The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship


Clarence Hedbloom Oral History


Media is loading

Document Type


Publication Date



Biographical Information:

Clarence J. Hedblom was born on May 2, 1902, in Calumet Michigan, where he resided for the first six years of his life, then moved with his family to Freedhem, Minnesota. Hedblom attended grade school in Freedhem but dropped out after completing 8th grade. Afterwards he studied at the University of Minnesota’s School of Agriculture. He later worked simultaneously as an auctioneer, insurance agent, and dairy farmer. Alongside his wife Gertrude Swanson, Hedblom raised two daughters and later welcomed two granddaughters. He passed on June 17, 1989 and buried in the Freedhem Lutheran Cemetery.

Transcript Summary:

In an interview conducted on May 15, 1978, Clarence Hedblom discussed his life, the lives of his family members and neighbors, and the history of the communities that he resided in during his life. Hedblom noted the importance of his Swedish heritage, stating that he was raised in a bilingual English and Swedish speaking household by his American mother and Swedish immigrant father. Likewise, Hedblom acknowledged the predominantly Swedish background of many of Freedhem’s original inhabitants, but also noted how the demographics of the town gradually changed over time, as it experienced an influx of German and Polish people throughout much of the early 20th century. Hedblom also emphasized the difficulty of living through the tumultuous years of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, and that American participation in World War II helped to spur economic recovery, both in small communities like Freedhem and throughout the country in its entirety.

Interview conducted by Cal Gower and John LeDoux


Image ID: 13657

See additional files below for full transcript.

13657_transcript.pdf (204 kB)
Clarence Hedblom oral history interview transcript

This document is currently not available here.