Charlotte Larson (Larsdotter) Johnson
Born: 30 August, 1872
Died 12 November, 1950

(The following is taken from The History of Sac County, Iowa -
by William H. Hart, 1914, B. F. Bowden & Co., Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana)
Note:  Images are scanned from photocopied material, so quality is not good)


A large proportion of the early settlers were hardy young folk ready to spend their vigor wresting a place from the Iowa Prairie where their children might have room to grow and yet be near at hand. Numerous descendants of these families are still here to attest to this. There were those who for various reasons were not blessed with families of their own to benefit from their labors. One such couple, known to your story teller, lived three miles south of Wall Lake, Joel and Lottie Johnson, eventually held title to two quarter sections of land. One in Viola Township, and the other across the road in Levey Township. The South Wall Lake Cemetery is in the northeast corner of the land in Levey. The farm is presently owned by Ed Kropf. Charles, a brother of Joel owned the quarter section immediately to the east of the land in Viola. I never knew him or how long he may have been in the community. .Their parents evidently lived with them at one time. They may have, in some measure, been responsible for the selection of the spot for the cemetery as they are among the first to be laid to rest there.

Charlotte Larson Johnson & Joel Johnson farmhouse

Although Joel and Lottie had no children, their home was frequently opened to others whose parents may have met their fate at an early age. From early diaries, we learn the young folk living within a radius of some 2 or 3 miles gathered there on numerous occasions. Probably the fact that Joel had some ability with a violin and Lottie was a firm believer in keeping a pantry well stocked with Swedish delicacies, contributed to the frequency of the visits. As an example, may we quote from a written report of a young people's meeting some years later. In her home in Wall Lake on Halloween, Mrs. Johnson furnished 27 pumpkin pies all baked that forenoon, plus sandwiches to make a complete meal. There was a large crowd and all the pies disappeared. An accordion was also available which several had mastered sufficiently to provide music for dancing and singing. As long as I knew Joel he had a game leg that would have prevented his participation, but it had not always been so.


Joel & Lottie Johnson home, 401 Ward Street, Wall Lake, Iowa

The love of trees so common in their native land was carried across the Atlantic by the early Scandinavians. Not too long ago, you could almost spot a farm developed by one of those families by the profusion of large groves, orchards and windbreak/ Many of these trees have passed their maturity and all too frequently have been destroyed and not replaced. Joel was no exception and one of the largest groves in the community protected their homestead from the chill of winter winds.

I have heard the incident responsible for Joel's impairment related many times. This was in the days before radio, rural telephone, or even RFD. Joel was operating his brother's land as well as his own at the time. On a blustery winter day, there was a threat of additional snow in the air, so in late afternoon, Joel decided to go on horseback, to bring cattle in a stalk field almost a mile to the east back to the protection of the grove.

While herding the cattle ahead of him, Joel's horse slipped on some snow covered ice and fell, breaking Joel’s leg. He was unable to remount his horse or to travel except for crawling, Darkness was fast closing in and the prospect of anyone finding him before daylight the next morning was remote indeed. It was not likely that he could survive the bitter night in the open. Joel began talking to his horse and managed to get him in a position so he could grasp his tail with his hands and get the horse headed for home, dragging Joel and herding the cattle ahead of him. Needless to say, he was fortunate indeed to suffer nothing more than a permanently shortened limb.


Lottie's livingroom in the Wall Lake home
Lottie & her cats

The Odebolt Chronicle, August 18, 1918, Page 5, Column 1:
Joel Johnson Farm Sold

Saturday, August 3, Teaquist & McLaughlin sold the Joel Johnson farm consisting of 304 acres, just south of Wall Lake, to Ed Stoffregan, the consideration being $68,400. The place contains fair improvements. Mr. Stoffregan is one of Sac County's most progressive farmers and found his former farm of 120 acres insufficient to meet his requirements. He had Teaquist & McLaughlin dispose of it and purchased the Johnson place so that he might be able to expand in accordance with his ideas.

LOTTIE'S OBITUARY  (taken from clipping from newspaper , 1950, in Dorothy Girvan's possession, undated)
Long-time Resident Died Sunday A.M - 30 August, 1872 to 12 November, 1950

Mrs. Lottie Johnson, a resident of this vicinity for 60 years, passed away Sunday morning, Nov. 12, at Carroll hospital, where she had been a patient for a few days.  She had reached the age of 78 years.  Services were conducted at 2 o'clock Wednesday afternoon at Gookin Funeral Home by the Rev. J. L. DeGarmo, Methodist pastor, in the absence of Dr. E. J. James of the Presbyterian church of which Mrs. Johnson was a member.

Mrs. L. H. Corn and Mrs. B. K. Stephens sang two selections, "The Old Rugged Cross" and "Good Night and Good Morning," accompanied at the piano by Mrs. Otto Nomsen.  Attendants were Axel Carlson of Odebolt, Hilding Pearson, Albert Erickson, Louis Pagel, Clifford Hoft and Frank Terlisner.  Burial was in Wall Lake cemetary.

Charlotte Larson, daughter of Lars and Maria Larson, was born in Skora Vestergotland, Sweden, Aug. 30, 1872.  She came to America when she was 18 years of age, to join her brothers, Frank and Charles Larson on the Cook Ranch, in Sac County, Iowa, where she was employed for two years bye the C.W. Cook family.

In 1892 she married Joel Johnson of Wall Lake.  They resided on the Johnson homestead three miles south of Wall Lake from the time of their marriage until 1902, when they moved to Wall Lake.  Joel and Lottie Johnson had no children but during their lifetime they surrounded themselves with the children of their friends and relatives, who grew up loving and respecting them.

She was preceded in death by her husband, who died in 1923, by her brothers Frank and Charles, and by her sister, Louise, who had remained in Sweden.

Her closest surviving relative is her niece, Annie Larson, who lived with Mrs. Johnson for more than 20 years.  Other surviving relatives are Mrs. Sigurd Carlson, of Odebolt, Mrs. C. P. McDaniel, of Austin Minn., and Gust Anderson, of Summitt, S.D. who are cousins.

Lottie Johnson  was a member of the Presbyterian church and of Wall Lake chapter, OES (Order of the Eastern Star).  She and her husband were very active in church affairs for many years, but during the last years of her life the infirmities of age had kept her from taking her usual active part.  She was know to many hundreds of people throughout the area.

 Brother Charles E. Larson