Transcribed from History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan. Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. 2 v. front., illus., plates, ports., fold. map. 28 cm. [Vol. 2 contains biographical data. Paged continuously.] p. 999-1001 transcribed on July 19, 2001.


Anthony Johnston

ANTHONY JOHNSTON. - If a man would succeed in any line of business, in this age of competition and specialization, he must learn to do some one thing a little better than his neighbors can do it. Mr. Johnston has realized this fact, and has chosen his bread as the one thing in which he would excel. The good old days, when every family baked its own bread, have gone, but the desire for such bread as our grandmothers used to make has not gone, and it is just that demand that Mr. Johnston endeavors to supply. The tremendous sale of his bread seems to indicate that he has succeeded in producing the exact article that the people crave, and he is deserving of the reputation that he has made in Rosedale.

Anthony Johnston is a Scotchman, as he was born in that country of hills and heather in 1863. His father, John H. Johnston, a carpenter by trade, spent the greater part of his life in Scotland, and there he received his education. He established himself in a store, with an embroidery printer attached, and there he worked up a fine trade. He did not, however, confine his attentions only, or even principally, to the management of his business, for he was possessed of an intellect which demanded some more literary occupation. He was well read on all branches of literature, but in particular he was interested in religious matters, of which he had made a profound and exhaustive study. He wrote and published much religious matter, and at the time of his death he had the manuscript practically completed for a religious work, for which he had been gathering materials for several years. In 1889 Mr. Johnston came to America, where he believed he would be able to dispose of his works more readily than in the old country, and he decided to locate in Boston, the center of learning and culture. Later he came to Rosedale, and spent the last few years of his life with his son, busily engaged in the compilation of the manuscript above referred to; but unfortunately his death occurred in 1909, before the work was completed, so that the world is the loser of the product of his years of painstaking labor. As a young man Mr. Johnston, senior, married at Aberdeen in 1852, and to the union were born ten children. When Mr. Johnston came to America in 1889, his wife decided that she could not sever the ties which bound her to her native country and take root in the new world, so she remained in Scotland, where she died, surrounded by the friends of her childhood and her later years.

Anthony Johnston passed his boyhood days in his native town, where he attended the excellent schools that his country afford, and later learned the bakery trade. As a young man he had heard much of the advantages which are to be obtained in America, and he longed to cross the ocean, as some of his friends had done, and see what he could do for himself. He realized that in Scotland he would never rise higher than his surroundings and he was desirous of doing something more than gaining a livlihood, a bare existence. Moved by these considerations, mingled with the natural hungering of the young man for new experiences, he bade farewell to his family and to his country and started for the United States. He went directly to Chicago, but he did not at that time try to gain employment in the bakery business, the only trade of which he had any knowledge, but he got work in a foundry, where he learned to be an iron melter, and for three and a half years he worked as a melter. That he was able to earn money while learning the trade was a revelation to him, for in his country, as in most European countries, a young man must undergo several years apprenticeship without receiving any compensation, but he frequently must pay to learn. Mr. Johnston, however, received what to him was munificent wages, in comparison with the rate paid in Scotland, and he was very well content that he had come to America, but he did not feel that he had yet found the line of work which he would follow for the rest of his life. In 1889 he came to Kansas City, and the following year he took up his residence in Rosedale, and in the course of about twelve years he worked in a few of the packing houses here, being employed in the smoke houses. In 1901 he found that his savings during his fifteen years in America amounted to sufficient to warrant him in starting a business of his own, so he bought property at 1625 Dodd street, and on this land he built a thoroughly equipped bakery building and a residence, where he lives today. He realized that there were in Rosedale opportunities to build up a fine business in the bakery line, and he was as a matter of fact fully qualified to run such a business. During the ten years which have elapsed since he first established his store, he has had a tremendous patronage, as he turns out only the best of goods, at the lowest prices that are compatible with the excellence of the products. He makes a specialty of the Johnston Home Made Bread, which has a wide spread reputation. About the time that he opened his store his father came to Rosedale. In 1910 Mr. Johnston felt a very strong desire to visit his old home on a pleasure trip; he went back, but although he spent two months in Scotland, and certainly enjoyed seeing the sights, yet the visit was somewhat of a disappointment; things were not just as he had pictured them in his memory, and he was more than contented to return to his home in Rosedale, which as a matter of fact seemed more like home than his native town. Mr. Johnston was one of a family of ten children, but only five are living now, all in America and their names are as follows: Charles, James, William and Barbara, besides Anthony himself.

In 1888, while Mr. Johnston was living in Chicago, working in the foundry referred to above, he made the acquaintance of a family named Talbert. The head of the family, William Talbert, was of Scottish birth, where he was brought up and as a young man he married Miss Macluskie, to which union four children were born. Mr. Talbert was a stone cutter by trade, and soon after the birth of his youngest child the family moved to Scotland, where they lived until 1870. In that year he came to America and located in Chicago, where Mr. Talbert assisted in the erection of many of the large buildings in Chicago. He was in that city at the time of the great fire of 1871, and with bated breath his young friends have listened to him describe the horrors of that frightful experience. As mentioned above, however, Mr. Johnston became acquainted with this interesting family, and he was at once attracted towards the youngest daughter, Margaret - Maggie to her intimate friends. The attraction seemed to be mutual, and the friendship which grew up between the young people ripened into love, which culminated in marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Johnston became the parents of four children. Mrs. Johnston was born in England, but received her education in Scotland, so that she and her husband have had similiar training in their childhood days.

Mr. Johnston has become affiliated with three fraternal orders, the Knights and Ladies of Security, the Woodmen of the World and the Eagles. In religious sympathies he is a Protestant, and is a regular attendant at the church of Rosedale. He has never cared to mix up very much with the politics of his adopted country, although he is greatly interested in public affairs; he cares nothing for the supremacy of either political party, but when he votes he considers the fitness of the man for the office in question, and he casts his vote for the man that he considers will best fill the position. Mr. Johnston has a large circle of friends in Rosedale, who respect as much as they like him.



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