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Catalog Number M-0004
Object Name File, Document
Collection Personal Collections
Title Axel Anderson Papers
Year Range from 1888
Year Range to 1983
Scope & Content This collection is comprised of documents of Axel Anderson, a Swedish immigrant who settled in Minnesota and spent his career working in restaurants in Minneapolis. Collection includes personal and official documents, photographs, correspondence, and keepsakes kept by Anderson documenting his life and his family. There are also materials that document Axel's work in Schiek's restaurant and in his own restaurant, Axel's Lunch Room. Finally, there are materials documenting the lives of his daughter, Arlene (Anderson) Mabel and other relatives.
Biographical Information Axel Anderson was born in Värmland, Sweden in 1874 and came to the United States with his mother in 1888. They located in Grove City, Minnesota, where the Redlund family had a farm where Axel worked for a time. Axel moved to Minneapolis in 1900 to work in a restaurant (Schiek's) that two of the Redlund brothers had established; he learned about running a restaurant by working at Schiek's.
In 1911 Axel left Schiek's to open his own restaurant, "Axel's Lunch Room" near the Milwaukee RR ships; in addition to the Lunch Room he prepared and served food for the workers of the Milwaukee RR Ships. Axel's Lunch Room prospered during World War I and Axel built a house with the money. After WWI, however, business declined as the RR cut the number of workers. Axel had to sell the house for money to keep the Lunch Room open, and his family moved into the second floor rooms.
Axel lost the Lunch Room in 1929 and went back to waiting tables at Scheik's in 1932. The Depression was very difficult for the family, and on Saturdays Arlene (Axel's daughter) worked in the C. Thomas Grocery store from 25 cents an hour to help the family. In 1933 the Beer and Wine Revenue act was passed and restaurants like Schiek's prospered.
Axel's wife Ellen died in 1933, and in 1949 Axel moved to Sherman Oaks, California to live with his daughter Arlene (Anderson) Mendel and her family. He died in 1954 and was buried in Lakewood Cemetery alongside his wife.
People Anderson, Axel, 1874-1954.
Anderson, Ellen.
Johnson, Ruth Nelson.
Mendel, Arlene Anderson.
Nelson, Evelina.
Series in Collection Collection is arranged in 3 series; folder names listed in parenthesis.

1. Axel Anderson's Documents (Address Books; Church Documents; Correspondence; Fraternal Order of Eagles; Financial Records Related to House; Funeral; Official Legal Documents; Photographs of Axel Anderson alone; Photographs of Axel Anderson in groups; Photographs of Ellen Anderson; Photographs of Honeymoon; Union Materials; Photograph Album; Swedish Catechism; Wallets and Account Books)

2. Minneapolis Restaurants (J. P. Scott Dinners; Photographs of Axel's Lunch Room; Schiek's Cafe; Axel's Lunch Room Check Book)

3. Relatives and Descendants (Arlene (Anderson) Mendel; Evelina Nelson; Ruth (Nelson) Johnson Christmas Newsletters; Ruth (Nelson) Johnson "On Three Continents"; Various Individuals)
Physical Dimensions 1.25 linear feet (1 archives box and one flat storage box)
Copyrights Copyright for this collection is held by the American Swedish Institute. Staff will provide photocopies of collection materials for personal use at researcher's expense. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce materials must be secured in writing from the American Swedish Institute.
Search Terms Minneapolis
Värmland
Sherman Oaks
California
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