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William J. Johnson


Posted By: Rich Lowe (email)
Date: 10/1/2001 at 10:51:43

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties – 1890


William J. Johnson has been a resident of Van Buren County for fifty-three years, years in which the county has made much progress, in which it has advanced rapidly in the march of civilization and progress and in which, through the instrumentality of the early settlers, it has won a foremost place in the ranks of its sister counties in this great commonwealth. He was born in Warren County, Ohio, on December 1, 1821, and when a lad of six summers accompanied his parents to Indiana, where he acquired such education as the pioneer schools of that day afforded. In the spring of 1837, he accompanied his father to Van Buren County, and assisted in making preparations for the reception of the family, which preparations consisted in the erection of a log cabin. He spent two years on the farm aiding in the development of the wild land and then went to Bonaparte where he assisted in the construction of the first dam across the river. A mill was then built and entering the same he was there employed for nearly seventeen consecutive years, when having acquired sufficient capital to engage in business for himself, he embarked in mercantile pursuits. In 1856, the company of Johnson & Christy was formed and for a quarter of a century the partnership continued, the firm doing a good business and gaining a wide reputation for fair dealing, courteous treatment and the excellent quality of the goods carried.

In 1846, in Van Buren County, Mr. Johnson led to the marriage altar Miss Mary J. Christy and unto them was born a family of nine children, James, the eldest died at the age of eighteen years; Clarissa J. is the wife of George F. Smith, editor of the Keosauqua Democrat; Nancy B. is the wife of George T. Ward; Maggie M. wedded William Meek; Ellen M. is single; Thomas H. is engaged in the practice of law; Joseph A. is employed as cashier in the Farmers’ and Traders’ Bank of Bonaparte; George B. is chief train dispatcher for the Ft. Worth and Denver Railroad Company, with headquarters at Fort Worth; and the ninth child died in infancy.

In political sentiment, Mr. Johnson is a stanch supporter of Democratic principles; he was elected Clerk of the courts of Van Buren County and has held other local offices of trust. In many ways he is inseparably connected with the early history of this county, having been identified with not a few of its early projects and enterprises. Ever willing to assist in the advancement of anything calculated to benefit the community, his aid was frequently solicited and response cheerfully made.

[Would like to hear from anyone with ties to this Johnson/Johnston family. - Rich

See bio. on William J. Johnson's father, William Sr. elsewhere in this forum.]


Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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