Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
JOHN B. BJORK comes from the
land that furnished the discoverers of America, and who planted their banners
here long before Christopher Columbus was born. The bold seamen of
the northlands have shown the inherent stability and progressiveness of
the Swedish and Norwegian people. As one of their descendants, our
subject is now a leading and upright citizen of Leavenworth, where he has
dwelt for more than a decade. He was born in Sweden on July 18, 1856,
the son of Olie and Mary (Johnson) Bjork, both natives of the same country.
They died in St. Paul, Minnesota, the father in 1894, and the mother the
following year. Our subject was educated in his native land and came
to America in 1882. After some travel he settled in St. Paul and
took up railroad contracting on the Great Northern and the M. & St.
P. In 1892 he came to Montana in the same line of business and later
settled in Icicle, now Leavenworth, where he opened a restaurant.
To the supervision of this business he gave his attention, together with
operating a store for a time and then built a hotel. This was burned
in 1896, and he immediately built the Overland, a house popular with the
traveling public, which Mr. Bjork operated successfully until 1903, when
he leased it. He now owns a farm four miles from Leavenworth on Eagle
creek. The farm is supplied with good substantial improvements among
which is a fine orchard.
At St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1887, Mr. Bjork
married Miss Martha, daughter of Andrus and Annie Anderson, natives of
Mr. Bjork has the following brothers and sisters:
Carl, Olif G., Christina, Caroline, Mary, Anna and Louisa.
In fraternal affairs Mr. Bjork is associated
with the Foresters and the Fraternal Army of America. He and his
wife are members of the Congregational church in Leavenworth. He
assisted materially to erect the church building, which was the first structure
of worship in the town. Mr. Bjork is a strong Democrat and was treasurer
of Okanogan county in 1894. He is now justice of the peace, being
an efficient officer. In 1898 he went to Alaska and after spending
nineteen months of arduous labor and much hardship, he returned, bringing
nine hundred dollars in gold.