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The Swedish Nightingale

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She was known as the Swedish Nightingale.  Jenny Lind was a nineteenth century opera and folk singer from Sweden. She had a sensational voice.

Lind was an international star. She was a favorite of Queen Victoria. She opened an American tour in 1850, performing in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. A tour promoted by P.T. Barnum. Barnum was so confident of her success that he offered Jenny  more than 150 thousand dollars to perform in the United States.

Lind donated a sizeable amount of money so that Swedish Lutheran immigrants could build a chapel in Andover, Illinois. The work began in 1851. A severe outbreak of cholera delayed completion of the work. The disease killed several people in the pioneer community. Wood that was reserved to build a steeple on the chapel was used instead to make coffins for people who died during the outbreak.

The basement of the chapel became a hospital. The construction was completed in 1854. Over the years, the chapel has been renovated. It is a landmark to pioneer faith. A place to worship, thanks in large part, to a sizeable donation to the Swedish Lutherans from Jenny Lind.   

 

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