LUND, TEXAS. Lund, in northeastern Travis County, was settled by Swedes in the late 1880s. It was first known as Pleasant Hill. In 1899 a post office opened there and was named either for a local family or for a Swedish hometown. The community was the center of a large Swedish agricultural settlement that arose as an extension of the New Sweden area, about four miles west. The first settlers in Lund were N. M. Anderson, August Thornquist, and Gustaf Seaholm. In the 1890s other Swedish families moved into the community. A Swedish Lutheran Sunday school was organized in 1891 by Dr. J. A. Stamline, pastor of the New Sweden Lutheran Church. The Bethlehem congregation in Lund was established on January 16, 1897, with nineteen communicants and twenty children. The congregation was given 1½ acres of land by P. V. Nelson, Nels Ankarstolpe, and J. E. Rivers, and an additional acre was given for a community graveyard. The church was built in the fall of 1899. The Bethlehem Lutheran Church was still active in 1989.
In the 1890s Lund had two cotton gins, a blacksmith shop, and a general store. The first Lund school was built in the fall of 1894, and the first school term lasted three months. The schoolhouse measured twenty-five feet by twenty-five feet and had windows on two sides. Two brothers, Carl and Fred Bergman, wrote letters to their sisters in Sweden from their home at Lund. In a letter dated January 23, 1896, they stated, "West of us there live nothing but Swedes for a distance of about sixteen miles. East and south and north of us there lives a mixed population of Americans, Germans, Bohemians, Negroes, and Mexicans, so it is certainly a strange mixture." The rich farmland produced large crops, and the new immigrants at Lund began to think of themselves less as Swedes and more as Americans. Twenty-seven men from Lund served in World War I, and many more served in World War II. Because of a decrease in the rural population, the school at Lund closed in 1947 and subsequently merged with the schools of Carlson, New Sweden, and Kimbro into the Manda school district. In 1963 the district was merged with Elgin. On April 7, 1980, a tornado severely damaged Lund. The Bethlehem Lutheran Church of Lund was lifted from its foundation and had to be demolished. A large brick structure with a bell tower was built to replace the historic church.
Mary Starr Barkley, History of Travis County and Austin, 1839–1899 (Waco: Texian Press, 1963). John Barton, Letters from the Promised Land: Swedes in America, 1840–1914 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1975). Dallas Morning News, April 8, 1980. Carl Martin Rosenquist, Swedes of Texas (Austin, 1942). Ernest Severin, Svenskarne i Texas i ord och bild, 1838–1918 (Austin: Steck, 1919).