John (Johan) Otto Backlund

Navy Badge
  • Name: John (Johan) Otto Backlund
  • Location of Birth: Torp, Vastemorrland, Sweden
  • Date of Birth: June 16, 1889 **
  • Date of Death: September 1, 1923 (34 years old)
  • Parents: Olof Backlund and Katarina Hedberg
  • High School and Class:
  • College:
  • Highest Rank: PVT (Private)
  • Branch: Navy
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: July 6, 1918 (departure date)
  • Place Sworn In: New York, New York
  • Date of Discharge: June 12, 1919
  • Place of Discharge: Hoboken, New Jersey
  • Units and Locations:
    Start Date End Date Unit(s) and Location(s) Served
    July 6, 1918 left New York, New York on Kashmir - Military Unit: Company "I" 53rd Infantry 6th Division
    June 5, 1919 Left Brest, France to Hoboken, New Jersey on United States Ship Leviathan. Arrived in Hoboken, New Jersey on June 12, 1919
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    Company "I" 53rd United States Infantry

    Information in the United States, World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918:
    Name: John Backlund
    Race: Caucasian (White)
    Marital Status: Single
    Birth Date: June 16, 1889
    Birth Place: Sweden
    Residence Date: 1917-1918
    Residence Place: Itasca, County, Minnesota, USA
    Physical Build: Slender
    Height: Medium
    Hair Color: Light
    Eye Color: Blue

  • Wars Involved:
    World War I

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Information in the New York, United States Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

    Name: Johan O. Backlund
    Gender: Male
    Ethnicity/Nationality: Scandinavian
    Marital status: Single
    Age: 34
    Birth Date: About 1889
    Birth Place: Sweden
    Other Birth Place: Borgsjo
    Last Known Residence: Balestrand, Norway
    Departure Port: Bergen, Norway
    Arrival Date: November 19, 1923
    Arrival Port: New York, New York, USA
    Final Destination: Detroit, Michigan
    Yaers in United States: Forever
    Citizenship Intention: Yes
    Height: 5' 10"
    Hair Color: Light
    Eye Color: Blue
    Complexion: Fair
    Money in Possession: $ 25.00
    Person in Old Country: Gunnar Backlund
    Person in Old Country Residence: Maide, Stavanger
    Person in United States: Petter Backlund
    Ship Name: Bergensfjord

    Information from a news article in Grand Rapids Herald Review, dated September 5, 1923:
    Fatal Accident on Paved Road
    John Backlund of Spring Lake Killed Saturday Night - Car Turns Over
    Another fatal accident happened on the paved road east of Grand Rapids last Saturday night about 9 o'clock when John Backlund of Spring Lake was instantly killed. Backlund was riding with Arnold LaPeir and a companion named Hurd, all three on their way home from Mahoning Mine at Hibbing, where they worked, when the accident happened.
    From all the information that could be gathered, LaPier was driving the car, a Ford touring. As they came down the hill near the Mehelich farm they attempted to pass two large Buick cars parked at the side of the road. As they were passing, going at a high rate of speed, LaPier reached down to loosen the foot accelerator, which had become jammed. Temporarily losing control of his car, he crashed into the first Buick. The impact made his Ford turn a complete somersault. As it landed, it struck the second Buick, which was parked some distance ahead of the first one. Backlund was thrown out, as the car turned over, and was dead when picked up. The other two were but slightly injured.
    A passing car was at once hailed, and officials in Grand Rapids hurried to the scene and took charge. Coroner W. W. Libbey took the remains of the unfortunate man who was killed to the morgue. An inquest was not deemed necessary, as the cause of death was an accident.
    The Buick cars had stopped because of engine trouble which one of them had developed. They were well to one side of the road, with right wheels off the pavement. They were occupied by T. A. Griffin, George W. Jacobs, John and Nick Heynek, all of Chisholm, Earl Snell of Virginia, Clarence Dye of Hopper, and the wives and children of some of the party. All were on their way to Winnibigoshish dam for a fishing trip. Both Buicks needed repairs before the party could proceed on their way.
    John Backlund was 34 years of age, and unmarried. He was one of the first men to go to war from Itasca County in the first draft during the World War. Two sisters, his mother and a brother, all living in Sweden, survive him. He had no relatives in this country, but for a number of years had made his home with John Lindeborg and Nels Strom at Spring Lake. The funeral was conducted from the Kremer Undertaking Parlors. Services for the dead were read by Reverend O. W. Ohlson.
    Buried in Itasca Calvary Cemetery at Grand Rapids, Minnesota. No grave marker. (Plot I-D-34-0-6)

    ** Date of birth could be June 19, 1889 or June 16, 1889.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):