"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, Peter, though not actually a resident of Lincoln County, has for many years resided so close to its borders, in the town of Spirit, Price County, getting his mail at Spirit, Lincoln County, that his personal record and those of his active and enterprising sons are entitled to a place in this volume. He was born in Sweden, in 1854 and there as a boy attended school, later working on farms and at the builder's trade. It was in the year 1880 that he came to the United States, and for the next two years he was actually a resident of Lincoln County, Wis., as he located in Merrill and was employed in the mills there until 1882. In 1881 he homesteaded 160 acres of timber land in the town of Spirit, Price County, where he has ever since resided. There were no improvements on the place, or any roads to it and Mr. JOHNSON had to carry all his supplies from Merrill and Ogema. After building his log house he started to clear his land, but had to spend much of his time, especially in winter, in logging camps to earn money on which to live. The timber on his own place was mostly hemlock, for which at that time there was no market demand, so he used to burn it in order to get it out of his way. He has now 30 acres cleared and under cultivation and is doing general farming. This, however, has been but one of his activities. A number of years ago he became interested with others in a saw mill near Spirit Falls, and later, purchasing the mill, moved it onto his own land. With this mill he cut his own timber into lumber, lath and shingles and continued to operate it until it burned down. He later built a mill to replace the one he had lost and ran it until he sold it to his sons, Arvid and Edgar. For quite a number of years he also manufactured all kinds of baskets, and for a number of years he was postmaster at Graywood. He now owns 240 acres of timber land in Lincoln County. Mr. JOHNSON was married in Price County in 1891 to Charlotte OLSON, daughter of Helmer and Marietta OLSON. Her parents, natives of Sweden, were early settlers in Price County, and both are still living, Mr. OLSON being now 77 years old and Mrs. OLSON 83. Mr. and Mrs. JOHNSON have seven children: Arvid, Mabel, Edgar, Ethel, Albert, Alvera and Stella. The record of Arvid will be given in connection with that of his brother Edgar. Ethel resides in Chicago, the other children being at home.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 571; 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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