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Collection John Olof Viking papers
Collection Number MSS P:4
Dates of Creation 1892-1955
Extent of Description 8 linear feet , 10 boxes
Language Swedish, English
Creator Viking, Johan Olof, 1892-1955
Other Creators Baner, Johan G.R. (Johan Gustav Runeskeold), 1861-1938
Search Terms Viking, John Olof, 1892-1955
Baner, Johan G.R. (Johan Gustav Runeskeold), 1861-1938
Upper Peninsula (Mich.)
Ishpeming (Mich.)
Native Americans
Mythology, Norse
Related units of description See J.G.R. Baner' s papers on microfilm P:micro 1. The microfilm includes letters that Viking wrote to Baner 1914-1938. The originals are held at Michigan Historical Library, now the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. The letters Viking received from Baner in this collection are also microfilmed.
Administrative or Biographical History John Olof Viking was born on March 8, 1874 in Kalls parish, Jämtlans län, Sweden. His parents were Peter and Agnes Viking. The family left Sweden in 1882 to settle in Ishpeming, Michigan where they joined the Bethany Lutheran Church. Viking held a variety of jobs as a young man. He worked in a candy store owned by his uncle August Swanson, a tobacco factory, jewelry store and a photography shop. He also worked as a rock picker and iron ore loader and freight trucker for the Chicago and Northwest Railway Company. Finally he held a position with the Consolidated Fuel and Lumber Company in Ishpeming. He retired in 1946.

On his spare time Viking was a writer, an amateur photographer and a collector of clippings and autographs. He was also a staff writer for the American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal and other articles by him appeared in: Svenska Tribunen, Svenska Amerikanaren, Cloverland Magazine, Daily Mining Journal, Superior Posten and the Upper Peninsula Development Bureau News. His best friend was the Swedish-American writer and poet, Johan Gustav Runeskiold Baner of Ironwood, Michigan. Besides their common ancestry they shared knowledge of the Chippewa Indians culture and language. The two friends wrote each other several times a week. As a result of Viking's friendship with he Chippewa's they gave him the title Hofobi Anukfili. Viking was deeply interested in preserving the history of the Swedish pioneer and the American Indian and contributed to the Great Lakes Historical Society, New Sweden Historical Museum, Philadelphia and the Swedish Historical Society of America.

Scope & Content The bulk of the collection consists of letters and poems John Viking received from J.G.R. Baner and Viking's scrapbooks. The poems by Baner are generally concerned with Indian Legends and Norse mythology. Baner used various pseudonyms which appears in both the letters and poems such as: Johan Järnskog, Gustav Järnskog, Johna M. Pilquist, the Gray Raven, Johan Mohlin, Korp Sagobard, Inaqtek Atanoqken, Asabard, Homerus Johanson, Grakorp, Johanadab von Klinkelin, Hatek Alepa, Johan Gustav, J. G. Betryckt and Johan G. R. Totem (for further detail on Baner see article in The Swedish Pioneer Historical Quarterly, v. 24, no. 2, 1973). The collection also contains criticism of Baner's poems, several of his published books, and two original manuscripts.
Viking's scrapbooks contain clippings from mostly local Upper Peninsula newspapers and they reflect his broad interests and curiosity in local history. The scrapbooks cover the period 1930-1953 and are arranged by the following subjects: Appreciation, Accident, Adventure, Agriculture, Art, Aviation, Archeology, Birth Days, Baby Prize Winners, Beauty, Business, China, Civic, Conservation, Criminal, Culinary, Education/Educational, Fraternal, Finances/Financial, Forests, Game Preserves/Refuge, History, Local History, Hunting and Fishing, Swedish-American History, Viking History, Industry, Inventions, Indians, Lakes and Rivers, Law and Order, Literature, U.P. Legends and Native Americans, Medical/Medicine, Metallurgy, Military, Minerals, Mortalities, Music, Musicals, National and State Parks, Nature and Scenery of the U.P., Personal, Politics/Political, Playground, Religion, Scenic, Social, Sports, Suicides, Trades and Professionals, Tourism, Union (Labor), Vanished or Missing, Veterans, Wonders (amazing facts), Weather, and Welfare Statistics. Included in the scrapbooks is also some of Viking's correspondence to various institutions.

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