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Johnson, Z.


Posted By: mjv (email)
Date: 6/30/2021 at 12:17:07

Z. Johnson resides upon section 35, Clay Township, where he is engaged in general farming and stock-raising. He was born Jan. 12, 1818, in Greene County, Ohio, and is the son of William and Frances Johnson, the former a native of Kentucky, and the latter of Maryland. Soon after the birth of our subject, the family moved to Clarke County, Ohio, where the mother died, Aug. 26, 1845, and was buried in Ebenezer Chapel Cemetery in that county. After her death the father went to Mercer County, Ohio, and made his home with Elihu P. Compton, and there died, Sept. 19, 1852, and was buried in the Mercer Cemetery. They reared a family of eight children, four of whom are yet living: Sarah the wife of Elihu Compton, of Brighton, Iowa; Mary, the wife of George Downs, also of Brighton, Iowa; Zachariah, the subject of our sketch, and Margaret, the wife of Joseph May, now Mayor of Selina, Ohio. Jane, William, P. D. and Hannah are deceased.

The subject of this sketch grew to manhood in Clarke County, Ohio, and received but a common-school education. On reaching his majority he started out for himself, working at anything that he could get to do, and living as best he could. For four years he was employed W. B. Dayton on his farm. On the 21st of January, 1845, he was united in marriage with Miss Melinda Snyder, a native of Rockingham County, Va., born Sept. 25, 1826, and a daughter of Jacob and Catherine (Shick) Snyder, who were natives of Virginia. Her father died Jan. 7, 1858. He was an active member of the Christian Church. Her mother is yet living at the age of eighty-one, and resides in Brighton. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are the parents of eight children: John A., born May 9, 1846, is a farmer residing in Clay Township; E. J., born May 7, 1848, is a merchant in Brighton; L. C., born Aug. 5, 1850, resides in Jefferson County; E. C., born Dec. 28, 1853, is a farmer in Jefferson Co, Iowa; W. H., born Feb. 6, 1856; C. J., born July 8, 1859, manages the home farm; A. J., born Jan. 7, 1862, is a merchant in Brighton; Effie, born Sept. 23, 1869, is at home.

In 1847 Mr. Johnson visited Iowa with a view of locating, and being favorably impressed with the country, in 1848, he moved to Jefferson County, and rented a farm one year. He then rented a farm in Clay Township, this county, and made that his home for three years. He then returned to Ohio and remained for four years. While there, the family were in ill-health, and were determined to return again to Iowa. On arriving in Clay Township, he says that he was about as happy as a man could well be. His first purchase was 120 acres of land, which he improved, and on which he lived about five years. He then purchased 100 acres of wild land, which he immediately began to improve, and which has been his home from that time on to the present.

On returning to this county, prosperity began to attend him. To his original purchase, he has added by subsequent purchase, until he now has a fine farm of 253 acres, in addition to which he has assisted each of his children, giving to his sons a fine farm which cost him $4,500. As each of his children became of age he gave to them a good horse and cow, and having special reverence for the Word of God, and the teachings of the blessed Savior, he gave also to each of his children, a fine family Bible. As already stated, Mr. Johnson commenced life in very limited circumstances, but by industry and economy, coupled with fair and honest dealing with his fellowmen, he has acquired a competency. Few men have the respect and confidence of their neighbors and friends to a higher degree. He is regarded by all who know him, as one of Nature’s noblemen. Mrs. Johnson is a devoted member of the Christian Church, and believes in the Bible and the Bible alone, as a safe and only rule of faith and practice.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Washington County, Iowa (1887). Excerpt from Biographical Sketch of Z. Johnson, pages 563-564.


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