Forsgard, Gustav August
2525 Washington Avenue
Houston , 77007
Directions: Glenwood Cemetery, across (west) from Section E-2 on West Avenue
Key Time Period: 1846 - 1865 Statehood - Civil War
Marker Text: Gustav (Gustaf, Gustave) August Samuelson (1832-1919) was one of 13 children born to Johannes Samuelson and Anna Petersdotter of Forserum, Sweden. At the age of 16, he emigrated from Sweden, arriving in Houston with a group of other Scandinavians on November 22, 1848. Two prominent Swedish Texans, Swante Mangus Swenson and Sir Swante Palm, met the group, which wintered at the Swenson farm in Fort Bend County. There, the men in the group worked the fields tending cotton and corn.
Samuelson changed his last name to Forsgard for his native Forserum and the Swedish word Gard, meaning "home." Four of his brothers, Samuel Johan, Carl Oscar, Johannes Wilhelm and Claes Henning, followed Forsgard to the U.S. and adopted the same new name; all but Claes settled in Texas.
After a year of farm work, Forsgard returned to Houston and worked as a mercantile clerk for Shepherd and Burke. He also became part of Swenson's and Palm's informal Swedish immigration agency. Forsgard acted as a liaison between new immigrants and Swedes already living in Texas.
During the next several years, Forsgard attended school and pursued various business interests. During the Civil War, Forsgard served with Texas forces. His responsibilities included building fortifications near Galveston to defend against a possible Federal invasion. Forsgard wed Jennie Mary Lusk in 1866, and the couple had two children who survived to adulthood. Over the years, Forsgard was civically active and was a trustee of First Presbyterian Church, director of First National Bank and Master of Holland Masonic Lodge No. 1 of Houston. (2005)
Marker Type: Marker with Post
Historical Org: Texas Historical Commission (THC)
Key Map Information: 493 J
GPS Coordinates: 29 45.900, 95 23.232
Precinct No: 2
Marker No: 13710