Johnson Lars and Sophie

LARS AND SOPHIE (DAHL) JOHNSON

Born and married in Norway, Lars and Sophie Johnson immigrated to Brookings, South Dakota, U.S.A. Two major moves followed: they were to homestead at Bittern Lake, Alberta; and finally were to settle in the Elk Point district around 1908. Although Lars did not homestead in the Elk Point district, he was to own land.

With them, five sons arrived. Ludwig (Louis) homesteaded on the S.W. 1/4 of 6-57-6, Oscar homesteaded on N.W. 1/4 of 5-57-R6-W4th, Selmar homesteaded N.W. 1/4 of 22-57-R7-W4th, and Martin homestead on N.W. 1/4-3-56-R8-W4th. Their fifth son, Benny, was blind and therefore did not homestead.

Two married daughters, Rundena (Dma) Jepson, and Oleanna (Annie) Valentine and their families were to soon follow.

The Lars Johnsons BACK ROW Left to Right: Benny Oscar Lonie Selmat

MIDDLE ROW Sophie Oleanna Lars. FRONT ROW Martin

After moving to Elk Point, Lars and Sophie lived the rest of their lives with son, Oscar. In later years, Oscar and his wife Josie looked after Sophie, who was bed-ridden due to a broken hip.

In August of 1912, son Louie died. Lars donated land to the community to start a cemetery. Louie was the first person buried in what was known for the time as the Johnson Cemetery, but today known as the Elk Point East Cemetery.

Benny died in 1916 and was buried in the Elk Point West Cemetery beside his young nephew, Gordon Velentine, both victims of the "bad flu".

Not of farming nature, Martin and Selmar Johnson bought the Valentine -Screeton store in Elk Point. They operated it as the "Johnson Bros." for a short time. Martin went to the States and died in Detroit in 1924. Seimar then worked for Woodland Dairy, operating the first creamery in Elk Point. It was located where the present slaughter house is, south of the railroad tracks. Later he moved to Ryley, Alberta where he was the "Creamery Man", or butter-maker and manager until his death in 1959. He and his wife Mabel had no children.

Lars was known as a horse trader in the area. The older grandchildren remember Sophie as always having lots of cookies in her big pantry; and Lars giving them quarters, cautioning them not to tell Grandma. The grandchildren learned Norwegian so that they could speak with Lars and Sophie, who never really mastered the English language.

They both lived to a ripe old age, and at their death were buried beside son Louie in the East Cemetery. Lars, who died in February, 1945, was ninety. Sophie died in 1943 at the age of eighty-nine