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Sonneva [Syneva] Brugjeld Johnson, 1845-1930


Posted By: Emmet County IAGenWeb Coordinator (email)
Date: 2/10/2009 at 07:06:41


Emmet county lost another of its pioneer women in the death of Mrs. John K. Johnson, who was an old resident of High Lake township, having made her home with her son, Nels, east of Wallingford for many years. Only two weeks ago the Enterprise reported a birthday party given in honor of her eighty-fifth birthday. At that time she was in good health. The illness that caused her death was brief. The obituary below is furnished by Rev. Nordsletten, one of the officiating ministers at the funeral:

Mrs. John K. Johnson, whose maiden name was Sonneva [Syneva] Brugjeld, was born in Balestrand, Sogn, Norway, on March 30, 1845. She passed away on last Friday, April 11th, [1930] at 10:40 o' clock in the forenoon at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Olen Anderson. She was 85 years and 12 days old at the time of her death. And this was due to pneumonia. She became ill on April 5th with a slight cold. This developed hurriedly into pneumonia and because of a frail body due to her advanced age, the end was quickly hastened on.

Together with her parents, who were Peter and Gertrude Brugjeld and her four brothers and sister, Mrs. Johnson left Norway in the summer of 1848 and arrived at Spring Prairie, Wis., where they resided until the year 1865, the year which saw the closing of the Civil War, and then the Brugjeld family moved into Emmet county. Mrs. Johnson was then a maiden of 20 years old.

After having lived in this vicinity for 5 years, she married on November 6th, 1870, Mr. John K. Johnson. Rev. T. H. Dahl officiated at their marriage. And this was held on the farm which is now known as the Mrs. Martha Peterson farm [now called Peterson Point] in the High Lake Township of Emmet County.

Shortly after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson located on the farm where their son, Nels, now resides. On this place they lived for many years. It was there (sic) that Mr. Johnson passed away on Sept. 22, 1919. [Mr. Johnson died in a hospital at Albert Lee, MN.] After the loss of her husband, now more than 10 years ago, Mrs.Johnson continued to live on the old home place for several years. Since July 1928, Mrs. Johnson has made her home mostly with her daughter, Mrs. L. E. Berg, at Estherville. Though, at different intervals during this time, she has also lived with other daughters who reside in this vicinity.

To Mrs. Johnson were born 8 children, one daughter Berte, has long ago preceded her mother in death as she died when she was only 2 1/2 years old. The old seven children who mourn the loss of a kind and sympathetic mother are the following: Mrs. O. T. Johnson, Bricelyn, Minn.; Nels Johnson, who is on the home farm in High Lake Township a few miles east of Wallingford; Mrs. Oscar Olson of Pequot, Minn.; Mrs. Olen Anderson of Walllingford; Mrs. L. E. Berg of Estherville; Mrs. S. J. Carter of Blue Earth, Minn.; and Mrs. Otto Larson of Wallingford. These seven children were all present at their mother's burial. Mrs. Johnson is also survived by 25 grand-children and 14 great grand children.

Mrs. Johnson was one of the oldest residents of Emmet County in years as she lived here for 65 years. She naturally witnessed many changes up through the years. Her many good qualities as one of the pioneer residents of this part of Iowa, won her the high esteem of many who learned to know her as a good neighbor, and a trusted fellow citizen.

On last March 30th, about 50 of her relatives gathered at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Otto Larson to help her celebrate her 85th birthday. This was an event that gladdened her highly. Little did she then realize, and likewise the others that were with her on that day, that she would be the first one to be called away and that it would happen within 2 short weeks.

The funeral was held on Monday, April 14th, 1930, with a brief service at the Olen Anderson home at 1:15 P. M. and at 2 P. M. at the Immanuel Lutheran church. The Rev. Peder Nordsletten officiated, Rev. S. Strand and Rev. L. A. Mathre assisted in the preaching. The church choir furnished music both at the home and at the church and likewise at the High Lake cemetery where Mrs. Johnson was laid to rest. Many pretty floral offerings decked the casket. In spite of a busy day, relative to the spring work, an unusual large number of people were present at the funeral.

Contributed by: Ruth M. Hackett. Source: the Estherville Enterprise, Estherville, Emmet County, Iowa, April 16, 1930.


Emmet Obituaries maintained by Lynn Diemer-Mathews.
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