John H. Larson
John H. Larson, a native of LaSalle Co., IL, born Feb. 14, 1847, now resides on section 3. Paw Paw Township, DeKalb Co., his farms consisting of five hundred and twenty acres, all of which is under cultivation and highly improved. His father, Lars Larson, was a native of Norway, and who there spent his boyhood and youth, coming to the United States a young man. He first located in New York, where he remained a short time, and then came west to LaSalle Co., IL, where he made a permanent location. He married in LaSalle County Miss Caroline Halverson, a native of Norway, who there grew to womanhood, and who came to the country with her mother and stepfather. On locating in LaSalle Co, Mr. Larson purchased one hundred and forty acres of land, and later bought thirty acres of timber. His first house was a little log shanty, ten by twenty feet, in which he lived while making his first improvements on the place. The farm under his management became a well cultivated place, and he there lived, dying in 1850. He was one of the honored pioneers of the county. His wife survived him many years, dying in 1888 at the age of eight four years. They were the parents of two sons and one daughter: Martha, Oliver and John II.
The subject of this sketch grew to manhood in LaSalle Co., and as the opportunity was afforded him attended the common schools. He remained with his mother until twenty years of age, with the exception of five years just after the mother’s second marriage. Arriving at mature years, he bought a tract of seventy acres, which was partially improved and there farmed for some years. He then purchased one hundred and fifty six acres on section 3, Paw Paw Township, comprising part of his present farm. The farm was an improved one, but he has greatly added to its value and appearance by the erection of a number of outbuildings, wind pump, and well tiling the place. In 1878 he purchased acres adjoining. From time to time he added to his possessions until he now has five hundred and twenty acres of well improved land, which brings him in annually a goodly income.
On the 8th of January, 1868, in Dodge Co., Minnesota, Mr. Larson was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Stevenson, a native of Illinois, born in LaSalle Co., and a daughter of Sjur Stevenson, a native of Norway and a pioneer of LaSalle Co. By this union there were seven children, one of whom died in infancy. The living are: Edwin, Frank, Albert, Nellie, Emma and John.
Politically Mr. Larson is a lifelong Republican, casting his first presidential vote for General Grant in 1868. He has served six years as commissioner of highways, and for twenty years was a member of the school board. He and his wife are attendants of the Lutheran Church, in which faith they were both reared. They are well known and highly respected citizens of DeKalb Co., where the greater part of their lives has been spent.