age 26. About 1868 he came to Winneshiek Co. and settled in Highlandville, IA.

In 1869 Lars married Anna Christopherson. She was Anna Christoffersdtr Djonne from Telemarken, Norway. Lars and Anna had one child Betsey Louise. Anna died in 1871. In 1873 Lars married AnnaThrondson. They had 3 children: Theodore, who died in infancy; Albert, died 1910; and Anna.

Lars had one sister, Inger Johnson. Lars was a farmer and boot maker. He made shoes for anyone who needed them. He was a member of Big Canoe Lutheran Church. After he moved to Decorah he joined First Lutheran Church. Lars died 28 Jan 1934 and was buried in the Big Canoe Cemetery.

I never saw him without his beard and long hair. I remember as a child I would visit him a week at a time. After working in the field all day he made his own beer. He had a little hut with a stove and in the loft there was just room for him to stand up and in his dirty stocking feet with a garden rake in his hands he would keep turning the barley so it all got quite hot. I don’t remember the rest of the process, but to this day I do not like beer.

They lived in a log cabin. The inside was white washed so the ceiling and walls were pure white. No one was ever allowed in the living room except when the preacher came to call. I remember helping my Aunt Annie pick gooseberries. They would boil them up, drain them, and the juice was delicious as a cold drink with a sugar cookie.

Betsey Louise (my mother) was sent to Decorah when about 15 years old to work as a maid for some of the big shots who could afford a maid. In her spare time she attended the Ida Davidson dressmaking school and learned to make her own patterns and do tailoring and everything in the sewing line.

Johnson, Leon and Clara (Halsey)

(Lilly Womeldorf)

Bio Photo

Leon and Clara Johnson March 28. 1912

Leon Bernhard Johnson was born 25 Jan 1892, the seventh child of Jan and Iverine Jansen. He was educated near Decorah and went to Valder's Normal School where he was on a basketball team including Elmer Wepler and Ed Schrubbe-playing well enough to get free schooling from Mr. Valder. They were just about unbeatable throughout the country and used to warm up with the “Luther boys.” Leon was very sports-minded and also liked to swim.

During World War I he was the only member of the family to be stricken in the great influenza pandemic and was very sick. Since no one was able to get the doctor to come to the farm to treat Leon his dad offered to drive the doctor to his next appointment. Instead he took the doctor out into the country to treat Leon first. This trick may have saved Leon’s life. He also was nearly sent to war as he was called to Fort Des Moines just when the war ended.

Leon had several occupations throughout his life-worked the railroad section crew out of Nordness in 1913 (Springfield Twp.), farming, egg and produce business, construction (in Minnesota), and gas and grocery business. The last 25 years of his life he spent in law enforcement in West Union, IA with many years spent as deputy sheriff. “He stood for right no matter what your name was.’’ a quote from son Gerald. He died 8 Dec 1962.

Leon married Clara Belie Halsey from Hesper, IA (9 Jul 1890-Aug 1957) on 28 Mar 1912. To them 3 sons were born: Ernest, Gerald Walter and Earl Dean.

Ernest, born 11 Aug 1913 in Nordness, IA, married Florence Ruckdashel Oct 1937 and had one daughter Marvette Lou. He was later divorced and married Margaret Conrad (14 Jul 1951-22 May 1995) 21 Apr 1951. They lived in Waterloo, IA when Ernest died 5 Feb 1993.

Gerald Walter, born 5 Mar 1916 in Decorah,IA married Hazel Patterson (b. 21 Apr 1916) on 16 Oct 1941 and had a son Allen LeRoy and a daughter Beverly Ann. Gerald was living in Denver, CO when he died 5 Dec 1990.

Earl Dean, born 22 Mar 1929 in West Union, IA, married Erma Steffens on 15 Aug 1953. Both taught in the high school in Oskaloosa, IA. Earl died after a short illness 10 Aug 1994.

Johnson, Lewis and Carrie (Holmes)

(Jane K. Woodward)

Lewis Cornelius Johnson was born in Decorah, IA 18 Feb 1852 to Nelson and Anna Johnson. He graduated from the University of IA and also from the Law Department of the same institution. He practiced law with his brother M. N. Johnson in Decorah.

L. C. Johnson married Carrie Van Nest Holmes 19 Nov 1879. She was born in 1858 to a pioneer Iowa family. L.C. and Carrie had 6 children. Three died in infancy. Their 3 surviving daughters were: Hope Alpha, born 29 Nov 1881 at Decorah; Virna Bernice and Ina Rachel, both born in ND.

In 1884 L. C. Johnson and his family homesteaded in


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.

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