Dr. Ausplund here.
David Anderson

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