The story of Section 20, and the people who came from there, begins with Brita Esbjörnsdotter.
"On August 3, 1883, Brita appeared in the District Court of Griggs County, Dakota Territory, and declared her intention to renounce allegiance to the "King of Norway and Sweden" and become a citizen of the United States. She became a U.S. citizen in Dakota Territory, Sixth Judicial District, Griggs County, on June 18, 1889.
She selected a 160-acre tract of rolling prairie land, devoid of trees, (SW 1/4 of Section 20, Township 146, Range 59) and, on August 1, with the help of neighbors, began to erect a dwelling of "pine lumbers 9 x 18 feet double boarded with paper board roof and board floor, 2 windows, 2 doors" valued at $60.00. She moved in on December 28, 1883." The Johnson-Helgsten Family by Marilyn Fischer.
Brita had become a widow by the time she emigrated from Sweden to the United States and settled on Section 20. Her husband, Jonas Olofsson, died of some sort of respiratory affliction on December 29, 1882 at age 45. Brita, "a plucky lady who trusted the Lord for help and guidance went ahead with her plans and preparations--the tickets having been already purchased." In the cold spring of 1883, Brita and her five children, Olof, Sigrid, Esbjor Johan and Brita, set sail for America. Sigrid died November 3, 1884. Esbjor died May 9, 1891. Brita (Betsey) married Johan Albin Ost. Johan (John Johnson) married Elna Kristina Helgsten.
Esbjor ran the farm for his mother until he died. Olof, who had been working in Washington state, was called back to help with the farm until his brother, John Johnson, took over the operation of the farm after his marriage to Elna.
Read more about John, Elna and their descendants.