Appendix One - more details on victims of the Aetna Powder works explosions.

This page was created when a great-great nephew in Sweden contacted me about Carl Johnson, one of the victims in the 1912 explosion. Most all of the victims were and are enigmatic; nothing much is known about them or their families. Widows married again and children sometimes took their stepfather's surname. Single men may have had family, but perhaps only when a relative contacts me can I provide further details about the person.
Please contact me if you have further information about any of the men listed on the victims page:

Carl Julius Johansson (1875-1912)

In newspaper articles he was reported only as C.O.Johnson but he was born Carl Julius Johansson on October 6, 1875 in Vessige, Halland, Sweden. He was a stone mason like many in the family. He was born in a small croft called “Nybygget” (means roughly New building) in a microscopic village called Grimshult in the forested inlands of the southwest Swedish Atlantic coast. The 1910 census shows him as a powder packer living in Canduff's boarding house in Aetna and as having immigrated in 1903. Four of his six siblings came to America. Three of them settled in Gary and had a number of descendants.

Primary source for Carl's family from Sven Berlander, his great-great nephew. More information on Sven's Ancestry Family Tree, Berlander Family Tree.(Subscription needed.)


Father Johannes Olsson (13 August 1842-14 June 1904). Born in Stäpelsbo, Kalv. Died in Gullbrandstorp, Halmstad, Halland, Sweden. Mother Inger Christina Johansdotter (21 November 1835-10 January 1921). Born in a croft named Ryd in Grimshult, Vessige, Halland Sweden and died in Halmstad, Halland, Sweden.

Siblings of Carl:

  1. Brother Johan August Johansson of Porter and then Gary (John August Johnson, 5 September 1866 – 8 November 1927). Moved to the US in 1910. Came to Gary in 1913. Married to Maria Johnson Bengtsson. Many descendants in Gary, Chesterton, Valparaiso and more. Find-a-Grave Memorial.
  2. Brother Emanuel Johansson (13 September 1868 – 21 May 1951). Stayed in Sweden except for 1913-1922 when he of unclear reasons went to the US without his family.
  3. Sister Olivia “Tillie” Matilda Olson of Gary (13 January 1871 – 28 May 1955). She married Andrew Johnson and lived at 415 Van Buren in Gary. The 1920 census shows her with 3 daughters and one son. Descendants spread over the US but still some in the Gary area. Find-a-Grave Memorial.
  4. Brother Alfred Olson of Marquette, Michigan (1 December 1872 – 16 April 1939). Find-a-Grave Memorial
  5. Sister Josefina Johannesdotter of Gary (25 June 1874 - 1944). Married a Dane, Peter C. Hansen (1876-1955), had one son, Curtis, and one daughter, Irene (1903-1922). In 1910 they lived in Miller on Center Street (now E. 6th Place) and Peter worked at the Aetna Powder Company as a packer. Find-a-Grave Memorial.
  6. Brother Otto Johansson (14 June 1879 – 15 January 1952). Stayed in Sweden.

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Page created July, 2019.