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Hugo Bergström

Hugo was born on August 5 1882 in the village of Vretstorp in Viby parish, Örebro county. He was the second child to the Innkeeper of Vretstorps Inn, Karl Johansson and his wife Augusta, born Bergström. He was baptised to the names Karl Evald Hugo and was called Hugo.

The year before, 1881, his older brother Evald was born. He died after only three weeks. In 1885 his younger brother Gunnar was born. In the same year his mother Augusta died only 25 years old.

His father then took the boys to Stockholm, where Hugos Uncle on his mothers side, Evald Bergström, lived. Hugo was left with his Uncle, who that year was 22 years old and had just married Maria Liljeblad.

Hugo stayed with his Uncle Evald and his family and he grew up within the family. His Uncle had three children of his own, of whom the two first died very young. The third, the daughter Greta, was born in 1888 and died, 12 years old, in 1900.

Hugo and Greta ca 1890

His Uncle Evald worked his whole life for the silk weaving-mill Casparsson o Schmidt as their bookkeeper and worked there until he was 55 years old, when he retired. He was the owner of some houses in Stockholm, among them Kungsgatan 80 and Hantverkargatan 32 . After being sick for many years he died in 1924. Aunt Maria died in 1926.

The family lived at first at address Hornsgatan 54 but moved later to the addresses Flemminggatan 11, 16a and 17. After
some years they had better economy and could afford to rent summerhouses in the Stockholm area. First some houses
in Karlberg, in the city of Solna, later in the Stockholm archipelago. From 1890 they rented summerhouses on the island of Norra Langö, first the house Granknuten, later Trädgardsvillan and then Märteberg.

At an age of six Hugo began school in Kungsholms Läroverk for girls. In 1892 he changed to the school Jacobs Allmanna Laroverk. He did not like school very much, so to be able to leave school early, he joined the sail training ship "Abraham Rydberg" at an age of 15, in 1897.

When he, on September 1 1897, came home from the sailing trip with "Abraham Rydberg" he tried to find himself a job. He got his first job as an errend-boy for the "Swedish Industry and Commerce Chamber". The job lasted for three months.

During this period the family Bergstrom had man inherented, the iron-merchant Wikman. He offered Hugo a job in his business. Hugo stared working for the Company Wikman o Wiklund, at the address Flemmingatan 17, on December 15 1897. This was the start for Hugo in the iron-merchant business.

In 1897, also Gunnar came to his Uncle in Stockholm. He continued his school in Stockholm. He went to sea for a period but returned and worked later as an engineer.

Hugo took the familyname Bergström, after his mother and his Uncle, at the time of his confirmation in Klara church, on May 1 1898. His brother Gunnar also changed his familyname to Bergström.

At an age of 17, in the year 1900, he met his wife to be, Edith Wahlström. They met while both were out skating on the lake Nybroviken in Stockholm. They were engaged on January 25 1906 and later married in Kungsholmens church in Stockholm, on October 30 1910.

In 1902 Hugo did his military service in the city of Vaxholm just outside Stockholm. He was trained for air ballon observation. The same year the family rented a summerhouse in Lindalssundet and two years later at Marteberg on the island Norra Langö which they also bought in 1919.

In October 1903 he moved to Göteborg, but returned to the family on December 30 the same year.

In 1905 he opened his own hardware business in his Uncles house on the address Kungsgatan 80. He had it until 1910, as he sold it to Wikman o Wiklund. He began, for the second time, to work for that company.

Hugo Bergströms Jern Affär at Kungsgatan 80 in Stockholm.
Click photo to enlarge! [Map]

Photos of the building 100 years later in 2006. Photo 1, Photo 2.

He worked for Wikman o Wiklund until October 1917. After that he worked two years for The Swedish Engine Company as Organization Manager. In 1919 he got a job at Testors Factory as Organization Manager. He worked there until the spring of 1920.

After a short period, and the third time, for Wikman o Wiklund, he worked for Vilhelm Bonneviér & Co. and later for Stockholms Köpmannaförening.

In December 1923 Hugo once again wanted to run his own business. He bought an Hardware Store in the small village of Gensta, 100 kilometers west of Stockholm. The family moved to Gnesta on April 1 1924. They lived in Gnesta for four years.

On October 1 1928 they moved to the city of Södertälje where Hugo bought another Hardware Store. In Sodertalje he also owned Vedcentralen and for a short period Maurds Hardware Store. He sold all his business in Södertälje, among them the Hardware Store Nillson & Luthman, in 1942. The store in Gnesta was sold in 1933. After 1942 he was hired as a consultant of the Swedish Hardware Association.

Hugo was a fan of AIK and in his youth he wa a member of AIK´s skijumpin section and trained in Fiskartorpets in Stockholm. [AIK]  

During the years in Södertälje he was a member of Odd Fellow and he also supported the lokal scout organisation.

The years before he sold the business in Södertälje, the family had moved back to Stockholm. On October 1 1939 they had moved to the address Jacob Westinsgatan 1 in Kungsholmens congregation. Later he moved with his wife Edith to the address S:t Eriksgatan 98 in Matteus congregation. At that address they lived for the rest of their lives.

Hugo died, 80 years old, at the hospital Sofia Hemmet in Stockholm on March 25 1963. He had at that time been a widdower for one year.

Postcards written by Hugo the years 1902-1909.

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Copyright © Håkan Bergström, Latest update 2011-12-29