John Parker Johnson deserves to be remembered as one of the aggressive men who supplied substance and vitality to the early commercial affairs of Arkansas City. He was a banker and business man, helped promote industrial affairs, and was a citizen of the highest standing. His associates were the most prominent men of Arkansas City from the early days.
Mr. Johnson died at Arkansas City, February 18, 1903. Many of his interests have since been continued by Mrs. Lola B. Johnson, who had also been a leader among the influential women of this section of the state.
The late Mr. Johnson was born at Hill, New Hampshire, October 12, 1838. He had the virtues of the typical New Englander, grew up on a New Hampshire farm, but chose business pursuits as his vocation. He lived for some time at Franklin and Suncook, New Hampshire, where he was a merchant, and in 1880 he identified himself with the new Town of Arkansas City. Here he was in the cattle business and for ten years was an agent in the Indian service. Eventually he entered real estate business as a member of the Hill Investment Company. Other partners in that concern were H. P. Farrar and the late A. D. Prescott. This is the pioneer and old standing real estate firm of Arkansas City, and its dealings and operations have been closely entwined with the welfare of that community.
The late Mr. Johnson served for a number of years as president of the Home National Bank, and at the time of his death was president of the State Bank of Elgin. He was a democrat in politics and became a member of the Christian Church at Franklin, New Hampshire. Fraternally he was a member of Crescent Lodge No. 133, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons; Bennett Chapter No. 41, Royal Arch Masons; Arkansas City Commandery No. 30, Knights Templar; and Canal City Lodge No. 352, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His fine judgment and his capable energies brought him a substantial competence. At the time of his death he owned farms adjoining Arkansas City and at West Bolton, Kansas, and he had formerly been a partner in the Indian agency store at Pawhuska, Oklahoma.
His first wife was Cyntha Ann Gove, whom he married at Franklin, New Hampshire. She was born at Franklin, June 16, 1836, and died at Arkansas City, April 8, 1901. She was a woman of boundless sympathy and charity, had been with her husband as a counselor and assistant in all his business affairs, and her character radiated kindness and helpfulness to a large circle of people. She had no children of her own, and her thoughts and love went out to the children of others. She had been a member of the Christian Church at Franklin, New Hampshire, but after coming to Arkansas City attended the Presbyterian Church, which she helped to found and to which she devoted many years of her life.