Among the contributors to the growth and development of the United States, which number in their list every clime and tongue of the world that is not wholly given up to barbarism, and some even of them, scarcely any country has given more generously than Sweden, whose thrifty and industrious me and women have settled in all parts of the country where there was prospect of good returns for honest effort, and have aided in every kind of industrial and commercial enterprise, whatever the conditions, only asking opportunity to work and enjoy the fruits of their labors. Of the number of Swedish people who have settled in Colorado and aided in her development and the increase of her wealth and the spread of the highest civilization on her soil, Nels P. Johnson, of Mesa county, a prosperous farmer and stock man residing near Mesa post-office, is worthy of creditable mention in any compilation of progressive men for this portion of the state, both on account of his productive industry and his upright and manly character. He was born in Sweden in 1847, and is the son of Peter and Hannah (Hanson) Johnson, both natives of that country, from whence they brought their family to Utah in 1862. They engaged in farming in their new home and continued their industry in this line until death ended their labors, the father’s occurring in 1871, at the age of seventy, and the mother’s five years later, at that of seventy-five. Their son Nels was about sixteen when they came to America, and he stopped in Nebraska where he remained some time and then joined the others in Utah. He went soon afterward to Nevada, passing about ten years in the two states in various kinds of employment. After this he spent a year in Minnesota clerking in a hardware store. At the end of the year he returned to Utah, and four years later came to Colorado, settling on the ranch which is now his home, and has been since 1885. He was married in 1867 to Miss Angel Ida Jensen, a native of Denmark, who has borne him eight children, six of whom are living, Nels P., Jr., Mary, Philenda, Rosetta, Arthur S. and Florinda. Frederick died at the age of sixteen, being drowned in Mesa lake June 17, 1900.
Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.