Olaus Johnson

Olaus Johnson

Royken, Røyken kommune, Buskerud fylke, Norway
Death 22 Mar 1922 (aged 88)
Midvale, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Burial Murray, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Plot 01 026 6
Memorial ID 128525 View Source

Olaus Johnson's father was a shoemaker but decided to become a fisherman. When he was little, Olaus was taught by his mother as she made fish nets for his father. This was the only education he received. When he was nine, his father took him on the boat with him so Olaus could learn the fishing trade. During the winter he and his twin brother [Martin] repaired nets.

When Olaus was 15, he left home to become a sailor. Within 14 years he had become a captain of a ship and had sailed far. On one of his trips, he met an elder of the Mormon Church and was convinced of the truth of which he spoke, but it took him two years to quit smoking. He was baptized in 1862 . His brother was baptized the same year and his parents were baptized in 1860.

In 1863 , his parents and all their children left Norway for America . Upon their arrival in Salt Lake , they settled in West Jordan for a time and then moved to South Cottonwood where they eventually bought land and built a home. In the following few years, he took a polygamous wife and over a period of years, he built several homes for his family. He helped with an Indian crisis.

In 1882, Olaus was called on a mission to Norway where he served two years. Upon his return home, he tried to avoid prison for polygamy but had to serve six months. In 1896 he served another mission in Norway . He became ill and was released early. He died at the age of 88.

--Source: Conquerors of the West: Stalwart Mormon Pioneers, volume 2.
NOTE: Olaus was the twin brother of Martin Mattias Olsen, sons of Johan & Karen Olssen Olsen. After coming to America from Norway, Olaus used the last name of Johnson, because his father's name was John (American version of Johan), which is the custom in that country. Martin took the American form, using the last name of Olsen. The two twin brothers went by these names all their lives from then on, and their families as well.