JOHNSON, one of the well-known farmers of Johnson County, owns a farm
on section 1, township 12, range 4. He a native of Pope County, born
near New Dixon Springs, November 9, 1825, to Lewis JOHNSON, who was a
native of Greene County, Tenn., his birth having occurred in 1804. The
latter was a son of Thomas, a native of North Carolina and a farmer by
occupation, and died in Tennessee at a ripe old age, leaving a family
of six children, of whom Lewis was the eldest. Our subject's
grandmother, whose maiden name was Frances HERRINGTON, died in Missouri
in 1858, aged about seventy-five years. Lewis JOHNSON was married in
Pope County in the year 1824, to Miss Tennessee WARD, of Kentucky. To
them were born five children, three sons and two daughters, of whom our
subject is the eldest, and with a brother, Thomas, is the only
surviving member of the family. The mother of these children died on
the old homestead in Pope County in 1837, while still in early
womanhood, being only about thirty years of age. The father was
afterwards married, and departed this life in Missouri May 9, 1873,
aged sixty-nine years.
James H. JOHNSON was reared on his father's farm and had few educational advantages. In his twenty-first jear he left home and was married in Massac County, Ill., to P. M. JACKSON, who was born in Henry County, Tenn., in 1826. Her parents, William H. and Rhoda (WRIGHT) JACKSON, were natives of Indiana and Tennessee, respectively. The father was a farmer by occupation and became a resident of Massac County, Ill., in 1841. He and his son James H. prepared the grounds for the court house in Metropolis, clearing away the timber and stumps. The mother died in 1846, leaving a family of five sons and five daughters, while her husband survived her many years, dying in 1868, at which time he had reached the age of seventy-two years. Of the large family of brothers and sisters, Mrs. JOHNSON and one brother, James H., are the only surviving members. He is a farmer of Massac County and in his early manhood was noted for his courage, physical strength and agility. At Metropolis he once swam the Ohio River, and, like his father before him, was a model of great physical strength.
Mr. and Mrs. JOHNSON began housekeeping in Metropolis on a very small scale, their cash capital amounting to only $1.35. They rented a house in the village, which was then a very small one, and raised a crop on rented land. Their eldest child, James H., is a minister in the Baptist Church,and a daughter, who was commonly called Alice, became the wife of Samuel W. HESTER. She was christened Sarah Elizabeth Clementine Rhoda Tennessee Catherine Alice Ann Virginia, and died in 1887, leaving two sons. Our subject and wife have the following living children: James H.,who is married and has a son and two daughters; Lewis G., a farmer of Massac County; Eli W., who is a railroad man, his residence being in Brooklyn, this State; William T., who carries on a farm near his father's residence and has a family of five sons and two daughters; and Charles F., a railroad man living at Cairo, Ill., who has a family comprising a wife and two sons. They have also buried two infant sons.
The eldest of the family, James H., was with his father in the army, both being members of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry. Our subject was,however, first a member of Company M, Light Artillery, enlisting in 1861 and serving in that regiment until August 29, 1863, when he returned and re-enlisted in March, 1865, in Company M. At the end of one year's service father and son were both honorably discharged. Mr. JOHNSON, Sr., has been an invalid for many years, much of the time being confined to his bed as a result of the privations and hardships of his service in the defense of the Union. He is one of the worthy pensioners of Uncle Sam and is patiently awaiting his last discharge and final promotion. He and his sons are true-blue Republicans, and are esteemed members of the Baptist Church.
transcribed by Nan Starjak
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