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Biographical Sketch of Isaiah H. Johnston

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Isaiah H. Johnston, President of the Second National Bank, Charleston; was born in Russell Co., Va., April 24, 1827; his father, Abner Johnston, came to this county in 1830, and settled in what is now Pleasant Grove Tp., and lived there until his death, which occurred in 1848. Mr. Johnston followed farming until he was 27 years old, and then engaged in merchandising, and, in 1857, removed to Mattoon, and continued in business there till 1860; he was then elected Sheriff, of Coles Co., and removed to Charleston; he served as Sheriff two years, and afterward served out the unexpired term of John H. O’Hair. He afterward followed the dry goods trade one year, and during this time was engaged also in farming and dealing in stock. In 1869, he built the first pork-packing house in the city, and the same year, in company with T. A. Marshall and John W. True, he established the banking house of T. A. Marshall & Co., which was superseded by the Second National Bank two years later. In 1871, he, with John B. Hill and Thomas Stoddert, erected the Charleston Pork-Packing Houses, and he continued in the packing business until 1873, when he became President of the Second National Bank; he has served two terms as member of the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Johnson was first married Feb. 10, 1848, to Miss Harriet Jeffries, daughter of the late Thomas Jeffries, one of the early settlers of Coles Co.; she died April 14, 1853, leaving two children – Felix, now in the Second National Bank, and Emily, now wife of Charles E. Wilson, of Charleston; Mr. Johnston was married again Aug. 10, 1855, to Miss Sarah A. Gray, of this county; they have three children living – Mattie E., Bertha and Hugh.

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