A. C. Johnson

A. C. JOHNSON, who owns a fine farm of 179 acres in section 24, township 33, range 23, in Salamanca township, was born in 1836 in Monroe County, Virginia, now West Virginia, and is a son of Jacob and Sarah Jane (Morris) Johnson.

Both the Johnson and Morris families are of Scotch extraction, and both are old and honored names in several States, particularly Virginia. An uncle of Mr. Johnson, Achalas Morris, settled in Illinois and at one time was an opponent of Abraham Lincoln for a seat in the Illinois Legislature. Jacob and Sarah Jane (Morris) Johnson removed to Illinois in the fall of 1859, locating in McLean County, near Bloomington, where our subject's father became a prosperous farmer and stockman. He served with the rank of captain in the Black Hawk War. His death took place in 1879, at the age of 88 years and that of his wife, in 1866, at the age of 66 years. They reared 12 of their 14 children to maturity, and six still survive, all being residents of Illinois except the subject of this sketch, a sister living in Kansas City, and a brother; residing at Covington, Kentucky.

A. C. Johnson grew to manhood in Illinois and as his father was in comfortable circumstances, was afforded the advantage of an excellent education, including a collegiate course at the Wesleyan University at Bloomington, where he remained until within three months of graduation. In that institution he had some noted schoolmates, including Bishop Hartzell, who is now in Africa, and Ex-Governor Fifer, of Illinois. After leaving school, he was engaged in farming and stock-raising in McLean County until the fall of 1892, when he removed to Chicago and embarked in the shoe business, at one time having three stores under his control. In 1895 he came to Cherokee County and located in his present home, which was formerly the property of a Mr. Townsend. Here Mr. Johnson has spared no expense in improvements, and has made this one of the most attractive homes in the county. The residence is situated in the midst of a park of three acres, which has been improved with a well selected grove of beautiful trees, the varieties including hard maple, ash, elm, catalpa, sycamore and mulberry, while an artificial lake, well stocked with fish, is not the least ornamental feature of the landscape. The home is one suited to a man of Mr. Johnson's literary tastes and acquirements. He carries on a general line of farming, and feeds a large number of hogs, which finally find their way to the large city stockyards.

In Illinois, Mr. Johnson married Laura Elberta Sells, who was born near Columbus, Ohio, and is a daughter of Joshua S. Sells, a cousin of the Sells brothers, the well known showmen. They have three children, namely: Elmo J., who is engaged in the shoe business in Chicago and in other enterprises; Edden M., who is in the shoe business in Texas; and Clara, a young lady living at home. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have been deeply bereaved by the death of a daughter, Grace, aged 20 years, and of a son, Forda, aged 15 years. The family belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church. Politically, Mr. Johnson is identified with the Democratic party.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Carolyn Ward, instructor from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 3/11/97.


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