Johnson, Iver and Ella

(Lilly Womeldorf)

Bio Photo

Ella and Iver Johnson September 6, 1922

Iver Johnson was born 12 Jun 1883 on the island of Stord, Norway, and was the 4th child and first son of Jan and Iverine Jansen. He was schooled in the Decorah area and was remembered as a mischievous child. Iver caused his friend Andrew Solum to stand in the corner time and time again. He would be playing some trick when the teacher looked around to see what made Andrew snicker. Iver would have such an innocent look, and poor Andrew couldn’t control himself as Iver could, so took the blame.

It was said that Iver was the most generous of all the Johnson children. For instance, when he went to town to do shopping and if anyone would give him an orange, gum, or something else, he would wait to share it when he got home. While working as a night watchman in Chicago, the factory owner asked Iver to check on his house while he was on vacation, and was later amazed when Iver refused any pay. He was also a good story teller, and could get everyone laughing as he recited some adventure.

Iver had a burst ear drum and had been deaf in one ear for a long time. As a young man he had a very serious ear infection and was taken to an ear specialist in Chicago, where sisters Andrea and Marie were living at the time. Marie talked to the doctor and would not give her approval for surgery without the consent of their parents. After another consultation the doctor decided to postpone the operation, which would have left Iver stone deaf. Iver never did have the operation, but had to leave the farm and take an inside job to avoid the future possibility of more infections.

After a bookkeeping course at Breckenridge’s, Iver went to Chicago and worked in the office of the South Chicago Shipyard during World War I. Afterwards he and his wife, Ella, (whom he married 6 Sep 1922) moved back to Decorah where he managed the first A & P Store. He next worked at Wepler’s grocery store. During the depression he went by himself to Chicago to seek employment and found work at the Chicago Coin Company. Later on his family joined him and Iver lived the rest of his life there. He died 17 Nov 1954. Ella came back to Decorah to live in later life and died in Oct 1971.

They had one daughter, Genevieve, born 10 Jun 1924, who married Cecil Chapel . They had 2 children, Karen Renee and Martin John Genevieve graduated from Decorah High School and later moved back to Decorah after living in the Chicago area and Florida. She died 8 Sep 1988. Genevieve’s daughter Karen lives in Florida with her husband Mickey Smith and son Scott.

Johnson, Jan (John) and Iverine (Gjerald)

(Erlin and Lilly Womeldorf)

Bio Photo

John Johnson

Jan Johannes Jansen Gronaas was born 15 May 1852 on the island of Moster, Norway. He was the son of Elisabeth and Jan, who was a sailor, a pilot who guided yachts through the Norsk fjords, and who also was a farmer on Moster. After his confirmation Jan was trained as a baker in the general store and bakery of his older brother Nikolai at Klingenberg on the island of Stord. He found the life of a baker too confining and went to sea, traveling at least as far as New York. Sometime during the late 1860's he married Iverine Gjerald who had been born in Bergen, Norway 1 Apr 1853 to Iver and Engel Gjerald.


Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth dates of people that maybe living is not included. See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

Please, contact the County Coordinator to submit additions or corrections.

Winneshiek IAGenWeb Home

Copyright statement

Please read the IAGenWeb Terms, Conditions & Disclaimer
~all of which applies to the Winneshiek Co. website. ~
this page was last updated on Sunday, 28 March 2021