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History of Adair
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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William Johnson.

Through his own unaided efforts William Johnson has become the owner of eight hundred and one acres of fine land and is one of the prominent residents of Orient township.  He was born in Arkansas, November 14, 1837, a son of Richard and Nancy (McMerry) Johnson, both natives of Tennessee.  His great-grandfather served with the troops from Virginia in the Revolutionary war and held the rank of major.  The family removed to Arkansas at an early day in the history of that state and there both parents of our subject passed away, the father in 1859 and the mother in 1860.  Six of the eight children born to their union survive.

William Johnson remained at home until he reached the age of twenty years and then went to Tennessee, where he remained a short time, after which he removed to Ohio.  He enlisted in Company I of the One Hundred and Fifty-fourth Regiment of the State Militia, but was later mustered into the Federal service.  He was discharged in Columbus, Ohio, and for several years worked in the Buckeye state.  In 1870 he came to Adair county, Iowa, and for three years was in the employ of J. D. Spalding.  At the end of that time he began farming on a two hundred and eighty-one tract which is still his home farm.  He set out a grove of trees which has now grown to a good size and which adds both to the value and the attractiveness of his farm.  He has specialized in raising hogs and sheep and as he understands the business thoroughly and studies the markets carefully the sale of his stock yields him a gratifying annual return.  From time to time as his resources have increased he has invested in additional land and now holds title to eight hundred and one acres.

On the 4th of December, 1873, occurred the marriage of Mr. Johnson and Miss Margaret Craig, who was born near Glasgow, Scotland.  Her parents, Alex and Jane (Dickey) Craig, located in Maryland on emigrating to America but in 1870 they removed with their family to Iowa and here both passed away.  In their family were five children.  Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have six living children:  Henry R., John A., William, Alex, Lloyd A., and Nellie, the wife of Maurice Tuttle.  One child has passed away.

Mr. Johnson is a republican and cast his first presidential ballot for Abraham Lincoln.  For years he served on the school board and as township trustee and in both capacities proved able and conscientious.  Although he began his independent career without capital he was not discouraged, as he believed that in this country industry, determination and sound judgment are rewarded by success, and his faith has been justified, as he is now one of the most extensive landowners of this county.  Mrs. Johnson belongs to the Methodist church.



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