Carl August Hultkrans
Carl August Hultkrans was born on April 25, 1859, in Visnum, Värmland, Sweden. He came to the United States in 1870, living first in Lake City, Minnesota and later in Stockholm, Wisconsin. He attended Gustavus Adolphus College 1880-1883 and received a B. A. from Augustana College in 1887. He studied theology at Augustana Seminary 1887-1889. He was ordained in Moline, Illinois, on June 6, 1889.
The Rev. Hultkrans’ first pastorate was in Genesco, Illinois, where he served for two years. In 1891, he received a call from the Minnesota Conference of the Augustana Synod to take charge of the Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota. At the time Pastor Hultkrans took over the administration of the hospital early in 1902, the debt was $8000. During Pastor Hultkrans’ tenure, the hospital was enlarged several times, but under his careful management, the hospital met its payments and decreased its debts.
Pastor Hultkrans intended the hospital to have a Christian atmosphere, and to this end he wanted deaconesses as nurses. Pastor Hultkrans realized he must start his own motherhouse, and the Bethesda Deaconess Home opened in 1902. Pastor Hultkrans also founded and supervised a home for elderly people at Chisago City, Minnesota, and a home for invalids at Lake Gervais, St. Paul.
In addition to his work at Bethesda, Pastor Hultkrans' passion was his interest in China missions. In 1901, he was one of the founders of the China Mission Society, which sought to promote missionary work in China. Pastor Hultkrans must have been delighted when the first deaconess consecrated at Bethesda, Sister Ingeborg Nystul, elected to serve as a missionary in China. Pastor Hultkrans was president of the China Mission Board from 1908-1914, and was still a member until his death in 1915.
These personal papers were generated and retained by Carl August Hultkrans in his capacity as a pastor and an administrator of Bethesda Hospital, St. Paul, Minnesota, the Bethesda Deaconess Motherhouse, and other works of mercy. Dates range from 1888-1906, but very few records have dates. The record types include correspondence, articles and presentations, sermons and sermon drafts, article drafts, poems and hymns, leaflets, and miscellaneous papers. Almost all the papers are in Swedish, with only a very few in English.