Elsie Wilhelmina Johnson

Elsie Wilhelmina Johnson
birth: 1 May 1896 in Miller, Gary, Lake, Indiana to Anders Ludvig “Gust” and Lovisa “Louise” Carlson Johannesson Johnson
death: 25 July 1968 in Gary, Lake, Indiana
burial: Ridgelawn Cemetery, Glen Park, Lake, Indiana

marriage: 16 October 1919 Lake, Indiana
George Bryant Harbaugh
birth: 4 April 1894 in St. Joseph, Indiana to George Frederick and Margaret E. “Maggie” Long Harbaugh
death: 29 December 1954 in LaPorte, LaPorte, Indiana
burial: Ridgelawn Cemetery, Glen Park, Lake, Indiana

Children of Elsie Wilhelmina Johnson and George Bryant Harbaugh:

  • Betty Jean Harbaugh (1922-1988) m. William Louis Samuelson
  • George Willard Harbaugh (1924-2004) m. Dorothy Louise Skogseth
  • Glenn Robert Harbaugh (1928-1995)

Ancestor here lived in:

  • Gary, Lake County, Indiana

Other Information:

Elsie Wilhelmina Johnson was the middle daughter born to immigrants Anders Ludvig “Gust” and Lovisa “Louise” Carlson Johannesson Johnson on 1 May 1896 in Miller, now Gary, Lake, Indiana. Elsie attended the Hobart school system through grade 8, graduating on the Honor Roll on 9 June 1911. She had also received Honor Roll and Reading Awards in previous school years which is a testament to her dedication to her studies. At age 10, Elsie’s father past away leaving her mother to make ends meet by taking in borders. The family attended the Miller Swedish Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church where Elsie received her confirmation on 21 April 1912. She became a member of the Miller Congregational Church, later known as Chapel of The Dunes and received the Cross and Crown Attendance Certificate on 22 December 1912. She found work as a mother’s helper in Miller and met George Bryant Harbaugh who was working as a security guard for the railroad. Their plans for marriage were interrupted when George was mustered into the Infantry to fight overseas in World War I. Elsie kept every letter she received from George. The couple married on 16 October 1919 in Gary, Lake, Indiana. Their first residence was on Michigan Street in Miller which had just become incorporated into Gary. The couple had two children by 1925 when George finished building a Sears kit home at 6209 Miller Avenue. The home, in a box, had been delivered via the nearby railroad. Their last child was born three years later. Elsie was active as a parishioner of Chapel of the Dunes Church, the C.O.P Club, Lake County Chapter No. 80 of the Military Auxilliary of the Purple Heart and with the Order of the Eastern Star. Her association with the Purple Heart came about due to her husband’s World War 1 injuries and must have been difficult during World War 2 when her son, George, was shot down over Italy and taken as a POW by the Germans. Her son was also awarded the Purple Heart. During this time her daughter’s husband received a military medical discharge and was living with Elsie and George Bryant. Elsie’s first grandchild died as an infant and her second was mentally handicapped. On 29 December 1954, her husband George, while working as a fireman at the Kingsburgy Ordinace Plant in LaPorte, died from injuries he received in a fall from the roof a few days earlier. By 1959 she gave her home to her daughter’s growing family and moved around the corner in a smaller home once owned by her son George Willard. Her six remaining grandchildren have fond memories of Elsie. She died on 25 July 1968 at Mercy Hospital, Gary, Lake, Indiana of hypertension. After a funeral service at Chapel of the Dunes arranged by Lach Funeral Home she was buried besides her husband and mother at Ridgelawn Cemetery, Glen Park, Lake, Indiana.

Submitted by:
Lori Samuelson
Email: genealogyatheart@gmail.com

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