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Wist, Johannes B. 1864 1923


Posted By: Joy Moore (email)
Date: 5/17/2015 at 09:16:40


Johannes B. Wist has a wide acquaintance, especially in the middle west, as an editor of Norwegian-American papers, and since 1906 has been Norwegian vice consul for the state of Iowa. He is now editor-in-chief of the Decorah Posten and is likewise one of the publishers and editors of the Symra, a Norwegian-American magazine. He was born April 6, 1864, in the district of Trondhjem, Norway, his parents being Benjamin and Magdalene Wist, the former a country merchant. He acquired a good education in high schools and academies of his native country and for two years was a private tutor in the district of Osterdalen, this covering the years 1882 and 1883. While there he began writing for newspapers and became correspondent to a number of publications. He also acted as reporter at many political meetings in those stormy days of Norwegian politics. In 1884 he came to the United States and throughout the intervening period to the present has been connected with the publication of Norwegian-American papers in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Glenwood and Granite Falls, Minnesota, and at Madison, Wisconsin. He entered upon active connection with the Decorah Posten in 1900 and since 1901 has been its chief editor. It is a newsy, entertaining paper of national importance and with forty thousand subscribers and devoted to the interests of the Norwegian-American population of the United States. It is lacking in none of those things which go to make up the attractive type of modern journalism. Mr. Wist is also one of the publishers and editors of the Symra, a Norwegian-American magazine, which was established in 1905, and is now treasurer of the Symra Company, which took over the publication in January, 1913. He has been much interested in Norwegian-American history and has done some work in that field. He has also written some poems for papers and magazines, aside from many editorials which he has penned.

On the 28th of December, 1885, at Glenwood, Minnesota, Mr. Wist was united in marriage to Miss Josephine Aasve, a daughter of Ole A. Aasve, one of the early settlers of Winneshiek county, who removed from Iowa to Kansas and later to Minnesota. Mr. and Mrs. Wist have four children, Clara, Benjamin, Annie and Joseph. In politics Mr. Wist is a progressive republican. He has never sought political office, but in 1906 he was appointed Norwegian vice consul for the state of Iowa and has since continued in that position. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Norwegian Lutheran Synod. Since 1912 he has been president of the Norwegian Press Association of America, and is one of the directors of the Norwegian Society of America. He has also been president of the Symra Literary Society and "Det Norske Selskab," of Decorah. He has great influence among his fellow countrymen and through the journalistic field has labored earnestly and faithfully to promote the welfare of people of his nationality, seeking not only their material but also their intellectual and moral advancement.

Source: History of Winneshiek County, Iowa Vol. II Chicago the S. J. Clark Publishing Company 1913

Note: Cemetery records show year of birth as 1854;however the photo of the gravestone is hard to read.

Lutheran Decorah Cemetery

Winneshiek Biographies maintained by Bill Waters.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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