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GACA Collection 442. Office of the President. Collection of President Matthias Wahlstrom, 1879-1948: Overview

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Collection Description

Office of the President.  Collection of President Matthias Wahlstrom, 1879-1948.  GACA Collection 442.  1 Records Center Carton, 1 Hollinger box, and 1 flat box.

The President Matthias Wahlstrom collection consists mostly of correspondence.  While the majority of correspondence was received by Wahlstrom, letters written by him are also included.  Also, this collection contains articles and clippings, writings by Wahlstrom including a diary, and scrapbooks.  Wahlstrom was president of Gustavus Adolphus College from 1881-1904.  An inventory to the correspondence is included at the end of this finding aid.

Biographical Note

Matthias Wahlstrom was born 28 November 1851 in Gammalstorp, Blekinge, Sweden and immigrated to the United States in 1854, settling in southern Minnesota.  Wahlstrom studied at St. Ansgar’s Academy in Carver County, Minnesota for a short time, before enrolling at Augustana College, Paxton, Illinois, in 1871, graduating in 1877.  Following attendance at Augustana Theological Seminary, Rock Island, Illinois, he was ordained 22 June 1879 in the Immanuel Church, Chicago, Illinois.

Wahlstrom accepted a call by the Mission Board to become a missionary to Indian Territory.  From 1879-80 he pastored Augustana Church, Denver, Colorado, while performing missionary work among the Native Americans in Colorado, New Mexico, and Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma).

In 1880, Wahlstrom accepted a call to be a professor at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.  He was elected interim president for 1881-82, and president from 1882-1904.  In 1901 Wahlstrom received the Order of the North Star from the King of Sweden, as a representative Swedish American who was an honor to both Sweden and America.  After leaving Gustavus, Wahlstrom served as superintendent of Augustana Hospital in Chicago, Illinois until his death on 21 April 1923.

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