Jonas P. Johnson

JONAS P. JOHNSON. In the life and affairs of Saline County, particularly in the locality around Assaria, the late Jonas P. Johnson played a notable part. He was one of those stanch and true men who have given their character to the community, so that Saline County in its institutions and its moral standards largely reflects the personalities of such men as Mr. Johnson. He had begun life poor, but reached a place where he was surrounded with ample material welfare and bore an influential part in community development.

He was born in Sweden March 1, 1849, a son of Jonas P. and Anna Johnson, natives of the same country. Late in life his parents also came to America, and spent their last years in Iowa. They were of rugged and substantial character and both reached extraordinary age. His father died at the age of ninety-five and his mother at ninety-two.

Jonas P. Johnson was about eighteen years of age when he came to America. Up to that time he had lived in Sweden, had attended the common schools and had been fortified by a training in industry and good habits. Coming to America in 1867, he lived in Illinois for a time and in 1875 came to Kansas and was employed as a farm hand. In 1876 he bought land on time. This land was located in Smoky View Township fifteen miles south of Salina. Industry enabled him to meet all the succeeding payments and he became proprietor of his farm and gradually extended his influence until he was recognized as one of the most substantial men in that section. For several years he did his farm labor chiefly with ox teams. As a result of his diligence he had a farm well improved in every particular and lived there in comfort until his death on January 5, 1917. Mr. Johnson applied his efforts not only to his own business but also to those things which represent community progress. He was one of the organizers of the Swedish Lutheran Church at Assaria and served as a trustee. He was also a member of the school board.

On June 17, 1876, at Salemsburg, Kansas, Mr. Johnson was married by Rev. A. W. Dalsten to Miss Ingry C. Olson. Mrs. Johnson was born at Woodhull, Illinois, December 26, 1860, a daughter of Olaf and Bertha (Olson) Truedson, both natives of Sweden. Her parents came to America in 1857 and in 1875 came to Kansas, where her father died in 1909. Her mother is now living in the State of Washington. Mrs. Johnson's grandfather, Trued Olson, was a prominent character in Sweden and a member of the nobility. He came to America in 1867, invested his means in farming land in Saline County and lived there as a farmer until his death in 1890. He was born in 1814. Mrs. Johnson was the first in a family of seven children: Ingry, Frank, Hannah, Joel, Oscar, Thomas who died in infancy, and the youngest child was also named Thomas.

To the marriage of Mr. Jonas P. Johnson and wife were born eight children four sons and four daughters, noted briefly as follows: Esther, born April 24, 1878, and died August 10, 1903; Arvid, born October 7, 1880; Martha, born April 16, 1883 ; Carl, born December 18, 1885, and died May 7, 1897; Bertha, born April 16, 1888; Clara, born July 12, 1890, and died May 6, 1897; Virgil S., born September 1, 1896; and Harold, born March 5, 1898. The mother and her family are all members of the Swedish Lutheran Church at Assaria, where she still resides.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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