"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"

Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.


Johnson, Jacob who was the first settler in Section 25, town of Conover, Vilas County, and is now living retired there, was born at Wasa, Finland, Oct. 1, 1863. He received his education in his native land and went from there to Sweden in 1880, working in a sawmill in the latter country for eight years and then coming to the United States in the fall of 1888. After landing in New York he proceeded direct to Crystal Falls, Mich., where he worked five years in the iron mines, and he went from there to Ironwood, Mich., being employed in sinking shafts for the mining company there from then until the spring of 1904. He then came to Vilas County and purchased 76 acres of land in Section 25, town of Conover, where he was the first to settle. He went through all the hardships of the pioneer in building up this property and establishing his home here. At first he left his family in Eagle River and walked back and forth to his farm, but one of his first steps was the construction of a good frame residence, and as soon as this was completed he and his family took up their home on the land. He cut a road leading to his property from what is now County Trunk P, and during the early period of his residence here he carried all provisions for the family on his back from Eagle River. Until the farm could be put on a productive basis he worked in the woods of Oneida and Vilas counties for the different lumber companies, thus earning money to support his family and carrying on the development of his property. He equipped the place with a substantial set of farm buildings, erecting them all with his own hands, and gradually the battle with nature was won and a fine agricultural property emerged. He cleared about 30 acres of the land, and carried on general farming until 1920, when he sold the property, retaining only three acres. He later purchased as additional two acres of land, so that he now has five acres; he also owns three acres on Pioneer Lake with 10 rods of lake frontage. He is now practically retired though doing some road work to occupy a portion of his time. He is very highly respected for the record he has established and the excellent work he has done here, and is one of the solid, dependable citizens of the community. He served as side supervisor of the town of Conover for two terms, and was fire warden for five years. Mr. JOHNSON was married at Ironwood, Mich., Aug. 15, 1896, to Mary Olivia OLAIN, who has been his faithful helpmate along each step of the road to the success he has achieved. Mr. and Mrs. JOHNSON have had four children, of whom the youngest, Ellen, died at the age of five years. The others are Emil, now in Milwaukee, Wis.; Hilda, who is Mrs. Miller MEYER of Juneau, Wis,; and Esther, who is now Mrs. Reuben KUNZ and also lives at Juneau.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 568-569; History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others 1924, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co

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