Edvard Liljedahl

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Edvard Liljedahl.

Edvard Appoloniussen Liljedahl (6 August 1845, Vik - 10 October 1924) was a Norwegian politician for the Liberal Party. He was a member of the Council of State Division in Stockholm in 1889, and Minister of Education and Church Affairs 1912-1913. Liljedahl died on 10 October 1924 in Vik and is buried there.

Biography[edit]

He received his degree from the Balestrand Teachers School in 1864 and from the Stord Seminary in 1866. He was a teacher and a church choir singer in Kirkebø from 1867 until 1889, cabinet minister and a member of the cabinet in Stockholm from 6 March 1889 until 13 July 1889. In 1888 he refused a request to return to government. He became a postmaster in Aalesund in 1891 and in Bergen in 1901. From there he departed in 1904 and moved to his property Røitehola (officially Fredheim) in Kirkebø. He had cleared the land himself during his parish clerk and member of parliament days, and had rented it out when he lived in Ålesund and Bergen. He didn't stay too long in Kirkebø. On a visit to Vik he purchased the Havnen farm from hotel owner Hopstock and moved to Vik in 1905. He sold the Røitehola property to a quartermaster sergeant Mo.

Agriculture[edit]

In Havnen there was only a barn and a summer cow barn plus a bathhouse when he took over the property. He had to build a farm house, cow barn, and a stall. Edvard cultivated more land in Havnen and planted a large number of fruit trees (about 250) which about half were pear and the rest apple and cherry trees. These trees became an important source of income in Havnen. He was always an ardent farmer.

In addition to Røitehola which had been cleared and planted with fruit trees, he also had another farm in Østrem which he sold and owned another farm farther out in Sogn.

In 1904 after his postmaster days were over, he went back to Kirkebø to live in Røitehola and immediately purchased more land which he cultivated. Immediately after his employment as postmaster in Ålesund he purchased the Vågenes farm in Borgund but quickly sold it to his brother-in-law Magnus Ramslie, who was from Vangsnes. He then purchased the Spjelkavik farm, which was a large farm with several cottages, much forests, and mountain water. In the long run it was too large and expensive to operate when he lived in Ålesund, so he therefore sold it after a few years had elapsed, and he moved from Ålesund to Bergen.

Contributing to his different farm purchases was his interest in fresh water fishing and hunting. He started fisheries in many lakes in Sogn and also in the large lake Uldalsvatn in Kirkebø. He also founded the Spjelkavik yarn and fish net factory, which grew to be a large concern which contributed to the construction of many buildings and homes in the area.

Involvement in the community[edit]

In Kirkebø he was a spokesman for many years, a member of the township board for 14 years and a member of the election board. He was an arbitrator commissioner for 18 years. He was a member of Borgund's town council and Ålesund's city council. A member of the school board in 1884 and the clergy pay board and enforced the laws in Romsdal county.

He was a member of the Norwegian Parliament for the constituency Nordre Bergenhus amt from 1870–91, for Ålesund 1895-1905, and Ytre Sogn from 1906-09. President in the Odelsting 1899-1900. He was a member of the Council of State Division in Stockholm in 1889, and Minister of Education and Church Affairs in the cabinet Bratlie from 1912 to 1913.

Education and church[edit]

In 1868 the Kirkebø district had its first school. It was at the same place where the present one stands. At the dedication of the school some songs were sung that Liljedahl had written. He has written many songs. One of them is printed in Nordahl Rolfsens school book. He also wrote a newspaper column in the local press about people. In Kirkebø he helped many people in writing legal papers and took care of their legal matters while he worked for the justice of the peace. A colleague who attended school with Edvard Liljedahl in the year 1876 wrote: 'He was a pleasant man and full of life and desire. I was amazed at how the children clinged to him with affection and high respect." Older people who had him as a teacher, say that he was unusually serious in school. There was harmonious calm over all he did. He carried out parish clerk duties in a deserving and honorable way. People are still impressed about it, when they remember his conversations with the youngsters on the church floor, and still can repeat portions of them. He was a master at asking questions which were deep and rich in conversations and the congregation was greatly impressed.

When the weather was so bad that the pastor could not come from Lavik, Edvard Liljedahl spoke from his front porch to the congregation.

He was Commander of the Order of St. Olav, Grand Cross of Legion of Honour, and Knight of the Swedish Order of the Polar Star.

Personal life[edit]

On 18 October 1869, he married Barbra Ramslie. They were the first couple that were married in the newly built church in Kirkebø.

While he lived in Kirkebø he purchased some isolated land, called Røytehola, and cultivated it. It was later called Fridheim. Here he built a beautiful home. He worked many hours of the day. He cultivated the land, removed large rocks, and dug ditches. The land was located in an area where fruit trees thrived and he planted some which blossomed in just two or three years.

At one time he also owned a farm at Austrem, Austremsgjerdet, but sold it after a few years.

Liljedahl is buried in the Vik church cemetery.

Hobbies[edit]

Edvard Liljedahl was an outdoorsman. During his vacations he went into the mountains to hunt and fish. At that time there was no fish in Uldalsvatn. His brother-in-law, merchant Andreas Ramslie also planted fish in Uldalsvatn. Later it became a source of income for Edvard Liljedahl.

Gardening[edit]

Johan Liljedahl was very interested in gardening. He had planted many plants and started many gardens in Sogn, including the parish garden in Eivindik [actually his father, Apolonius]. Edvard first went through Balestrand Teachers School and later the Stord Seminary. He also taught school in Leikanger for one year. He was an office clerk for a justice of the peace, not a teacher that year. In 1867 he was a teacher in Kyrkjebø.

References[edit]

Preceded by
Just Knud Qvigstad
Norwegian Minister of Education and Church Affairs
1912–1913
Succeeded by
Aasulv Bryggesaa