about Ole or his family until John O. Johnson is found in the 1860 census in Decorah. John was a farmer and also assisted Sheriff Erick Anderson in the Winneshiek Co. jail by cutting wood and guarding prisoners. After the Civil War Sheriff Anderson wrote an affidavit for John so he could get his Civil War pension.

Bio Photo

John O. and Martha Johnson Ole Sanden, age 4 on left.
John A. Johnson, age 1 on right. Taken in 1875.

John enrolled in the Union Army 9 Oct 1861 in Decorah. He was mustered into Captain Tupper’s Company G of the 12th Regiment, Iowa Infantry 25 Nov 1861. He was enrolled at the rank of Corporal. Battles John participated in during the Civil War included the Battle of Fort Donelson and the Battle of Shiloh. John was captured 6 Apr 1862 at the Battle of Shiloh and held prisoner at Macon, GA and Libby Prison in Richmond, VA. He was paroled at Akins Landing, VA 17 Oct 1862.

John was promoted to Sergeant 1 Jul 1863. During the summer of 1863 John was involved in Grant's march toward Vicksburg and was nearly killed by the intense heat and marching. He was discharged 24 Dec 1863 at Chewalla, TN and re-enlisted the next day. After re-enlisting John’s unit fought in the Battle of Tupelo, MS on 14 Jul 1864 and at Nashville, TN 15 and 16 Dec 1864. Service records indicate that after he re-enlisted he probably only did light work such as guard duty. John was finally mustered out of the Army 20 Jan 1866 at Memphis, TN.

After the war John returned to Highland Twp., Winneshiek Co. and became a farmer. He married Martha Thompson 22 Jul 1869. Martha Thomsdtr. Tufte came from Aurland, Sogn Og Fjordane, Norway. The Tufte and Bakka farms where Martha lived are about 25 miles northeast of Voss and about 3 miles north of the Gudvangen landing. Martha and her family emigrated from Norway in 1866.

John and Martha had 3 children, but only 2 survived as of 1900. They were: Ole (b. Jul 1871) and John A. (b. Nov 1874). The 1990 census of Highland Twp. showed that John and Martha owned their farm free and clear.

Also, living on the farm were John A. (single) and Ole and his wife Christina (age 24).

At some point, Ole decided to use the name Ole Sanden. John A. kept the Johnson name. Evidently there was a family dispute about whether to use the Sanden or Johnson name. When John O. died in 1910, the obituary in one Decorah newspaper listed him as John O. Sanden and another paper as John O. Johnson.

John O. Johnson died 2 Jan 1910 of arterial sclerosis. He was buried 5 Jan 1910 at Highland Lutheran Church.

Johnson, John Washington and Marion (Wigeland)

(Jane K. Woodward)

John Washington Johnson was born in Norway, Racine Co., WI 20 Feb 1844. He was taken to Iowa by his parents Nelson and Anna Johnson in 1850, arriving in Washington Prairie 2 Jul.

In 1865 he moved back to Racine Co., Wl and on 5 Aug of that year he married Marion Wigeland, the only daughter of Arentz and Gunnil Wigeland who had settled in that county the same year as had the Johnsons.

John and Marion had 3 daughters: Ada G., N. Amanda and Emma L.

While living in Norway, Wl Mr. Johnson served as Assessor, a member of the Board of Supervisors and 6 years as Justice of the Peace. In 1873 he was elected Sheriff of Racine Co. and moved to the city of Racine. He served in that office until 1874 and the following 3 years was engaged in the mercantile business. He was elected Justice of the Peace in 1877 and re-elected in 1879. He was later Chief of Police in Racine for 7 years. He died in Racine 30 Oct 1930. Marion died Mar 1934.

Johnson, Lars and Anne (Christopherson)

(Lettie Ellickson)

Bio Photo

Lars and great-grandchildren
Left to right, back: Roger Ellickson, Lars Johnson, Vernon Ellickson and Wilma Thorson.
Front: Virgil and Harlan Thorson.

Lars Johnson was born 28 Jan 1840 in Voss, Norway, the son of John and Bryteva Johnson. He was educated in Norway and came to Trempeleau Co., Wl in 1866 at

Complete OCR transcription. See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

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this page was last updated on Sunday, 28 March 2021