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Kiron Kountry's Family Farms

Julius Johnson Family Farm -- Stockholm Township section 20
Family of Ernest and Mabel Gustafson - owners

The farm during the 1990's

This aerial view looking southeast shows the "Spirit Lake AirLine" road bisecting the picture. It was the first road across these prairie lands and the main road linking Denison to Spirit Lake. In the early days, roads did not have 'Number designators" but had names. For signs, they put unique colored bands around the telephone poles. This road came the closest to following the ridgetop that divided the waters. In the above picture, the land above the road drains into the Boyer River. The land below the road drains into the Otter Creek watershed. On this road were the school buildings for Stockholm #9, Stockholm #4, and Stockholm #3. The First Swedish Baptist church was a little over 1 mile on the road going to the left. The "Old Kiron" crossroads was about 2 and 1/2 miles to the left. 1 and 1/2 miles beyond that stood the Bethel Lutheran church. The village of Deloit was about 4 miles going to the right on the road. The Swedish pioneers who chose this land for their farms were: (clockwise from 9 o'clock position) Julius Johnson - 80 acres; (12 o'clock) Olof Lindberg - 80 acres; (extreme upper right) Peter Star - 80 acres (in the name of his brother in law - J. A. Carlson of Swedebend); (3 o'clock) Carl Frodig - 80 acres; and (6 o'clock) Peter Weberg, Sr. Only the site of the Julius Johnson and Peter Weberg farmplaces remain. Olof had his place where the two road intersect about 1 inch down at the right border. He was probably the first blacksmith in the area. He had a young man from Misterhult Sweden named John Peter Larsson do the farming. When John Peter married Olof's only child, dotter Anna, the young couple found a larger farm in Otter Creek section 13 (later the Mauritz farm). Then Olof, an old man, sold his 80 acres to neighbor Julius.

The intersection where Olof had his farm place would eventually be known as "Johnsonville, Iowa", named for the Johnson boys who lived on the southwest side of the intersection. The history of this name has to do with how the mail was hauled. In the earliest days of the settlement, Andrew Norelius who lived up the road to the left at Old Kiron, would ride his horse down this road to pick up the mail at Deloit and bring it back up to Old Kiron where he would hold it in his house for distribution. As a courtesy and because it was convenient, he would leave mail for the Samuelsons, Ericksons, Johnsons, Clausons, Petersons, Stars, Johnsons, Lindbergs, etc. as he passed by.

After a few years, the post office used the road as their route to deliver mail from the train in Denison only to the postoffices going north - Deloit, Kiron, Odebolt, etc. This meant that these farmers would now have to go 3 to 4 miles north to pick up their mail even though the post office wagon passed right by their door. So the enterprising young sons of David L. Johnson decided that if the wagon would only stop at 'official post offices', then they would make their kitchen an 'official U.S. post office'. They did and the post office wagon stopped. The Johnsonville post office lasted until the railroad came to Odebolt and that changed the path that mail wagon took. For the record, following her husbands death, Mrs. David L. Johnson was the official postmistress.

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