|Date of Birth||December 11, 1893|
|Place of Birth||Aylsworth Township, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Emma Matilda Larson (mother), Aylsworth Post Office, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Farmer|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Conscripted|
|Place of Enlistment||Port Arthur, Ontario|
|Address at Enlistment||Aylsworth Post Office, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||April 22, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||24|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||March 14, 1991|
|Age at Death||97|
|Buried At||Emo Cemetery, Emo, Ontario|
Private John Alfred Larson was the son of Charles August Larson and Emma Matilda Lindquist of Aylsworth Township in northwestern Ontario. Charles was born in Norway and Emma in Sweden. They both immigrated to Canada in the 1870s and settled in the District of Parry Sound, Ontario. They were married in Ryerson Township, District of Parry Sound in September 1888, at the home of Emma’s parents, Charles and Johanna Lindquist. Charles and Emma farmed in Ryerson Township and their first child, Ethel Viola, was born there in August 1889. They were still living in that area when the 1891 census was taken but within a year or so they had moved to northwestern Ontario.
In the early 1890s Charles took out a homestead in Aylsworth Township, near the town of Emo. He built a log cabin, moved his family there and took up farming. John Alfred was born on 11 December 1893, followed by his sister Mary Agnes on 24 September 1896. Both births were registered in the town of Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora). At the time of the 1911 census Charles was a farmer and the postmaster for Aylsworth and his three children were still at home. He also operated a small grocery store and brought in supplies from Kenora. The oldest daughter, Ethel, was married in Aylsworth in September 1912 to Leslie John Cooper.
Conscription started in Canada in the summer of 1917, as the war entered its fourth year, and single men aged 20 to 34 were required to register by that fall. John reported as required and had his medical on 17 November in Fort Frances. He was called up for service on 22 April 1918 in Port Arthur and assigned to ‘H’ Company of the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment. He trained with his unit for about five months. On 27 September John was granted conditional leave and he was discharged on demobilization on 14 January 1919 in Port Arthur.
After his time in service John returned to Ayslworth where he and his family farmed for many years. When the 1921 census was taken he was living with his parents and his sister Mary. Mary was married the following year to William Henry Jewell. John’s father died in Emo in 1948 and his mother in 1950. John continued to farm until his retirement in the early 1960s, when he sold the farm and moved into Emo. He was a member of Knox United Church and he sang in the choir and tended the church grounds. He passed away in Emo Hospital on 14 March 1991, at age 97. His funeral was held four days later and he’s buried next to his parents in Emo Cemetery.
By Becky Johnson
Four generation photo courtesy of Larson public family tree on ancestry.com.