Kansas History and Heritage Project- Marshall County

Marshall County Biographies


The late Nels E. Johnson, an honored veteran of the Civil War and for years one of the best-known and most substantial farmers of Lincoln township, this county, was a native of the kingdom of Sweden, but had been a resident of this country since he was ten years of age. He was born in the old province of Skane, in the southern part of Sweden, November 21, 1842, and was ten years of age when his parents came to this country, in 1852, locating at Galesburg, Illinois, where his father died in the following year, 1853, and there he was living when the Civil War broke out. On August 22, 1862, he then being under twenty years of age, Nels E. Johnson enlisted for service in the Union army as a member of Company F, Seventy-seventh Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served with that command until he was seriously wounded at the battle of Arkansas Post. He was removed to a hospital at St. Louis and there, May 30, 1863, was honorably discharged, on a physician's certificate of physical disability.

Upon recovering from the effects of his wound Mr. Johnson returned to Galesburg, Illinois, and was there employed as a clerk in a furniture store until he presently formed a partnership in the grocery business and was there engaged in that business until 1883, when he disposed of his interests in Illinois and came to Kansas, arriving in Marshall county in the spring of that year. Upon coming to this county Mr. Johnson bought a quarter of a section of land in Lincoln township, proceeded to improve the same and there he spent the remainder of his life, his death occurring on March 14, 1915.

Nels E. Johnson was twice married. In 1877 he was united in marriage to Matilda Lindquist, who died in 1881, and in 1889 he married Hannah Grans, who was born in Rockford, Illinois, March 8, 1871, daughter of G. A. and Anna S. Grans, natives of Sweden, who came to the United States in 1868, settling in Illinois, where they remained until 1882, when they came to Kansas and in 1884 settled in Lincoln township. G. A. Grans became a substantial farmer in Lincoln township and there spent his last days, his death occurring on December 27, 1906. His widow, who was born on January 27, 1831, is still living.

To Nels E. and Hannah (Grans) Johnson three children were born, Sigel R., born on October 1, 1890, who married Ethel Samuelson and is living on the old home place in Lincoln township and are the parents of one child. Ruby, born on March 2, 1917; Norman V., May 10, 1893, a farmer of Rock township, this county, who married Luella St. John and has one child, a daughter, Irene May, and Clayton, March 13, 1907. Some time after the death of her husband Mrs. Johnson left the farm and moved to Vliets, where she is now living.

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This website created July 4, 2011 by Sheryl McClure.
2011 Kansas History and Heritage Project