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Contributed by Carl C. Bloomquist 3/13/2001
The following is information about my great-uncle Johannes
submitted by Carl C. Bloomquist -- 3/13/2001
Married Matilda Stark in 1877.
Left Karswalla Oct. 11, 1878.
"Rollo" from Gotheabag to Detroit, Michigan, October 13, 1878.
Johannes (John) came to America in Oct. 1878. His destination is listed as Detroit, Michigan. He was a house painter like his father, but also possessed the artistic ability to paint pictures as well. He along with brothers, Gustaf and Anders (Andrew) worked to make the money to bring over their parents and sister, Augusta in 1880. Apparently, John moved to the Harris, Minnesota as he married Matilda Stark in Harris, Minnesota but I have no date as to when the marriage took place. Matilda's father, Lars Stark, gave them some land at the time of their marriage, but I don't know if John was really into farming.
Following is an account written by John's daughter, Edith, of events that happened as she remembers them.
"Some years before I was born, my parents and 3 brothers lived in Taylor's Falls, Minnesota. My father had established a very good painting and decorating business there. One of his brother's, Anders (Andrew), also a painter, had moved out to Seattle, Washington about 1890 after a big fire which had destroyed most of the business district. He wrote my father that there was so much work, why not come out there. They could make loads of money. My father, having an adventurous spirit left with my brothers and my mother against advice, pleas, and entreaties of his relatives and friends. It was the biggest mistake of his life. Shortly after arriving in Seattle, labor troubles came up and my father and his brother were out of work.
There was much talk of taking up "claims" in northern Washington so my father and his brother staked out claims in the wilderness of Clallam County -- This is where I was born, June 13, 1892 -- The first white child in Clallam County. When I was two years old, my mother died after giving birth to a baby boy, Theodore. The baby died about a month later.
My father and my three brothers and I, moved back to Seattle. There was no way to improve the land (our claim), no money and no help from government, or anywhere. We lived in Seattle until my fifth birthday. Soon after that, my father and I moved back to Minnesota. His parents, sisters and brothers lived there and so did my maternal grand-parents, uncles and aunts.
My youngest brother, Rudolph, died in an accident in Seattle. He and a couple other boys had hitched a ride on the back of a horse-drawn delivery wagon. The driver flicked his horse whip at them and my brother jumped or fell in front of a moving streetcar. The streetcar hit him and he was instantly killed. He was 11 years old and I was 4 years old at the time.
My brothers were all older than I. None of them lived on the farm with me. Only Leonard who made a career in the navy came to visit while he was on leave. Edward joined the Merchant Marines and when discharged, went to Alaska and was not heard from again.
My father decorated my church (Fish Lake Lutheran). He painted a beautiful altar picture and made stenciled borders all around the windows. He painted the vault over the altar blue, like the sky with one bright star, it's rays reaching down.
John's original farm was located in Chisago County, Minnesota two miles west of Harris, Minnesota was to a great part settled by immigrants from the Scandinavian countries.
When John left for Seattle, he sold this farm to his sister, Christina and her husband, Andrew Okerman. When he returned from Seattle in 1897, it was decided the Okerman's would make a home for his daughter, Edith Sylvania, so he could go back into his business of house painting, decorating and artistic painting. He lived in a house in Harris which was also his studio.
Some of his paintings and drawings are at the Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Edith returned in later years to care for her father for a period of time. Sometime in the late 1930's, he went to live with his son, Leonard in Seattle, Washington. He died in Port Orchard, Washington on March 17, 1945 and his ashes were scattered over Puget Sound.
Roger's description of Johannes' first house.
Upon their marriage, Lars gave them 60 acres from his holdings in the Harris area and Johannes built a log cabin on the farm of 3 rooms and one room above. the outside of the cabin was chinked with concrete and the inside walls were plastered over. On this plaster, Johannes painted scenes of Sweden from memory.
Excerpt from letter of Holger O. Warner to Roger Johnson dated 8/24/1975 (entered by Carl C. Bloomquist 7/26/1998):
"... for example, the Alter painting in our church (Fish Lake Lutheran) was done by John Blomquist in year 1906...".