DAVID K. JOHNSON, operating his finely improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres in sections 22 and 23 of Canton township, is a native of Benton county, born in Fremont township, November 15, 1862, son of Alexander and Martha (Kirkpatrick) Johnson. Alexander Johnson is deceased and his widow now lives in Shellsburg. Alexander Johnson was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, March 7, 1832, and was a son of James and Isabella Johnson. He was bred to mercantile life and remained in his native country until attaining his majority; he then emigrated to America and landed at New York, from which city he went to Coshocton, Ohio. He lived in Coshocton and worked as clerk in a store until 1855, and then removed to Iowa, where he purchased one hundred and twenty acres in Fremont township. He settled on the farm the next year and lived there until 1866, when he sold this land and moved to Canton township. He was a farmer the rest of his life, and at the time of his death in 1897 owned three quarter sections. In 1878 he visited his native country, spending also some time in traveling through England, Scotland and the Continent.
September 27, 1860, Alexander Johnson married Martha, daughter of David Kirkpatrick; she was born in Hardin county, Ohio, December 28, 1841. They became parents of five children, of whom two are still living. Nellie M., wife of Clifford Long, lives at Hackensack, Minnesota. Politically Mr. Johnson was a Republican, and cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln for president, in 1860. He was a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. David Johnson's maternal grandfather, David Kirkpatrick, was a pioneer of Benton county, and one of its most enterprising, successful and progressive citizens. He was born in New Jersey, November 22, 1803, and received a common school education. When a young man he removed to Guernsey county, Ohio, where he taught school, which occupation he also followed in Iowa. November 17, 1825, he married Nancy Anderson, born in Virginia, March 31, 1811; he engaged in mercantile business in Ohio, and about 1834 removed to Hardin county, same state, and to Iowa in 1852. He entered over twelve hundred acres of land in Canton township, Benton county, returned to Ohio and came back to Iowa with his family in 1853. He taught school the first winter for a dollar and a quarter per day. He was an excellent financier, was very economical, and soon began to loan money at the high rates people then were willing to pay, and he advanced rapidly in fortune. He died on his farm April 28, 1874, kindly remembered and widely mourned. His wife died November 10, 1870. He had nine children, of whom three are now surviving, namely: Mrs. Sarah Spurgeon, of Canton township, Mrs. Martha Johnson, of Shellsburg, and Mrs. Nancy Shomler, of Canton township. Politically Mr. Kirkpatrick was a Whig, and he served as county commissioner in Hardin county, Ohio; he became a Republican at the inception of that party, and heartily supported its issues.
David K. Johnson was reared on a farm, and attended the public schools, and has always followed farming. He has made a specialty of stock raising, and has tried several different breeds satisfactorily; he prefers the Short-horn cattle and Chester White hogs, with which he has been very successful. He has been a resident of Canton township since he was two years of age, and remained at home until he was of age; he then began working for himself on his present farm, which was entered by his maternal grandfather, David Kirkpatrick, so this quarter section has been transferred only twice. The farm is located but a mile from Shellsburg, and is valuable land. He has made most of the improvements himself, and keeps it in excellent condition.
Politically Mr. Johnson is a Democrat, and he has served as township trustee and for the past ten years has been treasurer of the school board. He is a charter member of the Knights of Pythias, of Shellsburg, also belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America. His wife is a member of the Presbyterian church.
In 1893 Mr. Johnson married, in Benton county, Melissa, daughter of Samuel Long, an early settler of Canton township, who came from Pennsylvania, and died many years since. She was born and reared in Iowa. They have three children, as follows : Ida May, who married J. Gordon Bixby, of Canton township and has three children; Mattie E., a graduate of the Iowa State Teachers' College, of Cedar Palls, Iowa, and a teacher in the Benton county schools; and Vera M. is attending high school at Shellsburg.