Cottonwood County MN Biographies--J. E. Johnson
"History of Cottonwood and Watonwan Counties of Minnesota, 1916"



The Hon. J. E. Johnson, former member of the Legislature from the Windom district, a former member of the Windom city council, a former merchant of that city and for years a well-known general dealer in real-estate in that city, is a native of Norway, but has been a resident of the United States since he was two years old and a resident of this section of Minnesota since he was six years old, consequently has become as deeply imbued with the spirit of the great Northwest as one native bom here. He was born on March 25, 1865, son of Erick and Ingeborg (Grine) Johnson, both natives of Norway, who came to the United States in 1867 and located on a farm in the vicinity of Staughton, Wisconsin, where they remained until 1871, in which year they came to Minnesota and located in Cottonwood county. Upon coming here, Erick Johnson homesteaded a tract of eighty acres, four and one-half miles south of Windorn and there he and his wife spent their last days, becoming useful and influential pioneers of this section. They were members of the Norwegian Lutheran church and their children were reared in that faith. There were seven of these children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the second in order of birth, the others being Lena, Bennie E., Martha, Arthur E., Ida and Emma. Erick Johnson was a Republican and took an active part in political affairs in the early days here.

J. E. Johnson was about two years old when bis parents came to this country and was about six years old when they moved from Wisconsin to Minnesota. He grew up on the home farm, completed his schooling in the schools at Windom and when about seventeen years old began clerking in the store of John Hutton in that city, being thus engaged for nine years, at the end of which time, in 1891, he embarked in the general merchandise business for himself at Windom and was for eleven years regarded as one of the leading merchants of Windom. At the end of that time, in 1902, Mr. Johnson entered the real-estate business at Windom and has since then been engaged in that business, senior member of the Johnson and Lund Land Company, one of the foremost general dealers in realty hereabout. Mr. Johnson, even from the days of his boyhood, has given his thoughtful attention to local political affairs and has been active therein. In 1897 he was elected representative from his home district to the lower house of the Minnesota General Assembly, on the Independent ticket, and served in that a member of the Windom city council.

In 1894 J. E. Johnson was united in marriage to Louise Thompson, daughter of Jens Thompson and wife, and to this union two children have been born, Ellsworth and Irene. The Johnsons are members of tne Norwegian Lutheran church and take an earnest interest in the affairs of the same, as well as in the general good works of the community at large.