Encyclopedia Titanica

Oskar Arvid Hedman

Oskar Arvid Hedman
Oskar Arvid Hedman

Mr Oscar Hedman, 27, was born in Umeå, 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 a 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 "Women's 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 practised for many years, albeit in an unlicensed 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 a citation for practising without a licence. In 1925 (another source says 1920), they settled in Onida, South Dakota, where Oscar practised 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.


  1. 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.

References and Sources

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[279])
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

Newspaper Articles

Oscar Hetman of Bauman Pulls away from Sinking Ship in Last Craft to Leave
Thrilling Experience of Oscar Hedman
Returning from Norway with emigrants
Chicago Tribune (26 April 1912) Others Arrive Destitute
Chicago Daily Tribune (26 April 1912) PLEA FOR TITANIC ARRIVALS
Girl Immigrants Here Get Only Nightgowns in New York
(9 May 1912) A Titanic Survivor
Oscar Hedman reaches Bowman after a most exciting voyage
Onida Watchman (3 August 1961) OSCAR HEDMAN

Documents and Certificates

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Comment and discuss

  1. Jerry Ganfield

    Jerry Ganfield

    My family knew one of the survivors, Oscar Hedman, who was our neighbor in Onida, SD and was a practicing Swedish masseur and a afficiondo of American large game hunting. He and his wife, Tillie, were very interesting and kindly friends until their deaths in the late 50s and early 60s. About 1948 they became members of the Presbyterian Church of Onida, where my father was pastor. Jerry Ganfield Owatonna, MN

  2. John Lumley

    John Lumley

    I am researching an artifact given to my mother in 1920,by a Dr. Oscar Hedman, a survivor,in Onida S.D. Both my mother and father new him quite well having been born in Onida. The object is a bronze Scottish Terrier. The story that my mother relayed to me was that he purchased this item while onboard and was in his coat pocket when he jumped into a lifeboat. Is it possible to find a detailed list that might include descriptions of items?. The cargo manifest is very vague. Also I'm new to computers and having much trouble asking for help. If anyone could point me in the right direction I would... Read full post

  3. FAR Movies

    good article. Thanks

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr Oskar Arvid Hedman
Age: 27 years 9 months and 10 days (Male)
Nationality: Swedish American
Last Residence: in Ragunda, Sweden
Occupation: Settler Recruiter
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 347089, £6 19s 6d
Rescued (boat 15)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Friday 28th July 1961 aged 77 years
Cause of Death:
Buried: Onida Cemetery, Onida, South Dakota, United States

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