As a third generation Swedish immigrant homesteader in Kearney County, a UNL graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering, a U.S. Navy WWII veteran, father of four, grandfather of 14, and great-grandfather of more than 20, Roland Nyquist has nearly 100 years of stories, memories, and wisdom to share with those lucky enough to have the time for a visit.
Roland was born in Axtell on June 2, 1921 to Charles and Hannah (Broman) Nyquist. He had one brother, Leroy, and two sisters, Isabelle and Doris. He was raised on the family farm north of Axtell about half a mile south of where his paternal grandfather, Peter Nyquist, homesteaded. Roland is proud of his Scandinavian heritage. Both his paternal and maternal grandparents homesteaded in Kearney County. His maternal grandfather, Carl Gustaf Broman, homesteaded just east of Axtell and part of that land was annexed into Axtell as the Broman Edition.
“I was infatuated with my maternal grandfather. He told me a lot of family history before I started country school. He told it to me with a little Swedish mixed in when he couldn’t think of the right word in English,” Roland recalled. “Both of my grandfathers never had any other residence in their lives other than Kearney County Nebraska. My paternal grandfather migrated all the way from the farm into Axtell, that’s about as far as he moved. And my dad was the same way.”
see May 26 Courier for full story