Augustana College Swan Johnson and Josephine Peterson Letters, Swenson Center (Augustana College)
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sag@augustana.edu or
1-309-794-7204

About This Collection

Collection Description

This digital collection contains the correspondence between Swan Johnson, a student at the Augustana Theological Seminary in Rock Island, Illinois and Josephine Peterson of Swede Bend, Iowa. Their courtship was conducted through the letters and the couple married a few weeks after Swan was ordained in June of 1892. In his affectionate letters to Josephine, he vividly describes his studies and daily life at Augustana as well as travels to towns in the Midwest to deliver sermons. Josephine writes about her family, close friends, and daily life in Swede Bend, Iowa.

Swan Johnson was born on June 4, 1860 in Osby parish, Sweden. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 16 and worked as a hired hand in Kansas for five years. After attending Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota, Swan enrolled at Augustana College fall term of 1889. He graduated from the Augustana Theological Seminary in the spring of 1892 and was ordained on June 5th in Lindsborg, Kansas. Josephine Peterson was born on April 9, 1870 to a large farm family of Swedish descent in Swedesburg, Iowa. She worked on the family farm until she married Swan.