Mrs. Kjerstin Johnson, nee 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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