Bishop Hill celebrates Olof Krans Birthday

Monday, October 17, 2005

BISHOP HILL - Olof Krans' 167th birthday will be celebrated here from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 29 in the Bishop Hill Museum.

Cake, coffee and punch will be served, The celebration, sponsored by Bishop Hill State Historic Site, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, is free and open to the public.

Krans was born Nov. 2, 1838, in Salja in Nora Parish in Westmanland, Sweden. He came to Bishop Hill with his parents and siblings in 1850.

In 1861 he joined with other Bishop Hill Colony men in the Union Army in Company D, 57th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He served during the Civil War until June 1862, when he was discharged for health reasons.

He returned to the area settling first in Bishop Hill, then Galesburg and finally Galva. It was in Galva where he established his painting business. He painted buildings, commercial signs, stage scenery and artistic paintings. Eventually he moved to Altona where he died Jan. 4, 1916. He is buried in Galva Cemetery.

Most of the Krans collection exhibited at the Bishop Hill Museum was given by the artist to Bishop Hill in 1896 during the village's 50th anniversary. These paintings depict the colony life Krans remembered from his youth. His work scenes show the colony's communal work force laboring in the fields plowing, planting and harvesting. Also taking place the same day is Bishop Hill's "Scarecrows and Paper Moons" from 1 to 6 p.m. It includes pumpkin decorating, costume contest, scarecrows, music and refreshments. For additional information on "Scarecrows and Paper Moons," call (309) 927-3100 or 927-3097.

For additional Krans birthday party information, call (309) 927-3345.

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