An American Family History

Verna Ivy Miller Johnson Mathison

Verna Ivy Miller Johnson Mathison was called Kate. She was born on April 12, 1884 in Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota . She was the youngest of John Wilson Miller and Victoria Zellena Dwinnell's children.

She came west to San Diego with her family when she was a girl.

In 1897 she signed her sister Hester's autograph book.


 She wrote the words to a song My Log Cabin by the Stream.

My Log Cabin by the Stream
My log cabin among the trees,
where I spent all my childhood days.
I dearly love the rocks and streams,
and the sweet birds that sing so gay.

In my log cabin by the stream
Where I spent many happy hours.
With my love long ago it seems
Among the sweet fragrant wild flowers

We strolled by the river so blue
Beneath the silvery moonbeams
We vowed we would always be true
In my log cabin by the stream.

Many years have come and gone,
As by the log fire we sit and dream
Our love's still true as it goes on.
In our log cabin by the stream.


In 1905 she was a waiter at the Albatross Inn. 

Kate married Ira Malin Johnson on June 27, 1906. Ira was Hester Miller's husband's, William Johnson's brother.

In 1910 they were living in San Diego. They appeared in the 1920 census in Akron, Summit County, Ohio. Ira was 34 and Verna was 35. He was superintendent of a building.


Ira and Kate divorced before 1930 when she appeared by herself in the census. She was living in Seattle and was a restaurant cook. 

Kate's second husband was George Olaf Mathison. George was born on June 4, 1887 in Norway. They were married on October 11, 1931 in Ketchikan. He had been married before and lost his entire family in a fire in Alaska.


Mathieson (sic) -Johnson Marriage Celebrated
The marriage of Mrs. Verna Johnson and Mr. George Mathieson (sic), both of Ketchikan, took place at the Methodist parsonage Saturday night, October 3.  The ceremony was performed by Rev. C. L. Walker in the presence of a few friends.

The bride wore a Chanel model of tea rose chiffon with accessories to match and carried a shower bouquet of roses and sweet peas. Mrs. Mabel McWhirter was the bride's attendant and was gowned in a becoming frock of tan chiffon velvet. Mr. L. Boyle acted as best man for Mr. Mathieson (sic).

An informal reception followed the ceremony at the Mathieson (sic) home on  Miller Street and a buffet supper was served to 50 friends. Mr. and Mrs. Mathieson (sic) will make their home in Ketchikan.

George and Verna Mathison


Verna and George
in Ketchikan, Alaska

After they married they ran a restaurant in Ketchikan, Alaska. She was a member of the Cooks' and Assistants' Union. Click here to see her recipe for Baked Salmon Loaf.

She died in Seattle, King County, Washington at age 63 on December 23, 1947.

George died on May 14, 1970 in Seattle, King County, Washington.

Kate wrote "This is the boat that your Uncle George is working
on between Seattle and Bremerton.  He likes the job very well."



Mrs. Verna Ivy Mathison, 63, San Diego resident many years, died Tuesday in her home in Seattle, it was learned here today.
She was a native of Minneapolis. Surviving are her husband, George Mathison of Seattle; a sister, Mrs. Hester Mabel Johnson of San Diego and seven nephews and nieces, Wilson Van Dusen, Jessie and Ernest Finkenkeller, all of San Francisco; Hester Miller of San Pedro; Lois Bishop of Richmond, Va; Robert Miller of San Pedro and Wilson Van Dusen Jr., of Berkeley.


Mathison, Verna, aged 63. December 23, beloved wife of George: sister Mrs. Mabel Johnson, San Diego, Calif.  Member of Cook's and Assistants' Union. Services Friday 11 a.m.  Mittelstadt Mortuary, Cremation


George Mathison in 1948
Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
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