Skip to comments.A History of South Dakota and Its People - MAGNUS JOHNSON - "A Tribute to Our Forefathers"
Posted on 06/15/2002 3:38:44 PM PDT by floriduh voter
Magnus Johnson has resided on his farm on Section 33, Palisades Township, for almost three decades and is widely recognized as one of the most prosperous agriculturists and respected citizens of Minnehaha County, South Dakota. His birth occurred in the province of Skaner, Sweden, on the 26th of October, 1847, and his father died when he was but five years of age.
He left home when a youth of sixteen and during the following nine years was a deep-sea sailor, touching at many of the ports of the world.
A Typical Boarding Pass to Frisco during the Gold Rush Days.
He sailed on American vessels for some years and in 1876, abandoned the sea at San Francisco, subsequently spending about eleven months at work on a river steamer on the Sacramento River.
Mr. Johnson then secured employment as a farm hand in California and was thus engaged for about seven years, on the expiration of which period he returned to Sweden on a visit. He spent the winter in his native land and in the spring of 1883, again came to the United States, bringing with him his intended wife, Miss Josephine B. Pearson, who had a brother living in Valley Springs, South Dakota.
Great Grandfather Magnus Johnson of Garretson and wife, the former Josephine B. Pearson of Sweden.
Thus it was that Mr. Johnson came to this state and here he was married immediately after his arrival. He paid nine hundred dollars for a quarter section of land in McCook County, three miles west of Salem, and two years later traded the property for his present home farm, paying five hundred dollars in addition. He has lived on this place in Palisade Township continuously since 1885 and has made many excellent improvements thereon.
The Johnson Homestead
In 1908, his two sons, Eddie and Charlie, purchased the northwest quarter of Section 6, Red Rock Township, paying eight thousand dollars for the property, which is now easily worth more than twice that amount. They are associated with him in his farming interests. In the conduct of his agricultural interests he has won a most gratifying and well merited measure of prosperity that has established his reputation as a substantial and leading citizen of the community.
Red Rock at Palisades State Park
To Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have been born nine children; seven of whom survive, as follows: Eddie Washington; Charlie Cleveland; Emily Sophia; who is the wife of Adolph Karlil, a farmer of Red Rock Township; Hilma Augusta, who gave her hand in marriage to Willis Sutherland, of Garretson; Julia M., now Mrs. Edward Eitriem; Alice V., at home; and Melvin Walfred.
Mr. Johnson gives his political allegiance to the Republican Party and his fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and ability, have called him to positions of public trust. He served as supervisor for a period of seventeen years, acted as a member of the school board for about five years and has been constable during the past two years. Higher public honors have been tendered him, but these he has declined.
His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the United Lutheran Church, to which his wife and children also belong. His son Eddie has been organist in the church for the past twelve years and is also a member of the Garretson Band, manifesting considerable talent in music.
The life of Magnus Johnson has been one of activity and usefulness, crowned with success, and because of the fact that he has never taken advantage of the necessities of his fellow men in business transactions but has always been straightforward and honorable, he is accorded the confidence and friendly regard in those with whom he has been associated. *** THE S.J. CLARKE PUBLISHING COMPANY, 1915
South Dakota's State Bird, the Ring Necked Pheasant,
FV's ancestors were from territory in the southeastern corner of S.D.
We stood there, at the Southernmost point in the US and looked south, three generations with three different sets of memories.
I looked at the old man, squinting as if trying to see across the miles, maybe seeing things I couldn't.
"Abuelo, it's only 90 miles away, if there was a bridge we could drive there in two hours!"-said I, seventeen years old at the time.
My father looked down and walked to the car, out of my sight, but the old man didn't move.
"You can't build that bridge Luisito, man can't build that kind of bridge."
"Of course it can be built abuelo, look at the one we crossed to get here!"-I said and smiled the smile of youth, a smile not jaded by lost innocence and betrayed promises.
"You do that Luisito, build your bridge, I know that you will do just that."-he turned and walked back to my father and our car.
My grandfather died a year later, the bridge all but a forgotten fantasy of my younger days. Except maybe not; maybe I am building our bridge, my grandfather's and mine, a bridge between a people's, spanning time and memories, for the old man who couldn't see but could remember, who placed his trust in my hands.
I love you old man, I'm building our bridge.
And as you know, old oak and mahoghany furniture is VERY LARGE AND HEAVY, not to mention player pianos like the one my grandmother had. As small children, we sat for hours changing the piano rollers and pressing the pedals. No wonder I like ragtime music.
Re: ragtime music, I really like "The Alligator Crawl" by Fats Waller, but I've discovered the magnificent BIX BEIDERBECKE FROM IOWA. Enjoy some early jazz... visit http://ms.cc.sunysb.edu/~alhaim/
Watch out though, you may get happy feet.
I now tell young "feminists" to make up with their fathers while they can. Hugs.
Father and son and wife/mom Barbara.(^:
You have the opportunity to proudly look back with appreciation and to hold the thought that America is still strong and the best is yet to be. Thanks for your story - I could see the water and bright sunlight in my mind's eye as I read it.
My husband and I went to high school with Jerry Laval and his wife (same class). We all miss Jerry -- he died too young.
"I love you old man, I'm building our bridge."
I've seen no photograph that captures the beauty of the Falls in Sioux Falls. I ought to know. As a youth, the cousins and I did some impromptu sightseeing "on the rocks" in our cowboy boots. There were some deep gulleys and let's just say that we were young and foolish. I caution everyone to "never" try this.
The Magnificent Sunset at Key West