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Funeral of Lieut F L Hammerstrand, Renville County Journal, 11-8-1918

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The funeral services of Lieut. Frank L. Hammerstrand were held Thursday afternoon, Oct. 24 at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew G. Hammerstrand, on South Washington Street. A quartette composed of Misses Edna Larson and Anna Lundeen and Messrs. Fred Anderson and Austin Lawrence sang “Rock of Ages” by Thomas Hastings. Miss Agnes Laurence accompanied on the piano.

Rev. A. P. Westerberg of the Lutheran church read David’s Psalm 130 and offered prayer, whereupon Rev. Birger Nelson, pastor of the English Lutheran Church of Rankin, of which church the mourning family had been members many years and where several of the family are still members; delivered a well prepared address on the theme, “I Have Fought the Good Fight,” using as his text 2 Tim. 4:7. Rev. Nelson made several references to Lieut. Hammerstrand’s student and professional life, which he knew so well, that illustrated in a striking manner the theme and the thought. The quartette sang “America” by Samuel Francis Smith, and Rev. Westerberg preached in the Swedish language using for his text Matt. 11:26, “Yea, Father, for so it was well pleasing in thy sight.” After the sermon Rev. Westerberg read the following.


Lieut. Frank Gustaf Leonard Hammerstrand was born on a farm northeast of Rankin, Ill., October 11, 1881. He was confirmed in the Lutheran church at Paxton, Ill., May 16, 1897. He began studying at Augustana College in 1898 and graduated from the commercial department. After having held several positions he returned to Augustana and studied in the college of liberal arts until he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Chicago, where he graduated in 1909. He spent two years doing hospital work and took up the practice of medicine in Sacred Heart, Minn., in 1911. There he had a large practice and made an unnumbered host of friends who admired and loved their physician, as the tributes therefrom testify.

Dr. Hammerstrand had recently built a new and beautiful residence in Sacred Heart, and this very day, the twenty-fourth of October, his birthday, had long since been selected as the day on which he would lead his bride-elect to the altar and immediately thereupon settle in their cozy home. But the draft age limits were widened all present plans canceled, the wedding postponed until after the war, and the doctor enlisted in the United States army, ranking First Lieutenant. About a week before his death he received a message from his brother, Private Harry Hammerstrand, that the latter was very ill with Spanish Influenza. The lieutenant immediately started from New York, where he brother was a patient in a base hospital. Evidently Lieut. Hammerstrand was fatigued and overworked when leaving for his brother’s bedside, and when coming to the hospital he was unable to be with his brother but a few minutes and he himself had to be taken to bed as a patient.

A week ago today Mr. A. G. Hammerstrand received a telegram that both of his sons were seriously ill. The following morning the father and his daughter Laura started for New York, arriving there last Saturday, and came to the besides of Frank and Harry shortly before the former’s demise. Whether Frank was sufficiently conscious to realize his father’s and sister’s presence could not be ascertained. For a moment it seemed that he recognized his father, for he lifted his eyes and it seemed that he endeavored to whisper “father.” At 4:30 p.m. Saturday, October 19, he died in the Hospital Aviation Depot, Garden City, L.I., at the age of 37 years and 8 days.

He leaves to mourn him his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew G. Hammerstrand, of Paxton; four sisters and two brothers – Miss Mattied Hammerstrand, a Red Cross nurse in France; Mrs. Herman Bloomstrand, of Clarence, Mrs. Carl A. Martinson, of Paxton, whose husband is in the United States Navy; Miss Laura Hammerstrand, at home with her parents; Claude Hammerstrand of Rankin, and Private Harry Hammerstrand, still very sick in a U. S. Base Hospital in New York; also many other relatives near and far, who, with hosts of friends, mourn the loss of a dear kin and friend. We would especially mention among those who are grief-stricken the betrothed bride, Miss Otelia Torbenson, of St. Paul, Minn.

It is a strange coincidence that Pastor Birger Nelson of Rankin and myself, both of us classmates, should conduct the funeral rites of this honored servant of God, our country and humanity, whose schoolmates we were and knew so well at college, While at Augustana College Frank Hammerstrand was known for his Godly life and faithfulness. We knew him as a studious and trustworthy young man, living quietly and modestly amongst his companions. Though kind and friendly to all, having agreeable and sociable manners, he had no desire to sport away his time or to take part in the many socil functions. For this reason he succeeded so well at school for at Augustana only the fittest in studies survivie in examinations, and for this reason, too, he made such advances in his chosen calling.

And now he has won the victory and gone to his reward – your son and brother and love, our comrade, friend and schoolmate. May he rest in peace until the coming again of Jesus Christ, the Risen one, who shall reward everyone according to His many mercies.

“He shall enter into peace: They shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.” (Isa. 57:12.)

The evening before the funeral Rev. Westerberg received by special delivery a set of resolutions from the Church Board of the Swedish Lutheran Ebenezar Church of Sacred Heart, Minn., of which church Lieut. Hammerstrand was a member at the time of his death. Rev. H. O. Hemming of Sacred Heart, the pastor of the deceased, sent the resolutions, which were drafted in the Swedish language. The following is a free translation of them. Both the original and the translation were read at the funeral:

Resolutions of Condolence

Where-as, it has pleased the Lord to so unexpectedly call to His eternal rest Dr. F. L. Hammerstrand from his assiduous labors of mitigating the sufferings of humanity.

Be it therefore resolved:

  1. That the Board expresses its deep sympathy with the nearest relatives, who have lost a beloved son and brother, and urge them not to sorrow as those who have no hope; for the deceased trusted in Jesus as his Savior, labored faithfully within his territory for the welfare of his fellowmen and was a good member of the church as becomes a Christian;
  2. That, although in Dr. Hammerstrand’s untimely death you have sustained an irreparable loss and we have lost an efficient physician and beloved church member, we humbly submit ourselves to God’s wise Counsels of Love and thank the Lord for what our departed brother has accomplished amoung us, and we also hope for a blessed reunion in the Land of the Living.

The Board of the Ebenezar Church, Sacred Heart, Minn.

After these resolutions were read, the following telegram of sympathy which is a tribute from the citizens of Sacred Heart, Minn., to the honor and memory of Dr. Hammerstrand, was read:

Sacred Heart, Minn., Oct. 21, ’18. “Rev. A. P. Westerberg, 554 E. Orleans St., Paxton, Ill.:

“In behalf of the citizens of Sacred Heart and vicinity we desire to express our deepest sympathy with the near relatives of Dr. F. L. Hammerstrand, who died so unexpectedly. His death is a great loss to us all. He proved himself an efficient doctor, a good citizen and a benefactor to suffering mankind, being loved by all. May his reward be everlasting bliss among the saints in heaven.

“G. P. Mangerud, Mayor,

“H. O. Hemming, Pastor of Swedish Lutheran Church.”

The services at the house were closed with a song by the quartette, “My Jesus as Thou Wilt,” by Benjamin Schmolke, and the benediction by the pastor. The services at the grave were conducted by Rev. Westerberg, assisted by Rev. Birgir Nelson.

Company F, I. N. G., members under command of Lieut. Clarence Larson, served as pall bearers and furnished the firing squad and trumpeter. The ball bearers were Judd Moore, Ivis Atwood, Elmer Brunton, Lawrence Miller, Arvid Anderson, and Albert Ostlund. The firing squad was composed of Lester Johnson, Carl Nordquist, Fletcher Cole, Gerald Warner, Arvid Peterson and Chester Gowdy. George Burkhard acted as trumpeter. The flowere carriers were Misses Grace Larson, Evelyn Swanson, Frances Anderson, Hazil Lindell, Gertruded Anderson and Edna Anderson. – Paxton (Ill.) Daily Record.