Petrea Pedersen Sand


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Petrea Pedersen Sand.


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Petrea was born in Hanning, Brejning parish, Ringkøbing County in 1891. As a young girl, she was a very good cook and housekeeper and was able to find plenty of work locally doing these tasks. Later, she worked at a blind school in a larger city and there heard about the opportunities for young Scandinavian women to work in wealthy households in the U.S. She first came to America in 1914 on the S/S Lusitania (which was torpedoed by the Germans the following year). After staying in New Jersey with friends, she went to live with a cousin in Pasadena, California. Meanwhile, the U.S. entered WWI and Petrea was unable to return to Denmark for six years. Shortly after her return, she met Andreas Sand, an emigrant widower who had returned to Denmark for a visit; he convinced her to return with him to America. Following their marriage in Audubon County in 1921, they lived near Hamlin, then returned to Denmark, where they farmed for several years and had two children. In 1925, Anders once again returned to the U.S. Petrea and their daughter Mildred were to follow shortly after, but when she attempted to board the ship the officials objected to transporting an 8-months’ pregnant woman with a toddler. After some argument, they relented, Petrea and Mildred arrived in New York, and traveled by train to Coon Rapids, where Anders met them.

After raising her family, Petrea made two trips back to Denmark. She later lived in Manning and at the Salem Nursing Home in Elk Horn, where she died in 1982. She is buried alongside Anders in the Kimballton Cemetery.

In the top photo taken around 1975 Petrea is shown with her son Leroy Sand, his daughter Susan; daughter-in-law Carolyn (wife of son Kenneth), with their children, Michael and Julie.

In the middle photograph taken in 1979, Petrea is shown with “her boys”: Kurt, Kenneth (holding Michael), Ejnar, Leroy (holding Anders), and Harold.

The bottom photograph taken in 1981 shows Petrea Pedersen Sand, son Harold Sand, granddaughter Cindy (Sand) Baltz, and great-granddaughter, Emily Baltz.


  • Petrea Sand, her son and grandchildren about 1975. Photographs courtesy of Kenneth Sand.

  • Petrea Sand and her boys. Photographs courtesy of Kenneth Sand.

  • Petrea Sand 1981. Photographs courtesy of Kenneth Sand.


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