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Christopher was born 6 August 1857 in Lilla Isie, Malmo, Sweden to Nils Anderson and Elna Olson. Christopher lost his mother as they were crossing the ocean. He always knew what dire poverty, hard knocks and work meant. He walked from Omaha, Nebraska to Salt Lake City, Utah at the age of nine years. When he left home to seek work, his toes protruded from his shoes, his knees from his pants, his elbows from his shirt and his hair from his hat. He worked in planning mills, mining, carpentry and invested in a mercantile business.
Amanda was the first child born in North Bend, now known Fairview, Utah. Her birth was 14 July 1864 and her parents were Augustus and Carolena Pearson Johnson who had immigrated from Sweden.
Christopher Nilsson of Monroe, Utah and Amanda Johnson, aged 19, were married in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, 30 March 1882. They lived in Monroe for 19 years.
Seeking land for their sons, in the fall of 1901 they heeded the call to come to Canada, and so with six sons and one daughter, the family moved to Raymond. Chris completed the construction of the first large home in Raymond. More children were born here, though they lost three of their young family in one year.
In this new community, Amanda sponsored educational projects, was mother to the first band in Raymond, acted as doctor and nurse to the first baby born there, and the first printing office was in her home. She took pleasure in making a good time for the lonesome pioneers, those in trouble, or bereaved, writing poems and in making life happier.
Christopher did his own surveying, farming, carpentry and blacksmithing. He built homes, furniture, cabinets and caskets. As a pioneer undertaker, he made many caskets and gave his time and materials to many people who were in need of his service. A printing press was purchased, and housed in the Nilsson home. Here the first Raymond newspaper, The Chronicle, was printed with T.O. Matheson as editor. Amanda served as a reporter, and contributed many of her articles and poems.
A school for young boys who had missed part of their early education was also started, with Lambert L. Pack as instructor. Upon completion of the courses offered, the students were enabled to enter the Knight Academy.
The first brass band in Raymond was organized in the Nilsson home, with Chris as band father, and Bill Rouse as band leader. In 1909 a concert was given in the newly constructed Opera House for the purchase of uniforms from England. This band played at celebrations locally and in neighbouring towns, and won competitions in Lethbridge and Edmonton.
Amanda also helped organize a womens club that promoted education and literature, a part of the Alberta Women's Institute basketball team in Raymond, a team that brought honour to the town. Amanda died 17 August 1940. Her parting bow to literature was reciting Kipling's "If' two hours prior to her death.
Christopher died 13 July 1943. He was often heard to say he had no need of a riding horse or a buggy as he walked whenever he wanted to go in town.
Their children are Arthur (Rhoda Ransom), Iven, Lawrence, Edgar (Lavern Sowby), June (Milford Allred), Ernest (1. Luella McMullin, 2. Ruby McMullin), Bert (Marriette Collett), Loring, Royal, Carl, Alta, Cluster (Sena Nielson), and Ada (John Ford). Several children besides their own family have lived at the Nilsson home.
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