Sweden To Canada
Otto Johnson was born near the Swedish - Norwegian border November 14, 1867. In 1891 He married Anna Karolin Gabrielson (Born August 3, 1870) and they lived in Gavele Sweden. Together they had ten children: Ture, Maja, Albert, Annie, Ina, Otto (Jr.), Nils, Hakan, Christina and Astrid.
Otto (Sr.) had a brother Magnus who came to Alberta and had taken a homestead northeast of Rich Valley, where he built a house and lived for awhile. Some years later he decided to make a visit back to Sweden to visit his family, when he returned to Canada Alberta and Albert's cousin came with him. Albert took a homestead northeast of Rich Valley about ten miles from Magnus' farm. He built a shack and worked out where he could.
Back in Sweden, the family was growing up. Ture went to sea and was never seen again. Otto (Sr.) worked in the lumber yard, piling lumber where he worked for 14 years. He had a large garden, but times were tough. Where they lived there were a great many Johnsons, so Otto and his brothers changed their surname to Lindstrom, as their mail was always getting mixed up. From then on Otto's name was Otto Johnson Lindstrom. Magnus did not change his name because he was in Canada.
As it was now war time, times were getting very hard. Otto and Anna decided to come to Canada with their family as Albert and Magnus were there. Before the arrangements could be made for the trip, Anna got sick and passed away. Maja had married Gustay Sodergrin, who worked as a sailor but after marrying, worked at the docks unloading ships. Maja and Gust bought the home place from Otto so that he had money to buy tickets for the family to come to Canada. It was arranged with tickets that someone would look after them at different places, as they did not speak english. A year later Otto came to Canada with seven children aged 4 - 16. What an undertaking! They left Sweden in December 1916. They traveled first to Oslo, then to Copenhagen by train, then a small 5 ton ship crossing to Hull England. They had a load of lumber, which they lost due to a bad storm. The children were all very seasick and Otto was kept busy looking after them. They then took a train to Liverpool. They crossed the Atlantic on a ten thousand ton ship called the "Canada". It took a week to cross the ocean
When they landed in Halifax the weather was nice, as it had been in England, more like summer, a nice change from Sweden where they cold weather for two months already. When they came through New Brunswick, on the train they met a bunch of lumber jacks returning home for Christmas. They each had a shoe box full of mustead sandwiches that they shared with the kids, as there was very little food on the train. They slept in their seats, it took six days to get to Edmonton. They stayed there a few days before coming to Onoway by train. Albert and Gottfried Westerlund met them with two teams of horses and sleighs, it was 40 below zero. That winter was very cold, Otto sat up many nights keeping the fire going and still the blankets froze to the wall. After a few weeks Otto got a job at Bilby at a sawmill. The company's name was "Capital City Box". He cut logs and also piled lumber. Anna , the Oldest child, was left to look after things being 16 at the time. The children went to Rich Valley school. During this time the family was split up, with Ina staying at Gabreil Person's, Christina stayed at the Westerlund's. Hakan stayed at the Fredrickson's, Astid stayed in Edmonton with a family who wanted to adopt her, but Otto would not hear of it. Otto (Jr.) and Nils stayed on the homestead. In 1918, Otto (Jr.) and his dad went to Saskatchewan to work in the spring, There Otto (Sr.) bought a farm for around $2.000.00 at Fairmont. Then in 1919, April1, the rest of the family moved there.
At this time Albert was building grain Elevators, he built them for 6 or 7 years. He was working in the Edmonton area when he met and then later married Daisy Mosier (Cattell). About two years later they rented a farm at Pinkham, Saskatchewan, where they farmed for about three years. He then bought a feed mill in Pinkham and ran it for three years.
In 1928 they moved back to Edmonton. Albert was building grain elevators and worked on the the two elevators on the South side of Edmonton displaying the lords prayer, which stood until several years ago when they were demolished. Some time later Daisy and Albert moved back to Rich Valley where their two children, Doris and Ed attended School. Albert also built the co-op store there and a barn for Scotts and Peterson's "round house" which are still standing today. He also fixed harness and had a shoe repair shop.
Albert and Daisy moved back to Edmonton, where soon after, Daisy had a heart attack and died. Albert then later married Ruth Hague. They lived in Edmonton the rest of their lives. Albert continued to build elevators and scales. Huck helped him at times, they went to Coutts and put in the highway scale. He also built a feed mill at Clover Bar and Morinville. At the age of 72, Albert built his last feed mill at Chetwynd, B.C. Jim Smith (Huck's son-in -law) worked with him there.
Ruth Some time later had a heart attack and died. Albert then resisded with his daughter and son in law at Faulin Alberta for a couple of years before he died. Albert Died March 24, 1984
Otto (Jr.) came back to Rich Valley and married Edna Erickson, Casper Erickson's Daughter. They lived in Rich Valley for awhile. They had two children, Walter and Agnes. he built some houses and elevators on the base - line, northeast of Rich Valley in the Alcomdale area. He drove taxi to Edmonton for awhile when there was no bus service, then moved back to Edmonton and during the war worked for Air Craft Repair. There was a fire in the house next door and Edna got upset and had a stroke and never recovered. Otto (Jr.) later married Esther Lindgren, lived in Kelowna, B.C. then moved to where they both passed away.
Gust and Maja came to Pinkham, Saskatchewan in 1921 from Sweden Gust worked for a plasterer, learned the trade and they moved to Edmonton, he worked at that until he retired. He also changed his name to Coulson. They had three children, Mijken Kristina, Kenneth (Buddy) and Vivian (Lolly).
Annie Married John Lundquist and lived near Kinistino, Saskatchewan. They had three children as well. Helen, Norman, and Anne Marie. Helen burned to death in a house fire caused when a can of coal oil exploded. In 1938, John and a neighbor drove to regina and on the way home were killed at a railway crossing. Annie and the children later moved to Edmonton.
Ina married Harry Hamilton, they lived in Edmonton then moved to New Westminster B.C. where he worked in the cement business. They had ten children.
Christina Married Alec Otto, they lived in Kindersly on a farm. Later they moved to Lacombe, they had four sons, Melvin, Lewis, Stanley and Vernon. They farmed until they retired and moved in to town where they lived untill they passed away.
Astrid Married Robert McCall in Saskatchewan, they had no children, they then moved to Edmonton for a while. Later they retired in Lacombe Alberta and both passed away there.
In the Fall of 1934, Nils, Huck, and Otto (Sr.) made a trip back to Rich Valley to visit Oscar Lindstrom who now lived in Goldthorpe. When Nils, and Otto (Sr.) went back home, Huck stayed at Oscar's where he met and married Evelyn Webb. They had five children: Brian, Eleanor, Alvan, Lynn and Warren.