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Mrs. Magnus "Christina" (Johnson) Ahlstrom


Posted By: Cheryl Locher Moonen (email)
Date: 12/6/2015 at 22:13:41

Telegraph Herald and Times – Journal, Dubuque, Iowa - May 7, 1929

Waukon Woman, 91, Recalls
Early Life in Northeastern Iowa
Waukon, Ia., May 7, - Special: Interesting pictures of pioneer life in this vicinity are revealed in the reminiscences of Mrs. Christina Ahlstrom of this city, one of the longest time residents of Allamakee County. Mrs. Ahlstrom in now past 92 years of age.

Mrs. Ahlstrom, nee Christina Johnson, was born in Sweden in 1838, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Johnson. She came to this country in 1852 with her parents. They landed at Boston after a five week voyage, filled with hardships. The records of the voyage show five births and five deaths, one of the deaths being that of a baby born to Mrs. Ahlstrom’s sister.

From Boston the family made the trip westward to Chicago, traveling part way in a stock car. From Chicago they traveled overland to St. Louis, where the entire family contracted cholera, a dread disease of those days. Mrs. Johnson died during this epidemic and the responsibilities of mothering the family fell upon the future Mrs. Ahlstrom, who at that time was 14 years of age.

The family came up the river by boat, landing at Lansing on May 3, 1853. The father purchased a homestead of 120 acres at $1.25 an acre, and settled down to farming. A team of oxen were purchased for $60, and two cows for $40.

Their first house in Center Township was a sod house. The father and sons cleared a few acres of their wooded land, until the greater part of the tract was under cultivation.

Christina led a busy life in those days. She spun the yarn from which she made the clothes for the little family, took care of the garden and frequently helped with the field work. When she wanted to do the family shopping she had to walk ten miles to Lansing, which she did once each week. On these trips was not unusual to encounter Indians, who were still to be found in considerable numbers at that time.

When Christina was 18 years of age she married Magnus Ahlstrom, a young farm hand of the neighborhood. They became the parents of 11 children. Mr. Ahlstrom died several years ago at the age of 94 years.

Mrs. Ahlstrom now makes her home with her children here. Despite her advanced age she still takes a lively interest in her surrounding and continues to work with the zeal hat has characterized her throughout her long life. She spends much time quilting and doing fancy hand sewing, at which she is very adapt.

The children who are still living are Anthony Ahlstrom of Waukon, August Ahlstrom of Lansing, Mrs. Bessie Ahlstrom and E. A. Ahlstrom of Minneapolis, Mrs.? P.? of Chicago and Mrs. G. D. Fisher of Hope, N.D.


The bio below was previously posted by an IAGenWeb Biography Volunteer on 8/24/2008. It was moved to this posting by the board administrator.
-- -- -- --

Mrs. Christina Ahlstrom, one of the oldest women residing in Allamakee county, celebrated her ninety-fifth birthday Monday, April 24, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. D.G. Fisher, in Hope, N.D.

Mrs. Ahlstrom was born in Sweden, April 24, 1838, and came to this county with her parents, the Peter Johnson family, in May, 1852. For over eighty years, Mrs. Ahlstrom has resided in the county with the exception of times spent in visiting with her children since the death of her husband several years ago.

A sad incident which made America look dismal to the Johnson family upon their arrival in St. Louis, was when Mrs. Johnson and her daughter contracted cholera and died, this leaving Mrs. Ahlstrom, who was only 14 years old, to act as mother to her younger brothers and sisters.

After landing in Lansing, they took up a homestead of 120 acres in Center township, where they built a dugout in which to live until they could build a log cabin, which was completed the following year.

Mrs. Ahlstrom well remembers many an encounter she had with the redskins and with rattlesnakes, both of which were numerous.

In 1856, Mrs. Ahlstrom was married, her husband being a neighboring boy, Magnus Ahlstrom. A 40 acre tract of adjoining land made them a home. They were the parents of 11 children, six of whom are living, they being as follows: Anthony of Waukon; August of Lansing; E.A. of Minneapolis; Mrs. E.T. Johnson of Chicago; Mrs. Bessie Ahlstrom of Minneapolis and Mrs. D.G. Fisher of Hope, N.D.

~Lansing Journal, April 26, 1933

~Note: 'Woodmansee' records Christina Johnson Ahlstrom as being buried in the Center Baptist cemetery. Death date Jan 1, 1934.


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