Mrs. Kjerstin Johnson, née Vesterson

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Kjer­stin Vester­son was born in Wiby, Swe­den, Novem­ber 6, 1834, the eldest liv­ing child of a fam­ily of nine, five of them dying in infancy. The fam­ily was out­stand­ing in edu­ca­tion and accom­plish­ment; one brother was a Mar­shal of Swe­den, an uncle was a Bishop, and a cousin a Mis­sion­ary. Grandmother’s peo­ple lived at Walby, Chris­tanstad County. In 1853, Kjer­stin was united in mar­riage with Swan John­son, of Walby, Swe­den, a car­pen­ter and mill­wright. For four­teen years they made their home at Walby, liv­ing with and car­ing for her aged mother.

Kjer­stin who was a very small per­son and less than five feet tall, was noted as a won­der­ful mother, untir­ing in her lov­ing care for her fam­ily, sym­pa­thetic and under­stand­ing, a friend of every­one with whom she came in con­tact. As a cook her fame was well known all over the County and her home was the gath­er­ing place for young and old. Every­body was wel­come there.

With her hus­band she immi­grated to Amer­ica in May 1868, even­tu­ally locat­ing on a 400 acre farm one and one-half miles west of Genoa, Nebraska. She was now the mother of twelve chil­dren, all liv­ing to matu­rity except one who died at the age of nine months. With end­less energy she cared for her large fam­ily, took care of the gar­den, assisted with the stock, and kept every­thing going and har­mo­nious. They raised, pre­pared and pre­served all the veg­eta­bles that were used and needed. Even in the years of the grasshop­pers they had plenty for them­selves and enough to help their neigh­bors. They killed and cured all meat needed for the entire year, milked ten to twenty cows, sold much but­ter, raised turkeys, geese and hun­dreds of chick­ens. They were a very busy and very happy fam­ily, set­ting a high stan­dard for life and liv­ing up to it. That included going to church in Swe­den and Nebraska.

Kjer­stin John­son passed away at the age of almost ninety-three years at the home of her daugh­ter, Mrs. John E. Young, at Genoa, Nebraska, where she had gone for a week’s visit. This was August 30, 1927.

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