Mathias Johnson, a successful and progressive agriculturist of
Allamakee county, is the owner of a well improved farm of one
hundred and sixty acres on section 18, Paint Creek township. His
birth occurred in Norway, on the 12th of November, 1855, his
parents being John Rusmus and Helena Troneson, likewise natives
of that country, where the father passed away. The mother
subsequently emigrated to the United States and passed away in
this county, at the home of her son Mathias. She had six
children, as follows: Benedict, who resides with his brother
Robert in Jefferson township, Allamakee county; Mathias, of this
review; Tolif, living in Waukon, Iowa; Robert, an agriculturist
of Jefferson township; Ingeborg, the wife of John Geving, of
Jefferson township; and Mrs. Hannah Vold, a resident of Waukon,
Mathias Johnson crossed the Atlantic to the United States when a young man of nineteen years and here attended school for two winter seasons in order to gain a practical knowledge of the English language. Securing employment as a farm hand in this county, he worked out by the month until his experience and capital justified the purchase of a farm of his own and he came into possession of a tract of one hundred and sixty acres on section 18, Paint Creek township, which he has operated continuously and successfully since. It was the old Halverson place and was but poorly improved. As the years have gone by Mr. Johnson has brought his fields under a high state of cultivation, and the many improvement on the property include a handsome residence, a substantial barn and good outbuildings. One of the oldest houses in Paint Creek township, once a store, still stands on his farm. The old McGregor road, over which goods were hauled from McGregor to supply this store, is still visible but has been long abandoned.
In Allamakee county Mr. Johnson was united in marriage to Miss Anna B. Geving, who was born in Norway in 1857, a daughter of Benjamin and Agnes Geving. The father is deceased, but the mother still survives and makes her home with a son in Jefferson township. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have nine children, as follows: Ida, who is the wife of Jens Lund, of Makee township; Bertha, the wife of Herman Olsen, of Jefferson township; John, who follows farming in Paint Creek township; Albert, an agriculturist of Jefferson township, who wedded Miss Anna Larson; Melvin, at home; Bernhart, who resides with his brother John; Martina, who keeps house for her brother John; and Nora and Selma, both of whom are still under the parental roof. The family home is neat and attractive both inside and out, the mother and daughters being excellent housekeepers and well versed in the domestic arts.
In politics Mr. Johnson is a stanch republican, supporting the men and measures of that party at the polls. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the West Paint Creek Norwegian church, to which his wife and children also belong. He has never regretted his determination to establish his home in the Untied States, for here he has found the opportunities which he south and in their wise utilization has gained a place among the substantial agriculturists and esteemed citizens of his community. The period of his residence in Allamakee county covers about four decades and his acquaintance here is extensive.
-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by
Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Diana Diedrich
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