A Family Trait

Mr. and Mrs. Alex G. Erickson

Alex G. Erickson with his wife Maria, circa 1884

My husband Aaron has turned his hobby of genealogy into a business, so I do know a bit about my family tree.  In a recent conversation with my Mom, she reminded me that I have inherited the characteristic for leadership from her side of the family.  And in fact, I do have an ancestor that served as the Mayor of Bloomington, Illinois from 1906 to 1907, my great-great-grandfather Alex Gustof Erickson.  A.G. (as he was known to friends and family) was a grocer and dealer in meats, who was born in Sweden in 1863 and emigrated to Illinois in 1869.  Before he became a prominent businessman, he worked as a mail carrier and in the coal mines, and served as the President of the local Coal Miners Union.  He took a leading part in the politics in his home city, and was elected as a 7th Ward Alderman before he was elected to fill the unexpired term of the previous mayor who died in office.   In 1915 he was still active in government as the City Commissioner of Public Health and Safety.  Many times I am asked the question, “What made you decide to run for Village President?”  And frankly, I ponder the answer to this quite often myself!  I guess the simple truth is this:  it runs in the family.