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Johnson, Gustave 1855 1934


Posted By: Joy Moore (email)
Date: 4/1/2015 at 13:34:05


Gustave Johnson makes his home on section 21, Glenwood township, where he owns and operates a tract of land of one hundred and forty-seven acres. He began farming twenty-six years ago, previous to which time he had been identified with journalistic and publishing interests. He started out in life on his own account when but twelve years of age and whatever success he has achieved has come to him as the merited reward of his industry, perseverance and capable management. He was born near Christiania, Norway, October 18, 1855, and is a son of Andrew and Anna Johnson, who in the year 1864 crossed the Atlantic and became residents of Madison, Wisconsin, where their remaining days were passed. The father was a merchant tailor and conducted a store in Madison, also owning a farm near that city. He likewise was the leader of two bands in Madison, the Lake City Cornet Band and the Governor's Guard Band. In early life he had spent four years in Berlin as a musician and had led bands in Norway. He possessed much natural musical talent which he cultivated through continuous study and practice. He was married in Norway and in that country three of his children were born two of whom died in Norway in early life. Four others born in the United States who have passed away are: Julia, who died in Chicago in 1912; Emma and Clara, who died of diphtheria when sixteen and eighteen years of age respectively; and Carl, a jeweler who died at the age of twenty-one years. The surviving members of the family are Gustave and Mrs. Bertha Muggy, of Seattle, Washington.

Gustave Johnson resided with his parents in Wisconsin until fifteen years of age but in the meantime began earning his living as an employee in a printing house. He worked on Norwegian papers in Madison and at Marshall, Wisconsin, and remained in the newspaper field for twenty years, being employed in several states, including Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. He also worked for nine years in a publishing house in Decorah but twenty-six years ago turned his attention to general agricultural pursuits, settling on his present farm of one hundred and forty-seven acres on section 21, Glenwood township. It is an excellent property and most of the improvements have been made by him. He makes stock-raising the principal feature of the place, feeding all of the grain raised to his stock. He has led a busy and useful life and his success is the legitimate outcome of his earnest and intelligently directed labors.

In 1881 Mr. Johnson was united in marriage to Miss Henrietta Sander, who was born in Winneshiek county in 1861, a daughter of Brede B. and Karen Sander, who were natives of Norway and came to the United States in 1851, arriving in Winneshiek county when Decorah contained but three houses. They continued to reside upon the farm in this county throughout their remaining days. The mother, who was born January 20, 1821, died in Madison township, August 2, 1868. The father, who was born January 12, 1822, passed away October 9, 1905. He was a pioneer farmer of both Iowa and Dakota. He entered land here when Winneshiek county was upon the frontier and afterward secured claims in Dakota, but later returned to this county where he continued to reside until called to his final rest. It was in 1871 that he took up his abode upon the farm which is now owned and occupied by Mr. Johnson. Mr. and Mrs. Sander were the parents of seven children: Jane, the wife of C. M. Hanson, of Lincoln township; Brede, who died in South Dakota; Anton, who won the degree of Ph. D. and was a professor in the Flushing Institute of New York but is now deceased; Anna, the wife of Rev. C. N. Peterson, of Hibbing, Minnesota; Ellen, the widow of O. E. Bakke, of Frankville township; Henrietta, now Mrs. Johnson; and Bernt, of Glenwood township.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have been born nine children: George, who was an electrical engineer but is now deceased; Charles; Emma, the wife of C. D. Hexom, of Allamakee county; Mabel, who died at the age of ten years; Lily; Esther; Anna; William ; and Arthur.

Mr. Johnson has been quite prominent in local affairs and his influence is ever on the side of right, progress and improvement. For the past sixteen years he has served as township clerk and for many years was president of the township school board. For a decade he has been the president of the Glenwood Farmers Telephone Company and in this and other directions has aided in the material development of the district. Moral progress is also a matter of interest to him as is indicated by the fact that he was secretary of the First Lutheran Church of Glenwood for eleven years and has been treasurer for the past six years. His political allegiance was formerly given to the republican party but he is now allied with the progressives. He believes in advancement in all things, political as well as otherwise, and his progressive spirit is manifest in what he has accomplished in the business world, working his way steadily upward from the age of twelve years.

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

Glenwood Lutheran cemetery gravestone

Winneshiek Biographies maintained by Bill Waters.
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