ISRAEL JOHNSON.* In the front ranks of well known farmers in Mound Valley township, Labette county, Kansas, is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. He owns 400 acres of land in this township, and his home farm is in the southeast quarter of section 10, township 33, range 18. Mr. Johnson was born in the western part of Sweden, in April, 1839. He is a son of Johanus and Alice (Larson) Johnson, who were also natives of that country.
The father of our subject, who was a farmer by occupation, died in 1888, aged eighty-five years. His wife died after his demise, at the age of eighty-four years. They had five sons and one daughter. The names of the sons are: August, who remained on the home farm in Sweden; Israel, the subject of this sketch; Andrew, a traveling mechanic and factory employee in America; David, who lives on a farm in Sweden; and John, deceased. The daughter died young.
Israel Johnson, the subject of this sketch, was reared and schooled in Sweden, where he worked on a farm for seven years. In October, 1864, he left Sweden, came to America, and settled at Moline, Illinois. On April 24, 1868, - in company with Eric and Martin Olson and Andrew Hansen, - he moved to Oswego, Kansas. He took up the southeast quarter of section 10, township 33, range 18, which is his present home. He also owns land in section 11, and has, in all, 400 acres of valuable land. - He brought some money with him to Labette county, but as his health failed him for a year, he had little to start farming with. In company with his three partners on the trip, and Mr. Loose and Mr. Lawley, he located on the site of what is now the town of Mound Valley. Mr. Johnson helped to dig the first well in that town. In those days provisions were obtained from Fort Scott. Five days were required to make the trip. Mr. Johnson sold his first products at Oswego. He has a fine supply of water on his farm, as Pumpkin creek runs through the tract. The farm is bordered by native timber, - walnut, hickory and elm. He obtained the logs for his first building from Timber Hill. The flooring came from the sawmill located between Oswego and Montana. The present, large eight-room house and numerous outbuildings were erected about twenty-four years ago. Mr. Johnson sometimes rents a part of his land, and at other times farms and manages all of it. He is thoroughly posted on all agricultural matters, and is one of the best farmers in the state.
Mr. Johnson was married, in Oswego, to Mattie Sandberg, who was born in Sweden, in 1848. The ceremony was performed by a Presbyterian minister, Rev. Mr. Monfort, of Oswego, who was a friend of the bridegroom, Five children were the result of this union, namely: Ellen, the wife of Emanuel Oakleaf, of Mound Valley township; Charles, who married Dora Wilford, and lives on a farm south of that of the subject of this sketch; and William, Harry, and Minnie, who are at home.
Mr. Johnson is a Republican in politics. He has been a member of the Mound Valley school board, District No. 40, for some time. He is a Presbyterian, but attends the United Brethren church at Mound Valley. There is no better known or more highly respected farmer in Labette county than this gentleman, and his friends are many. He is always a willing helper in any public enterprise, and is one of the most progressive men in Mound Valley township.
Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901
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