Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gustav and Henrietta JOHNSON: Golden Wedding Anniversary (18 Oct 1931)

"Married Fifty Golden Years," Decorah Public Opinion and Decorah Republican 37:42 (15 Oct 1931), p. 1, col. 3. Image courtesy of Verla Williams.


Mr. and Mrs. Gustav Johnson Celebrated Fifty Years of Married Life Sunday
Surrounded by Four Hundred Neighbors and Friends.

Prof. Carlo A. Sperati Officiated as Toastmaster the Program Being Featured with Talks, Music and Song

Fifty years of happy wedded life have been allotted to Mr. and Mrs. Gustave Johnson, one of Decorah's most estimable couples. The occasion was most happily celebrated Sunday, October 11, when their children planned a surprise on them, and 400 neighbors and friends assembled at the Norske Selskab Hall to do honor to them. The date of their marriage is October 18, but the event was celebrated a week earlier on account of other festivities taking place next Sunday in connection with the seventieth anniversary of Luther College.

The large assemblage gathered through the noon hour and at one o'clock the Rev. T. A. Hoff, the honored guests' pastor gave a prayer, after which all enjoyed a most wonderful dinner. One of the features was a huge wedding cake, beautifully decorated, a gift to the bride and groom from O. Dotseth, the West Water street baker. The cake was cut by Mrs. Johnson and there were generous portions for all dinner guests, as well as at supper.

At the conclusion of the dinner Rev. Hoff paid a fitting tribute to the worthy couple, who are members of his congregation, and presented them with a purse of money, a gift from their children. Miss Helen Hoff followed with a piano solo and Mr. Johnson voiced words of thanks on behalf of himself and wife.

Prof. Carlo A. Sperati officiated as toastmaster in his usual enjoyable manner and the afternoon resounded into one pleasurable time, with speeches songs, and music.

The Luren and Gauken singing societies contributed a group of songs that were dear to the hearts of all.

Rev. Bredeson of Glenwood spoke on behalf of the congregation there of which Mr. and Mrs. Johnson were members for some 26 years, paying the bride and groom of fifty years ago many worthy and deserved compliments, expressing the esteem in which they are held by all their old friends in Glenwood.

Postmaster Wm. Linnevold of Decorah, who has been associated with Mr. Johnson as an official of the Norwegian Mutual Insurance Co. for a number of years paid his respects to Mr. and Mrs. Johnson in a few well chosen words, which expressed the high regard in which these fine folks are held. A purse was presented to them on behalf of the company.

The Gauken Singing Society of Glenwood then sang feelingly in behalf of the bride and groom the singers had known as their friends and neighbors for so many years.

Mr. Oscar Winger, representing the Norske Selskab, spoke on behalf of that well known society and conferred the degree of honorary membership upon Mr. Johnson.

The last speaker on the program was Prof. Carlo A. Sperati of Luther College. His long acquaintance with Mr. and Mrs. Johnson permitted him to speak in a most gracious manner of these worthy folks, who have enjoyed the sincerest and widest friendship during their long residence here.

Mrs. Johnson's father, Brede B. Sander, gave the first subscription, amounting to $300 to Luther College seventy years ago, and this week the seventieth anniversary of the college is being celebrated. At the conclusion of Prof. Sperati's talk he presented on behalf of the guests a purse of money to Mr. and Mrs. Johnson to express the esteem in which they are held.

The Luren orchestra furnished pleasing music throughout the afternoon. The song program was brought to a close by the united choruses of Luren and Gauken, who concluded the program with "America."

The bride of fifty years ago was Miss Henrietta Sander and her marriage to Mr. Johnson occurred on Oct. 18, 1881, the marriage being solemnized at the Glenwood Stone church by Rev. A. Turmo. Mrs. Johnson's parents arrived here from Norway in 1851, when Decorah contained but three houses. Mr. Johnson is 76 and Mrs. Johnson 70. Mr. Johnson was a printer by trade, learning the business in Wisconsin, working on different Norwegian papers in Madison and Marshall, Wis., as well as other papers in Illinois and Minnesota. He was an employee of the Lutheran Publishing House here for nine years, resigning taking up farming in Glenwood for 26 years, retiring about ten years ago, since which time they have resided in Decorah.

Mr. Johnson has been active in many business affairs. He served as township clerk and was president of the township school board. He is also one of the officers of the Decorah Farmers Ice Cave Creamery Co., and is also president of the Winneshiek Norwegian Mutual Insurance Co. But with all his activities he has never been too busy to fail to recognize his friends at all times and his genial whole souled nature has brought to him friends who have remained friends always.

Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have seven children living. They are Charles A., assistant cashier of the Decorah State Bank, (Emma) Mrs. Carl Hexom, Allamakee county, (Lillie) Mrs. Walter Williams, Glenwood Twp., (Esther) Mrs. Stanley Ask, Decorah Twp. (Anna) Mrs. C. H. Rosenthal, Decorah, William, cashier Winneshiek County State Bank, Decorah, and Arthur in Glenwood Twp.There are eighteen grandchildren.

The many friends of Mr. and Mrs. Johnson join with us in extending to them sincere good wishes for many happy returns of the day.

UPDATE (17 Dec 2018): Today I found the Community History Archive site for Decorah which had a scan of the original paper in which this article was found.


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