N. H. Ingersoll, publisher and business man of Brainerd, Minnesota, occupies a prominent place as a citizen of Crow Wing county. He is a part owner of the Brainerd Despatch, and publishes the same in partnership with F. W. Weiland.
Mr. Ingersoll was born in Plover, Portage county, Wisconsin, October 25, 1869. His father, H. G. Ingersoll, was one of the early settlers of Wisconsin, locating there in 1850. He was a newspaper man. The family have been in America for many generations.
Of a family of three children, N. H. Ingersoll was the second in order of birth. He was raised in the village and attended the common schools. He settled in Ada, Minnesota, in 1882, and published the Ada Alert. In March, 1883, he disposed of his business interests in Ada and removed to Brainerd, Crow Wing county, and in partnership with F. W. Weiland purchased the Brainerd Despatch. This paper was established in 1881 by A. E. Pennell, and the first issue was published December 21, 1881. Since its purchase by Mr. Ingersoll and Mr. Weiland it has increased in circulation steadily and now enjoys a large subscription list. It has been the official paper of the county for the past seventeen years and is one of the leading papers of that region. It is valued as an exchange paper and has a large exchange list. In 1900 the proprietors added a large Babcock press and gasoline engine, and they do a large business in job printing. The work is executed promptly and neatly and speaks well for the management. The paper is Republican in political sentiment, and has advocated the principles of that party since its establishment.
Mr. Ingersoll was married, in 1881, to Miss Hattie Hall. Mrs. Ingersoll is of American birth and parentage. She is a lady of good education, and followed teaching prior to her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Ingersoll are the parents of one child, a son. Mr. Ingersoll was engrossing clerk in the house of representatives in the Minnesota legislature three terms, and is active in all public affairs of his community. He was appointed postmaster of Brainerd January 6, 1900, and is now serving in that capacity, and is an efficient and popular officer. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias and Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and Ancient Order of United Workmen.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 157-58.
Industry, persistent efforts and integrity go hand in hand toward success. To become proficient in any walk of life requires all of these characteristics, and but comparatively few men possess them in marked degree. Among those who are fortunate enough to possess them and have made the best of the opportunities afforded stands Palmer H. Irish. Mr. Irish started his business and professional career without means and no other help than his own efforts brought, and he has become one of the successful medical practitioners of Hubbard county, Minnesota. He has a well equipped office in the rear of his brother's drug store in the village of Akeley, and enjoys a large and growing practice. He is a gentleman of strong mind, capable, and is a skilled and conscientious practitioner and is deservedly enjoying the confidence and esteem of his associates. A portrait of Dr. Irish will be found on one of the pages of this album.
Dr. Irish was born in Vermont, March 9, 1877, and was a son of Lyman W. and Dyantha L. Irish, both of whom were natives of Vermont. He attended the common schools of his native state and left Vermont at the age of nineteen years, locating in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He attended the State University there four years, graduating from the same and then instituted a practice at Brainerd, Minnesota. He continued there but three months and August 29, 1900, established his office for the practice of his profession in Akeley. He is the only physician of the town and he has fitted elegant apartments in the rear of his brother's drug store. He is a man of wide experience and has traveled over the country from the Atlantic to the Pacific as a practitioner, but he finds Akeley, Minnesota, a pleasant town in which to make a home, and he has built up a good practice there and has decided on his permanent settlement in that thriving town. He earned his way through college and worked determinedly for his education and has always made his studies a source of profit and pleasure to him.
Dr. Irish is health officer of Akeley, Minnesota, and discharges his duties in this capacity efficiently and faithfully. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America at Akeley. Politically he is a Republican and stands firmly for his convictions.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 314.
Helger T. Iverson, who is one of the solid and reliable business men of Watson, Minnesota, was born in Gran Hadeland, Norway, in 1855. His father was a tailor in Norway. He came to America with his family in 1864, and settled in Fillmore county, Minnesota, where he located on a farm. In 1869 he left this farm, and removed with his family to a location in Chippewa county, where he had a farm of unbroken prairie. They made the journey from Fillmore county by ox teams, and were three weeks on the road. They had numerous hardships to face, and for the first year on the place they lived in a dugout.
Helger T. Iverson remained with his parents until 1879, helping open the farm and getting things into shape before he struck out. In 1879, however, he left them and coming to Watson, was the first business man to buy a lot in the new town, and put up a business block, where he opened the first store in Watson. This he did in partnership with his brother, Hans Iverson.
Helger T. Iverson carried on business here until 1898, when he sold it, and for six years was working for others. In the fall of 1903 he again resumed business. He was married in 1880, and has a family of six children: Henry I., Alfred O., Bennie T., Helmine H., Chester M., and Clara C. His wife's maiden name was Engeborg Hagenstad. She died in 1899.
Mr. Iverson is a strong Republican, and has held various township and village offices. He helped incorporate the village of Watson, and has watched it grow from its very beginning.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 462-63.
Lac-qui-parle county boasts no more prominent nor highly esteemed citizen than the gentleman whose name appears at the head of this review. For many years he has been closely connected with the history of this region, and he is one of the promoters of its welfare. He is engaged in the implement business in Madison, and was one of the founders of this thriving town.
Mr. Jacobson was born on a farm near Stavanger, Norway, in 1849. His father was a farmer by occupation, and he came with his family to America in 1857, going direct from Detroit to Iowa, and locating in Fayette county. Here our subject was reared and educated and he assisted the father on the home farm. In 1869 he came to Lac-qui-parle county, Minnesota, with the first colony of settlers who located in the county. This colony consisted of forty persons who moved from Iowa to Lac-qui-parle county, Minnesota, by wagon. The first permanent settlement was made in 1868 and William M. Mills was one of the number. Our subject handled ox teams in Iowa and in Minnesota, and in the early days Redwood Falls was the nearest trading point and St. Peter was the nearest railroad station, and this was one hundred and thirty miles distant. In 1871 Mr. Jacobson established a machine business in the village of Lac-qui-parle and has continued in the same line of business for the past thirty-two years. He did an extensive business from the start, and sold machinery to settlers living sixty miles from the town. For many years he has been interested in the sale of farm lands in the county and was one of the company to locate and plat the town site of Madison in 1884, he owning one-fourth of the site. The same year the town was started he established his machine business here, selling agricultural implements and in 1886 moved the entire plant to Madison, and has conducted an extensive business there since that time.
Mr. Jacobson was elected county auditor in 1872, and was the first elected auditor of Lac-qui-parle county. He held this office six years being twice re-elected. In 1889 he was elected a state representative and he served in this capacity seven terms, doing very efficient work for his district and introducing many of the important measures that have since become established laws. He is a stanch Republican and takes a leading and active part in public affairs of his county and state.
Mr. Jacobson was married in 1873. Mrs. Jacobson died leaving two children as a result of this marriage. They are named Lizzie and Josephine. Mr. Jacobson was married a second time in 1889 and of this union two children have been born, who are named Alvin and Grant.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 612-13.
Ludvig M. Jensvold, the proprietor of an extensive and well cultivated farm in Stony River township, Yellow Medicine county, was born in the town of Bodo, in the northern part of Norway, in 1843, the son of a farmer, who lived and died in Norway.
Ludvig M. Jensvold went to sea at the age of ten years, and for the next ten years his life was spent in the coast trade and in fishing along shore. In 1867 he crossed the ocean and made his home for a little time in Quebec, and then lived two years in Fillmore county, Minnesota. In 1869 he came into Yellow Medicine county, and settled on a farm in section 10, Stony Run township, and his family was the first to be brought into this township. Anton, his son, was the first white child born in the town, April 1, 1870. His first residence was a dug-out, 10 by 14 feet, and this humble structure was their home for some ten years.
Mr. Jensvold was married in Norway in 1862 to Miss Anne Fredrikson, and has fourteen children, and eighteen grandchildren, all of whom are living in Minnesota.
In the early days Mr. Jensvold faced and overcome immense difficulties. He began his farm work with oxen, on which he depended for some years. His market town at first was Marshall, thirty-five miles away. One winter he made eighteen trips, and on more than one night he had to camp out. The roads were wretched, and more than once when his wagon was mired he had to carry his load out on his back. Benson, a convenient market town, was thirty-five miles away, and Willmar forty miles. One year he lost his entire crop by the grasshoppers, and in 1870, the year following, it was a partial failure. At present he is very prosperous. His fine and well kept place of five hundred and eleven acres, is located near the Minnesota river, and has about three hundred acres under the plough and harrow. He has over a hundred apple trees and not a little small fruit on his place.
Mr. Jensvold is a Republican and has served as constable and chairman of the supervisors. He was elected sheriff of Yellow Medicine county in 1886, and re-elected three times in succession, making an imcumbency of eight years in that office in all. During this period he had his home in Granite Falls.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 357.
Lewis O. Jesme, of the firm of Lewis O. Jesme & Company, is senior member of one of the oldest established and most extensive general merchandise houses in the village of Georgetown, and is one of the best known and most highly esteemed citizens of Clay county.
Mr. Jesme is descended of good old Norse stock, although a native of Dane county Wisconsin, where he was born December 28, 1865. His parents were Ole and Ingeborg (Lee) Jesme, and of a family of eleven children born to them our subject was the eighth in order of birth. In 1879 he went to Goodhue county, Minnesota, and joined his parents, who had settled there the year previous. Our subject did not fancy farm life, and soon after accepted a clerkship in a store at Owatonna. In 1889 he located in Georgetown, and purchased a tract of land near the village. He cultivated his farm for two years and in that time became thoroughly convinced that he had missed his calling. He then entered the employ of Weum & Dalen, at Georgetown, and in 1898 purchased an interest in their business, and has become the head of the firm now known as Lewis O. Jesme & Company. He has proved himself a man of remarkable business capacity, and this, together with his energy and uprightness of character, has brought success to the business. Their patronage is extending in all lines, and is becoming known throughout the county as the most substantial and reliable firm in that region.
Mr. Jesme was married in 1899 to Miss Annie R. Weum. To Mr. and Mrs. Jesme one child has been born, namely: Irene. Mr. Jesme is a Republican in political views and is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. He is also an active member of the Norwegian Lutheran church, at Georgetown. He has been for many years an active and public spirited citizen and has exerted his influence in behalf of a better public service and morality. He is the present postmaster of Georgetown and discharged the duties of that position with ability and entire satisfaction.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 293.
Andrew Johnson, known throughout Traverse county as an energetic and prosperous farmer, resides in Lake Valley township, where he has been engaged for the past ten years in bringing his farm to a high state of cultivation and valuable estate.
Mr. Johnson was born in Dalarne, Sweden, in 1866. His father is a farmer by occupation and is a resident of Roseau county, Minnesota. He came to America in 1890.
Of a family of five children our subject was the third in order of birth. He was reared in his native land and at the age of sixteen years started for himself. He worked in the lumber woods and also at farm labor in Sweden until 1887, and in the fall of that year came to America, landing at New York City. He came to Wisconsin and spent five years at lumbering and on the log drives. He came first to Traverse county in the fall of 1891, spending a harvest season here. He came again in 1892 and became a permanent resident of section 3 of Lake Valley township. His farm is on the east shore of Lake Traverse. He had plenty of wild game, birds, muskrats and minks and he did considerable trapping and hunting. When he started on his farm there was but a small barn and a shanty for a house. His first team were oxen and he farmed with them three or four years. He has placed valuable improvements on the place, including a comfortable and commodious residence, large barn, and all necessary farm buildings. He has a well equipped and well stocked farm. He follows grain raising and has met with success in his farming operations. He is one of the best known residents of his township and his home is the stopping place for many eastern hunters who visit that region each fall.
Mr. Johnson was married in the fall of 1892. Mrs. Johnson was born in Sweden, her maiden name being Lesi Erickson. Our subject sent to her native land for her to come to America. He met her at Minneapolis and she became his wife. To Mr. and Mrs. Johnson four children have been born, all of whom were born on the home farm in Traverse county. They are named as follows: Bada, Edna, Albert and Frank.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 635.
Andrew Johnson is one of the leading and substantial citizens of Yellow Medicine county. Mr. Johnson was born in Norway in 1862. His father was a farmer and our subject was the youngest of a family of five children. He came to America, landing in New York in 1883, and immediately started for Benson, Minnesota. At Benson, he took up farm work, working for one year. He then began work in constructing the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway through Yellow Medicine county. After the railroad was finished, he worked on the Washburn farm, in Kandiyohi county, for three years, then he went to Minot, North Dakota, where he spent one year on a cattle ranch. While at Minot, he embarked in cattle business for himself, but in a very short time he tired of being tied down so closely and went to Great Falls, Montana, in 1889. At Great Falls, he worked on the Great Falls water works and in the fall of 1889, he went to work on the Great Northern Railroad, where he remained until the fall of 1892, having been promoted to the position of foreman. During the period he was with the railroad company, he worked on the track from Minot, North Dakota to Great Falls, Montana. In the fall of 1892, he resigned his position with the railroad and went back to Norway, his native land, on a visit to his people. In 1893, he came back to America going to Echo, where he opened a general store, under the firm name of Johnson & Olson. This business has prospered greatly and the firm has by their fair treatment and square dealing, won the good will and confidence of the people in and around Echo. A large and complete stock of general merchandise is carried in this store. The business started in a humble way, has grown and prospered until it is now one of the best known in Yellow Medicine county. In 1902, the firm of Johnson & Olson opened a branch store at Granville, North Dakota, under the name of The Granville Mercantile Co., conducting a general store and also operating a grain elevator.
Our subject was married in 1895 to Miss Pethra Uppedahl, who was born in Norway, but came to America with her parents, who settled in Ward county, North Dakota, while she was yet a little child. This union has been blessed with three children, all girls, as follows: Bessie, Mable and Alma, all having been born in Echo.
In poitical [sic] affairs, our subject is a Republican; he has always taken an active part in public affairs and is known far and wide for his public spirit and liberal views. Mr. Johnson has served his community as a member of the village council.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 403-04.
August Johnson, who, with his father, engages in farming in Otrey township, owns a pleasant and well improved estate. The family is one of the representative families of the county and were among the earliest settlers in this region and have worked towards its upbuilding.
Our subject was born in Westergotland, Sweden, on a farm in 1858. His father was a farmer and came to America with his family in 1882 and settled in Big Stone county, Minnesota. Our subject was reared in his native land and while still residing there served two years in the Swedish army. He has continued farming with his father since the family located in Big Stone county and he has met with good success. He and the father each took homesteads and built a shanty on each tract and they farmed together, using oxen for their first labors and continued with them for seven years, during which time they placed all their land under plow. Mr. Johnson now owns one hundred and sixty acres of land and he has placed valuable improvements in the way of buildings on the place, and by persistent labors and good management has succeeded in surrounding himself with all the comforts of a rural home. He devotes his entire attention to his farm work and is systematic and progressive and well merits the success which has attended him in Big Stone county.
Mr. Johnson was married in 1886 to Miss Mena Youngstrom, a native of Sweden. Eight children have been born of this marriage, namely: Emil, Alfred, Alex, Walter, Harry, Frank, Tilda, and Gust. All were born on the home farm in Otrey township. Mr. Johnson is actively interested in educational matters and a school of his district is situated on a part of his farm. He is a Repubican [sic] in political sentiment and is a man of broad mind and keeps posted on current events.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 671.
Charles R. C. Johnson, one of the well known and prosperous business men of Stevens county, is engaged in the drug business in Morris. He is a man of intelligence and enterprise and has extensive financial interests in that locality.
Mr. Johnson was born in Wabasha county, Minnesota, in 1868. His father, George P. Johnson, was of old American stock. He was one of the early settlers of Wabasha county, Minnesota, and was a farmer by occupation. Our subject was reared in Rochester, Minnesota, attending the common schools there. He later became a student in the Chicago College of Pharmacy and graduated with the class of '89. He soon afterward came to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he conducted a drug business until 1893, and from there went to Howard Lake, Minnesota, and entered into the newspaper business in that place for three years. He then went to Benson, Minnesota, and was proprietor of a drug store there for two years, and in 1896 located in Morris, where he has since resided. Since locating there he has built up a good business and has the most extensive trade in his line in that thriving town. He has also established the local telephone in Stevens county and is one of the progressive and substantial citizens of the county.
Mr. Johnson was married in 1896 to Miss Nellie Clark. Mrs. Johnson was born in Lac-qui-parle county, Minnesota. Her father, Z. B. Clark, was a prominent citizen of that county, where he served as senator for a number of terms. He was a banker by occupation. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are the parents of two children, namely: Robert C. P. and Dorothy L., both of whom were born in Morris, Minnesota. Mr. Johnson takes a keen interest in the affairs of his town and county, and is classed among the leaders. He is identified with the Republican party and is chairman of the Stevens county committee of his party.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 506.
Edward P. Johnson, the present efficient and popular cashier of the First State Bank at Boyd, Lac-qui-parle county, Minnesota, where his genial ways and correct business habits have won many friends, was born on a farm in Gudbrandsdalen, Norway, in 1864. His father brought his family to this country in 1869, and made his home in Fillmore county, Minnesota, where he two years later met his death by accident. The widow was remarried in 1873 to Kasten Christenson, and the same year they established themselves on a farm, which they secured in section 28, Baxter township, Lac-qui-parle county, and there young Edward reached manhood. He was given excellent educational advantages, including attendance at the Windom Institute at Montevideo, and the Willmar Seminary and Institute. After this he taught school for two years in Lac-qui-parle county. On September 1, 1891, he entered the bank of Anderson Christopherson at Dawson, Minnesota, where he spent two years. From 1895 to 1901 he was cashier of the Bank of Boyd owned by Ole Iverson. That year he helped organize the First State Bank of Boyd, and was elected its first cashier, a position he has held to the present time. This is incorporated with Ole Iverson as president and A. J. Peterson vice-president.
Mr. Johnson and Anna Peterson were united in marriage in 1893. Her father, Christian P. Mjovig, was an old settler of the township of Baxter. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have a son, Arthur, now seven years of age.
Mr. Johnson is a Republican, and has been president of the village council of Boyd for five terms, and is still acting as justice of the peace, which office he has held for eight years. He is director of the school district of Boyd, and has for many years been head officer of the local camp of Modern Woodmen of America, and chief of the fire department. At the present time he is engaged in organizing a bank at Watson, Minnesota, under the state laws, to be known as the First State Bank of Watson, for which a building is now being erected, and of which bank Mr. Johnson has been elected president.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 472.
Errich Johnson [sic], the efficient and popular postmaster of Stark, Minnesota, is one of the old settlers of Chisago county, and is classed among the prosperous and energetic business men of his locality. He is a gentleman of broad mind, good judgment and well merits his high standing as a business man and citizen.
Mr. Johnson was born on a farm in Sweden in 1838, Dalsland being his birthplace. His father was a veterinary doctor and practiced his profession in Sweden. He died in his native land at the age of forty-five years. Of a family of three children our subject was the eldest. He was reared and educated in Sweden, and there learned the shoemaker's trade. After his father's death he was reared by his stepmother, and at the age of thirteen years began to earn his own way. He continued his trade until he was twenty-three years of age, and in 1861 came to America. He had no money upon his arrival in this country and he engaged at farm work for five dollars per month. In 1862 he went to Chicago, Illinois, and began farm work in that state, where he remained until April, 1863. He then enlisted in the United States navy under Admiral Foote, and saw service on the Mississippi, Ohio and Cumberland rivers. On the last named river while intercepting General Forrest, April 24, our subject was wounded, losing his left arm. He was discharged from the service in the fall of 1863, after a brave and loyal service. He returned to Chicago and attended Douglas College, completing a preparatory course. He engaged in teaching in Illinois and in 1871 removed to Minnesota. He took land as a homestead in Fish Lake township, and after opening the same sold the property and purchased his present home in Stark. He was appointed postmaster at Stark in 1888 and has held the office continuously since that date, and has proven a most satisfactory official. He has dealt in farm machinery since 1884, and has a good patronage in this line.
Mr. Johnson was married in 1868 in Illinois to Miss Mary Anderson. Mrs. Johnson was born in Sweden and came to America in 1866. To Mr. and Mrs. Johnson two children, twins, have been born, who bear the names of Louisa and Julius. Mr. Johnson is a leading member of the Oak Leaf Grange Society and has numerous societies of this order in Chisago, Pine and Isanti counties, and has delivered many lectures. He established the Farmers' Co-operative Company in Harris, and was instrumental in getting cash for the farmers for their products. The first year of his residence in Fish Lake township he was chosen chairman of the board of supervisors, and in 1882 was elected county commissioner for Chisago county and held the office three years. He has been township clerk and justice of the peace for twelve years. For several years he taught school in Chisago and Isanti counties and was a well known instructor and a man of marked ability. He is a stanch Republican and has attended many county and state conventions of his party since residing in Fish Lake township.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 690.
Hans Johnson, one of the most prominent business men of Willmar, Minnesota, has been a resident of Kandiyohi county for many years, and enjoys an enviable reputation here.
Mr. Johnson was born in Sjalland Denmark, in 1860. His father, Jens Mattson, resided in Denmark and was a laborer. Our subject was the third of a family of seven children. He received but a limited education in his native land, and at the age of seven years was obliged to earn his own way. When nineteen years of age he learned the roofer's trade and followed this three years in Denmark. This work consisted of putting roofs of straw on all classes of buildings, and some of these lasted over twenty years. In 1882 Mr. Johnson came to the United States and spent the first two years thereafter at farm work near Willmar. He began dray work in 1884 and followed this three years for the firm of Rice Brothers. In 1887 he bought this dray business and has since conducted the same. He started with two horses, a wagon and a sled, and now has use for three teams and has several wagons. He has as partners in the business Jens A. Peterson and Nels Knudson. In 1894 Mr. Johnson became manager for the branch of the Standard Oil Company at Willmar. He also has charge of Ham's cold storage plant at Willmar and has conducted the ice business for the past eight years or more. In 1899 he purchased a farm four miles from Willmar. This farm consists of one hundred and sixty acres and is operated through a foreman.
Mr. Johnson made a trip to his native land in 1890 and paid a visit to his parents and childhood home, spending four months on the journey. He takes an active interest in the public affairs of his community and has served as a member of the village board. In his politics he is a Republican.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 816-17.
The prosperity enjoyed within the borders of Chisago county is due in large measure to the enterprise and thrift of the agriculturists of that region. Their well improved and well tilled farms evidence good management and painstaking care and in no locality is this more apparent than in Branch township. Among the residents of this locality is the gentleman above named. He is a substantial farmer, who has acquired a good home by persistent industry and honest dealings, and is esteemed as a farmer and citizen.
Mr. Johnson was born in Dalarne, in the northern part of Sweden, in 1850. His father was a laborer and spent his life in Sweden. Of a family of eight children our subject was the third in order of birth. He was reared and educated in his native land, and from eleven to fourteen years of age was employed in a factory, manufacturing brass buckles, brass weights and all kinds of brass tools. He then assisted his father until fifteen years of age, when he began farm labor and continued thus engaged until he came to America in 1881. He landed at New York city and went from there to Rush City, Minnesota. He began work on the gravel train of the Northern Pacific railroad, and followed railroad work for about three years. In 1884 he went to North Dakota, where he was engaged six months in railroading and at threshing. He spent two summers in Minneapolis, one summer in St. Paul and six months in the construction work on the Soo line. He purchased land in 1885 and in 1888 took up his residence thereon permanently. He has prospered in his farming and is now the owner of 200 acres of valuable land, and has a good home, supplied with all the comforts.
Mr. Johnson was married in 1889 to Mrs. Annie S. Peterson. Mrs. Johnson was born in Sweden and came to America in 1882. She is the mother of two children by her former marriage, namely: Frank E. Peterson, and William A. Peterson. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are the parents of two children, namely: Eleanora and Clara. Mr. Johnson is a member of the Lutheran church. In political faith he is a Republican.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 342.
Among the younger members of the farming community of West Bank township, who have gained a standing as successful business men and worthy citizens, a foremost place is accorded the gentleman whose name heads this review. Mr. Johnson has been a resident of that township for eighteen years and his home is on section 9, where he owns one hundred and sixty acres of valuable land. This tract he made into a homestead in 1900, and is well known as one of the substantial men of Swift county.
Mr. Johnson was born in Norway, May 17, 1856, and was a son of John and Mary (Peterson) Johnson. The parents never came to America. The father was a farmer and fisherman and our subject was raised to this occupation, and during the last six years of his stay in his native land he followed sea-fishing and coasting exclusively. He came to America to seek his fortune and located in Polk county, Wisconsin, in 1881. He remained there and worked in a sawmill until he removed to Swift county in 1886. He bought a claim of one hundred and sixty acres where he lives and proved it up as a homestead in 1900. He follows mixed farming and has a herd of twenty cattle, twenty hogs, and a small flock of sheep. He has a comfortable house, good barns, sheds, etc., and plenty of trees for shelter and shade. His land is good and produces good crops. He has six work horses and all machinery for conducting a modern farm and has met with success in his farming operations.
Mr. Johnson was the youngest in a family of eleven children. His mother is deceased, and the father died in February, 1903. Mr. Johnson was married June 6, 1890, to Johanna Steen, a native of Norway. Mrs. Johnson's mother died in Norway, and her father is still living and resides in Norway. To Mr. and Mrs. Johnson seven children have been born, namely: Amanda, Julia, John B., Eleida, Alma, Harold and Melvina. Mr. Johnson is giving his children a good education. He is a leading man of his township and is chairman of the board of supervisors, and has been school treasurer for eleven years since the school was organized, and is roadmaster and constable.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 598.
Martin Johnson, engaged in farming in Brandrup township, is one of the energetic and prosperous agriculturists of Wilkin county.
Mr. Johnson was born in Verdalen, Norway, in 1864. His father, John Johnson, was a farmer and came to America in 1882. He died in Bradford township, Wilkin county, in 1900. He was an old settler of this county.
Our subject was the fourth in a family of eight children and he was reared in his native land and at the age of eighteen years came to America, in 1882 and worked one year in a saw-mill in Wisconsin. His father settled on a homestead in Wisconsin in the fall of 1883. Our subject was employed by a lumber company for two and a half years. In the spring of 1885 he took a pre-emption in section 6 of Bradford township. This was wild prairie land and the first buildings were of sod. He lived alone in his sod shanty for about a year and a half. He farmed with oxen for about four years, but despite his first discouragements he has persevered and now has a fine farm on the Ottertail River, and his land extends into Foxhome township. He owns three hundred and eighty-five acres of land, nearly all of which is under cultivation, and he has a set of good buildings on the place, including a comfortable residence, large barn, granary, and other buildings. He has all needed farm machinery and the place is well cared for.
Mr. Johnson was married in 1890 to Miss Molina Alberson. Mrs. Johnson was born in Ottertail county, Minnesota, and her father, Albert Alberson, is an old settler of that county, having located there in the 'seventies. He drove there by ox team. He is a native of Norway. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are the parents of four children, namely: Martha, Albert, John S., and Betsey M. Mr. Johnson has served in numerous township offices, including pathmaster, assessor, supervisor, and school treasurer and takes an active interest in local affairs. He is a Republican politically.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 808.
O. B. Johnson, who was born in that part of central Norway known as Lome, Guldbrandsdalen, in 1855, and for many years has held an enviable position in the commercial and social circles of Granite Falls, Minnesota, is highly regarded alike for his manly qualities, business habits and strict integrity. His father was a farmer who came to America in 1872 with his family, and for three years had his home in Chicago. He is now living in Union county, South Dakota.
O. B. Johnson was reared to hard work, and from twelve years of age followed farm work. In 1882 he came to Granite Falls, Minnesota, and started for himself in the furniture business, buying the store of Jenson & Oleson, one of the oldest in the city. In 1885 he sold out, and two years later went into the milling business, buying in with John W. Hickson, under the firm name of Hickson & Johnson at Granite Falls. In 1890 Mr. Johnson bought wheat very extensively at Granite Falls, for Pillsbury's Mills, and for some half a dozen years was engaged in this business. He was engaged in the mercantile business in association with the Granite Falls Hardware Company, after which he was in a general merchandise business. His various business enterprises have been crowned with a very fair measure of success, and he has never had reason to complain of the lack of public favor. He has always stood well, and the people were quick to give him patronage, as they were well pleased with his management and liked his fair spirit.
Mr. Johnson was married in 1879 to Miss Bertha Omtvedt, a native of Norway, and they now have four children, Sarah, Bertha, Jay, and Mabel. He is a Republican, and has taken a very active part in local politics. His full share has been done in a business way to build up the city, and his work has been appreciated. He was one of the charter members of the local lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and he has filled its various chairs as the years have passed. Mrs. Johnson's people were early pioneers in Yellow Medicine county, and her sister Mary was the first girl married in the county.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 388.
Peter Johnson, a prosperous and enterprising farmer of Traverse county, Minnesota, is a resident of Monson township. He is a gentleman of intelligence and good business ability and has gained a good home and the respect and esteem of his fellowmen.
Mr. Johnson was born in Hollan, Sweden, July 3, 1849. His father was a farmer by occupation and was a native of Sweden, where he spent his life. He was born November 22, 1804, and died December 26, 1868. He served in the reserve army in Sweden. He was married three times and of the first union two children were born and five children blessed the third marriage. Our subject was the youngest of the family, and he was reared in his native land and received his education there. He remained with his mother on the farm until he was twenty-two years of age and then in 1872, came to the United States. He landed in New York City, May 9, and came direct to Atkinson, Henry county, Illinois, where he remained until November, 1874. He then visited his native land for nine months and in 1875 again located in Illinois. He worked there for three years and then engaged in farming there for two years and in the spring of 1880 removed to Traverse county, Minnesota. Three or four shanties were all that were in sight from his farm at that time and these were vacant. He built a shanty of rough boards in which he spent his summers and he later put up a building, a part of which he used for a house and the rest for his team. He had no means and did the greater part of his land breaking with oxen. Herman was his nearest trading point and this was twenty-four miles distant. Many times on a trip to market he was caught in a storm. He had a farm of two hundred and forty acres, and this he has placed under cultivation. He has a set of good buildings and all necessary machinery for conducting a model farm and has met with pronounced success. For the past fifteen years he has been a director in the Delaware Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company.
Mr. Johnson was married in 1893 to Miss Bina Carlson. Mrs. Johnson was born in Sweden and came to America in 1886. Her father came to America in 1887. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are the parents of five children, namely: Ida Lucinda, Elmer Julius, Walter Clarence, Frithjof Garfield, and Bessie Paulina. All were born on the home farm in Traverse county. Mr. Johnson was elected township supervisor when the township was organized and he was the first chairman of the board. He was town clerk for six years and road overseer and about 1889 was elected assessor and has since held the office. He is an independent voter, but stands for the reform principles of the Populist party. He has attended numerous conventions as a delegate and takes an active part in all public affairs of his township and county.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 661.
Samuel C. Johnson, probably one of the best known citizens of Chisago county, Minnesota, is a resident of Rush City, where he has extensive business interests. He has built up an enviable reputation and enjoys prosperity and is one of the substantial men of his community.
Mr. Johnson was born in Wexjo, Smoland, Sweden, June 15, 1851. His father was a carpenter and spent his life in Sweden. Our subject was reared in his native land and in 1867 at the age of sixteen years came to America to seek his fortune. He went direct to Taylors Falls from New York, and there engaged in the drug business, being associated with R. F. Combs. He spent three years there and also worked in the lumber woods as cook by way of recreation and after two years of out-door life he established the first drug store in Rush City in the fall of 1872. He continued proprietor of this business for twenty-three years and in February, 1895, disposed of the same. He added a line of groceries in 1880 and in 1882 began to handle farm machinery and implements. He has continued the latter line since that date. In partnership with M. P. Gothard he purchased the Rush City brick yard in 1895, and this firm now turns out a million brick per year. In 1897 Mr. Johnson erected the first brick building in the city. It is a fine structure 80 by 60 feet, two stories in height. It is occupied by the Rush City Bank, the Metropolitan Drug store, a shoe store and the post office, and the First National Bank of Rush City. In partnership with J. B. Martel our subject conducts a flour and feed business. The firm was formed in 1892 and occupies a two-story brick building erected in 1890. Mr. Johnson is one of the owners and is president of the Rush City Electric Light Company, the business occupying the basement of the Johnson Block.
Our subject is one of the public spirited men of his community and is awake to the interests there. He has held many offices of trust and has gained the confidence and esteem of his fellowmen. He was first a member of the school board, then served as president of the village council for three years, and was then appointed postmaster under President Harrison and served four years in this capacity. He was elected a state representative from the Thirty-second district and was an active member of the general assembly. He was again appointed postmaster of Rush City by President Roosevelt, February 5, 1902, and is now filling that office in a most creditable manner. He is a stanch Republican politically.
Mr. Johnson was married in 1875 to Miss Mary A. Martell. Mrs. Johnson's father, J. B. Martell, is one of the old settlers of Rush City and is one of the prominent business men there. A sketch of his life will be found elsewhere in this volume. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are the parents of two children, namely: Curtis M., aged twenty-five years, and Harold, aged ten years. Curtis M. became a partner in his father's business in 1901, and the firm name is now S. C. Johnson & Son. He was married in 1901 to Miss Gussie M. Eddy of New York state. Mrs. Johnson is a refined, well educated lady and prior to her marriage was a teacher in the schools of Rush City and vicinity.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 540.
Victor Johnson, one of the leading citizens of Chisago county, is a prosperous merchant of Harris, and is widely known as a gentleman of good business ability and true public spirit.
Mr. Johnson was born in Smoland, Sweden, in 1862. His parents were natives of the same land, and they are now residents of Sweden. Our subject was reared and educated in his native country, and at the age of eighteen years he decided to try his fortune in America, and accordingly left home for Quebec, but much against the wishes of his parents. The family were well-to-do, but he could not look to them for assistance, and he endured many hardships during the first years of his life in this country. He pawned his watch to obtain money with which to pay his way from St. Paul to Harris, Minnesota, and he as failed to collect his wages in time lost the watch. He was employed with pick and shovel on the railroad and suffered the effect of this work as he was wholly unused to hard labor. After a season spent in railroad work he again located in Harris in the spring of 1882 and for three and a half years was engaged in teaming for J. W. Flanders. Then for three years he teamed in Minneapolis during the summer months and in the winters worked in the lumber woods. Upon his return to Harris he worked for Isaac Parmenter a season and was then in the employ of C. F. Stark two years. He engaged in business for himself in 1892 and has met with marked success and now occupies a store building 26 by 80 feet. This is the principal place of business in the town of Harris, and is evidence of the good management of Mr. Johnson. In the fall of 1901 he purchased an interest in the hardware business with Albert O. Stark. They now conduct the largest hardware store between St. Paul and Duluth and carry the most complete line of goods. Our subject has dealt largely in real estate in Chisago county and is the owner of a farm of one hundred and thirty acres about two and a half miles from Harris. Upon this property he has a complete set of substantial farm buildings. He has owned from one time to another many of the fine farms of that region and has been successful in every business venture.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 604-05.
"The Journal Press," published at St. Cloud, Minnesota, with Alvah Eastman as editor, is one of the leading newspapers of Minnesota. The paper was established in 1857 as a weekly by Mrs. Jane Grey Swisshelm as "The Visitor," and later became the "Democrat." It was the first paper published in Stearns county and in 1876 was consolidated with "The Press" of St. Cloud. "The Press" was established by a syndicate in 1872 and was edited by C. R. McKinney, now editor of the North St. Paul "Sentinel." At the time of the consolidation of the two papers the name was changed to the "Journal Press." The paper is now owned by "The Journal Press Company," a stock company with the following officers: Alvah Eastman, president; H. W. Grimmer, vice-president; Jas. R. Jerrard, secretary and treasurer.
The paper has run as a weekly since its establishment and is one of the largest weekly papers of the country. It is seven columns, twelve pages, and the subscription price $1.50 per year. The daily was established in 1892 and since that date the paper has run as daily and weekly. It is a Republican sheet and has advocated the principles of that party since about 1860.
In January, 1902, a complete book-binding department was established, and this department has steadily built up an extensive business. The quality of the work is of the best and over twenty men are employed to insure promptness and accuracy in all job and blank-book work. The plant occupies two floors and the basement of a large solid granite building to advertise St. Cloud's principal industry, at 23 Fifth avenue, south, and is a thoroughly equipped and valuable plant. The paper is ably edited and has a wide circulation.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 356.
Edward Joy, who devoted his life to the pursuit of agriculture and has met with marked success in Wilkin county, is an old settler of this region, and is owner of a fine farm in Campbell township.
Mr. Joy was born in Dodge county, Wisconsin, in 1862. His father, Byron Joy, was one of the first settlers of Wilkin county, taking a homestead here in section 2 of Campbell township in 1878. The family joined him here in April, 1879. The first year the family lived in a house ship-lapped, but not plastered and the first summer they lived in a shanty. The father did a great deal of breaking in the country for others and opened up many acres. He resided in this county until 1902, when he removed to Wisconsin. Our subject has the following brothers and sisters: Lydia, now married; Libby, deceased; Clara, now married; Hattie, deceased; Frank, engaged in farming; Mattie, married; and Eugene, farming. Our subject was the second of the family.
Mr. Joy was reared on the home farm and remained at work with his father until he was twenty-five years of age. He conducted a rented farm for two years and in 1888 took a homestead in the northeast quarter of section 2 in Campbell township. He erected his first building in 1888. He has placed valuable improvements on his place and has all machinery necessary and conducts a good farm. He owns one hundred and sixty acres, of which he has placed one hundred and forty under cultivation. The rest of the land is given to pasture. He has met with success and follows grain raising almost exclusively.
Mr. Joy was married in 1885 to Miss Ella J. Waite. Mrs. Joy was born in Canada in 1867, and her father, John Waite, is a farmer of Wisconsin. Mr. and Mrs. Joy are the parents of three children namely: Eugene, Vernie, and John. All were born on the home farm in Wilkin county. Mr. Joy is supervisor of his township and is also school treasurer. He is Republican in political sentiment, but votes independent of party.
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 813-14.
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