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Below is a family biography included in the book,  Biographical Souvenir of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney, Phelps, Harlan and Franklin, Nebraska published in 1890 by F. A. Battey & Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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FRANK JOHNSON. This gentleman is one of the leading merchants of Holdrege, Phelps county. He is a splendid representative of that intelligent and enterprising class of citizens by whom the town of Holdrege and the county of Phelps are mainly settled, namely, Swedish-Americans. Mr. Johnson was born in Smoland, Sweden, January 23, 1853. He came to America at the age of sixteen, unaccompanied by friend or relative. He stopped in Henry county, Ill., among some of his countrymen whom he had formerly known, and went to work to repay his friends who had advanced his ship fare to this country. He found his first employment as a farm hand, working by the month. He afterwards went on the railroad, and after knocking around for some time and acquiring some knowledge of the English language, he engaged in clerking for A. P. Johnson & Co., at Altona, Ill., remaining as clerk with this firm for ten years, when he was taken in as a partner. He retained his partnership interest there for four years and then decided to move West. He came to Nebraska in 1884, and settled at Holdrege, in Phelps county. Holdrege at that time was just starting, and Mr. Johnson was one of the first merchants in the place, his store being built from the first load of lumber shipped into the town by rail. He at once opened out a general line of merchandise and began supplying the local trade. As the town and surrounding country settled up his business grew, keeping pace with the general progress of the community, and in a few years he found his quarters too small for his growing trade. He then erected the elegant double-front two-story brick building which he now occupies, and which is a credit to his town and a monument to his industry, liberality and public spirit. He deals now in dry goods, clothing, hats, caps, boots, shoes and carpets. He has handled thousands of dollars’ worth of goods, and is widely and favorably known by the buying public where he lives. Mr. Johnson’s success has been reached by the exercise of great industry, economy, strict attention to business and fair dealing by all.

He married, in 1878, the lady being Anna Anderson. To this union have been born three children, two girls and one boy — Mabel, Lutennis and Luella.

While looking assiduously after his own interests Mr. Johnson has given due attention to the claims of the public on him as a citizen. He is progressive in his views, liberal with his means and willing to lend a helping hand to any deserving enterprise, and the needy never leave his door empty-handed.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the book, Biographical Souvenir of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney, Phelps, Harlan and Franklin, Nebraska published in 1890 by F. A. Battey & Company. 

View additional Phelps County, Nebraska family biographies here: Phelps County, Nebraska Biographies

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