Ann Willden Johnson
Ann Willden Johnson defined what it meant to be a pioneer. Born in Sheffield, England, in 1845, Ann moved to the United States as a small child. Her family settled in a Mormon colony in Iowa and lived there for several years. In 1851, the Willdens followed Brigham Young and his Mormon disciples to the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Ann remained in Utah until she married Neils Christian Johnson and soon moved to California.
The Johnsons lived around the greater Los Angels area, and ultimately settled in Chatsworth in 1874. According to her autobiography, Our Pioneer Mother, as told to and recorded by her daughter, Leonora Johnson MacDonald, Ann was "the first white English-speaking woman in the San Fernando Valley." Ann did all that she could to develop a community in Chatsworth. In 1880, Ann assisted in establishing the first school in Chatsworth and served as the clerk for the Board of Trustees for several years. Ann also devoted much of her time to work and worship at the Methodist Church and Sunday School.
Donated by her family, the CHS has a four volume set of Ann Willden Johnson's Bible Concordance. Complete with hand written annotations, Ann's bible gives one a firsthand look into the worldview of early pioneer women.
Emma Johnson - Daughter of Neils & Ann Johnson
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