Mr Oscar Hedman, 27, was born in Umca, Sweden on 5 July 1884 the son of Gustav Hedman. He had three brothers and two sisters. In 1905 he emigrated to the USA settling in Beach, North Dakota.
In Hedman 1911 was living in Bowman, North Dakota where he was employed at the Carter Hotel as well as running automobiles for the Western Land Securities company, Obert A. Olson and others. He personally owned land about a mile from the town. Hedman is also recorded as living at 414 West First St. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In 1912 he was employed by the Land firm (?real estate) J.P. Rodgers & Co., in St Paul Minnesota. He worked as a "settler recruiter" i.e. someone sent by a US state to recruit migrant workers, in this case probably the "land firm."
Hedman boarded the Titanic at Southampton and led a group of 17 migrants, few of whom could speak English. The group included among others Berta Nilsson, Hilda Hellström and Oscar Leander Johansson.
Hedman shared cabin with Malcolm Johnson whom he called "Sever". In the crowd on the way up to the deck they lost contact with each other but Johansson found a lifebelt for himself. Hedman threw himself into a lifeboat in the last second. He told later that he had thought to himself: "If they are going to shoot me I'll just die faster" It is not clear what lifeboat it was but it was probably 15. Contemporary newspaper reports give sharply conflicting accounts of his escape.
The "Womens Relief Committee" in New York gave him $10. While in New York he sent a telegram to his employer to send money for the trip to St Paul and the money received was enough to enable Anna Sjöblom and Carl Olof Jansson to take the same train. Berta Nilsson was also in the group.
On 7 November 1912 Hedman married Julia Mathilda "Tillie" Anderson.
Sometime during his residence in North Dakota Oscar began to train as an osteopath or chiropractor. It is unclear whether he ever completed his training but he practiced for many years, albeit in an unlicenced capacity, and was known to locals as "Doc." However, because he never officially registered he and his wife sometimes had to move from town to town to avoid citation for practicing without a licence. In 1925 (another source says 1920), they settled in Onida, South Dakota, where Oscar practiced for almost 40 years.
Mr and Mrs Hedman had no children. Oscar Hedman died in Onida, South Dakota 28 July 1961. Julia Mathilda Hedman died in 1965.
At the same time as Hedman an Swedish-American, whose name also was Hedman, announced in Gothenburg that he would travel with the Titanic. He took another ship, but for some time it was unclear which person was which.
The Bowman Citizen (North Dakota), 25 April 1912
Bowman County Pioneer (North Dakota), 25 April 1912, p. 1, p.6.
Bowman County Pioneer (North Dakota), 9 May 1912
Onida Watchman (South Dakota), 3 August 1961
South Dakota Argus Leader, 13 January 1998
State of South Dakota Certificate of Death
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigration Officer At Port Of Arrival (Date: 18th-19th June 1912, Ship: Carpathia) - National Archives, NWCTB 85 T715 Vol 4183
Claes-Göran Wetterholm (1988, 1996, 1999) Titanic. Prisma, Stockholm. ISBN 91 518 3644 0
Claes-Göran Wetterholm, Sweden
Ronald Ericson, USA
Phillip Gowan, USA
Fred Lehmann, USA
Leif Snellman, Finland
Homer Thiel, USA
Articles and Stories
Chicago Tribune (1912)
Chicago Daily Tribune (1912)
Bowman County Pioneer (North Dakota) (1912)
Chicago Tribune (1912)