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When Chickasaw county was in a wild and undeveloped region Peter Johnson took up his abode within its borders and now follows farming on section 27, Jacksonville township. He was born in Norway, January 25, 1844, and is a son of John and Julia (Peterson) Johnson, who came to the United States in 1847, when their son Peter was but three years of age. They settled in Dane county, Wisconsin, where the father purchased a farm of eighty acres and built thereon a log cabin in the midst of the forest. He at once proceeded to clear away the timber and developed his fields, and as time passed on he purchased other land and became the owner of two hundred and forty acres, constituting one of the excellent farms of that district. There he and his wife resided until called to their final rest, the death of Mr. Johnson occurring when he was about ninety years of age, while his wife reached the very advanced age of ninety-two years.

Peter Johnson was educated in the primitive country schools of that early period and remained upon the home farm until October 1, 1864, when at the age of twenty years he enlisted in response to the call of his adopted country for military aid. He became a member of Company B, Fifteenth Wisconsin Regiment, which was wholly composed of Norwegians. The command went south and served under Sherman, taking part in the celebrated march from Atlanta to the sea. Mr. Johnson received his discharge April 1, 1865, and returned to his home in Wisconsin, where he spent the succeeding four years. In December, 1869, he removed to Chickasaw county, Iowa, driving through with team and wagon. He was accompanied by his brother Tollif and together they purchased two hundred and forty acres of land, upon which Mr. Johnson now resides. In June of the following year he was married and the brother was married in October of the same year. A division of their landed interests was then made, Peter Johnson taking one hundred and twenty acres, which forms a part of his present home farm that now comprises one hundred and sixty-five acres. He has lived continuously upon this farm for a half century and probably not another settler in Jacksonville township has remained for so extended a period upon one farm.

On the 24th of June, 1870, Mr. Johnson was united in marriage to Miss Martha Attleson, a daughter of Attle Attleson, who came to Chickasaw county from Dane county, Wisconsin, in 1862. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have become the parents of twelve children nine of whom survive, namely: John, who operates the home farm; Edward. an agriculturist of Jacksonville township; Peter a lumber dealer residing at Willow City, North Dakota; Gilbert, who served in the European war and is now assistant cashier of a banking institution at Humboldt, Iowa; Grover, who also served with the American forces in the great World war; Sarah, who is the wife of Martin Johnson, of Dane county, Wisconsin; Martha, the wife of Carl Offerdahl, of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin; Anna, who resides in Madison, Wisconsin; and Hattie, at home.

In his political views Mr. Johnson is a democrat and for four terms he filled the office of township assessor of Jacksonville township. He was also for several terms a member of the township board of trustees and for a number of years served on the school board. He and his family are members of the Lutheran church and are people of genuine worth, their many sterling traits of character winning for them warm regard. Mr. Johnson certainly deserves much credit for what he has accomplished, as his success has come to him as the direct reward of earnest labor. Not only is he the owner of a valuable farm property but is also a stockholder in the Jerico Creamery Association. Long residence in Jacksonville township has brought him a wide acquaintance and he is now numbered among her prosperous and valued citizens.

Source: History of Chickasaw and Howard Co (1919), Vol II, page 200