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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



GEORGE S. JOHNSTON, who has been a resident of McLean County since the 24th of March, 1856, came to this State from Harrison County, Ohio, where he was born July 12, 1832. His parents were Andrew and Margaret (Humphreys) Johnston, who are still living, and reside in Harrison County, Ohio, having attained an advanced age. Their family consists of four sons and four daughters, of whom George S. was the eldest. The subject of this history remained under the home roof and pursued his studies in the common schools until seventeen years old. He then entered Mt. Union Seminary [ed., now Mount Union College], in Stark County, Ohio, and after completing his studies there, engaged in teaching for five years following.

After coming into Illinois he taught one year in Pike County, and then took up his residence in Bloomington, where he engaged in operating a ditching machine. He removed from Bloomington to Delavan, Ill., where he cultivated rented land for six years and then moved to Yates Township, this county, where he remained twelve years. In 1878 Mr. Johnston purchased 160 acres of land in Lawndale Township, where he has since lived. This is all improved, with a fine residence, a barn to correspond, and all the other requirements of a first-class modern agriculturist. He is engaged mostly in stock-raising and exhibits some very fine specimens of cattle and horses.

Mr. Johnston was married in his native county in the Buckeye State, March 20, 1860, to Miss Mary McFadden, also a native of Harrison County, Ohio, born in 1836. Of this union there were born three sons William, Oscar and James. Mrs. Mary Johnston departed this life in Lawndale Township, Aug. 31, 1866.

The second marriage of our subject also took place in Harrison County, Ohio, March 24, 1868, when he was united with Miss Belle Birney, a native of that State and county. The result of this marriage was eight children, of whom five are living Maggie, Rosa, Lizzie, Ada, and Rosco. Those deceased are Birney, Jane and one who died unnamed in infancy.

Mr. and Mrs. Johnston are worthy members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and politically our subject is a stanch Republican. He has held the offices of Township Assessor and Road Commissioner, and takes a genuine interest in the welfare of his community.

Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 658. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.


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