Nick Johnson

NICK JOHNSON has for nearly forty years been actively identified with business and public affairs in the County of Franklin, and is now serving as sheriff. A splendid demonstration of his efficiency and merit was given at the end of his first term as sheriff. So eminently satisfactory had been his services that when the democratic party proposed his name as a candidate for re-election, the republicans decided that he was deserving of their support also, and consequently he went into office the second time without opposition. He was also elected to the Legislature, and served as a member of the House in 1917.

Sheriff Johnson was born in Bloomington, Indiana, December 31, 1853, but has lived in Kansas since early manhood. His parents were William A. and Matilda (Whisenand) Johnson. In 1880 his parents came to Kansas, locating in the Village of Pomona, in Franklin County. His father for many years followed farming in both Franklin and Osage counties, and became well known over all that district as a buyer of horses, cattle, mules and hogs. He continued in the active prosecution of his business affairs until his death, in Osage County, on January 31, 1891. He was a member of the Christian Church, a democrat, and affiliated with the Masonic Order. His widow survived him a number of years and passed away in Ottawa in 1907. Of their family of five children three are still living.

Nick Johnson, the second in age among his parents' children, was educated in his native State of Indiana. He spent the first twenty-two years of his life with his father, and in 1878 came to Kansas. Near the Village of Pomona he was engaged in farming and was also well known as a stock dealer. From Pomona he removed to Ottawa, and in 1912 first received the support of his fellow citizens in Franklin County for the office of sheriff. He was re-elected in 1914 and is now giving a service of splendid efficiency.

Mr. Johnson is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mrs. Johnson was also a member of that faith. To their marriage were born three children, and the only one now surviving is Mrs. Irene Herley, who is employed as an official stenographer in Manhattan, Kansas. Sheriff Johnson is one of the public-spirited citizens of Ottawa and lends his support wherever possible to the betterment of both county, and city. He is an active member of the Merchants' Association of Ottawa.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed by Rebecca Calaway, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, January 28, 1999.

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Tom & Carolyn Ward
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