Not a few are the worthy citizens that the peninsular country of Denmark has furnished to the United States, and among those who have sought homes in the far northwest is John Larson, bishop of the Preston ward and one of the leading and influential citizens of Preston. A native of Denmark, he was born on the 1st of May 1845, his parents, Andrew and Mary (Nessen) Larson, being also natives of the same land. They were converted to the faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and in 1861, with their family of three sons and two daughters, they sailed for the New World, Salt Lake City being their destination. They were poor but honest and worthy people, and the church furnished them with an ox team with which to cross the plains from Council Bluffs to Utah.
Enter a grandparent's name to get started.
John Larson was then in his sixteenth year, and notwithstanding he had never driven oxen he soon learned how to manage them, and drove four pair across the plains, walking all the way. At length the journey was safely terminated, the family arriving at Salt Lake in September. They settled in Logan soon after their arrival, the parents there residing until 1868, when the father died, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. He was an esteemed citizen, faithful to every duty. His good wife still survives him, at the age of eighty-six years, and is a worthy representative of the brave type of pioneer women who aided in the settlement of Utah. Four of the children are also living and are greatly respected by all who know them.
Bishop Larson acquired his education in his native country, and at Logan began life as a farmer. His first landed possession was a tract of twenty-five acres, to which he added when his earnest toil had brought him increased capital. In this way he became the owner of fifty-five acres and a good house in the city of Logan, and a part of his farm now lies within the corporation limits and has become very valuable property. In 1885 he came to Preston, being one of the early settlers of the town. He took up two quarter-sections of land under the desert act, eighty acres under the timber act and eighty acres under the homestead act, and as prosperity has further attended his efforts he has added to his possessions by additional purchase until he now owns eight hundred and eighty acres, of which five hundred acres are under a high state of cultivation, yielding to the owner a golden tribute in return for the care and labor he bestows. He has raised forty-five bushels of wheat to the acre on land that is irrigated, and twenty-five bushels on land not irrigated. He also raises cattle and horses, and buys and deals in stock. He has a fine Norman-Percheron horse for which he paid fourteen hundred dollars, and has introduced thoroughbred Durham cattle, in which way he has not only advanced his own interests, but has improved the grade of stock in the county and thus added to the general prosperity of the stock-raisers. He is also one of the leading stock-holders in the extensive general mercantile establishment conducted under the name of W. C. Parkinson & Company, a well managed institution doing a large business in all kinds of merchandise and also handling produce.
In 1866 Bishop Larson was united in marriage to Miss Annie Jenson, a native of Sweden, and their children are as follows: John A., who is operating the home farm; Nephi, who is on a mission to England; Willard, who is on a mission to Oregon; Alma, Marinda and Blanche, at home. Such in brief is the history of one who has made his own way in the world, and whose life has been crowned with success and with the high regard of his fellow men.