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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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JOHN JOHNSON, one of the earliest settlers of Phelps county, Nebr., was born in Sweden, in 1831, and is a son of John Christenson, who was a native of the same country, born in 1794, was a prosperous farmer, and in 1824 married Nellie Christianson, who bore him five children, as follows — Betsey, who died in 1890; Mrs. Ellen Hawkinson (now deceased); John, our subject; Hannah and Olof.

John Johnson came to America in 1854, and first took up his residence in Chicago, Ill., where he remained twelve years, part of the time driving an express wagon and part of the time working in car-shops; thence he went to Altona, and for four years was employed in a flouring mill; from Altona he came to Nebraska in 1872, and settled in Phelps county, on section 24, township 7, range 19. On his settling at this point there was not a neighbor to be found within miles of his place, and his nearest trading place was Kearney. He put up one of the first sod houses in this county and for many years suffered all the inconveniences and privations incident to the life of the pioneer. Among the other incidents of the early days through which Mr. Johnson and his family passed was that of seeking refuge during the Eastern storm of 1873, in the cellar of Mr. Dahlstrom’s house with a number of others, the whole party comprising eighteen persons, but has happily withstood all privations and is now one of the most prosperous farmers of the county.

The marriage of Mr. Johnson took place in 1854, and Carrie, his wife, has born him seven children, as follows — Ralph, a book-keeper in Gothenburgh, Dawson county, Nebr., and married to Ellen Brunsburg; Nels Emile, clerk in Norris’ drug store, in Holdrege; Hilda (Mrs. Davidson); Justice, George W., in Cheyenne; Ida and Robert. The parents are consistent members of the Lutheran church and stand very high in the esteem of their neighbors.

Mr. Johnson has held a number of public offices, among them those of justice of the peace, county supervisor and assessor.

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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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