Biography of Gustav Johnson
Oregon Biographies





Gustav Johnson, who for many years was a factor in the material and moral development of Oregon and who was called to his final rest on the 21st of November, 1919, was born near Stockholm, Sweden, in 1861. He spent his youth in his native country and acquired his education in the schools of that land. In 1881 he came to the United States and for a time was a resident of Chicago, after which he spent several years in Iowa. It was in the latter state that he met and married Miss Josephine Abrahamson, the wedding being celebrated in 1890. Mrs. Johnson is a daughter of Carl R. and Christine Louise Anderson, who were natives of Sweden and came to America in 1869, when their daughter, Mrs. Johnson, was but four years of age. The family home was established in Iowa, where Mr. Abrahamson engaged in farming, continuing a resident of that state throughout his remaining days. The eldest brother of Mr. Johnson is today a very prominent citizen of Stockholm.

To Mr. and Mrs. Johnson were born six children, five of whom are living: C. Raymond, who is an artist, with studio in Chicago and an oil painter of portraits of more than passing renown and has many exhibits both in America and Europe. He is in fact recognized as one of America's great artists both in portraiture and scenery; Ruth Mildred, who is devoting her time to teaching; Esther Louise, who is a high school teacher; Mabel Olive, who has passed away; Arthur Harold, a noted singer, who is in college; and Milford Gordon, who is in high school.

It was in the spring of 1902 that Mr. Johnson came to Oregon, settling in Portland, after which he did missionary work, covering western Oregon. On various occasions he would walk over the mountains to get to some town which was hard to reach by rail and in fact in many cases there were no railroads. He was a representative of the Baptist denomination and his work was an effective force for good in the upbuilding of the church. By reason of his missionary labors he became well known throughout western Oregon and was most highly esteemed by people of all denominations, who knew him as a man of high Christian character. In 1910 he took up the real estate business in Portland and was also identified with the bakery business. In 1917 he became interested in shipbuilding, in which he continued to the time of his demise. He thus led a very active, busy and useful life, which was terminated by an automobile accident on the 21st of November, 1919. His political allegiance was given to the republican party and he at all times stood for those things which are most worth while in the life of the individual and the life of the community at large.

Mrs. Johnson has been a most active worker in the Young Woman's Christian Association, in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and in the work of the church. She was treasurer of the Baptist state work and secretary of the Columbia river district of the Baptist church, also has been president of the Missionary Society of Portland and vice president of the City Missionary Union of the Baptist Women's Society. Her labors have been far reaching and resultant and her efforts have long been a potent force in the advancement of Christian teachings in this section of the country, Portland gained two valuable citizens when Mr. and Mrs. Johnson established their home in Oregon.

From:
History of Oregon Illistrated
Vol. 3
BY: Charles H. Carney
The Pioneer Historical Publishing Company
Chicago - Portland 1922


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