CHARLES M. JOHNSON, a highly respected citizen of Parsons, Kansas, came to the city in 1883, with but little means and with only his musical talents to depend on. He began giving instruction on the piano, and established a store for the sale of musical instruments, and now has one of the largest concerns of that character in the state of Kansas.
Mr. Johnson was born in Posey county, Indiana, in August, 1861, and is a son of Rev. J. Wesley and Mary (O'Neil) Johnson. His father was born in Ohio and is now about sixty-five years of age. He was a minister of the M. E. church, and moved to the St. Louis conference when Charles M. was a small boy. He is a strong Republican in politics, and was chaplain of the state senate and of the penitentiary in Missouri for many years. He is now engaged in business with his sons, who are proprietors of the "DeLacey Remedies," in St. Louis. Five children were born to Rev. Mr. Johnson and his wife, namely: Charles M.; Crary; Fletcher; Ella; and Maude. Crary, of St. Louis, is in partnership with his brother Fletcher in the drug business. They began at Joplin, Missouri, then purchased a large drug store in Kansas City, which they sold in 1896, and went to St. Louis. They have two retail stores, and are wholesale handlers of the "DeLacey Remedies," of which they are the owners. They have a force of salesmen on the road. Ella is at home in St. Louis; and Maude married a Mr. Keiffer, of St. Louis, who is interested in the manufacture of soda fountains. The mother of Charles M. was born in South Carolina, and is now about sixty years of age.
Charles M. Johnson went with his parents to Missouri when four or five years old, and attended the public schools at the different places where his father lived. He obtained all excellent musical education, which was completed in St. Louis, where he graduated at the age of eighteen years. He at once began teaching at Independence, Kansas, where he formed a class, and shortly afterward moved to Butler, Missouri. There he remained until 1883, when he came to Parsons in the month of January. He began giving lessons on the piano and continued thus for some years. In November, 1894, he established his store at its present location, No. 1802 Forrest avenue. The city was then small and business competition was keen, but his success was assured from the start, and the store took up so much of his time that he was obliged to give up teaching. He carries a complete stock of instruments of every kind, and many makes of pianos, preferring the Everett, which is his leader. His building is 125 by 25 feet in dimensions, but is not large enough to meet the requirements of his trade.
Mr. Johnson was united in marriage with Anna T. Wyatt, who was born in Jacksonville, Illinois, in 1862, and is a daughter of F. M. Wyatt; her mother is dead. Her father was in the grocery business many years, and is now living in retirement at Butler, Missouri. She is one of three children, the others being: Alice (Lindsay), whose husband is a ranch owner and stockman near Fort Scott, Kansas; and J. 0., of St. Louis, who has charge of the hardware of Crawford's large department store. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson had one son who died. Fraternally, he is a Mason and Knight Templar, being knighted at Parsons; he is a member of the Shrine at Leavenworth. He is also a member of the Elks, and the A. 0. U. W. He is a Republican in politics. Mrs. Johnson is a member of the Episcopal church, which he also attends. He has a fine residence at the corner of Eighteenth street and Corning avenue.
Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901
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