Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthAugust 2, 1887
Place of BirthPembina, North Dakota
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinBarbara Olafson, wife, General Delivery, North Dakota
Trade / CallingFireman for CPR
Service Details
Regimental Number4039162
Battalion118th Engineers
ForceAmerican Expeditionary Force
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentJuly 22, 1918
Age at Enlistment31
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathApril 22, 1961
Age at Death73
Buried AtMountain View Cemetery, Thunder Bay Ontario

Olafson, Johannes Erlindson

Johannes (John) Erlindson Olafson was born on 2 August 1887 in Pembina, North Dakota.   His parents were Icelandic immigrants,   Erlendur Olafson and Iwa Magnusson.   Younger siblings included: Ingiborg (born 1889), Sigrun (born 1890), Olie Valdemar (born 1892) and Dora Margaret (born 1898).

At some point, Johannes moved north and found work on the Canadian Pacific Railway.   In 1917, when he signed his US WW1 Draft Registration Card, he listed that he was living in Kenora, Ontario working for the CPR.   He married Barbara Graham in Kenora on 1 January 1918.

From the Roster of the Men and Women who served in the Army or Naval Service (including the Marine Corps) of the United States or its Allies from the State of North Dakota in the World War, 1917-1918 Volume 3 Larkee to Rice:

Johannes was inducted into the US army at Cavalier on July 22, 1918;

Sent to Camp Custer, Mich.; served in 160th Depot Brigade, to Aug. 19, 1918;

Engineers, Unassigned, Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind., to Sept. 19, 1918;

Company D, 118th Engineers, to Nov. 30, 1918;

Company H, 118th Engineers, to Dec. 19, 1918;

Headquarters Company, 142nd Transportation Corps, to Jan. 23, 1919;

Headquarters Company, 150th Transportation Corps, to discharge;

Overseas from Oct. 24, 1918, to Feb. 22, 1919.

Discharged at Camp Dodge, Iowa, on March 10, 1919, as a Private.

The Kenora Miner & News listed J. Olafson as a returning soldier in 1919. The 1921 Canadian census shows Johannes and Barbara living in Schreiber, Ontario with 10 month old daughter Alice.   Johannes was working as a fireman on the railroad at this time.   Son, John Ervine Olafson was born in Kenora in 1923.   The family continued to reside in Kenora until at least 1935 where they are found on the voter’s list living on Mikado Avenue in the Rideout. Johannes was promoted to locomotive engineer and worked in Kenora, Schreiber and White River until he retired in 1952.   At that time the family moved to Fort William. Johannes was a member of the Pequonga Masonic Lodge in Kenora, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers – Schreiber division, the White River branch of the Canadian Legion and St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Fort William.

Johannes Olafson died in Thunder Bay on 22 April 1961.   He is buried in a military plot at Mountain View Cemetery.   He was survived by his wife, Barbara, son John and two daughters, Alice and Dorothy.

Olafson-Johannes-Erlindson-2 Olafson-Johannes-Erlindson-3 Olafson-Johannes-Erlindson-4 Olafson-Johannes-Erlindson-5

Photograph of Johannes as found on Lynn’s Family Tree (LynnTim80) on

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