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Johannes Frederiksen was born in Skørbeck in Ejdrup parish in Aalborg County in 1846. He was called up for military service in 1869 and served with the 5th Dragoon Regiment in Randers. After spending six months in training school he was attached to the 2nd Squadron, where he served for the next 15 months. He was then demobilized, but recalled in 1873 for six weeks’ service with the 3rd Squadron before being transferred to the reserves. He and his wife immigrated to the U.S. around 1878, settling in Avoca, Iowa, for a number of years before moving to Thurston County, Nebraska.