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Johnson, Thomas E.


Posted By: mjv (email)
Date: 6/30/2021 at 13:11:21

Thomas E. Johnson, ex-Sheriff of Washington County, resides upon section 34, Franklin Township, where he is the owner of 314 acres of fine land, which is well improved in every respect. He is a native of Nelson County, Ky., born Sept. 22, 1841, and is the son of Noel and Frances (Vaughn) Johnson, the former a native of Kentucky, and of Scotch descent, the latter a native of Ohio, and of English descent, whose mother was a niece of Col. Ethan Allen of Revolutionary fame. They came to this county in 1852, and settled in Marion Township, where the former died in 1883, aged seventy-four, while the mother is still living with the subject of this sketch, at the age of seventy-three. They reared a family of seven children, five of whom are living: Milton, in Missouri; Martha C., the wife of Walter Howard, of Kentucky; Lorenzo, of Nebraska; Gertrude, the wife of George Hammond, of Nebraska, and the subject of our sketch. The deceased are Sarah A. and William V.

Thomas E. Johnson came to Washington County with his parents when he was eleven years of age. He was bred to the occupation of a farmer, and with the exception of a time, while engaged in official duties, has followed that occupation through life.

He was married in this county, in 1868, to Eliza J. McKinney, daughter of Walter and Elizabeth McKinney, and a native of Montgomery County, Ind., born in 1842. They have two children Walter and Elizabeth. Her parents came to this county in 1845, and are therefore numbered among the pioneers. They yet reside in Brighton Township. Mr. Johnson enlisted Aug. 15, 1862, in Co. C, 19th Iowa Vol. Inf. The regiment was mustered into the service at Keokuk, Iowa, and left for the field September 4. Its first three months service was that of marching and counter-marching through Missouri and Arkansas, its first engagement being at Prairie Grove, Dec. 7, 1862, and after a hot engagement drove the enemy from the field. After marching and counter-marching through Arkansas until the 3d of June, 1863, it started for St. Louis for Vicksburg, taking part in the siege and capture of that place. Soon afterward it was sent to the Gulf, and became part of the army under Grant. Mr. Johnson was wounded at Prairie Grove; he was captured Sept. 29, 1863, and was retained as a prisoner of war until July 9, 1864 when he was paroled with others, and July 22, 1864 was exchanged. After rejoining the regiment he was with it in the expedition against Mobile and Spanish Fort, in March, 1865. He was mustered out at Davenport, in July, and discharged Aug. 1, 1865.

Returning home Mr. Johnson again engaged in farming, in which occupation he continued until the fall of 1877, when he was elected Sheriff of Washington County on the Democratic ticket, at a time when the Republicans had over 1,000 majority in the county. The popularity of the man was thus shown by this election. In the discharge of his official duties he gave the best satisfaction, not alone to his own party, but to the entire people of the county as well. On the expiration of his term of office he again returned to his farm, and at present, in addition to the general farming, he is making a specialty of raising fine stock, having at this time on his farm eleven head of the noted Bashaw and Messenger breed, the finest trotting stock in the country. He has one sorrel and black, six years old, both of which bid fair to make a fine record. He has one three-year-old and one two-year-old which are equally fine. As may be inferred from his election on the Democratic ticket, Mr. Johnson is politically a Democrat, and fraternally he is a Mason, a member of Washington Lodge No. 26. As a citizen he is popular with all parties, and is highly esteemed for his many excellent traits of character.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Washington County, Iowa (1887). Excerpt from Biographical Sketch of Thomas E. Johnson, pages 225-226.


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