McLaughlin, von Coelln & Extended Family
The Gustus (Hypse) Johnson Family
As published in The Wakefield Republican, September 24, 1981. Submitted by Helen (Collins) Westfield
Gustus Hybsch Johnson, one of 13 children, was born September 11, 1823 in Jonkopping, Sweden. He died in Wakefield August 31, 1918. His father, Jonas Gustafson Hybsch, was a soldier in the Swedish army from 1808 to 1841. He was married in 1848; the couple had two sons and one daughter, all three of whom died on the trip to America in 1853. the girl was buried in a Lutheran cemetery at the first landing in Ireland. The boys were lowered into the ocean. his wife and fourth child died soon after their arrival at Swedona, Illinois.
His second marriage was to Anna Christina Lund July 5, 1856 to which union were born five sons and three daughters. His wife died March 26, 1875; one daughter Anna Marie died in 1877 at the age of 16. The other children were Will, Frank, Andrew, Sophia (Mrs. Henry S. Collins), Gustaf Nathaniel, Ida (Mrs. Charlie Lundberg), and Oscar. Most of the children adopted their father's army name Hybsch which was later Americanized to be spelled and pronounced "Hypse."
When they first arrived in Andover, Illinois November 6, 1853, they stayed with Jonas Carlson who had come the previous year with a brother of Gustus. Near Swedona he bough 40 acres of government land for which he paid $1.25 an acre. In order to hold the homestead and to keep his family warm and supplied, he waled eight to 20 miles in all sort of weather to work at a lumber camp where he earned 75 cents to $1.00 a day. He would stay at camp a week existing on the cold food which he had brought from home. On Saturday evenings he would return home. On Sunday he would walk to church and then back to his work again. He assisted in cutting logs and supplying materials to build the first Lutheran settlement at Swedona.
In 1864, all their earthly belongings were packed into an ox-drawn wagon, and hey set out for Farmersville, Illinois. The small children rode in the wagon and the older ones walked across the state of Illinois. Farmersville was a small rural settlement near Paxton where Augustana College and Seminary had its beginnings. He was of considerable aid to Augustana and especially to the community in which he settled by being one of the main promoters in building the church.
During the 1870's and 1880's many Illinois and Iowa farmers sold their farms and looked for farms West of the Missouri River. The Northeast portion of Nebraska began to develop rapidly with the construction of a railroad from Sioux City to Norfolk in 1881. That same year Gustus Johnson sold his farm land in Farmersville for $33.50 an acre. During the summer he visited Swedish settlements in Iowa and then across the Missouri in the Oakland, Nebraska area. there he found land too high-priced, so he continued to Wayne and Dixon Counties. He purchased land (some at $4.00 an acre and some at $5.625 an acre) in Dixon County eight miles Northwest of Wakefield. The farm is now owned by E. W. Lundahl.
In the spring of 1882, Gustus brought his family, his possessions, and his livestock to Wakefield by train. Their first home was partly a dugout with frame additions over the living room. The bedrooms were in the frame portion of the house. Later a comfortable farm house was built. In the early 1880's church services were often held in the home.
He was one of the first Swedish farmers to locate here. His good reports of the fertile soil and other advantages of the new country were published in Swedish papers and influenced other Swedish families to settle here. With all the other early settlers, he experienced dangers and misfortunes as well as joys and sorrows; but he had hope and a strong faith in this country.
On May 3, 1883, the formal organization of Wakefield Salem Lutheran Church took place with Gustus Johnson as founder. Charter members included his children, Sophia (Mrs. Henry S. Collins), Andrew and Frank Hypse, and Will Hypse and his wife. In 1888 when his daughter Sophia married, he moved to town where he made his home with the Collins family for 30 years. In the summer of 1918 he went to the farm home of his daughter Ida (Mrs. Charles Lundberg). The Lundbergs then owned the farm Gustus had bought when he came to Nebraska. He passed away at the home place August 31, 1918.
John Wilhelm Hypse was born in Swedona, Illinois June 24, 1857 and died May 18, 1943. He married Mary Nye, born February 17, 1860 and died October 8, 1947. For a time they lived on the Johnson farm Northwest of Wakefield. When they left Wakefield they moved to a farm near Bristow, Nebraska. From there they moved to Wahoo where they lived a period of years. They returned to Wakefield and lived in the house now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Walter Chinn. they retired in California where they continued to live the remainder of their lives. Their children who are all now deceased were Alice (Mrs. Frank Anderson), Agnes (Mrs. Gilbert Nygren), Nora (Mrs. Oscar Sward), Edgar (married Tena Lantz, deceased), Elmer, Martha, Reuben (Married Esie Schmidt who lives in Spencer, Nebraska), Edwin and Elvera, twins.
Frank Alfred Hypse was born in Swedona, Illinois March 29, 1859 and died August 17,1901. In 1884 he married Lizzie Swanson who was born in Sweden in 1864 and died in 1943. they lived on a farm six miles Northwest of Wakefield when Frank was killed by lightning in August, 1901. Lizzie and her family moved to Wakefield in 1902. The next year, the older children returned to the farm which was later sold to Ben Lund who married Esther in 1912. It is now owned by Norman Jepson. The house at 402 W 2nd at the corner of Second and Michener was purchased in 1904 and has been in the family since that time. The children of Frank and Lizzie were Ernest (married Lillie Sandahl) both deceased; Millie -- Amelia -- (married Albert Nelson deceased) lives at Wakefield Care Center; Estern (married Ben Lund) both deceased; Carl Nathaniel "Tan" (married Francis Brown) both deceased; Clarence "Blondie," deceased; Helen (died in infancy); Luther (married Agnes peters, deceased) lives in the home place at 402 W 2nd; Pauline, deceased; Viola (married Elmer Strom and later Harvey Anderson) all deceased.
Andrew Hypse was born in Swedona, IL May 24, 1863 and died June 19, 1949. He lived with his father Gustus on the farm until 1886 when he moved to Wakefield and started a farm implement store. Later he worked for George Childs in his general store. His next business venture was the Star Clothing House which he started with Charles Henry as his chief clerk. in 1893 he sold the store to Charley Henry, Henry S. Collins, and George Lundberg. In 1894 he moved to Edna Texas where he bought a cotton plantation. While in Texas he met Edla Oberg from Oakland, Nebraska. They were married in 1897. She died in 1937. In 1904 they moved to Ridgefarm, Illinois, where they bought a small hotel and lived there until 1906 when they returned to Wakefield. He established a furniture and undertaking business which he operated until his retirement in 1937 when his son-in-law Wilbur Peterson succeeded him as proprietor. In 1913 he built the large brick building on Main Street for his furniture stores. The building is now occupied by Education Service Unit 1. For a period of five years he lived with the Wilbur Petersen family in Wakefield. The last seven years of his life he was a guest at the Immanuel Invalid Home in Omaha. The children of Andrew and Edla were Evodia (married Charles Fletcher) both deceased; Dolliver, deceased; Myrtle (married Lawrence Bergman deceased) lives in Friendship Haven, Fort Dodge, Iowa; Edell (married Wilbur Petersen deceased) lives in Wakefield; Elzada (married Orville Martin) lives in Minnesota.
Sophia (Mrs. Henry S. Collins) was born in the Farmersville settlement in Illinois January 6, 1866 and passed away at her home in Wakefield January 11, 1949. At the age of nine, when her mother died, she shared many household responsibilities with her father. In 1882, as one of seven children, she moved with her father Gustus to Nebraska where the family settled and farmed eight miles Northwest of Wakefield. She lived with her father until 1888 when Henry S. Collins who came to Nebraska from Knoxville, IL in 1884. He was born February 13, 1860 and passed away August 20, 1928. When first married, they lived North of town on a farm adjacent to the Park Hill School. After coming to Wakefield, they lived in several places until 1904 when they bough the property on West 4th, North of the old high school building. In 1965 the property was sold to Doris and Virgil Ekberg who built the Pleasant Manor Apartments. The couple had eight children. An orphaned nephew Erwin A. Froyed also grew to manhood as a member of the family. The children were Edla, who lives in the Wakefield Care Center; Paul, deceased; Ruth, who lives in Pleasant Manor Apartments build on the property owned by the family for over 60 years; Elsie, deceased; Helen, who married Howard Westfield, deceased; formerly of Long Beach California now lives with her sister Ruth; Henry who died in infancy; Melvin who married Elizabeth Schaaf lives in Hastings, Nebraska; Lawrence, who married Virginia Dunn, both deceased.
Gustaf Nathaniel was born in Farmersville, Illinois January 27, 1868 and died June 20, 1922. Mr. Hypse lived in Omaha and was associated with the T.G. Northwall Company at the time of his death. He was married in Philadelphia May 26, 1897 to Hanna Flodman who died May 11, 1901. Their children were a male child who died in infancy, Harold, deceased, and Ralph, deceased. In 1909 he married Ellen Peterson of Omaha who died in 1977. Their children were Howard, deceased, Arline, and Clark.
Ida was born in Farmersville, Illinois April 27, 1874 and died December 20, 1950. She was four years old when her mother died. On March 16, 1896 she was married to Carl August (Charlie) Lundberg, born July 24, 1867 in Sweden and died September 27, 1948. They lived on two different farms in the Wakefield vicinity prior to moving to the Johnson farm where Gustus and his family first settled in Dixon County. In 1945 they moved to Wakefield into the house they bought at 212 Johnson on the corner of Johnson and Third, East of Graves Library. Their children were Mildred, who married Erick G. Johnson, deceased, lives in Wakefield in the house the Lundebergs bough when they moved to Wakefield, Hanna who died in infancy; Ada, who married Levi Dahlgren, both deceased; Rudolph, who married Myrtle Stauffer, lives in Wakefield.
Oscar Hypse was born March 4, 1873 in Farmersville, Illinois and died in Wakefield April 7, 1903. He was two years old at the time of his mother's death. In June 1899 he married Hansina Oberg of Oakland, Nebraska. She was born October 11, 1873 and died January 20, 1920. At the time of his death Oscar was co-owner with Henry S. Collins of the Fair Store which they build in 1901. After the death of Oscar's wife, the children made their home with the A.M. Hypse family. Gail, who married Herbert Knox, deceased and Glen, who married Ada Petersen, live in Seattle, Washington.
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