James Johnson

James Johnson, whose Swedish name was Johan Jonsson, was born March 4, 1842 in Lindehult, Kråksmåla, Kalmar Län, Sweden. His parents were Jonas Peter Jaensson (1796 – 1862) and Beata Nilsdotter (1806 – 1893). He was the youngest of four children. His brother, Nels Petter Johnson (1827 – 1901) emigrated in 1868. His sister, Cajsa Greta Jonasdotter (1838 – ?) emigrated in 1869. Rebecka Jonasdotter (1831 – ?) stayed in Sweden.

James and Carolina Johnson, before 1919

James Johnson emigrated to America in 1870 at the age of 28. In 1874, he was married to Carolina Christina Persdotter (1848 – 1919) in Red Oak, Iowa. She had emigrated in 1873 and came from Södra Vi, Kalmar Län, Sweden. Her place of origin is 104 km north of Kråksmåla so it is unlikely that James and Carolina had known each other before her emigration.

back L to R: Emelia Charlette, David F, Joseph, Per August. Front: James Johnson, Nels Amil, Anna Maria, Carolina Christina Peterson Johnson, Ellen Caroline

James and Carolina had seven children who survived infancy: Joseph, David F, Per August, Amelia Charlotte, Nels Amil, Anna Maria Olivia and Ellen Caroline. Ellen Caroline (1891 – 1962) was to become Daryl Hallquist’s grandmother, the mother of Louise Vivian Lefgren, Daryl’s mother.

According to the 1902 plat map, James Johnson owned the east one-half of section 4, Fremont Township, Page County, Iowa. He owned 300 acres because a 20-acre parcel was taken out on the northeast corner not belonging to the Johnsons. Later parts of this 300 acres was passed on to Nels Amil, Per August and Ellen Johnson Lefgren. Ellen inherited her portion upon James Johnson’s death on February 12, 1927. Melvin and Ellen Lefgren and their two children, Ellis and Louise, returned from Colorado to live on the farm only to discover that it was heavily mortgaged. The Lefgren family lived in the original James Johnson house from about 1930 for about 10 years. In 1941, Louise Lefgren married Chester Hallquist and they became Daryl’s parents.

James Johnson is buried in Mt. Hope cemetery in Nyman, Iowa, beside his wife, Carolina Christina. Also buried in the Johnson plot are their children Amelia, Nels Amil and Ellen Caroline along with Ellen’s husband, Melvin Lefgren.