Frank D. Rosendahl (First Kingsburg Swede)
Tribute by Ronald Bergman:
Frank Dittloff Rosendahl was born in Narke, Sweden, on June 5, 1843. Mr. Rosendahl received his education in the Swedish common schools and in a college in Sweden, followed by the studying of landscape gardening and surveying at a botanical garden school in Stockholm, Sweden.
At age 26 in 1869 one finds Frank Rosendahl in New York City where he is employed in Central Park as a division gardener for the next six years. In 18175 he is in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park as a gardener. Rosendahl starts his own nursery business in 1876 in Oakland, California.
In 1878 F. D. R. is in Fresno, California, working at Rodeing Park as a landscape developer, and soon is engaged in the raising of fruit in the Washington Colony (Easton); on July 28, 1875 he trades this fruit farm for 140 acres in the Kingsburg Colony where he would live and establish a nursery business . Frank D. Rosendahl has now become the first Kingsburg Swede. Rosendahl’s son Henry assumes charge of the nursery business in about 1900; Frank D. then goes into the selling of real estate, handling all kinds of property and giving his best efforts to the colonization of Kingsburg. By 1921, 94 per cent of the population of Kingsburg would be Swedish.
In 1906 FrankRosendahl is elected (another account says he was appointed by the state Gov.) to the position of Justice of the Peace, an office he was well qualified to fill; hence the name, Judge Rosendahl. One source shows that he was still judge in 1912.
While in SwedenMr. Rosendahl married... Hanna Elizabeth Wickman. Rosendahlfathered several children: Frank T. who became a rancher in the Bakersfield vicinity; Henry was a nurseryman in Turlock and in Kingsburg; he farmed as well. Fannie and Edith became school teachers in Fresno; Fannie served as a Fresno County Assistant School Superintendent for eight of nine years and Florence taught school in San Jose. By 1919 Fannie, Edith and Florence were living together in Fresno, California. Frank Rosendahl near the end of his life is living in Fresno on Mildreda Avenue with his three daughters. There are three different August 1915 dates given (15, 16, 26) for the date of his death; his remains were interred in a Fresno cemetery.
For many years F. D. R. was a staunch and energetic Republican; his record as a magistrate was in the highest degree creditable; he was one of Kingsburg’s enthusiastic boosters;he became acquainted with Andrew Erickson who in turn would introduce many of Kingsburg’s first Swedes to the Kingsburg community.
Obit from Kingsburg Recorder Sept. 3, 1915
Death claims F. D. Rosendahl
JudgeF. D. Rosendahl, pioneer of Kingsburg, justice of the peace, and honored and respected citizen, is no more. He passed away in San Francisco last week, and the remains were shipped here, arriving in Kingsburg last Friday evening. Judge Rosendahl was taken ill in Fresno about three months ago, and was later taken to San Francisco for treatment in the hope that better results might be obtained there. He has been in San Francisco for the past two months or more, and though all that human skill could do had been done for him, tired nature finally gave way and a good and worthy citizen went to his rest and reward in the fullness of years, and fully resigned to the inevitable.Throughout his final illness he was attended by his daughter, Miss Fannie. With her he talked over affairs, often expressing a wish to return to his home in Kingsburg. He was conscious throughout his illness, and full realized its probable end, but accepted it with complete resignation, and calmly discussed plans to be carried out after he had passed away, one of his often expressed wishes being that he brought back to Kingsburg, and the funeral be held here.
Funeral services which were largely attended, were held here on Sunday afternoon, at two o’clock, from the First M. E. church, the pastor, Rev. W. W. Kaler officiating. Among other things alluded to by Rev. Kaler in his funeral sermon was the loyalty to and faith in Kingsburg and the Kingsburg district throughout his long residence here that was always so marked a characteristic of the deceased, and the fact that though some may have doubted at times the correctness of his conclusions, yet time had fully vindicated his faith, and he had lived to see a full fruition of his hopes in the development of the district into a productive and prosperous community.
1880 census shows Frank Rosendahl, 36, born Sweden, Farmer, living with wife Elizabeth, 40, born Sweden, and children: Frank F., 13, born Sweden, Henry, 9, born NY; and daughters Fannie, 4, Ida, 2, and unnamed infant, allborn CA. and living in Washington Colony, Fresnocounty, CA.