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.
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
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...
good article. Thanks