SURNAMES: JOHANSON, PETERSON,
SCANDINAVIA EXCHANGE HOTEL, SAN JOSE
A public-spirited citizen of San Jose who dates his residence in Santa
Clara County since 1879 is Nils Johnson. He was born on the southern
coast of Sweden, near Engelholm, Skane, on April 6, 1860, and is the
eldest son of Johannes Swenson and Christina Johanson, both natives of
the same place, who were successful farmers. In younger days the father
was a ship carpenter and a cabinet maker.
Nils Johnson received his education in the public schools of his native
land, and at the age of fourteen was confirmed in the Lutheran Church.
He contined working in the farm for his maternal grandfather until
nineteen, and in 1879 started out to make his own way in the world and
set sail for America, the Mecca of his ambitions. Upon his arrival he
made his way to San Jose, California, where he located. He immediately
went to the ranch of his Uncle Nils, and was employed there for a short
time; then he removed to Bisbee, Ariz, and spent two and a half years
in the mines. This was in early days when things were wild and woolly.
Then he made his way to Socurro County, N. M., engaging in prospecting,
but did not find any pay streak. When his money was gone he returned to
Bisbee and continued working in the mines two years, and then returned
to San Jose. He then started then in the hotel business.
In 1893 Mr. Johnson was married to Miss Hilma L. Peterson, also a
native of Sweden, who had come to San Francisco with her sister. Mr.
Johnson then continued in the hotel business in San Jose, operating the
Scandinavia Exchange on Post Street for three years. Mr. and Mrs.
Johnson were the parents of five children; Hilding is an ex-service
man, serving overseas in the World War; Helen is the wife of Charles
Kelley, and they reside in San Jose; Narrine is the wife of Charles J.
Freedman, of Palo Alto; Eben Bertel served in the California National
Guard on the Mexican border and now resides in San Jose; George is
deceased. Mrs. Johnson passed away September 26, 1900.
Soon after arriving in America, Mr. Johnson completed his citizenship
and his loyalty to his adopted country is a matter of pride to him. For
over thirty-five years Mr. Johnson has been a member of the Odd
Fellows, being initiated in Bisbee, Ariz. He is now a member of
Observatory Lodge I.O.O.F., San Jose, and his political affiliations
are of the Republican platform. He owns valuable real estate on the
Almaden Road and is now living retired from active life on this ranch.
He is planning sitll more improvements and will build additional houses
to rent. Living retired as he does now, he can look back upon a clean,
industrious, well-spent life, and whenever or wherever possible has
given his aid toward the progress and building up of his locality.
Transcribed by Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,
published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 519
SANTA CLARA COUNTY HISTORIC BIOGRAPHIES
SANTA CLARA COUNTY HISTORY