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The Berquest family (sometimes Bergquest or other spellings) was a family in the grocery business in the early part of the 20th century.

John (Johannes) Berquest (May 1845 – October 1, 1937) was born in Gräsmark, Sweden and immigrated to Minnesota sometime around 1868 to 1870.

Betsy Larson (Berquest) (February 22, 1855 – December 24, 1924) was born in Sweden and immigrated to Minnesota about the same time.

John and Betsy married in 1874, and they had 9 children: Lydia, Hulda, Albert, Edward, Ninder, Ella, and Mabel who were born in Minnesota, and Ellsworth and Lillian who were born in California. The birth dates suggest the family emigrated from Minnesota to California sometime around 1888. John was naturalized April 5, 1894, in Alameda County.

In the 1900 census and directory, John is listed as a grocer, in business with his son-in-law, Frank Anderson, at 877 Washington in Bowman Brown's Building.

1900 directory

In 1907, Anderson sold his share to Berquest 6 and it was J. Berquest & Sons. In 1909, John sold his interest in the business to Albert and Ninder and eventually it became Berquest Brothers. 1

The brothers sold the business in 1924, 5 and Albert moved to Sacramento by 1930.

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1902 2

Lydia Victoria Berquest (Anderson) (October 11, 1875 – December 6, 1949) was born in Minnesota.

Frank Anderson married Lydia on July 27, 1898, and they had 3 children. Frank was in the grocery business, running F. Anderson & Co.

•• Pearl A. Anderson (Lofgren)

•• Claire Lucille Anderson (Danielson)

•• Russel F. Anderson

Anderson sold his interest in the grocery to John Berquest in 1907.

Hulda Marie Berquest (Fording) (Coates) (March 24, 1877 – October 21, 1962) was born in Minnesota.

Howard Fording married Hulda on December 25, 1900, and they had a son.

•• Earl H. Fording

Harry Edward Coates married Hulda on December 22, 1912, and they had no children.

By 1920, the family had moved to Sacramento.

Albert Berquest (January 13, 1879 – February 27, 1957) was born in Minnesota. Albert ran J. Berquest & Sons with his father and brother, and later Berquest Brothers with his brother.

Katherine Lola Watson (Berquest) married Albert in 1900, and they had a son.

•• Albert George Berquest

By 1930, the family had moved to Sacramento.

Edward William Berquest (March 17, 1881 – July 7, 1967) was born in Minnesota.

Nell Locke (Berquest) married Edward in 1909, and they had two children. Nell Locke was related to the Lockes who founded Lockeford, CA.

•• Bernice Berquest

•• Edward William Berquest, Jr.

The family lived in Sacramento, and Edward ran a grocery store.


Ninder J. "Jack" Berquest (December 1883 – September 23, 1935) was born in Minnesota. As a young man, he was an accomplished bowler. 3

Dorothy L. Brewster (Berquest) married Jack November 9, 1907. They did not have any children.

The family lived in Oakland, and Ninder worked with his father and brother in the grocery business. Dorothy left Ninder in 1911. Another marriage occurred in 1919 to Dora Berquest, which suggests they divorced then remarried. The 1930 census lists Jack and Dora as divorced.

Sadly, suffering from ill health and having experienced "business reverses", Jack poisoned himself, and died at Highland Hospital in 1935. 4


Ella Nathalie Berquest (Rhoden) (September 2, 1884 – May 27, 1969) was born in Minnesota.

William Augustus Rhoden married Ella in 1905 and they had two children.

•• Jackson Ainsley Rhoden

•• Nathalie C. Rhoden

The family lived in Sacramento, and William worked in the grocery business.

Mabel C. Berquest (Fryckholm) (November 7, 1886 – December 20, 1976) was born in Minnesota.

Iver Daniel Fryckholm married Mabel on September 9, 1913, and they had two sons.

•• John Raymond Fryckholm

•• William Robert Fryckholm

The family lived in Oakland, and Iver worked as a clerk for the railroad.


Ellsworth Emmanuel Berquest (January 26, 1889 – February 1, 1974) was born in Templeton, CA, suggesting the family didn't come straight to Oakland from Minnesota.

Gertrude I. Johnson married Ellsworth May 24, 1920, and they had no children.

Ellsworth was partners with J.L. Saylor with a grocery at 14th and Market, Berquest and Saylor. By 1930, the family had moved to Los Angeles, and Ellsworth was working as a salesman. By 1940, they had moved back to the Bay Area, to Alameda.


Lillian H. Berquest (June 2, 1891 – May 25, 1947) was born in California.

Henry Emmanuel Malmgren married Lillian, and they had no children. They seem to have married later in life.

Lillian was the organist at the Swedish Baptist Church, and taught piano. Henry was treasurer and vice president of the Heinrich Chemical Company.

Lillian and Henry are buried in Mountain View Cemetery, plot 36.

Links and References

  1. notice of sale Oakland Tribune October 14, 1909
  2. F. Anderson & Co. Oakland Tribune December 27, 1902
  3. Bowling Match Is Arranged Oakland Tribune January 3, 1905
  4. Former Grocery Ends Life With Poison Oakland Tribune September 24, 1935
  5. closing out sale Oakland Tribune March 7, 1924
  6. notice Oakland Tribune February 13, 1907