Mr Amandus (Johan) Ekström was born 29 July 1866 in Reftele, Jönköping, Sweden.
He was the son of Johan Svensson (b. 1837), a farmer, and Brita Lisa Börjesdotter (b. 1837) and was brother to: Maria Christina (b. 1861), Janne Leander (b. 1870), twins Frederick Oskar and Karl August (b. 1874) and Emma Lovisa (b. 1878).
Amandus, better known as Johan (or John in America) emigrated around 1889 and settled in South Dakota where he purchased a farm with his brother Oskar. His sister Emma Swanberg lived in New Jersey and his sister Maria Larson lived at 165 Chatham Street, New Haven, Connecticut.
He was married in Carver, Minnesota on 5 February 1894 to Annie Cecilia Larsson (b. 1874), a Minnesotan of Swedish parentage. The couple went on to have seven children: Edgar Oscar (1894-1921), twins Lillie Marie (1898-1977) and Lulu (1898-1898), Myrtle Carolina (1900-1966, later Mrs Helmer Newman Eide), Robert Clarence (1902-1941), Mabel Concordia (1908-1991, later Mrs Carl Hawkinson) and Bernard Victor (1909-1985). The 1900 census shows Johan and his family living in Effington, Roberts County, South Dakota and on the 1910 census in Hart, Roberts County.
Johan's mother Brita died on 6 February 1912 and he hastened back across the Atlantic to fetch his elderly father Johan and bring him back to America. Father and son boarded the Titanic at Southampton as third class passengers (he on ticket number 347061 which cost £6, 19s, 6d). Both men died in the sinking and their bodies, if recovered, were never identified.
Johan's widow Annie never remarried. She remained in Roberts County, South Dakota and died there on 3 March 1949 aged 74. She was buried in Walla Church Cemetery, New Effington in Roberts County. His eldest son Edgar later joined the US Navy but was lost at sea in 1921. His last surviving child, his daughter Mabel, died in Hennepin, Minnesota on 1 February 1991 aged 82.
References and Sources
Claes-Göran Wetterholm (1988, 1996, 1999) Titanic. Prisma, Stockholm. ISBN 91 518 3644 0
Gavin Bell, UK
Leif Snellman, Finland
Articles and Stories
Newark Evening News (1912)