One of the successful farmers of Lynden township, Whatcom county, who has worked hard for that which he now possesses, is Benjamin Johansen, who although born under another flag has proven himself a loyal citizen of his adopted country. Beginning life with little cash capital and practically no experience as a farmer or woodsman, he showed what sort of man he was by applying himself so diligently and intelligently to the work before him that at length success crowned his efforts, and he has long been numbered among the representative men of his locality. He was born in Denmark in 1858 and is a son of Johannas and Melina (Jonasen) Larsen, farming folk, and both of whom died in their native land.
Benjamin Johansen attended the public schools of his home neighborhood and then worked for the farmers in that locality until the time came for him to enter the national army for the prescribed military service. However, he served only two years and then, going to Copenhagen, went to work in a department store, where his hours were from six o'clock in the morning until nine o'clock at night. He remained in that store for six years and then went to work for another firm, being employed in the grocery department from eight o'clock to five, which was a considerable improvement in the number of hours of service required. The work was very light, however, and he began to gain weight so rapidly that he was fearful of his health, so he left. About this time his brother-in-law, P. Bensen, who had been in the United States, suggested that he come to American, the land of opportunity. Eventually, in 1902, Mr. Johansen came to this country, coming direct to Bellingham, Whatcom county, where he remained about eighteen months, working in Dovovan's mill. He was thrifty and saved his money, with the idea of buying a place of his own. Mr. Bensen showed him around Lynden township, and in 1903 he bought thirty acres of land, all of which at that time was heavily covered with cedar logs, standing trees and brush.
Mr. Johansen had had no experience under such conditions and was compelled to rely somewhat on the advice and direction of Mr. Bensen. About that time their son was taken sick, and Mrs. Johansen not being well, Mr. Bensen suggested that the family live with him while the land was being cleared. The cedar logs were in good shape and Mr. Bensen showed him just how long the shingle bolts should be cut. To this work he devoted himself with vigor, also slashing the standing trees. In the course of time his labors began to show results and by the end of 1904 he had not only made headway on the land but had built a house, sixteen by twenty-four feet in size, two rooms upstairs and two down, and the family was established in its own home. Several times during the years immediately following they were nearly burned out by forest fires, and they had many other experiences not pleasant or encouraging to the new settlers. However, they persevered, and Mr. Johansen had to his credit one enviable record - he supported his family from the products of the farm practically from the beginning, avoiding the necessity of going away from home to work, as did most of the early settlers of that locality. In 1920 Mr. Johansen built a fine, modern house, attractive and comfortable, and the farm, with all of its substantial improvements, is now one of the best in the locality. About twelve acres are cleared, the remainder being in pasture. Because of injuries received when knocked down by a bull a few years ago, Mr. Johansen is compelled to use crutches, and being unable to do the heavier farm work as formerly, he sold off his stock and machinery. He had previously kept ten cows, four heifers, four calves and two horses, for which he raised all the necessary feed on the place. In addition to his fine home, he has a substantial barn and a good silo, while his fertile fields yield splendid crops.
In 1889 Mr. Johansen was married to Miss Christina Strand, who was born in Denmark, and to them was born a son, Paul Henry, who is now engaged in the insurance business in Bellingham. He was married to Miss Jessie Pearl Marer, who was born in Michigan, and they have two children, Paul A. and Ruby. Mr. Johansen was formerly a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association. At one time the government wanted to buy a corner of his place for a customs office, but he declined to give it up. However, he later erected the present building, which he rents to the government. He has in every respect supported all local institutions, such as the public schools and churches, and has stood with his fellow citizens in all efforts to advance the best interests of the community. Because of his splendid record, fine personal character and kindly and genial disposition, he holds a high place in the confidence and esteem of all who know him.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 727-728
Industry, thrift and perseverance constitute the basis of all prosperity, and possessing these qualities in abundance, Alex Johnson has worked his way steadily upward. Of hardy pioneer stock, he has gained renewed vigor by battling with difficulties and is now devoting his attention to the cultivation of the soil, residing in the Everson district. He was born in Dane county, Wisconsin, in 1868, and his parents, Knute and Julia Johnson, were natives of Norway. After their marriage they came to the United States and were eighteen weeks in making the voyage across the Atlantic, completing the trip in one of the old-time sailing vessels. They decided to locate in the middle west and in 1840 the father entered a homestead in Wisconsin, casting in his lot with its earliest settlers. He hewed a farm out of the wilderness and devoted the remainder of his life to the improvement of the place, on which the mother also passed away.
Alex Johnson attended the public schools of Dane county and aided his father in the operation of the farm, becoming well acquainted with agricultural pursuits. He remained on the homestead until he was twenty-one years of age and then came to Washington. After reaching Tacoma he secured employment in the lumber woods and also worked in the mines. In 1900 he came to Whatcom county and for several years was employed in the lumber camps. He went to Alaska in 1919 and for four years was engaged in mining in that country.
On October 23, 1924, Mr. Johnson was united in marriage to Mrs. Amelia Miller, of Lawrence township. They have a valuable ranch of seventy-six acres and their home is one of the best in the locality. Mr. Johnson is a practical farmer and brings to his occupation a progressive, open mind, keeping thoroughly abreast of the times. He is a republican but has never aspired to public office. He is much interested in everything that affects the development of the district in which he lives and manifests in his character the sterling traits of the race from which he sprang.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 892
Among the fine, public-spirited citizens and enterprising dairy farmers of northwestern Whatcom county stands B. Johnson, who is not only enjoying material success in his business affairs but has also won a high standing among his fellow citizens. Mr. Johnson is a native of Iceland, born in 1872, and is a son of J. and Thorun (Gunnarson) Johnson, both of whom were natives of that country, where they spent their lives and died. The father was a fisherman by vocation, engaging mainly in the cod fishing industry, while his wife's people were farmers. Our subject was reared at home and secured his education in the public schools of his native community. At the age of fourteen years he went to Manitoba, Canada, where he obtained work on farms, following that employment for about three years. In 1889 he came to seattle, Washington, where he remained until 1905, following seine fishing on the Sound. He then bought twenty acres of his present place, onto which he moved, and at once entered upon the task of clearing the tract and getting it into cultivation. He was successful in his operations and eventually was enabled to buy forty acres more, being now the owner of sixty acres of splendid and well improved land. About eight acres are cleared, the greater part of the remainder being devoted to pasturage. Mr. Johnson has erected a good set of farm buildings and is well equipped for carrying on the operation of the farm. He confines his attention largely to dairying, keeping six good grade milk cows, for which he raises his own feed. He is energetic and untiring in all that he does and has gained a fine reputation for his enterprise and industry.
In 1895 Mr. Johnson was married to Miss Emma Solvason, who was born in Iceland, a daughter of Solvi and Solveig (Stevenson) Solvason. In 1876 the Solvason family came to Manitoba, where the father engaged in farming, and the mother's death occurred there. Subsequently the father moved to Seattle, Washington, where he died. To Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have been born three children, namely: Solvi, who lives at home and follows the fishing business; Sophie, who became the wife of P. Munshausen, of Berkeley, California, and is the mother of a son; and Lillian, who is the wife of Ross P. Chambers, of Aberdeen, Washington. Mr. Johnson is a man of fine public spirit, taking a good citizen's interest in the things that affect the welfare of his community, and he served for one year as a member of the school board. He is a man of splendid personal qualities, genial and friendly in his social relations and courteous and obliging to his neighbors. Because of his excellent traits of character and his affable disposition, he has won and retains general esteem and good will.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 223
One of the up-to-date farmers and poultry men of Whatcom county is Ben Johnson, of Ferndale township, who has worked hard for what he now possesses, knows how to appreciate the true dignity of labor and to place a correct estimate on the value of money. Nevertheless, he is liberal in his benefactions and stands ever ready to support with his influence and means all measures for the welfare of his community. A man of broad views and sound judgment, he is well informed on public affairs, exercising the duties of citizenship in a conscientious manner. Mr. Johnson was born in 1863, in Halmstad, Sweden, and is a son of Person Johnson, who spent his entire life in that country.
Ben Johnson secured some education in the schools of his neighborhood in early life but when twelve years old ran away from home and went to sea as a cabin boy on a Norwegian vessel. He was a sailor for three years, and then quit his ship in Halifax, Nova Scotia, from which place he worked his way to the United States. He lived in Indiana for a few years and in 1884 he came to Washington. He soon returned east, however, but again, in 1888, came back to Washington. The first man he worked for at that time was Ezra Meeker, probably the most widely known pioneer of this section of the country, being at that time called "The Hop King." Mr. Johnson was employed on the building of the first wagon road from the Highland, connecting with the road on the reservation between Seattle and Tacoma. For him, finally locating in Seattle, where he lived until 1893, working at the butchering business. He next went into the timber country, where he worked for a few years, and in 1896 bought forty acres of land near Jordan, which he cleared and developed into a good farm. In 1906 he sold that place and bought a fifty-acre tract in Pleasant Valley, a part of which he cleared, making his home there until 1918, when he sold it and bought twenty-seven and a half acres, located one and a half miles southwest of Ferndale, which he brought under cultivation, and now has one of the most comfortable homes and best cultivated and improved farms in this locality. He carried on general farming operations and also pays considerable attention to poultry, keeping about twelve hundred chickens, and also a few cows. His land is tile drained and, under Mr. Johnson's careful and intelligent management, the soil produces large crops. He enjoys a reputation throughout his community as a man of enterprising and progressive methods, is painstaking and methodical in all that he does and has well deserved the prosperity which has rewarded his efforts.
In 1922 Mr. Johnson was married to Miss Idelia Coffel, who was born and reared in Texas. She is a lady of gracious personality and kindly manner, and has long enjoyed marked popularity in the circles in which she has moved. Mr. Johnson too possesses the sort of disposition and manner that make favorable impression on all with whom he comes in contact and he has an enviable standing in the confidence and respect of all who know him.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 492-493
Johnson, Charles A.
The career of Charles A. Johnson, of Delta township, is too well known to the readers of this work to need any formal introduction here, for he has long been prominently identified with the agricultural and public life of this section of the county, whose interests he has ever had at heart. He is progressive in all that the term implies and is straightforward and unassuming in all the relations of life. Mr. Johnson is a native of Illinois, where he was born April 16, 1883, a son of J. G. Johnson, who was born in Sweden June 6, 1845. The father came to the United States in the spring of 1871, locating first at Laporte, Indiana, where he lived eight years, and then went to Illinois, which was his home until 1883. In that year he came to Washington, settling at Seattle, where he lived for a few months, and then for three years was employed on a farm in Mason county. In August, 1883, he sent for his family, and in 1886 again located in Seattle, where he remained for nine months. He then came to Whatcom county and in the spring of 1888 took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres. He at once entered upon the task of clearing this land and getting it into cultivation, and the same year built a good residence, in which the family has lived ever since. In 1874 Mr. Johnson was married to Mrs. Marie (Johanson) Nymen, who by a former marriage had four children, August, Carl A., deceased, Swen Gustav, deceased, and Jennie C. To the subject's parents were also born four children, Mathilda, Sarah A., Amanda and Charles A. Amanda, who is the wife of Anton Stein, lives in Custer township.
Charles A. Johnson received his education in the public schools of Whatcom county and after leaving school went to work in the lumber camps and shingle mills, which line of employment he followed for some time. He then took charge of his father's ranch, helping to clear the land, and is now in active management of the place, his father having for many years been in poor health. The parents live in the original house built on the farm, and the son and his family are living in a new home which he built. The land is now practically all cleared and in splendid cultivation, returning bountiful crops for the labor bestowed upon it. He raises hay and grain and root crops. Mr. Johnson keeps seven good Guernsey and Jersey cows and eight hundred laying hens. He is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Associating, the Whatcom County Poultry Associating and the Whatcom County Farm Bureau.
On March 12, 1913, Mr. Johnson was married to Miss Anna Christina Kelso, who was born and reared in Nebraska, the daughter of Charles and Carrie (Nelson) Kelso, who were born in Denmark, the father in 1865 and the mother in 1866, and they came to the United States in 1882, settling in Iowa, where the father engaged in farming, and also worked at the carpenter trade. He is now living near Ferndale, Whatcom county. He and his wife became the parents of eight children, Anna C., Rose, Cyril, Ray, Fred, Oscar, Lena and Florence. To Mr. and Mrs. Johnson were born two children, Myrtle, December 18, 1913, and Bernice, May 5, 1916, both now in school. Mr. Johnson takes a deep interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the community, being specially interested in education and good roads. In 1918 he was elected a member of the board of supervisors and has served as chairman of the board during the past five years. He also served six years as a member of the board of school directors of Sunrise school district. Mr. Johnson is a man of genial and affable disposition, easily makes acquaintances, among whom are many warm and loyal friends, and in his relations with his neighbors he is always courteous and accommodating. He has performed his full duty in all the relations of life and is held in deservedly high esteem by all who know him.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 803-804
Johnson, Charles A.
The valuable forests of Washington have brought to the state many men of ability and enterprise, and among those who have achieved success in the lumber industry of the northwest is numbered Charles A. Johnson, a well known sawmill operator of Deming township. He was born March 8, 1883, and is a native of Wisconsin. He parents, Charles P. and Anna Beatrice (Christian) Johnson, migrated to Minnesota in 1889 and in 1910 came to Washington. The father settled on a ranch near Vancouver and there spent the remainder of his life. His demise occurred in 1914, and the mother is now living in Aberdeen, Washington.
Charles A. Johnson was a boy of six when the family went to Minnesota, and his education was acquired in the public schools of that state. In 1905 he obtained work in the mills at Grays Harbor, Washington, and was thus engaged until 1911. He next became a traveling salesman, representing the Alaska Lumber Company for some time, and then went to Canada, spending two years in Vancouver. He was engaged in the logging business in the Fraser valley of British Columbia for eight years and in the spring of 1924 returned to Washington, purchasing a mill and logging outfit in Deming township. He has been very successful in his undertakings and is now the owner of two mills, employing about twenty men. His detailed knowledge of the industry is supplemented by executive power, and in the operation of the business he has secured maximum efficiency with a minimum expenditure of time, labor and material.
In 1909 Mr. Johnson was united in marriage to Miss Louise Maude O'Connell, of Minnesota, and they have three children: Marjorie Ann, Richard and Burnell. Mr. Johnson is a Scottish Rite Mason and is also connected with the Eastern Star and the Modern Woodmen of America. He is liberal in his political views and uses good judgment in voting, supporting the candidate whom he considers best qualified for office. He has never been afraid of hard work and owes his rise in the business world to concentrated effort, coupled with the ability to meet and master situations. He resides in Sumas and is highly esteemed by his business associates and those with whom he has been brought in contact in other relations of life.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 690
Johnson, Charles F.
Charles F. Johnson, who came to Whatcom county thirty-eight years ago and took an active part in the work of pioneer development here, was long and successfully identified with lumber-milling interests and is now living in honorable retirement at Bellingham. He was born in Sweden in 1854 and learned the machinist's trade in his native country. When a young man of twenty-eight he crossed the Atlantic to America, settling first in Wisconsin, in which state he resided for seven years. On the expiration of that period, in 1888, he came west to Whatcom county, Washington, and at once became a factor in the work of progress and improvement here. He assisted in building the bridge between Sehome and Whatcom. He also worked in the sawmill which produced the lumber for the plank road (guide meridian road) between Lynden and the city limits. Subsequently he embarked in the shingle business at Lawrence in association with three partners but at the end of a year sold his interest in the mill to Murray Brothers, by which firm he was thereafter employed as chief engineer for several years. Mr. Johnson next conducted a lumber mill at Cedarville for about five years, after which he spent another period of two years as chief engineer with Murray Brothers and then engaged in mechanical engineering in the Canadian province of British Columbia for four years. About 1921 he returned to Whatcom county and joined his family at Bellingham, where he has since lived retired in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil. He owns an attractive home at No. 1013 Lake street in Bellingham and also has a twenty acre ranch at Harmony which is devoted to general farming. In 1909 Mr. Johnson had the misfortune to lose his home and other property when the Nooksack river rose, owing to the inefficient work of the county engineer, and he lost everything.
In 1883 Mr. Johnson was married in Price county, Wisconsin, to Miss Elizabeth Erickson, a native of Sweden. The young couple established their home in the new world and here reared their family of seven children, as follows: Mrs. Ella Mathis, who resides at Westminster, British Columbia, and has one child; Mrs. Annie Johnson, who lives at Bellingham and is the mother of two children; Mrs. Freda Anderson, who also makes her home at Bellingham and has two children; Mrs. Victoria Akin, who resides at Bellingham and is the mother of two children; Oscar, who is employed in the Bloedel Donovan Lumber Mills of Bellingham; Roy William, who is in the service of the Metropolitan Insurance Company; Esther, who is connected with the Morse Hardware Company of Bellingham.
Mr. Johnson gives his political support to the republican party, while fraternally he is identified with the Modern Woodmen of America. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Lutheran church, to which his wife and children also belong. Coming to the United States in early manhood, he here found the opportunities which he sought and so wisely utilized them that he is now enabled to spend the evening of life in comfort and ease. His friends are many, for all who know him entertain for him warm regard and esteem.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 728-731
Johnson, Feronia Y.
Miss Feronia Y. Johnson, principal of the Larrabee school has for more than thirty years been connected with the schools of Bellingham and has thus been a witness to and a participant in the educational development from what properly may be regarded as the pioneer period of the schools, for when she began her long and faithful service here the local school system was just beginning to be adjusted along the lines which since have brought about such an amazing development in their capacity and fitness. Miss Johnson's first teaching service here was in the school then being carried on in the old White building on Dupont street in 1890. In 1895 she was made principal of the Washington school and in that capacity continued to serve until 1924, when she was made principal of the Larrabee school, in which position she remains, one of the real veterans of school service in this section of the state. She is a member of the Congressional church and of the Business and Professional Women's Club of Bellingham and is likewise affiliated with the Order of the Eastern Star, the Daughters of Rebekah and the Women of Woodcraft, for many years one of the forceful and effective personal factors in the general social and cultural activities of the city which has been her home since the days of her young womanhood and to whose interests she is so earnestly devoted.
Miss Johnson is a native daughter of the Hawkeye state, born in the village of Gilman, Marshall county, in central Iowa, and is the third in order of birth of the seven daughters of Ira T. Y. and Maria (Rogers) Johnson, the former of whom was a Vermonter and the latter a native of the state of New York, daughter of James and Eliza Van Nesse Adams Rogers, the latter a connection of the old Van Nesse family of New York and the Adams family of Massachusetts. The former, a civil engineer, was a native of Ireland, born in the city of Dublin and a graduate of Dublin University, and the latter a member of one of the old colonial families of the Empire state. Ira T. Y. Johnson was a member of one of the old colonial families of Virginia, a great-grandson of that Isaac Johnson who was a prominent factor in the Old Dominion in colonial days, was reared in Vermont and was for some time a cotton factor in Alabama. He then went into the mid-northwest country and in Wisconsin was united in marriage to Maria Rogers, whose parents had become residents of that state. After his marriage he became a merchant in Gilman, Iowa, and some years later a homesteader in Keyapaha county, Nebraska, where he made his home until his retirement in 1889, the year in which Washington was admitted to the Union, when he came to this state with his family, his wife and the seven daughters, and here he spent the remainder of his days, his death occurring in April, 1903. His widow survived him for seventeen years, her death occurring in 1919. Of the seven daughters, all are living save two. The father and all of the sisters of Ira Johnson were teachers, likewise, the sisters and brothers of her mother.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 302
Henry Johnson is a farmer and landowner of Mountain View township, owning a well kept place on rural mail route No. 1 out of Blaine, where he has made his home for the past ten years and more. Although of European birth, he has been a resident of the country since the days of his young manhood and of this state for more than twenty-five years, he having had his residence in Seattle for some years before coming to Whatcom county. Mr. Johnson was born in Norway, July 25, 1870, and is a son of John, who was a son of Peter, and of his wife, Cornelia, who was a daughter of Cornelius. John Peterson and his wife came to America in 1903 and the latter is now living in Bellingham, but he died in South Bellingham in 1924. In the old country he worked in the fisheries but upon locating in Bellingham he became connected with the sawmills.
Reared in his native land, Henry Johnson was educated in the schools of his home place and remained with his father, working in the fisheries, until he reached his majority, when, in 1892, he came to the United States and was employed at farm labor in the neighborhood of Fort Ransom, in Ransom county, North Dakota. For eight years he remained there and in 1900 came to the coast country and was employed in the timber operations out of Seattle. For six or seven years he was thus engaged, working in the logging camps and in 1906 came to Whatcom county, his parents meanwhile also having come here, and became employed in the fisheries at Bellingham, fishing on the traps in the bay. He also worked on the interurban railway line, then being constructed between Bellingham and Mount Vernon. In 1912 Mr. Johnson bought the tract of thirty-two acres on which he is now living and some years later established his home on that place, where he has since been living. This was a wholly undeveloped tract when he bought it and he now has enough of it cleared to make a fine dairy farm and an equally desirable chicken run. Mr. Johnson has a well selected herd of nine or ten dairy cattle and five hundred or more White Leghorn chickens and is doing well in his operations. He is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association.
It was in 1916, at Happy Valley, that Henry Johnson was united in marriage to Miss Christina Bruland and she has been a competent helpmate to him in his dairying and poultry operations. Mrs. Johnson was born in Nebraska and is a daughter of Jacob and Breta Bruland, who came to Whatcom county with their family in 1900 and who are still living here, now residents of Happy Valley.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 825
Johnson, Nils Edward; Rev.
Rev. Nils Edward Johnson filled the pastorate of the Swedish Baptist church at Bellingham from 1914 until the date of his death, which occurred December 12, 1918, when he was forty-six years of age. He was born in Vermland, Sweden, on the 4th of August, 1872, and spent the period of his boyhood in his native country, where he received his early education. It was in 1890, when a youth of eighteen, that he immigrated to America and came direct to Whatcom, Washington, passing through to Portland, Oregon, where he remained for one year. After studying and working for a time he entered the Swedish Theological Seminary of Chicago, Illinois, from which he was graduated on completing the four-year course in 1899. During the periods of summer vacation he preached in Canada.
Following his graduation from the Swedish Theological Seminary Rev. Johnson accepted the pastorate of the Swedish Baptist church at Wilmington, Delaware, where he remained for two years. Subsequently he filled the pulpit of the Second Swedish Baptist church at Brooklyn, New York, for ten years, after which he served as pastor of the First Swedish Baptist church at Cleveland, Ohio, for four years. On the expiration of that period, in 1914, he came to Bellingham, Washington, and here he continued as pastor of the Swedish Baptist church throughout the remainder of his life. His consecrated labors as a servant of the Master were fraught with splendid results, and in his passing Bellingham sustained the loss of an able and well beloved divine. At the time of his death Rev. Johnson was president of the Ministerial Association in Bellingham and of the Washington Swedish Baptist Conference.
On the 10th of April, 1900, Rev. Johnson was united in marriage to Ida W. Lysander, whose birth occurred in Vermland, Sweden, January 12, 1887, and who came to America when about seventeen years of age. she made her home with relatives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, until the time of her marriage. Rev. and Mrs. Johnson became the parents of a daughter and two sons. Florence, who was born at Brooklyn, New York, completed a high school course at Bellingham, Washington, and was later graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle. She specialized in chemistry, and she received the Master's degree from Mills College of Oakland, California. Miss Johnson is an honorary member of Sigma Xi, the national science fraternity, and an honorary member of Iota Sigma Pi, the national chemistry fraternity, and she is social director at the State Normal School in Bellingham for the year 1926. Edward Johnson, also a native of Brooklyn, New York, and a graduate of the Bellingham high school, was a member of the 1922 freshman crew at the University of Washington, which institution he is still attending. He has membership in the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. Clifford Johnson, a high school graduate, is in the service of the Standard Oil Company at Seward, Alaska.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 342-345
Coming to the new world with no capital save youth, energy and ability, Olof Johnson has readily surmounted all obstacles and difficulties, never wavering in his purpose, and is now numbered among the prosperous agriculturists and highly esteemed resident of Lawrence township. He was born December 19, 1880, and is a native of Sweden. In 1906 he resolved to follow the example of many of his fellow countrymen who had come to the United States in search of fortune, and after his arrival in this country at once started for northwestern Washington. He obtained work in Bellingham, spending sixteen months in that city, and was then in position to rent land. He secured a place near Nooksack which he cultivated for two years, and on the expiration of that period bought a tract of forty acres in Lawrence township. The land was covered with stumps, but he now has twenty acres under the plow. He has built a good home, also adding other improvements, and has wrought a marked transformation in the appearance of the farm since acquiring the property. He has a fine dairy and keeps only the best grade of cattle.
On July 5, 1906, Mr. Johnson married Miss Anna Johnson, also a native of Sweden, and they have two children: Agnes, a girl of seventeen, and Elvin, aged fourteen years. They were also the parents of another daughter who died when but a month old. Mr. Johnson is connected with the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and has been affiliated with the organization since its inception. He is a progressive in politics and recognized the duties and obligations as well as the privileges of citizenship, exercising his powers as readily for the public weal as for his own aggrandizement. He has bee supervisor of Lawrence township and has also served on the school board. Mr. Johnson is loyal to every cause which he espouses and combines in his character all the qualities of a useful and desirable citizen.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 946
Johnson, Robert T.
One of the leading citizens and most highly respected residents of Sumas, Whatcom county, is Robert T. Johnson, whose life here has been one of honor and usefulness. His has been the sort of a career that does not attract attention for its unusual brilliance, but is the kind out of which is made the warp and woof of the substance that goes to make up human achievement, and he is today numbered among the substantial and dependable citizens of his community. He is a native son of Whatcom county, born on his father's old homestead at Sumas on the 5th of May, 1876. His parents, A. R. and Mary Johnson, were natives respectively of Kentucky and British Columbia. The father crossed the plains with ox teams in 1849, following the trail of the gold seekers to California, where he gave his attention to mining for several years. He then went to the Cariboo mines in British Columbia, where he followed mining until 1872, when he went to Sehome, Washington, where he worked in the coal mines for a few months. In the fall of that year he filed a preemption claim on one hundred and sixty acres of land where the town of Sumas now stands, and in 1880 he also filed on a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres adjoining the first tract. There were at that time no roads in this locality and the land was densely covered with timber and brush. He applied himself vigorously to the task of clearing this tract, and at the time of his death, which occurred in 1907, he had the land practically all cleared and had developed a fine farm. His wife died in 1880. To them were born two children: Robert T., and William, deceased.
Robert T. Johnson was reared in the public schools at Sumas and remained at home until he was twenty-one years of age, when he bought sixteen acres of the old homestead, which he cleared and is now farming, raising good crops. In 1917 Mr. Johnson bought a nice, modern home in Sumas and is now living there, being at the present time manager of the city waterworks.
On May 3, 1916, Mr. Johnson was married to Miss Iva E. Crooks, who was born in Minnesota, a daughter of J. D. and Belle Crooks. Her father was a veteran of the Civil war, and he remained in Minnesota until the early '90s, when he came to Washington, where he spent his remaining years, dying in November, 1921. His wife is still living. Fraternally Mr. Johnson is a member of Bellingham Lodge No. 195, Brotherhood of American Yeomen. He has taken an active part in local public affairs, having served for eight years as postmaster of Sumas, and is now a member of the city council. As manager of the waterworks he has manifested sound judgment and discretion, discharging his duties to the entire satisfaction of his fellow citizens. In his relations with his fellow-men he has been upright and conscientious, and with all mankind an honest man. Quiet and unassuming, yet candid and open-hearted in manner, he possesses a strong individuality, and during his life here he has made a deep impress on the community.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 224-225
Johnson, S. E.
The enterprise of S. E. Johnson, well known farmer of the Nooksack valley, has been crowned with success as the result of rightly applied principles, which never fail in their ultimate effort when coupled with integrity and right motives, as has been done in the present instance. Mr. Johnson is a native of Sweden, born on the 6th of January, 1858, and is a son of John A. and Anna Johanna Swenson, both of whom spent their lives and died in that country, where the father had followed the vocation of farming. They were the parents of three children: John, S. E. and Charlotte.
S. E. Johnson is indebted to the public schools of his homeland for his educational training, and her remained at home until his marriage, in 1886, when he bought a farm, to which he devoted his attention until 1889, when he came to the United States. He first located in Duluth, Minnesota, where he remained about a year, and then came to Washington. After staying in Seattle a few months, Mr. Johnson came to Whatcom county, in 1890, and bought twenty-three acres of land three and a half miles west of Sumas. This tract was densely covered with timber and brush, which meant a tremendous amount of the hardest sort of labor in order to get it in shape for cultivation. Mr. Johnson then went to work in sawmills in Bellingham, where he remained for four years, at the end of which time he came to his land, built a small house and then began the clearing of it. Through his untiring industry he at length developed a good farm and met with success in its operation. In 1911 he and his two sons bought eighty acres of heavily timbered land across the road from the homestead, and they now have fifty acres of this tract cleared, the reminder being in pasture. Mr. Johnson keeps eighteen good grade cows and seven heard of young stock, as well as three hundred laying hens, from both of which sources he derives a nice income. He raises good crops of hay, grain, corn, potatoes and beans and has one acre in raspberries. In 1914 he built a fine, modern home and a commodious barn and in 1925 built a good garage, so that he is in all essential respects very comfortably situated.
Mr. Johnson was married April 14, 1886, to Miss Amanda Matilda Anderson, who was born in Sweden, a daughter of A. M. and Sarah B. Anderson. Her parents, who were both born in Sweden, had eight children, namely: Charlotta, Louise, deceased; Brita, John, deceased; Swen, Amanda, Josephina and Sophia. To Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have been born ten children, namely: John S., who was born February 19, 1887, and died March 20, 1913; Carl Alfred, born April 27, 1888, who is married and has a son, John Raymond, born April 28, 1914; Harry G., born July 30, 1893; Anna, who was born April 24, 1895, and died April 21, 1896; Anna Sophia, born February 8, 1897, who became the wife of R. D. Erickson, and has a son, Miles, born August 8, 1919; Edith Marie, born August 8, 1898; Ruth Helen, born May 3, 1900, who was graduated from the State Normal School of Bellingham, taught school for five years and then became the wife of John Oakland; Arthur E., born March 17, 1902; Walter R., born November 21, 1904; and Emma Vistoria (sic), born March 30, 1908, who is now in high school.
Mr. Johnson is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association. He and his family are members of the First Swedish Lutheran church at Clearbrook. Mr. Johnson is deeply interested in the public affairs of his community, being a strong advocate of improved roads and good schools, and he served efficiently for two terms as a member of the Clearbrook school board. He is justifiably proud of his record since coming to this locality, for his present prosperity is due entirely to his own indefatigable efforts, in which he has been aided and encouraged by his wife. He has a splendid family, a well improved and productive farm and stands deservedly high in the respect and esteem of his fellow citizens, so there is every reason for the satisfaction which he feels in reviewing his situation. His is a man of kindly and genial manner, hospitable and generous, and has many warm and loyal friends throughout the community.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 777-778
Among the progressive and successful farmers and public-spirited citizens of Nooksack township stand Swan Johnson and Daniel Peterson, who own and operate a fine and well improved farm of one hundred and forty acres, about three miles south of Nooksack. Quiet and unassuming in manner, they have, nevertheless, impressed the community with their forceful individualities and are today recognized by their fellow citizens as men of more than ordinary worth to their locality.
Mr. Johnson is a native of Sweden, his birth occurring on the 17th of December, 1863, and is a son of Swan and Johanna Johnson, both of whom were natives of Sweden, where they spent their lives and died. They were the parents of four children. The subject received a good education in the public schools of his home neighborhood and at the age of twelve years left the parental fireside and worked on his own account at various employments until he was eighteen years old, when he went to Norway and learned the trade of stone cutting. He continued to follow that occupation until 1888, when he came to the United States, locating first in Pennsylvania, where he remained about seven months. He then came to Tacoma, Washington, and in the fall of 1889 went to Bellingham, where for several years he was employed in sawmills. On October 1 of that year he took out his citizenship papers, thus evidencing his intention to become a full-fledged citizen of his adopted country. On January 17, 1894 Mr. Johnson bought one hundred and forty acres of land in Nooksack township, three miles south of Nooksack, only a small part of which was cleared, but which contained a small house. He built a barn and then entered vigorously upon the task of clearing more of the land and getting it under cultivation. About twenty acres are now under the plow, the remainder being devoted to pasture. He keeps eight good grade milk cows and a pure-bred registered bull. The land has been largely devoted to hay, though recently some of it has been planted to alfalfa, which is making a good stand. A small but good bearing orchard also adds to the value of the ranch, which is well improved and has been developed into a very comfortable and attractive homestead.
Mr. Johnson has not confined his attention entirely to the operation of the farm, as he was for ten years engaged in fishing on the Fraser river, in British Columbia, seven of the ten years being spent in salmon fishing, and his boat had the record for the highest catch of salmon. He also spent part of one season mining at Cook Inlet, Alaska. He tells many interesting incidents of the early days in this state, among with is that of a man who fell and was drowned in the mud and water in the streets of Tacoma in 1889. There was no Volstead act at that time, but whether or not that had anything to do with the case he does not know. Mr. Johnson has long enjoyed a wide and favorable acquaintance throughout this section of the county, and those who know him hold him in the highest esteem because of his fine personal character, public spirit and splendid success in his business affairs. In July, 1907, Mr. Johnson sold a half interest in his ranch to Daniel Peterson, and they now live together there.
Daniel Peterson also is a native of Sweden, born on the 12 th of October, 1865, and is a son of Peter and Martha (Olson) Danielson, who spent their lives in that country, both being now deceased. They had a family of six children, namely: Martha, deceased; Ole, who lives in Nooksack; Karen, deceased; Daniel, the subject of this sketch; Peter, who lives in Alberta, Canada; and Breta, deceased. Daniel Peterson attended the schools of his native county and then worked in the woods and at farming until 1893, when he came to the United States. After remaining in Seattle, Washington, a short time, he went to Franklin, King county, and in the following year went to Clallam county, this state, where he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land. He cleared twenty acres, on which he lived and to the cultivation of which he devoted himself until 1907, when he sold the ranch and, coming to Whatcom county, bought an interest in the Swan Johnson farm, to the operation of which he has since devoted himself in conjunction with his partner.
Messrs. Johnson and Peterson are members of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and both are thoroughly practical in their farm work, in which they have exercised sound judgment and discrimination. Prior to coming to Whatcom county, in 1905-6, Mr. Peterson spent a year in Alaska, with headquarters at Seward, and was employed in railroad construction work. He is a steady, capable and dependable man and has gained the sincere respect of the entire community. The partnership of these two men has been a splendid combination, as they are not only both well qualified and adapted to the vocation which they are following but are also congenial souls and are living very comfortably and pleasantly together. They have given their support to every movement for the advancement or betterment of the community and have earned a high place in the respect and good will of all who know them.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 283-284
Johnson, W. Paul
W. Paul Johnson, clerk of Custer township and proprietor of a drug store, is one of the well known and progressive merchants of the village of Custer. He is a native son of Whatcom County and one of the most enthusiastic community "boosters" here. He was born in a log cabin at Licking, which then was a post office point, April 14, 1894, and is a son of William P. and Martha A. (Rogers) Johnson, both members of pioneer families in this county. The father is now cultivating a tract of farm land he preempted in British Columbia, The old log house in which Mr. Johnson was born is still standing and he naturally takes considerable interest in the continued preservation of this substantial relic of the pioneer period here.
From Licking, during the days of his childhood, Mr. Johnson's parents moved with their family to Nooksack and thence to Bellingham and he thus attended school at all of these points. As a boy he was employed as a clerk in the Fremming drug store in Bellingham "off and on" for six years, becoming thoroughly familiar with the rudiments of pharmacy. He then spent a year in a drug store in Vancouver and after his marriage established his home on a farm and was for some time thereafter engaged in farming in the Haney neighborhood. The call of the drug business was ever sounding in his ears, however, and in 1923 he disposed of his farm interests and in June took over the Campbell drug store at Custer. He has since been engaged in business in that flourishing village, one of the most progressive and energetic merchants of the place. This store was established in 1915 by A. L. Long and was later taken over by C. W. Campbell, from whom Mr. Johnson bought it. Since coming into possession of the store Mr. Johnson has rehabilitated the establishment, installing new fixtures, extending the stock and modernizing the place until now he has one of the best appointed drug stores in the county, the business being carried on in strictly up-to-date fashion. Mr. Johnson takes an interested part in local civic affairs and since 1922 has been serving as clerk of Custer township. During the time of his residence on the farm he was an active member of the local grange of the Patrons of Husbandry and he takes an earnest interest in all movements designed to promote agriculture throughout this section.
It was on September 9, 1915, at Blaine, that Mr. Johnson was united in marriage to Miss Anna Scott and they have three children: Julia Maude, born in 1917, Marjorie May, 1920; and William Paul, Jr., born in 1923. Mrs. Johnson also was born in Whatcom County and, with her husband, takes an active interest in general community affairs. She is a daughter of James L. and Barbara (Harkness) Scott. The father was born in the province of Ontario, Canada, but has been a resident of this county for forty years and is now connected with the operations of the Johnson drug store in Custer.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 412-413
Johnson, W. W.
The names of such men as W. W. Johnson, who is one of the leading citizens and successful ranchers of Delta township, are worthy of preservation, for they indicate the true history makers of the country - men of strong arm and brave heart, willing to forego the pleasures of advanced civilization in order that they might in the fullness of time possess a comfortable home and make provision for their families and succeeding generations. Mr. Johnson was born in Cambridge, Henry county, Illinois, on the 3d of September, 1858, and is a son of Nels and Sophia Johnson, both of whom were natives of Sweden. They came to the United States in 1851 and settled in Henry county, where the father bought a farm, being a pioneer in that locality. Indeed, so far in advance of the older settled country was he that at that time there were only three farms between Andover and Bishop's Hill, a distance of fourteen miles. In 1859 Mr. Johnson went to Pike's Peak, Colorado, in search for gold, but he soon afterward contracted mountain fever, and died in 1860. His wife passed away three years later. Of the eight children born to them, but two are now living, the subject of this sketch and Mrs. Charlotte Sturm.
W. W. Johnson secured his education in the public schools of his native county and at the age of thirteen years began working as a farm hand, which occupation he followed until his marriage, in 1884, when he went to Axtell, Nebraska, and opened a hotel, which he ran about a year. He then sold out and rented a farm and after operating that place a while bought one hundred and sixty acres of land, to which he gave his attention until 1887, when he took charge of a large farm owned by Benjamin Goodell, which he superintended for one year. He next went to Holdrege, Nebraska, where he obtained a position as clerk in a grocery store, following that line of work for eleven years. In 1902 he came to Whatcom county, and in the following year he bought sixty acres of land in Delta township, to the clearing of which he at once applied himself. This meant a vast amount of the hardest sort of work, as is realized by all who are familiar with conditions existing at that time, but eventually he cleared eighteen acres, which he developed into a good farm. In 1903 he built a good, comfortable home and in 1913 a large and well arranged barn. He also set out a splendid orchard, which is now bearing well. He keeps a few cows and about two hundred and fifty laying hens, and the farm is in all essential respects the equal of any in this locality. Mr. Johnson is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association, and is also a stockholder in the Farmers Mutual Telephone Company.
On June 3, 1884, Mr. Johnson was married to Miss Josephine Ostgren, a native of Sweden and a daughter of John and Johanna (Erickson) Ostgren, both also natives of Sweden. The mother brought her family to the United States in 1882 and settled in Phelps county, Nebraska, where she homesteaded a tract of land, and there lived until her death, which occurred in 1921. Her husband died in Sweden in 1880. They were the parents of four children: Mrs. Matilda hanson, Mrs. Josephine Johnson, Adolph and Fred. To Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have been born four children: Viola, born March 15, 1885, became the wife of John Axling, to which union was born a son, Hilmar, and her death occurred April 5, 1909. Melvin, born February 27, 1888, is married and has two children, Rose and Violet; Abon, born April 17, 1891, is married and has two children, William and Clifton; Mrs. Mable Lindquist is the mother of two children, Elmer and Eleanora. Mr. Johnson is a man of energy and perseverance, exercising sound judgment in his affairs, and honesty has characterized all his relations with his neighbors, so that he has deservedly won an enviable reputation throughout the community.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 870-873
Johnston, John A.
Dairying has become one of the chief industries of Whatcom county and among the leaders in this line of activity is numbered John A. Johnston, who for more than a quarter of a century has been classed with the progressive agriculturists of Mountain View township. He was born in the province of Ontario, Canada, in the year 1857, and his parents were Alexander and Catherine Johnston, the latter a native of Scotland. The father was born in Montreal, Canada, and followed the occupation of farming as a life work.
John A. Johnston was educated in the public schools of the Dominion and in 1876, when a young man of nineteen, came to the States. He lived in Michigan for two years and in 1878 journeyed westward, taking up a government claim in North Dakota. He was one of the early settlers of that state, in which he spent eight years, experiencing the hardships and privations of frontier life, and through patience and industry succeeded in converting his property into a productive farm. He arrived in Bellingham, Washington, in 1888 and became an employee of the Bellingham Bay Improvement Company. Mr. Johnston was in the service of that corporation for a number of years and in 1900 came to Mountain View township. He first rented land and later was able to purchase a farm. He now owns two hundred and forty acres and also works an additional tract of eighty acres on shares. He has no contract for the property which he rents, for his honesty is above question, and to his occupation he brings a keen sense of agricultural economics, never allowing a foot of the land to be unproductive. He has a highly specialized knowledge of the dairy industry and keeps a herd of blooded Guernseys and Holsteins, having about fifty milch cows. His buildings are thoroughly modern and sanitary and his equipment includes De Laval milking machines and gas engines. The high quality of his dairy products is the direct result of system and science in their preparation, and his ranch is one of the best in the township.
In 1885 Mr. Johnston married Miss Mary Ann Martin, also a native of Ontario, Canada, and to their union were born eight children. John, the eldest, served in the United States navy during the World war. He is married and operates a forty acre farm in Mountain View township. The others are: Harry and Alexander, at home; William ; Earl, who lives in Bellingham; Mamie, the wife of Chester Spearing, of Bellingham, and the mother of three children, a son and two daughters; and Jessie and Myrtle, who are still with their parents.
Mr. Johnston casts his ballot for the candidates of the republican party and conscientiously discharges the duties of citizenship but has never aspired to public office. He is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and his fraternal affiliations are with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He has led a busy and useful life, directing his energies into constructive channels, and through deep study and advanced methods has aided in raising the standards of dairying and agriculture in this section of the country, in which he has a wide acquaintance and many steadfast friends.
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 919-920