Author: John Outcalt (1925)

GUST E. JOHNSON

A pioneer of the Hilmar Colony of 1903 in California, Gust E. Johnson has been closely identified with the movements that have brought this favored section of Merced County to the front. He was born at Brattrud, Laxareby, Dalsland, Sweden, on January 23, 1862, the sixth son of Johannes and Maria Lovisa (Bergman) Andersson, and was educated in what was known as the "folk" school in Sweden. As he grew to young manhood he learned the trade of carpenter in Sweden, then went to Norway where he was employed for eighteen months in the nickel and copper mines. He returned to Sweden for a short visit and then sailed for America in the spring of 1882, coming direct to the State of Iowa, where he remained for some months and then went to Minneapolis, Minn., and for the following three years followed his trade of carpenter, principally in shop work. In the spring of 1885 Mr. Johnson traveled westward into British Columbia to work as a bridge carpenter on the Canadian Pacific Railway, remaining in the Canadian Northwest until the summer of 1886, when he returned to Minneapolis and again took up shop work until the spring of 1887. He then left for Eastern Colorado, where he took up a homestead in what was then Weld County, later being incorporated into Phillips County. While proving up on his land he worked at his trade in the city of Denver. However, not seeing his way clear to start farming in earnest he relinquished the homestead and remained in Denver.

While living in Denver, Mr. Johnson was united in marriage on March 20, 1889, with Miss Hilma S. Nelson, also born near Oskarshamn, Sweden. In 1891 they removed to Durango, Colo., where Mr. Johnson followed his trade and later engaged in the lumber business for four years, or until leaving for California in 1903, coming direct to Hilmar Colony, where they have since made their home. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have had eight children, viz.: George W., who married Bertha L. Thyberg of Oakland, and died in 1924, survived by his widow and three children; Carl Oscar, who died in infancy; Gust Adolph, who married Signey Johnson, a native of Sweden; Ernest Theodore, who married Olive M. Lundell of the Hilmar Colony; Marie Louise, Harry David, Hazel Malvi and Irwin Benjamin are single. Mr. Johnson has always voted the Democratic ticket and he is a life member of Durango Lodge No. 46, A. F. & A. M. The Johnson family are well-known and highly respected citizens in this section of California.


Additional Comments:
From:

HISTORY OF
MERCED COUNTY
CALIFORNIA
WITH A
Biographical Review
OF
The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been
Identified with Its Growth and Development
from the Early Days to the Present

HISTORY BY
JOHN OUTCALT

ILLUSTRATED COMPLETE IN ONE VOLUME
HISTORIC RECORD COMPANY
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
1925

File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by:
Joy Fisher February 5, 2006, 11:21 pm