Anna Louise Olson Johanson Larson
(Donald's paternal grandmother)
Top: Anna Louise Olson Johanson Larson with second husband Ole T. Larson and Nina (Mrs. George) Johnson.
Middle: Anna and Ole T. Larson on porch of their home.
Bottom: Anna and Ole T. Larson with George Johnson's automobile, probably an Overland, which he acquired around 1916. Nina Johnson is behind car. It was about the first car in West Salem, Wisconsin. (Per Ardelle Johnson Blazeski.)
Before Jens Johanson died, in 1894, he asked his best friend, Ole T. Larson, to look after his wife, Anna. So Ole married her. (And took very good care of her, according to Ardelle Johnson Blazeski, who called them Grandpa and Grandma Salem, because they lived in West Salem). Ardelle always wondered whether Ole slept with his whiskers under the covers or on top, but she never did find out.
Bennie described Ole Larson as "an old bachelor who hated kids." He said when Ole threatened to hang himself, Bennie's sister Lena told him to go right ahead and offered to help him find a rope. According to other sources, step-granddad was okay but he had a "no good" brother he detested. Ole ran him off the place.
When Ole died (after Anna's death in 1928), lack of a will directed the entire estate to his "detested" brother, his closest blood relative. All household and personal things were sold at auction. George and Olga and others who still lived in the LaCrosse area had to buy back what they could of their mother's family keepsakes at auction, including embroidered pillowcases Olga had made for her mother, etc. They wanted to contest it all, but no one had the money. Thelma Borreson Surdam recalls being at her Aunt Olga's house at the time. Anna's children received $15 each and Bennie sent his to George because he had helped support their mother in her last years. Thelma also recalled that "when Mother's share was sent to us, Thoralf gave each of us three girls $5. I didn't realize much about what was going on. I suppose I bought yardage and ice cream."
"Inga's mother was a kindly soul. I used to ride my bike up there and spend a couple of days with them. That was okay as long as I came alone, but one time I brought a friend along. I could see he was mad, so we got out." [Excerpt from Carl Borreson's recollection of Lars and Inga Johnson Borreson's history. Carl Borreson was Lars Borreson's son from his first marriage.]