A restless youth

John Ahlforth & Grace Mitchell

  John Theodore Ahlforth (2/3 1885 – 1916)
  D3b branch []
  Son of Carl Ahlforth & Anna Nelson
  Wesley, Iowa

  Grace E. Franklin née Mitchell (1887 – after 1912) (m. 16/12 1912 in Los Angeles)
  No known children

  Primary sources

John is born in Wesley, Iowa, but grows up in Moline, Illinois, as the second of five brothers. He is probably fond of society life from an early age, because in 1902 (age 17) he is mentioned with his eldest brother Joe as being a member of ”The Modern club of Walker’s station”, whose members’ hospitality is praised highly in the local papers when they treat the local youth to ’a fine entertainment’.

The Modern club of Walker’s station had a fine entertainment at the new building last Saturday evening and there were seventy-five young people present. The evening was spent in dancing and about 12 o’clock a fine supper was served by the club members and after the repast speeches were made by some of the club and others. When the guests departed at a late hour they all said that they had spent a most delightful evening. The club members won the hearts of all by their fine hospitality. The club is composed of young men of the suburb and the new club house cost about $300. The officers are: President, Reuben Hackerson; vice president, Martin Swanson; secretary and treasurer, Oscar Isaacson. The other members are as follows: George Swanson, Arthur Swanson, Joe Ahlforth, John Ahlforth, Carl Nelson and Fred Meise. (The Rock Island Argus 4/2 1902)

In 1910 he and his younger brother David rent a room together and work as coremakers at a foundry. However, he was probably getting restless in Moline, because later that year he seems to have become a sailor, as he is also registered as a lodger in ”Government foot houses”, where he is listed as a deck-hand.

Perhaps that is how he ends up in Los Angeles, where he marries the widow Grace Franklin née Mitchell two years later. She was born in Massachusetts but lives in Redondo Beach, Los Angeles.

John and Grace’s marriage certificate 1912.

She is a bookkeeper, but otherwise we know very little about her, and unfortunately John himself dies in 1916, still in California. I have not been able to trace Grace in later life, and no children are known.

Research data

  •  name (others’ spellings): John T. Ahlforth (1900); John S. Ahlforth (1910); John F. Alforth (1910); John Theodore Ahlforth (1912)
  • name (others’ spellings): Grace E. Franklin (1912)
  •  m. Los Angeles 1912
  •  cens. 1900-1910 Moline: 1900; 1910; 1910