George Johnson, one of the pioneers of northern Kansas, and a leading farmer and capitalist of Republic county, is a native of the Empire State. He was born on a farm near Dayton, N. Y., June 8, 1834, the son of Gile and Filena Salisbury Johnson. The parents were natives of Connecticut who removed to New York, where the father was engaged in farming. George Johnson attended the public schools of his native State and the academy at Herkimer, N. Y. After completing his education he helped his father on the farm and assisted in rearing the younger members of the family. The young man had heard of the opportunities of making a fortune in the West, and when only twenty-three years of age started for California. From there he went to Oregon and Washington, also up into British Columbia, a trip which took about ten years, before he returned to New York. He remained there but a short time and then came to Missouri, where he remained long enough to become accustomed to the country and then located in Republic county, Kansas, in September, 1869. He took up a homestead near Republic City, which has been in the family ever since. This land Mr. Johnson bought from a man who had filed on it with the intention of clearing it up. Few today realize the courage, perseverance and tenacity needed by the pioneers of the '60s and '70s who settled on what was practically the frontier, where they suffered from droughts, grasshoppers and Indian raids. While he was never driven from his place by Indians Mr. Johnson heard of their frequent raids near by, when they frequently terrorized the frontier settlements. He saw the immense herds of buffaloes that roamed over the plains, and the first piece of furniture he made was a chair with a buffalo-hide seat, which has been promised to the Kansas Historical Association. Buffalo was the principal meat of those days, although a few antelopes and wild turkeys were also found. Mr. Johnson passed sucessfully[sic] through the grasshopper years, although his wife returned to her people for a period. From time to time he added to his original farm, where he engaged in general farming and stock raising, a line in which he has gained well deserved success. At the present time he owns about 1,000 acres of the finest land in Republic county, one of the garden spots of Kansas. He is a stockholder in the Republic State Bank and for a time was president of that institution, but resigned to devote his entire time to agricultural pursuits. For over twelve years Mr. Johnson was justice of the peace, an office which he filled with great credit. On Nov. 19, 1881, he married Elizabeth, the daughter of Lawrence and Mary Yoar Walsh. Mr. Walsh, when a young man, enlisted in the British army and was under Wellington at the battle of Waterloo. Mrs. Johnson's grandfather, Michael Walsh, was a colonel in the British army, being stationed at Gibraltar for some time. Hre[sic] father was with the famous Scotch grenadiers, which saw gallant service in many important battles and was with Wellington at Waterloo. For a time he was collector in the counties of Leinster and Ulster, Ireland. After coming to America Mr. Walsh was connected with the coal business in New York City, but in 1864 removed to Wisconsin, where he invested his money and retired from business. Mrs. Johnson's ancestors on her mother's side of the family were of ancient and honorable stock. The old family seat was built at Mountanpole, County Meath, in the Ninth century, and has remained in the family to the present day. Mrs. Johnson was born in New York City, March 14, 1853, but was reared principally in New Brunswick, N. J., where she attended the public schools and later the Sacred Heart Convent at Newark, N. J. After she left school the family moved to Wisconsin, locating at Manitowoc county in 1864. They lived there until February, 1871, when they removed to Missouri, where Mrs. Johnson was married. The Johnsons have one childMary, the wife of W. S. Lower, the president of the Republic State Bank. Mrs. Johnson has taken a great interest in all historic matters, being one of the first to discover the location of the Pawnee Republic, where Pike raised the American flag. She donated to the State the land on which the Pike monument is erected. She is a member of the Kansas State Historical Society and has been on the board of directors for several years.Pages 356-358 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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