Clara Jane Morden Johnson was born at St. Mary’s, Canada, November 26, 1869 and came to the Dakota Territory with her parents when she was twelve years old.
She became a student at Spearfish Normal School at its opening in 1885 and taught school two years after graduating with the second class in 1889.
She married Vincent Samuel Johnson in 1891, and as a bride went to live on their homestead on a treeless prairie, six miles northeast of Spearfish, South Dakota. They planted the farmstead with rows of lilacs and roses, an orchard, a plum thicket, and a good windbreak of ash, olives and cottonwoods.
Mrs. Johnson felt that their greatest achievement was their family of nine children. They reared four sons and five daughters.
The Johnsons carried on diversified farming, stock raising and dairying. They built up an irrigation system, making gardening and fruit raising possible. In the late 1890’s and early years of the 1900’s, Mr. Johnson made weekly trips with team and wagon to the thriving mining towns of Lead, Central City and Deadwood with loads of garden produce, dairy and poultry products. In later years more land was added to the farmstead, and stock cattle and sheep were raised more extensively. The Johnsons were interested in developing hardier varieties of grains adapted to this region and carried on numerous experiments in raising wheat, potatoes and fruits.
Mrs. Johnson was a member of the Congregational Church of Spearfish and the Aurora Rebekah lodge of Spearfish, having served as Past Noble Grand of that lodge.
She had been a 4-H leader and a member of a local school board.