Nels Johnson

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NELS JOHNSON, fourth in the line of chil­dren of Swan and Kjer­stin John­son, was born Octo­ber 24, 1863, at Wiby, Chris­tanstad, Swe­den. At the age of five years (in 1868) he and the fam­i­ly immi­grat­ed to Amer­i­ca, locat­ing in Chica­go, Illi­nois, for two years, then liv­ing in Bement, Piatt Coun­ty, Illi­nois for eight years, and final­ly mov­ing out west. They set­tled at Keatsko­toos, in Plat­te Coun­ty, Nebras­ka, for one and one-half years. On March 1, 1880, the fam­i­ly moved to set­tle per­ma­nent­ly on their four hun­dred acre farm near Genoa, Nebras­ka. This was farmed by the boys and help, as their father, Swan, did car­pen­ter work.

Here Nels grew to man­hood and assist­ed in the work of the farm. On Sep­tem­ber 26, 1888, he unit­ed in mar­riage with Alice M. Gregg, of Alliance, Nebras­ka. He bought a farm a mile west of his father’s place, farm­ing there some years. He sold it and moved to Ord, Nebras­ka, in Decem­ber, 1901, where he bought a farm of five hun­dred ten acres four miles north of Ord, in Val­ley Coun­ty.

Three chil­dren were born to them: Bethene, Helen and a son, Wal­lace.

Mrs. Nels John­son passed away March 29, 1919, dur­ing the flu epi­dem­ic, as did their daugh­ter Bethene, who died April 1, 1919, and a dou­ble funer­al was con­duct­ed for them. The baby son was adopt­ed by a sis­ter of Nels John­son, Mrs. Ellen Young.

Nels was always an active, suc­cess­ful man. He retired from active farm work in 1919 and moved to Ord in Octo­ber of that year where he now lives, togeth­er with his daugh­ter Helen, and grand­daugh­ter Alice May.

After Nels retired he went out to the ranch to mow hay for Will Gregg, his broth­er-in-law. The team got scared and Nels was bad­ly cut up in the mow­ing machine. It was a long time before he was out of dan­ger, but he was deter­mined to get well and he did, although he was left some­what crip­pled.

Nels died in the Mary Lan­ning Hos­pi­tal in Hast­ings Nebras­ka, on June 9, 1946, fol­low­ing a long ill­ness. He attained the age of 82 years, 5 months and 16 days. He was buried June 13, 1946, in the Ord, Nebras­ka Ceme­tery beside his wife.

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