Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


Nels Olsen Strahn

A history of the agricultural development of Stockholm township would hardly be complete without reference being made to the late Nels Olsen Strahn, who at the time of his demise owned a finely cultivated farm of two hundred acres, which he had acquired by his thrift, energy and perseverance.

A son of Ogle and Bool Fogel [sic], he was born in Sweden on the 25th of March, 1837. The parents spent their entire lives in the land of their nativity, in the common schools of which the son, Nels, acquired his education. Mr. Strahn remained in Europe until he had passed his thirty-second year, a period sufficiently long for him to feel convinced that the opportunities afforded an ambitious man were far greater in America than in the more conservative and older countries, and so took passage for the United States.

Coming to Crawford county in 1869 he located upon forty acres of unimproved land, in the cultivation of which he engaged for a time. Then selling it he invested in one hundred and twenty acres in Stockholm township. Here he followed general farming and stock-raising, in both of which occupations he met with more than average success, which enabled him to add to his holdings another eighty acres.

He continued to operate this place until he passed away on the 11th of January, 1883. Mr. Strahn was a member of the Baptist church, while his political support he always gave to the republican party. Not being an aspirant for public honors or the emoluments of office, however, he never took a particularly active part in public affairs, preferring to concentrate his energy in the development of his own interests.

In January, 1874, Mr. Strahn was united in marriage to Miss Nellie Pierson and they became the parents of six children: William, a resident of South Dakota; Harry, of Sac county; Oscar, of Kiron; Olaf, who lives in the same place; Lillie, the wife of R. W. Amos, of Wichita, Kansas; and Nathan, of South Dakota.

Mrs. Strahn was again married, her second husband being P. A. Johnson, to whom she was united on the 16th of February, 1888. Mr. Johnson is also a native of Sweden and a son of John August Nelson and Greta, Olaf's daughter, both of whom passed their entire lives in the old country. Coming to America in the spring of 1880 Mr. Johnson first located in Omaha. where he was employed five years, following which he filed upon a homestead, being engaged in its cultivation for two years, at the end of which period he came to Crawford county. Three children were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, the first two, however, Elizabeth and Joseph, passed away. Enoch, the only surviving child born of this union, lives in Kiron. Mr. Johnson affiliates with the Free Mission church, while his political support is accorded to the prohibition party.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.