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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 894~




With a reputation of an honorable, upright man, industrious, temperate, economical and in every way exemplary in his every-day life and conduct, Albert P. Johnson, of Smithfield township, Fayette county, has performed well his part as a factor of the body politic and no one questions his standing as one of the leading farmers and enterprising citizens of the community in which he lives. He was born in McHenry county, Illinois, February 13, 1848, and, having come to Fayette county, Iowa, when a boy, received most of his education in the common schools here, with three terms in Upper Iowa University at Fayette. He is the son of Benjamin N. and Eliza Sears Johnson, the former born in the state of New York, August 6, 1803, and the latter born in the Empire state on July 10, 1806. They were both reared on farms and married in their native state, after which event they moved to McHenry county, Illinois, where Mr. Johnson bought a farm and lived until 1853, when they moved to Fayette county, Iowa, and located on a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, forty acres each in sections 6 and 7, Smithfield township, and eighty acres in Harlan township, a part of this farm being owned at present by their son, the subject.


Politically, Mr. Johnson was a Whig, and later a Republican. He was a member of the Congregational church and a deacon in the same for many years, having always been a regular attendant on church services. Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin N. Johnson were the parents of eight children, of whom Albert P. of this review was the seventh in order of birth; three of these children are living, namely: William S., who was born October 24, 1834, and resides in Wichita, Kansas; Mrs. Nancy Hulbert, born May 31, 1838, lives at Norwalk, California; Albert P. of this review. The father of these children was called from his labors on November 22, 1885, having been preceded to the grave by his wife in October 1862.


Albert P. Johnson made his home with his father on the farm until the fall of 1876, when he rented a farm for about a year and a half. In the spring of 1878 he returned to the home place and rented it of his father, and he lived on this place in a house which he built upon moving there, until 1884, when he rented the adjoining farm and moved onto it, remaining there until the spring of 1887, when he returned to the home farm, which he bought in 1892, and, with the exception of the year 1903 and 1904, he has continued to make his home on the farm. During the period referred to he spent two years in Oelwein, Iowa. Mr. Johnson made a great success of general farming and stock raising, and he retired from active farm work in the Spring of 1910.


Politically, Mr. Johnson is an independent voter, believing in men rather than party platforms, and he has never held political office. He is a member of the Brotherhood of American Yoemen, Lodge No. 51, of Maynard, Iowa. He and his wife were formerly members of the United Brethren church, but at present they are not members of any denomination.


On October 16, 1872, Mr. Johnson married Helen Bunton, who was born at Union, Rock county, Wisconsin, July 4, 1852. She was educated in the public schools of Fayette, Fayette county, Iowa. She is the daughter of Rev. Willis T. and Hila H. Farris Bunton, natives of London, Laurel county, Kentucky, the father born April 11, 1805, and the mother on January 5, 1810. They were married in Kentucky, later moving to Illinois, thence to Wisconsin, and finally to Fayette county Iowa, locating on government land, three miles south of West Union. The death of Mr. Bunton occurred on July 19, 1890, and that of Mrs. Bunton on July 19, 1870. Mrs. Johnson is the eleventh of a family of twelve children, and she is the sister of L. M. Bunton of West Union township. Two sons have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, Ernest B., born March 17, 1878, and Willis B., born September 12, 1873, who lives in Des Moines, Iowa, is connected with the Des Moines Silo Company, and is secretary of the Iowa State Dairy Association. After graduating from the Fayette Business College, he was graduated from the Ames College of Agriculture in dairying; he was assistant state dairy commissioner for several years, but resigned that important post in 1910. Ernest B. Johnson resides in St. Paul, Minnesota. After completing his education, he took up the study of music, both vocal and instrumental, and he is considered an expert piano tuner, the best in the Twin Cities, and as a teacher of vocal and instrumental music and as a composer of popular music he has won an envied reputation. Both he and his brother are young men of exceptional ability, and, judging by their marked success in the past, the future will doubtless crown them with many additional laurels. 


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