Hans Christian Heg's Immigrants

1368 Words 5 Pages
Hans Christian Heg: A True Scandinavian-American During Scandinavian immigration to America, many Scandinavians arrived in uncertain of what they would accomplish but far surpassed their own expectations and set examples of successful assimilation into American culture. Assimilating into American culture was no easy task. For the majority of Scandinavians who left their home, their hope was to escape hardships and start a new life without religious discrimination, harvests that were sufficient to feed themselves and their family and earn enough money to get out of debt. Depending on when and where an immigrant chose to settle, these factors may or may not have been possible. The sooner they immigrated, the better off they tended to be. For …show more content…
Luckily for Hans and his family, their property in Lier sold for an incredible value that allowed the family to leave with considerable funds (Blegen, 141). The Heg’s financial situation upon departure from Norway was not typical of that for many other emigrants during that time. Many immigrants required loans from family or the bank or an early receiving of inheritance. Suffice to say, the Heg’s were extremely fortunate to have sold their land for a profit. After an eleven-week journey, Hans and his family arrived in New York and soon settled in Muskego, Wisconsin and started their life in the New World. One of the first challenges the Hegs had to endure was learning the English language. Hans worked tirelessly to grasp the vocabulary and grammar and found much success in his efforts. Soon after arriving in Muskego, the community acknowledged that Hans was a gifted child. After becoming familiar with English, Hans began accompanying large groups of immigrants who did not yet speak English on their way to the settlements at Koshkonong, Rock and Jefferson prairies in order to assist and communicate with them (WISC ). Even Hans, a virtuous character and financially stable member of the community, was looked upon as the leader of the pioneer colony. Even Heg was a true inspiration to his son; he bought farmland for other immigrants to settle on, assisted them with finances and resources, and allowed …show more content…
Due to the loss of his mother just eight years earlier and recent loss of his father, Hans decided it was his duty to return back home and take charge of the family’s 320-acre farm (WISC). After his return to the farm and assumption of his father’s duties, Hans married Gunhild Einong. Throughout his time working on the farm, Hans gained the trust of his fellow community members and even the Native Americans. At just twenty-two years old, after being a member of the Free Soil Party for some time, Hans went on to join the new Republic party. After that, Hans’s political career skyrocketed; he became a supervisor in the Town of Norway, Racine County and justice of the peace. Later, Hans became chairman of the Town Board of Norway. Next, he was appointed to the Racine County Board of Supervisors. Due to his successful start in his political career, although his stay was brief, Hans decided to leave his family farm and move to Waterford, Wisconsin. Hans continued to develop his political resume and was elected to the office of Commissioners of the state prison at Waupun. With this election, Hans became the second Norwegein to ever be elected to a state office in the United States

Related Documents