W. F. JOHNSON is a well known farmer of Jackson County, and carries on
agricultural pursuits on section 11, Ora Township. He was born upon the farm
which is now his home on the 7th of July, 1857, and is a worthy
representative of an honored pioneer family of the county. His father,
George W. Johnson, was born in Kentucky, February 12, 1828, and when a lad
of eight summers became a resident of Perry County, Ill., where he grew to
manhood. At the age of twenty-five he removed to Jackson County, locating in
Vergennes Township, where he purchased a farm. A short time afterwards,
however, he took up his residence upon the farm which is now the home of our
subject, and there continued to live until called to his final rest,
December 27, 1890. Through much of his life he also followed carpentering in
connection with agricultural pursuits. In April, 1861, he enlisted in the
service of his country as a member of Company I, Second Illinois Infantry,
but, owing to sickness, whereby he was disabled, he received his discharge
in July of the same year. In politics he was a Democrat, and held the
offices of School Director, Road Commissioner and Justice of the Peace,
discharging the duties of the same with a promptness and fidelity that won
him high commendation.
The mother of our subject, who bore the maiden name of Nancy J. Brown, was born and reared in Ora Township. Her parents were John and Sarah A. (Milligan) Brown. Her father was a native of Virginia, and during his youth removed with his parents to Tennessee, whence he came to Perry County, Ill., in which county they were married. Mr. Brown died in 1872, and his wife passed away in Jackson County in 1885. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Johnson was celebrated in Ora Township October 19, 1854, and they became the parents of two children, the sister being Vilena, who was born October 9, 1855. She was married November 22, 1877, to Ashby Crane, and they have six children: William, Pearl, Dora, Nola, Etna and George.
Upon his father's farm W. F. Johnson spent the days of his boyhood and youth in the usual manner of farmer lads, and in the public schools he acquired a good English education. Later he engaged in teaching for two terms, and since that time has devoted his energies largely to his farming, but in connection with agricultural pursuits is also engaged in buying, selling and shipping stock. He possesses good business ability, and in his undertakings has met with a well merited success.
On the 1st of November, 1884, Mr. Johnson was united in marriage with Miss Jennie M. Easterly, a daughter of Philip Easterly, who was born near Carbondale, Jackson County, Ill. Their union has been blessed with four children: Noah born October 1, 1885; Walter, September 2, 1887; Uriah, March 28, 1889; and Edna, August 5, 1893.
In his political views Mr. Johnson is a stanch Democrat and takes an active interest in everything pertaining to the success of his party. He has served as Supervisor of his township one term, was Collector two terms, Town Clerk two terms, and is now serving his second term as Treasurer of the Highway Commissioners. By his studious habits and constant reading he has acquired an education much above the average, and is one of the best informed men of the township. His home contains a fine and well selected library. Mr. Johnson is recognized as one of the prominent citizens of the community, and it is with pleasure that we present to our readers this record of a well spent life.
Extracted 26 Mar 2020 by Norma Hass from 1894 Biographical Review of Jackson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 602-603.
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