West Sweden

EAST SWEDEN, TEXAS . East Sweden, also known as New Sweden or Sweden, is just off U.S. Highway 190 and 5 miles northeast of Brady in east central McCulloch County. In the spring of 1885 Swen Leander Hurd, Carl August Johnson, and Daniel August Hurd of Round Rock inspected open land in McCulloch County, and each purchased a half section. In the fall of 1886 Swen L. Hurd moved his family to the new settlement, and in 1888 four other families arrived. Other immigrants came from Sweden in 1889, when the settlement had twelve households and about sixty-three residents. Homes were built with the help of A. M. Sanquest, a carpenter, and C. G. Thornbloom, a stonemason, of lumber brought from Brownwood by wagon. In the absence of a regular minister, Thornbloom held Lutheran Sunday services in homes and outside under the trees during summer. In 1890 J. A. Irvine, a Presbyterian minister from Mason, held services at Sweden once and sometimes twice a month. After discussion, the group decided to become Presbyterian, believing that no Lutheran minister would ever join the settlement, and in 1891 the Sweden Presbyterian Church was organized by Reverend Irvine and Dr. W. G. Little of Denison; Irvine became the full-time pastor. In 1892 landowners Swen Hurd, Carl C. Johanson, Carl Johnson, and C. G. Olson each donated an acre of land for a church school and the East Sweden Cemetery, where most early settlers were buried. Other settlers donated money and labor; the first church building was completed in 1892. In 1903 the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway built a track to the west of the settlement, and in 1912 the Santa Fe built to the east. Paul Junction was built at the intersection of the tracks.

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