John Johnson

This biographical portrait is found in the "Portrait and Biographical Album of Washington, Clay, and Riley Counties, Kansas"; Chicago; Chapman Bros; 1890, pg. 198.; located in the KANSAS Room at the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library. The Kansas Collection Librarian is Georgia Slaughter at . The Inter-Library Loan librarian is Joan Gandert at

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In coming to Grant Township, Washington County, Mr. Johnson, who is one of the leaders among his Swedish countrymen in this region, was fortunate in securing an extra good piece of land, 160 acres, for which he paid the sum of $500. Twenty acres of this land had been broken, but there were no other improvements with the exception of a well and a hole in the ground called a dugout. Into the latter he moved his family, in July, 1874, and they lived there one year. He then put up the present stone dwelling, 16x31 feet square, and in 1878 put on an addition, 16x31 feet and a story and a half high, the whole of which makes a comfortable and commodious residence.

Not far from his dwelling Mr. Johnson has planted an orchard of 200 apple trees, besides cherry, apricot, pear and plum trees, with a variety of the smaller fruits. In 1883 he purchased a quarter section adjoining on the south and on both places has about 200 acres under the plow. On the latter farm is a good frame house and stables. Around the home Mr. Johnson ha s planted numbers of ornamental trees and all his land is properly fenced. His main barn is 32x66 feet in dimensions, while he has sheds and corn cribs, the latter 14x32 feet and a stone chicken house, 14 feet square. The whole estate forms a most attractive picture in the landscape of that region and indicates in a marked degree the intelligence and enterprise of the proprietor.

The subject of this sketch was born in the town of JONKOPING, SWEDEN, Feb 17, 1841, and was reared on a farm, receiving a common school education. His father was John Anderson and his paternal grandfather, Anders Croft. They spent their entire lives in Sweden. John, in 1868, when a young man of twenty-seven years, emigrated to America and located first in Lewiston, Ill, securing employment on the Rushville branch of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. He was thus occupied one year, then crossed the Mississippi to Keokuk, Iowa, where he worked on the canal. On the 30th of August, 1872, he was married there to Miss Zilda S. Malmburg. From Keokuk he came to Washington County.

Of this union of Mr. Johnson there were born six children, four of whom are living: Annie Idella, Eddie, Albert William, and Emma Sophia, all of whom are at home with their father. Mrs. Zilda Johnson departed this life Dec 8, 1883. Mr. Johnson contracted a second marriage Dec 3, 1886, with Mrs. Anna Johnson, who by her first marriage had become the mother of one child, a son, Hugo, who is now a young man and works with his stepfather on the farm. Mrs. Johnson was born in the same part of Sweden as her husband and upon coming to America in 1869, took up her residence in Keokuk, Iowa, where she supported herself for five years. Later she went to Des Moines, Iowa where she was first married. Of her union with our subject there have been born two children: Arthur Emanuel and David Benjamin. Mr. Johnson is a Republican, politically, and a staunch supporter of the principles of his party. He has officiated as Road Overseer and School Trustee, although meddling very little with political affairs. Both he and his wife were reared in the doctrines of the Lutheran Church of which they still remain faithful adherents.

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