Jonas Peter Ogren

Biographic Remarks on Jonas Peter Johnson Ogren
by Robert E. Ogren

Born: August 14, 1842 in Ånhult, Jönköping Län, Sweden.

Died: January 1, 1914 in Jamestown, N.Y.

After 43 years of living and working in Jamestown, N.Y., Jonas Peter was one of the better known of its Swedish residents. The following short biographic statement was written by his youngest son D. Paul Ogren in 1924:

"My father was a carpenter and knew nothing of business. Just a proud honest man who did his daily work the best he knew how.- Raised a big family, built his own house, paid for it and died. But to his children he left the heritage of a sound body and clean mind and in their chosen fields so far they have all succeeded and I do not say it boastfully but humbly, and to bring out my point. A simple man he was but honest and because of his simplicity and honesty his children were believed honest and given place."

At age 12 in 1854, the family moved to Kärrabo in the province of Almesåkra. "My employment was then to work on the farm and go to school as much as circumstances allowed. This was very little—all my time in school put together being only about four months." (JP Diary) At age 24 (Mar. 24, 1866), he married his cousin Maria Christina Anders daughter (born Dec. 3, 1840).  A year later he bought one fifth of this father’s farm, finished the house and moved in. Also in 1867 he had a profound religious experience of becoming a ‘born again’ Christian. To show his desire and commitment to this faith he would walk from his home to a mission near Jönköping, 28-30 English miles one way. Then in 1870 he was smitten with the "America sickness". "So we sold our home and belongings and on March 22, 1870, we bad farewell to our parents, brothers and sisters, relatives, friends and fatherland and made our trip to America." (JP Diary) They landed in New York 13th April and in two more days were in Jamestown.

Occupation: Carpenter and cabinetmaker. The Alliance Furniture Company employed him in 1909 until he was injured by an elevator cable.

Organizations: He was an active member of the Jamestown Free Methodist Church.

Naturalization: He become a naturalized American citizen about 1890. Name Change: Jonas Peter reached a great decision in May 1891 for himself and the family. He changed the family surname from Johnson to Ogren In changing his name we learned later, he was returning to the original surname of his Swedish family where the spelling was Ågren. He celebrated his 50th birthday in Aug. 14, 1892.

Family: As a deeply religious man his family was very important. He had two sons ( Alfred and Charles) from his first wife, Maria Christina Anders daughter who died in 1873, three years after settling in Jamestown. From his next marriage to Anna Maria Svenson he had five children: Rose, Esther, Lydia, Mary and Paul, as well as a stepson Henry.


This page was last updated on 05/05/02