Death of Aven Christopherson
Published in Kendall County Record, March 22, 1883
To The Editor:
The veterans of the old 36th Regiment are surely but slowly disappearing from the great battle of life. Their annual reunions will be smaller each succeeding year. It is only a question of time when not one will be left to recount their hardships, their battles, and their victories. One of their member, surrounded by the comforts of a happy home at Newark, and hoping to remain among us for perhaps years to come, has just encountered the common enemy of us all. After a short, sharp struggle, he has passed from human sight through the dark valley of the shadow of death. His devoted wife, his aging parents, and a number of friends were by his side but they were powerless to stay the hand of the destroyer. Aven Christopherson of Company F, will no more attend the annual reunions, for his spirit has fled, and his body has been laid to rest.
Aven Christopherson was born near Stavanger, Norway, January 18, 1834. He came to America in 1856. He worked as farm hand and occasionally attended the district school at Norway village, LaSalle County.
He enlisted in Company F, 36th Illinois Infantry Regiment August 16. 1861. He was in poor health most of the while in the army. He was slightly wounded at Pea Ridge. He was captured by the rebels May 27, 1864 while out with a foraging party near Dallas, Georgia. He experienced the horrors of Andersonville for about three months. In company with Charles F. Sweetland he there witnessed the hanging of six Union solders by their comrades, July 11, 1864, for the murder of fellow prisoners. In September he was transferred to the prison at Florence, SC. While there he was exchanged the following December, having served the rebels as a prisoner for six months and ten days. His health was now badly shattered and he came home to remain.
He was married September 25, 1866, to Anna Maria Olesdatter. Their wedded life was exceedingly happy. They came to be in excellent worldly circumstances, but the health that was lost in the prison pens of the south was never regained. In the year 1881, Mr. Christopherson sold his farm near Morris, and came to Newark to reside. He hoped to improve his health but to no avail. His final illness lasted two nights and one day. He expired on Tuesday morning, the 6th. His widow and his aged parents remain.
The funeral services occurred on Thursday, the 9th. Prayer and remarks were offered at the residence, in the Scandinavian tongue by the Reverend Peter A. Rasmussen. Prayer was also offered in English by the Reverend C. H. Hoffman. The procession then formed and made its way to the Lutheran church near Lisbon where the services were concluded and where burial took place. The pallbearers were members of the old 36th.
During the brief residence of Mr. and Mrs. Christopherson at Newark, their sociability and general manners won them many friends. The stricken family is not without our deepest sympathy in this their almost unbearable affliction.
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