Biography of John Johnson

As a general rule, those who came to us from the rich sections of England are the very best who have wrought in the development of this country, and among this number must be mentioned the intelligent, thrifty, and sagacious gentleman, of whom we now have the pleasure of writing, who has made a success in his efforts here, demonstrating an ability that could but win as it has done, while in his career he has maintained an untarnished reputation, displaying honor of a high order and moral qualities of intrinsic worth.

Mr. Johnson was born in England, on December 26, 1850, being the son of James and Mary Johnson, natives also of the same country. When our subject had reached the age of five, he was separated from the scenes of childhood, bade well by to the loved associates and came across the ocean with his parents who settled in Kansas. How well he has succeeded in making a home in this country, the following details will manifest. For thirteen years, he traveled over the eastern states, exploring various regions and being occupied in different undertakings. Being satisfied that the western country had better things to offer than he had yet discovered in his travels, he sought to its territory and in the course of his journey he lighted on the Eagle valley and in 1877 he came thence to Wallowa County, landing here in 1878, and after due exploration and deliberation, he selected his present homestead in the Imnaha country, near the bridge, being the first settler in that section. As a true pioneer, he set to work to develop the wilds of nature and build a home. Brain and brawn were brought into requisition and vigorous effort directed by excellent judgment and sagacity assisted by keen foresight, rendered a success that is very gratifying in every respect and enviable. In addition to this property where he lived, Mr. Johnson owns a fine ranch among the buttes, which he devotes to the raising of stock, cattle and horses. He takes great interest in producing excellent stock, and he has some of the finest specimens of horses in the county and in fact they are the equal of anything in this portion of the state.

In February 1884, in Imnaha, Mr. Johnson married Miss Mary, daughter of Alexander and Jane (Findley), and a native of Oregon, and four children are the fruit of this union. Their names are as follows, Charles, Ethel, Jennie and Rowena. Mrs. Johnson’s parents were pioneers of this section, but a few years since the father sold his interest here and removed to the Willamette valley where he is making his home. Mr. Johnson affiliates with the Masons in Joseph. During the trouble with the Indians in 1878, Mr. Johnson acted as scout for General Howard’s army, serving through the entire struggle and doing some excellent work, which demonstrates both his ability and his courage, which have been serviceable for the welfare of the country in a number of instances, and to such we delight to chronicle these worthy items. Mr. Johnson is highly respected in the community and has the confidence of all, which he richly deserves.

Mrs. Johnson’s father came to Oregon in 1852, and her mother came in 1847, and she is a veteran of the Indian war of the early days in the Rogue River country. They both reside in the Willamette valley near Portland now.



An Illustrated history of Union and Wallowa Counties: with a brief outline of the early history of the state of Oregon. Western Historical Pub. Co., 1902.

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