Biography of Douglas H. Johnston

Douglas H. Johnston was born at Sculliville, Choctaw Nation, October 13, 1856. He is the son of Colonel John Johnston, Sr., a white man, who immigrated with the Six-Town Choctaws to the Indian Territory form Mississippi. Colonel Johnston acquired his title in the Seminole War, and was a cousin of General Joseph E. Johnston, of Confederate fame. He was a land speculator and a prominent lawyer of Mississippi. On coming to the territory, he was married to the widow of Isaac Moncrief, a half-breed Chickasaw lady, sister of James S. Cheedle, by whom he had four sons, viz.: William, Franklin, Douglas and Napoleon. He was a slaveholder, and, just before the war, opened a large farm on the South Canadian. After the war commenced he moved to Blue, where he died. His wife did not live long after his death. Douglas was raised by his half-brother, Tandy Walker. He attended school at Tishomingo and at Bloomfield. In 1881 he was married to Miss Nellie Bynum, daughter of Turner Bynum, and sister-in-law to Col. G. W. Harkins. She attended the Chickasaw schools, but finished her education at Sherman, Texas. In 1884 Mr. Johnston took charge of Bloomfield Seminary, to finish the unexpired contract of Judge Boyd. In 1886 his wife died of consumption, leaving one son, Llewellyn by name, but familiarly known as Ludie. Two years later he made application for the contractorship of Bloomfield Seminary. There were quite a number of applicants at the time he applied, but he was selected by the Board of Education. At that time the law required that the contracts, which were awarded for a term of five years, be confirmed by the legislature. Notwithstanding he was allied to one of the political parties, and party spirit ran high, his contract was almost unanimously confirmed, thus showing, that he commanded the respect and confidence of both political factions. In 1889 he was married to Miss Bettie Harper. By his last marriage he has a daughter. Under the skillful management of Mr. and Mrs. Johnston, Bloomfield Seminary has continually increased in interest in an educational point of view. It is one of the first schools of the nation. An excellent faculty is in charge, and the school will surely prove a great blessing to the Chickasaw people. The subject of this sketch is a straightforward, honest, free-hearted and patriotic man. He has done much for the poor of his community. Notwithstanding his liberality, he has accumulated considerable property. Besides the several thousand dollars which he gets annually from the school fund, he has a large farm on the Blue, well improved; he also has a large pasture, where hw has quite a number of horses. He has given some attention to stock culture and has a good grade of stock, some which are of fine blood. His cattle are well graded, many of which are Holstein and Durham. Mrs. D. H. Johnston, the subject of this sketch, was born near Bloomfield, Chickasaw Nation, September 1865. She was the daughter of J. R. Harper, a white man, who came to the territory from Louisburg, North Carolina, and a full-blood Chickasaw lady whose maiden name was Miss Serena Factor, and who assisted in the primary department for a while at Bloomfield when Parson Carr was contractor. Mrs. Johnston was educated principally at Bloomfield Seminary, but attended Savoy College, in Texas, one term. She began teaching in 1884, near Pennington, ten miles northwest of Tishomingo, while Col. G. W. Harkins was Superintendent of Public Instruction of the Chickasaw Nation. The following year (1885) Mr. Johnston employed her as one of the teachers at Bloomfield, where she continued to teach four years in succession. Her intellectuality, her kind disposition and beautiful countenance won for her a host of friends. In 1889 the subject of this sketch was married to Mr. Johnston. Since her marriage she has retained her position as teacher in his school, which she occupies at present. One daughter, Wahneta E., a lovely child blesses this marriage. Mrs. Johnston belongs to the house of Incona (In-co-na).


Indian Territory,

O'Beirne, Harry F. and Edward S. The Indian Territory: Its Chiefs, Legislators, and Leading Men. St. Louis. 1898.

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