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Cherokee County Biographies

James Johnson

JAMES JOHNSON - Cherokee County may well feel flattered to be chosen as the home of one whose travels cover almost the entire face of the earth.  From Colorado on the west to the islands of New Zealand on the east, one has indeed a wide range from which to select a habitation. James Johnson was born In Lanarkshire, Scotland, September 10, 1842 and is the son of Robert and Isabelle (Ray) Johnson.  He is next the youngest of twelve children, five sons and seven daughters.  At an early age he was engaged in that most trying labor, coal mining, which he continued until he was twenty years of age.  Then began his wanderings.  He emigrated from his native land to the islands of New Zealand, and for four years was engaged in gold mining.  At the end of that time he returned to Scotland, where he spent six months.  He then came to America, and after landing did not stop until he had reached Colorado; he did not find his expectations realized and in a few months went back again to Scotland.  Eleven months later we find him again in America, locating in Boone County, Iowa; there he lived one year and then came to Cherokee County, taking a homestead in Cedar Township,where he made his home until 1884. He then purchased 120 acres of land on which he now lives; this was wild and unimproved,but he has reclaimed it from the state of nature in which the red man left it, and has reaped the abundant harvests which the earth is ready to yield to her industrious children.  His improvements are of the best kind, and he has every convenience for raising live-stock; for the latter industry the farm is admirably adapted by a fine brook flowing through the land, furnishing an abundant supply of water

Mr. Johnson was married June 15, 1870, to Miss Agnes Smith, a native of Lanarkshire, Scotland and a daughter of Alexander and Jenette (Murdock) Smith.  They are the parents of four children: Robert J., born May 13, 1871; Alexander Stuart, born January 25, 1873; Della, born December 12, 1874, and Agnes J., born November 3, 1877.  In politics Mr. Johnson affiliates with no party, but is independent.  Mrs. Johnson is a member of the Presbyterian Church of Cherokee.

Biographical History of Cherokee County, IA, W. W. Dunbar & Co Publishers, 1889

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