J. O. Johnston

J. O. JOHNSTON, one of the prominent farmers of Crawford township, operating the west half of section 8, township 33, range 24, has been a resident of the county since 1885. He was born in Monroe County, Missouri, in 1860, and is a son of John A. and Catherine (Link) Johnston.

John A. Johnston was born in what is now West Virginia, formerly included in Virginia, and removed to Missouri in young manhood with his bride. He located in Shelby County in 1881, and died there on his farm, February 7, 1901, aged 76 years. His wife died in 1862. He was a prominent farmer and a good citizen. He was a member of the Baptist Church. The subject of this sketch has two brothers and a half brother, and a sister and a half sister, viz.: William R., of Aurora, Missouri; George L., of Paris, Missouri; Mrs. Ella Wedding, of Maud, Missouri; Eva, of Maud, Missouri; and John T. of Macon, Missouri.

The subject of this sketch was reared in Missouri where he attended school and learned the practical details of farming, which he has successfully followed all his life, with the exception of two years when he was engaged in mining in Galena. In 1885 he came to Cherokee County, Kansas, and located one mile north of Columbus. He remained two years on the Householder farm, and then moved to the Scovel farm in Salamanca township. There he continued for seven years,—up to 1894,—when he spent one year on the Stanley farm. There he moved to the Cheney farm in Crawford township, and six years later to the farm belonging to George M. Fisher, which he now cultivates. Mr. Johnston is a careful, scientific agriculturist and success has invariably attended his farming operations, which have covered so many years that he may justly be considered an authority on the fertility and productiveness of Cherokee County soil.

On April 6, 1882, Mr. Johnston was married in Shelby County, Missouri, to Mollie Medley, who was born in Shelby County, December 19, 1862, and is a daughter of Ashford and Mary (Heathman) Medley, early residents of the county. Later, they removed to the Indian Territory, where Mr. Medley is still engaged in farming. His wife died in the Indian Territory, May 9, 1902, aged 62 years. Mrs. Johnston has 12 brothers and sisters, namely: John W., engaged in mercantile pursuits in the Indian Territory. Henry, who died there six years ago; Wesley and Frank, who are farmers in the Indian Territory; Evans M., who is a resident of Missouri; Ashley and Loen, who are farmers, the former, in Missouri, and the latter in the Indian Territory; Mrs. Georgia Rogers, who died in the Indian Territory, in December, 1894; Callie, who died in May, 1895; Mrs. Ava James, who died January 29, 1900; and Mrs. Jennie Burns and Mrs. Lucy Brewer, who live in the Indian Territory.

Mr. and Mrs. Johnston have seven children, viz: Alta, born in Missouri, March 24, 1884, who is the wife of John Gray, and lives in Cherokee County; Lulu, born January 20, 1886; Carrie, born June 20, 1888; Fred and Gertrude (twins), born March 6, 1891; Arthur, born October 29, 1893; and Carl, born February 5, 1901. The six last named were born in Crerokee [sic] County, and reside at home. Mrs. Johnston is a member, and the rest of the family are attendants, of the Baptist Church.

Politically, Mr. Johnston is a Democrat, and is now serving as school director of District No. 79, in Crawford township. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, and belongs to he Anti-Horse Thief Associantion.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Tina Burton, from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 4-21-97.


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