Jernberg Family Stories

(Thank you to Kjell-Erik Åsberg from Sweden for writing the following story about the family of Maja Lisa Eriksdotter, a.k.a. Mary Elizabeth Erikson Jernberg.  The Swedish version follows the English version.)

Family Johansson

The following information are collected from the Swedish Church Archive and especially from House Interrogation Lengths (HFL). A good description of the countryside and living conditions can be found from the webbpage; 

Note:  The following is from an article written by Mildred Staley, Post-Register Correspondent

Charles Otto Jernberg born June 21, 1865 (note from Kim: his birthdate is actually September 16, 1867) in Sweden came to Chicago as a young man to work as a finishing carpenter for the railroad.  While there he met Mary Elizabeth Erickson (Eriksson) who had also been born in Sweden on September 16, 1867 (note from Kim: her birthdate is June 21, 1865).  They were married in 1888.  Four children were born to them while in Chicago, Edward, Elmer Emanuel, George, and David R.  Charlie, a finishing carpenter for the railroad, had been transferred to Pocatello from Chicago in 1900.  Roy was born in Pocatello in 1902.

There are some very independent, strong, strong willed, and adventurous women in my family.  (I’m sure this comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me or any of the other women in my family.)  But my great grandmother Mary Jernberg was one of the most fascinating, independent, strongest, and bravest women I have ever known. 

Mary Jernberg was born on June 21, 1865 in Sweden as Maja Lisa Eriksdotter.  She was born about the time it became mandatory in Sweden to use hereditary surnames instead of patronyms.  Therefore, at times you will see records of her with the last name Eriksson or Erickson as it appears the family chose Eriksson as the hereditary surname.

Charles Edward Walfrid Jernberg, a.k.a., Ed Jernberg, son of Charles and Mary Jernberg, died on April 20, 1919 of a tragic and suspicious death at the age of 30.  Ed's death was a devastating and heart wrenching event that forever changed the lives of the Jernberg family. 

Included in this article are his death certificate and three newspaper articles related to his death.  

1.  The first article was published in the Pocatello Tribune on April 21, 1919, which is the day after Ed died.  It details the strange events that led up to Ed being found unconscious and bleeding in an alley, as well as the massive neglect by multiple people over the course of 8 plus hours leading up to his death. 

Glen William Munns, 86 of Rexburg, passed away Sunday, December 3, 2017 at his home surrounded by loved ones. Glen was born May 10, 1931 in Rexburg, Idaho to Alvin Weekes Munns and Clara Jane Brindley Munns. Glen graduated from Madison High School and attended Ricks College during winter quarters when farming would allow. It was at Ricks College that Glen met his sweetheart Elaine Jernberg and they were married in the Idaho Falls LDS temple on June 5, 1952. Glen loved farming and ranching and believed they lived in the most beautiful place on earth.

The theme of the Mud Lake Fair and Rodeo parade held Saturday, August 14, was the "Good Old Days".  Dave Jernberg, who was selected as the parade's Grand Marshal, can remember the good old days, but he recalls they were't always so good. 

He grew up in Pocatello and attended school there.  His father, Charlie Jernberg, a shop foreman for the railroad, heard of the land available in the Mud Lake area and in the spring of 1912 he filed on a 160 acre homestead there.

Mrs. and Mrs. David R. Jernberg of Terreton were honored at an open house hosted by their children in honor of their fiftieth wedding anniversary.  

The open house was held at the home of Ken and Kay Bare in Terreton Monday, May 26, 1980 from 2 to 6 p. m. and was followed by a pot-luck picnic.  All friends were invited to attend.  The Jernbergs were married in December, 1929, but because they were spending the winter in Arizona the celebration was delayed until May.

Killed by an Indian arrow returning from the hills east of Smithfield with a load of brush to be used on the bowery for the community Pioneer City celebration. The Indians wounded Solyman, his brother, in the right arm and across the abdomen. They intended to scalp Ira, but were prevented by his brother throwing rocks at them with his left hand until the pursuing men came to his rescue. Ira Merrill was the first person buried in the Smithfield Cemetery. Digging the grave for Ira Merrill—four men were required, two to stand guard while the others worked.

From the Reno Evening Gazette, 12/28/1931

Death Claims Frank Gold

Frank Gold, a resident of Carson City, for eleven years, died at his home in Carson early this morning. Born in England January 3, 1864, he came to the United States when a boy of ten. For several years he has been an employee at the state capitol where he made many friends particularly among the assemblymen and senators. Funeral services have not been completed. He is survived by his wife, four children, Ross, Pershing and Marie of Carson, and Mrs. L. Taylor of Idaho. The remains are at the Capital mortuary.

Ben D. Jernberg died Sunday, June 17th, at St. Vincent's Emergency Room in Billings of a heart condition complicated by diabetes. Ben was born January 4th, 1931 in Lorenzo, Idaho., He went to school in Idaho at the Level School House, Terreton Grade School, and Idaho Falls High School. He was an outstanding high school athlete, earning letters in football, track, and boxing.

He held the State Track Record for the 100 yard dash for many years. Ben served in the Naval Air Force after high school. Upon his return to Idaho, he married Peggy Wheeler on Sept. 8th, 1950, and they moved to Mud Lake, Idaho, to farm with his father, Dave Jernberg. Ben entered a partnership with his friend, Don Burtenshaw, called B & J Cattle Company, to buy and sell livestock.

Reigning as Pioneer Queen of the Mud Lake Jefferson County Fair this year will be Cleo Dunn Jernberg, whose husband is the Grand Marshall.

She came to the Mud Lake area in the fall of 1927 as a young school teacher.  She taught in the one room Level school and had thirteen students.  In addition to teaching she served as janitor.  She boarded with a family who lived about a mile from the school so she had to walk to school early each morning to start the fire in the pot bellied stove. 

 While most people are preparing for traditional holiday goodies members of the Jernberg family still enjoy preparing a traditional family holiday treat as they join in preparing Potato Sausage.  The family uses recipes brought to this country by Mary and Charley Jernberg, early pioneers of the Mud Lake area from their native Sweden.

Relatives from Mud Lake and Idaho Falls met at the home of a granddaughter, Mr. and Mrs. Glen Munns of Archer, recently to make a large batch of the sausage, a treat which is then divided among all who help make it.

Elmer was born Feb. 8, 1893, at Pullman, Illinois, the son of Charles and Mary Jernberg.”  As a boy he moved to Pocatello with his parents.  At the age of 12 he left home after which he was employed in a wide variety of jobs.  On one job when he was a night watchman for a logging camp in Couer d'Alene, he had to drain the donkey engines at night then fill them with   In 1909 he went to California and while there was recruited as a volunteer to fight against Pancho Villa. During that time he narrowly escaped death on several occasions and received no pay for his services.  They were using single shot 45-70 rifles.  One time one man had a machine gun up in a tree firing at them, but the Americans were shooting them out of the trees.

December 1982

Freddie Jernberg, 78, is looking forward to a better Christmas this year than in 1976, the one she remembers most.

That year "was a bad one," she said.  Her husband, Roy, suffered a ruptured aorta on Christmas Day and had to be hospitalized for three months.  Freddie missed Christmas dinner that year, but she was grateful to have her husband still alive.

Returning to Mud Lake was natural for Roy.  For Freddie pioneering was a new experience.  She had been born in Sturgie, Miss. and moved to Firth with her parents attending school there for several years.  The family then moved to Pocatello where she attended high school 2 years.

She said, "Roy and I got to know each other walking to school together."

Mrs. Mary Jernberg, 99, widow of Charles Jernberg, Idaho Falls, died at an Idaho Falls hospital Monday of causes incident to old age.  She was believed the second oldest resident in East Idaho next to Joseph Bitter, who turned 100 last August.

Mrs. Jernberg was born in Sweden June 21, and came to America at the age of 18.  In 1888 she was married to Charles Jernberg who was also an immigrant from Sweden.


In 1982 Elaine Munns and her sister Kay Bare stayed in Phoenix with their parents Dave and Cleo Jernberg.  While there, they recorded 3 tapes, both sides, of stories told by Dave and Cleo of their early years, homesteading in Idaho, and raising a family.  The tapes were transcribed many years ago.  The stores were then arranged as best as possible in chronological order.  There are many hours of stories, so it will be split into sections.  This is part 1 of the series.

1899 Moving from Chicago to Idaho

ELAINE:  Tell me, what, you were born in Chicago and then how old were you when you came to Pocatello? 

DAVE:  Three years old.


In 1982 Elaine Munns and her sister Kay Bare stayed in Phoenix with their parents Dave and Cleo Jernberg.  While there, they recorded 3 tapes, both sides, of stories told by Dave and Cleo of their early years, homesteading in Idaho, and raising a family. This is part 2 of the series). 

ELAINE:  We’ll first talk about the things that Mother remembers about her early childhood.

CLEO:  Oh my gosh.  That was a day or two ago.