Mrs. Kjerstin Johnson, nee Vesterson

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Kjer­stin Vester­son was born in Wiby, Swe­den, Novem­ber 6, 1834, the eldest liv­ing child of a fam­i­ly of nine, five of them dying in infan­cy. The fam­i­ly was out­stand­ing in edu­ca­tion and accom­plish­ment; one broth­er was a Mar­shal of Swe­den, an uncle was a Bish­op, and a cousin a Mis­sion­ary. Grand­moth­er’s peo­ple lived at Wal­by, Chris­tanstad Coun­ty. In 1853, Kjer­stin was unit­ed in mar­riage with Swan John­son, of Wal­by, Swe­den, a car­pen­ter and mill­wright. For four­teen years they made their home at Wal­by, liv­ing with and car­ing for her aged moth­er.

Kjer­stin who was a very small per­son and less than five feet tall, was not­ed as a won­der­ful moth­er, untir­ing in her lov­ing care for her fam­i­ly, sym­pa­thet­ic and under­stand­ing, a friend of every­one with whom she came in con­tact. As a cook her fame was well known all over the Coun­ty and her home was the gath­er­ing place for young and old. Every­body was wel­come there.

With her hus­band she immi­grat­ed to Amer­i­ca in May 1868, even­tu­al­ly locat­ing on a 400 acre farm one and one-half miles west of Genoa, Nebras­ka. She was now the moth­er of twelve chil­dren, all liv­ing to matu­ri­ty except one who died at the age of nine months. With end­less ener­gy she cared for her large fam­i­ly, took care of the gar­den, assist­ed with the stock, and kept every­thing going and har­mo­nious. They raised, pre­pared and pre­served all the veg­eta­bles that were used and need­ed. Even in the years of the grasshop­pers they had plen­ty for them­selves and enough to help their neigh­bors. They killed and cured all meat need­ed for the entire year, milked ten to twen­ty cows, sold much but­ter, raised turkeys, geese and hun­dreds of chick­ens. They were a very busy and very hap­py fam­i­ly, set­ting a high stan­dard for life and liv­ing up to it. That includ­ed going to church in Swe­den and Nebras­ka.

Kjer­stin John­son passed away at the age of almost nine­ty-three years at the home of her daugh­ter, Mrs. John E. Young, at Genoa, Nebras­ka, where she had gone for a week’s vis­it. This was August 30, 1927.

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