Thorsby’s Scandinavian Cemetery, Part I

Published 9:10 am Wednesday, July 11, 2012

By Tracia Bussey | Community Columnist

There’s a quiet little spot out County Road 37 from Thorsby that is worth a visit.

The Scandinavian Cemetery in Thorsby was added to the Alabama Historical Commission’s Alabama Historical Cemetery Registry in 2009. This cemetery originated from the congregation of Swedish Lutherans who bought the land and named it the Concordia Cemetery. In later years, it was called the Concordia Lutheran Cemetery, and then some time in the late 1970’s it was renamed the Scandinavian Cemetery.

The Thorsby Historical Preservation Committee purchased this sign to recognize the Thorsby Scandinavian Cemetery’s induction into Alabama’s Historical Cemetery Registry.

Resting among the aging shade trees lie the remains of many of the Scandinavian pioneers who settled and built Thorsby. Two relatives of founder T. T. Thorson—Emily Thorson Peterson, cousin of Mr. Thorson and the wife of his fellow town founder, J. F. Peterson; and Dora Thorson, Mr. Thorson’s only daughter—are among the list. Other early settlers and their family members are: Carl P. and Charlotte K. Turnquist, both were born in Sweden and came to Thorsby from Wisconsin in 1896. Five of their children, Elfreda T. and her husband James Bosworth; Marie T. and her husband Alonso Reagan; Charlotte T. and her husband Reuben Foss; Carl and his wife Elizabeth Turnquist; and Naomi Turnquist.