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Per Elif "Pete" Johnson
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Birth: Jun. 19, 1865
Death: 1920

'Pete' was born in Sweden in 1865 and came to the US in 1881. The following is from a letter written by one of his granddaughters,Helen Johnson to another granddaughter, my mother, Ione Bartlett McBride, dated Sept. 24,1984:
"Mother(Rama Hall Johnson) said he was very high-spirited and loved a good time. I think Daddy must have gotten his ability to make things from him. You may remember he could make anything or fix anything, and if he didn't have the proper tools he could improvise. I wonder, too, if our grandfather didn't have that magic with animals Daddy had, and that Elaine has. After all, he was driving horses at a very early age.
He must have been a very practical man who lived in the moment. Daddy said he never heard a word of Swedish spoken in the house as he was growing up. True, I understand our grandfather had an accent, but he spoke English only. And he must have been able to adjust to new ways, even independent women. Mother said when she and Daddy were married Grandfather announced he'd come down to Arkansas City and "help you kids pick out your furniture." She told him she'd be glad to have him come down any time, but she intended to pick out her own furniture. That's the way it turned out, and he never seemed to hold it against her.
He must have been very bright - his daughters were, and Daddy was. And keeping factory machinery running was a tremendous responsibility. So was building houses, barns and smokestacks.
PER ELLOF JOHNSON was born in Sweden on June 19, 1865. His father was John Pearson, but Per Ellof, following Swedish custom, took the surname Johnson (John's son). He worked as a coachman for wealthy families in Stockholm when he was in his teens, but when he was 16 or 18 he left Sweden and came to the United States.
He came to this country alone, but he was followed by his parents, two sisters and a half-brother, Nels Pearson. They settled in or near McPherson, Kansas. Other members of the family also came to the McPherson area either earlier or later. They were the Selbergs and the Andersons.
Per Ellof - he was called Pete in this country - went to Arlington, Kansas, where he worked as a carpenter. One of the houses he built there had a stairway that didn't have nail in it - everything was glued.
He married Elizabeth Luella Bennett on November 25, 1888 at Bone Springs, Kansas. They had two sons and three daughters - Leo Webster, born September 23, 1889; Joe Otto, born July 4, 1892;twins Minnie Olive and Mabel Adelia, born October 15, 1894; and Cyntha Christinia, born April 4, 1898. Joe died in Arlington or shortly after the family moved to Hutchinson, Kansas. She and Joe, and Pete, were buried in Arlington.
The family lived on a farm near Arlington, but when they moved to Hutchinson they lived in a house on West B Street. In Hutchinson Pete supervised the building of several houses and a smokestack at a cement plant that later was torn down. He built every barn his brother-in-law Charlie Dix had for his livery stable business. The First Street Furniture Store had one of those buildings later. He also did millwright work, keeping factory machinery in condition, and had several firms as customers.
He married again after Elizabeth's death. All the children loved their stepmother and kept in touch with her for many years, even after she married again after Pete's death and after she moved to California.
Pete died at the age of 45, the result of diabetes, then called Bright's disease."

According to my mother, Pete also built the Western Union building, the old Moose Lodge swimming pool, and the Graber Furniture building in Hutchinson. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  John B Pearson (1829 - 1912)
  Sessa Pearson (1840 - 1927)
 
 Spouse:
  Elizabeth Luella Bennett Johnson (1865 - 1910)
 
 Children:
  Leo W. Johnson (1889 - 1947)*
  Joseph Otto Johnson (1892 - 1901)*
  Cynthia C. Bartlett (1898 - 1975)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Arlington Cemetery
Arlington
Reno County
Kansas, USA
 
Created by: Debby McBride Brown
Record added: Nov 30, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 81255478
Per Elif Pete Johnson
Added by: Debby McBride Brown
 
Per Elif Pete Johnson
Added by: Debby McBride Brown
 
 
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