John Olav “Jack” Johnson’s real last name is unknown – at a young age he went to live with another family, and changed his name to theirs. Johnson was remembered as the last caretaker of the Pest House; people referred to “Johnson’s Pest House” and the children as the “Pest House Johnson Kids.” Johnson’s address in the 1933 phone directory is given as 4195 W. 31st Street; young neighbor Don Beyers remembers the house burning down in a conflagration, perhaps around this time. In 1935 the family is listed at 32nd and Salem, and Jack worked at Interior Elevator. From 1939 to 1945 they are listed at 5806 Cambridge, and Jack worked for the Village Water Department.
Johnson and his wife Mary had three daughters and three sons:
Thelma Wetterling Syverson
Mabel Kruckeberg – California
Grace Mason – Iowa
Jack Johnson – Mpls.
Robert Johnson – Mpls.
George Johnson – Mpls.
Daughter Thelma was born on January 20, 1913, in Hamilton, Ontario. At the time, her mother were just up visiting friends – they didn’t live in Canada. Thelma won a beauty contest at age 15 (an early Miss St. Louis Park?), but her mother wouldn’t let her accept the prize trip to California. Thelma married Paul Wetterling, and had a daughter, Jacquelyn. Her second husband was Alden Syverson, who had two children: Carolyn Globa and Vernon Syverson. Thelma and Alden Syverson moved to 4348 Brookside Ave. in 1968, and turned the old grocery store into an antique shop.
Thelma died on September 28, 1977 at the age of 64. Alden Syverson ran and then abandoned the shop, leaving it just the way it was. Syverson died in the summer of 2004.