Memoranda of Events in the Life of John August Johnson: from childhood days to the age of 82, 1879-1969  PDF

Overview of the Collection

John August Johnson
Memoranda of Events in the Life of John August Johnson: from childhood days to the age of 82
1879-1969 (inclusive)
One manuscript (51 pages), ( )
Collection Number
Recollections of a Swedish immigrant
Pacific Lutheran University, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, Washington
Telephone: 253-535-7586
Fax: 253-535-7315
Access Restrictions

The collections is available for research

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

John August Johnson was born 19 January 1879 on the homestead Västanträsk in Västerbotten, Sweden. The landscape was extremely hard to farm. His family harvested hay, made flour out of bark, extracted tar, sold milk, and hauled timber for income. John overcame several illnesses in his youth. John and the other boys had a lot of responsibility to shoulder in order to help the family survive. John later worked away from home where he met several young friends and became interested in spirituality and rivals. John sailed for America the spring of 1901. He worked several jobs, mostly in mines under dangerous conditions. He also worked as a carpenter. He was involved in religion and revivals, attending Swedish Baptist Churches. In the summer of 1905, John decided to move to Seattle, WA, to get away from the cold winters. It was hard to find work there. Eventually conditions began to improve and he worked on carpentry for many of the new buildings being built. On August 21, 1907, John married Ellen Karlbom who was Swedish as well. They built a home for themselves and had five children, four daughters and one son. The children graduated from the University of Washington. He was very involved in church life. John was a member of the Swedish Baptist Church. When this congregation broke up the Calvary Temple church was formed, which John helped develop and build. John was an avid fisherman and hunter. He and his family took a month-long trip to Europe and his wife and he traveled often in their retirement

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The manuscript discusses John’s childhood and young adult life in Sweden, the jobs he had, and his immigration to America in order to earn a better life for himself. It also tells about the working conditions in the early 1900s, construction in Seattle, and church life and changes. His wife’s family is described, as is his children’s families.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Archives and Special Collections Department at Pacific Lutheran University. Copyright resides with the creator of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to the University Archivist. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder

Preferred Citation

[identification of item] From the John August Johnson Papers, OPVSIEmss_1, Archives and Special Collections, Scandinavian Immigrant Experience Collection, Pacific Lutheran University, 12180 Park Avenue South, Tacoma, WA 98447

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (1909 : Seattle, Wash.)
  • Calvary Temple (Seattle, Wash)
  • Emigration and immigration
  • Evangelistic work
  • Mines and mining
  • Revivals
  • World War, 1914-1918
  • Personal Names :
  • Rector, Eleanor
  • Karlbom, Ellen
  • Samuelson, Jacob
  • Corporate Names :
  • Västerbottens län (Sweden)
  • Family Names :
  • Johnson family
  • Karlbom family
  • Rector family
  • Geographical Names :
  • Boden (Sweden)
  • Kenora (Ont.)
  • Kiruna (Sweden)
  • Seattle (Wash.)
  • Silverton (Or.)
  • Winnipeg Region (Man.)
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Johnson, John August--Archives (creator)