Charlie Johnson and Anna Bodeen (a widow), were married 24 September 1904 by Rev. L. Ekelund. Witnesses were Eric Glad and Aug. Erickson.
After they were married they lived at Anna’s farm until after all of the four Johnson children were born. In 1903, Anna’s oldest son (from her first marriage) who was about 15 years old, fell off a load of coal, breaking his neck, causing hi death. He had been to a coal-mine down by the Des Lacs Lake Mines (a distance of about 10 or 115 miles east, and an the west side of Des Lacs Lake (Murrays Mine) brining a load of coal home. Charlie was also with the group. It as a two-day round trip, because a team of horses could not do 20-25 miles in one day, hauling a heavy load of coal, there were no roads, just trails.
Then in July, 1904, the youngest son about 6 years old, became ill with what was diagnosed as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) a doctor came out from Minot, and charged her $30 a lot of money in those days. He was the first doctor Minot had.
A baby girl is buried in Little Butte cemetery, but cannot find any trace of the grave which should be in the southeast corner of the cemetery. She may have died in the year 1900-1901. After her first husband died, Anna never seemed to want to talk about her, so very little is known of her birth or death, but she was around three months old.
A fire destroyed the original house which must have been before the year 1903. Anna and children were taken in by Lon Rouse, who was a bachelor at that time, and whose homestead was directly south of the Bodeen farm in the same section.
Aden and Florence Nelson purchased the farm of Daddy Rouse’s from his daughter Madeline. Lucy Rouse, Lon Rouse’s wife, died years before Daddy Rouse after they had built such a huge house!
Grandma never had anything to say about Lon Rouse for so kind nor the neighbors, because they must have built her the living room, bedroom and the bedroom upstairs, and given them food and clothes after her house burned, because she was a widow with seven children and she never visited or cared abut any of the people that had homesteaded near them the same year, she and Bodeen had homesteaded.
Charlie lived with them and build the entry way, big kitchen and pantry and the two west rooms, and also he had a dirt cellar dug under the new part. The first cellar was under the living room and not connected to the new cellar. There was a trap-door in the hall where you went upstairs but it was never used after the new part was added on. The trap-door for the new cellar was in the pantry.
After Victor and Alice were married they put in a big cistern and lived there. Grandmas was always mad because they put in such a large cistern, because she and Charlie only had a small cistern.
Grandpa Johnson had built a big barn and graary on his homestead so he could prove up his land.
After Arvid left home to homestead north of Parshall, North Dakota, there were only Annie, Victor, and Albert left. Grandpa built his house then on his homestead, and moved Grandma and the four Johnson children to his place about 1912-1913. Grandpa Johnson said the Bodeen boys were able and old enough to farm by themselves. After Annie married, Albert joined the army and was stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in the Signal Corps, and Victor was alone on the farm. Albert was home on leave that fall, and he had bought a ruby engagement ring to give to his girlfriend, a teacher, Ione Hausford. Albert was helping harvest and Grandma walked out to the filed and told him he could not give the ruby ring to Ione. Evidently no one could buck Grandma!! He became angry and said, “O.K. Ma, You take the ring then!” She did, and repeated that story every time she would wear the ring, which wasn’t very often. Albert became ill with that terrible war-time flu, and when they knew he as dying, the army notified his mother to come, but she sent Annie instead, and he was still alive when she got there. Annie brought his body back to Coteau, with a soldier escort on October 25, 1918. Grandpa really liked Albert, he said he was quick check: if you think ... thumbs up/ thumbs down if you think...-thinking, smart and had lots of fun in him, and that Victor and Arvid were slow and rather dense.
Albert and Annie must have been a-like in nature, both loved to dance, etc. Geneva’s mother’s brothers, Johna de Hans knew Annie real well, and they loved to dance together and went to many dances in Coteau.
After Annie was married, Victor was alone on the farm, so Grandma talked him into dating Alice Miller, her daughter Phyllis was three years old when Alice and Victor were married. Then they had their first boy Wayne (who died of lung cancer in Seattle in the year 1980) then they had twin boys Darold and Dale, Darold got a bad ear infection and there was no doctor in Bowbells. He just lay quietly, until Fred Hoenhouse came over in those huge drifts in the 1930’s and took Alice and Darold to Bowbells, North Dakota so they could take the train to Kenmore, North Dakota hospital. He died later in that hospital of encephalitis also.
Grandpa took us (Geneva) over there by team and sled, and the snow was soo deep the horses were more than knee deep in snow and so cold! Alice took it very hard, because he was only 9 years old. This was in February, around 1934-1935. Geneva said she didn’t know why nothing was said by Grandma to go to the funeral.
After Victor and Alice were divorced he seemed to go all to pieces and was very mixed-up. He wrote reams of notebooks about religion and stuff that noone could make head nor talks out of any of it. Otherwise he was very kind and worked hard, etc. He was sent to the state hospital in Jamestown, and one time they let him out to go and work on a farm by Jamestown, North Dakota which happened to be for a cousin of George McLaughlin, Annie’s husband. Grandma said Victor as slow like his dad, Arvids oldest boy was slow-witted too, but Clarence was okay and Allan the youngest was the fast, intelligent one and best looking.
Grandma also said that a second love or marriage is never equal to the first, even though Grandpa Charlie was a better man. You could tell she had not been too pleased with her first husband, "too slow!" she said.
Grandpa said Grandma was very jealous of him. One time he said he bought a sack of candy for a widow with twelve children, and one of the Bodeen kids told her, and she really gave him “hell!” The widows name was Schoefield. They then moved to Minot where she could work and make a living and then children all made good.
One time Grandma chased Grandpa to the barn with a broom or some sort of an object, which was a shock because Grandpa could usually control Grandma when she got too bad.
Charlie helped raise the Bodeen children, built the barn and the rest of the Bodeen house and farmed it with Arvids help, and he was only about 13-14 years old.
Charlie and Annie were married in September 1903 so he said when the kids were old enough to farm. He built the Johnson house and moved his family onto Johnson land. Grandma said she never was to the house while it was being built. She only told Charlie to build the house with high ceilings, the reason, it would be cooler, because she was so hot-blooded, that’s why the ceilings were 9-10 feet high. When the house was finished Grandpa said he hauled them all over in a buggy, and told Grandma "From now on, I am the boss!" Guess on the Bodeen farm, she had let him know it was her land and they were living on, and he was still angry about it.
Hilda (the oldest daughter) always said "This darn house was built as a bachelors house, so inconvenient. The stone cellar he built under it was really nice though. The stairs to the upper rooms had been put in for temporary use, but were never replaced . They were very steep and very dangerous. Lucy Rouse said the house must have been built with jack-knives.
In 1928 a beautiful front porch was built on the east side, and electricity installed on the farm. Coteau did not have electricity, but Bowbells did, so in order for Coteau to get it, three farmers had to wire their farm buildings. Charlie Johnson and Bob and Mike Mertes were the farmers in 1928 at a cost of $1,000.00 a farm.
Some of the neighbors homesteading around the
Johnson and Bodeen homesteads were John and Anna Erickson (Grandma’s cousin)
Lou Rouse, Fred Bornsteadt, Albert Hanson, Matt and Mike Mertes, Peter
Wahlunds, Robert Hanson, Lars Nelson (a daughter, Mrs. Alfred Sagness is
living yet) Soilies Linstroms, and Jacobsons.