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Biography of David C. Johnson
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David C. Johnson in his business career had been identified with the City of Eureka and had been a factor in affairs there for over a quarter of a century. He is one of the expert men in that field in real estate and related lines of business and is manager of the Eureka Mortgage Company.
Mr. Johnson had lived in Kansas since early boyhood. He was born at Effingham, Illinois, February 20, 1860. The Johnson family became identified with Illinois when it was a territory and in fact when that place was marked off as a distinct section of Northwest Territory under the name County of Illinois. His paternal ancestors came out of England and were colonial settlers in Virginia. Mr. Johnson’s grandfather, Arthur L. Johnson, was born in Illinois in 1801. He grew up in that state, became a minister of the Methodist Church and was a contemporary of such evangelists and missionaries as Peter Cartwright. For many years he lived retired from the arduous work of his profession and died at Effingham, Illinois, in 1880. He married Miss Gammon, who was also a native of Illinois and died at Effingham.
David W. Johnson, father of David C., was born in Illinois in 1824. He grew up and married in his native state and became a physician by profession, though he afterwards exchanged the work of that calling for farming. He was a graduate of Medicine. In 1875 he brought his family to Kansas, locating at Mound City, afterwards practiced in Labette County a year, and then moved to a farm in Elk County. The rest of his career was spent as a farmer and he helped develop some of the virgin acres of Kansas. He finally removed to Oklahoma and three or four years later died at Ingalls in that state in 1902. He was a republican in politics and a leader in the affairs of the Christian Church, having been an ordained minister. He also belonged to the Masonic order. David W. Johnson married Sarah F. Mills, who was born in North Carolina in 1824 and died at Effingham, Illinois, in 1873. He had a large family of children: Levi, who died in Illinois in boyhood; J. M. Johnson, who became a carpenter by trade and died at East St. Louis, Illinois; Robert M., who was a pioneer homesteader in Kansas and died in Montgomery County in 1872; Olive M., who died in 1880, at Harrison, Arkansas, married T. M. Williams, a farmer still living in Arkansas; Mary A., whose first husband was W. H. Chezem, and who is now the wife of Mr. McKinley, a retired farmer living at Mulhall, Oklahoma; L. H. Johnson, an attorney practicing at Guthrie; David C.; and Wilbur, who died in infancy.
David C. Johnson was fifteen years of age when his father came to Kansas. Prior to that time he had attended the public schools of Effingham, Illinois, and the first sixteen years of his life he spent on his father’s farm. After leaving home he had a year of instruction in the Howard High School, and with that amount of education he began teaching school. He spent eight years in that profession in Elk and Greenwood counties.
Since 1889 Mr. Johnson had made his home at Eureka and most of his time and energy have been devoted to the mortgage loan business. As manager he had succeeded in making the Eureka Mortgage Company one of the solidest and most prosperous concerns of its kind in the state. This company owned its own building on Main Street, where Mr. Johnson had his offices. He also owned his residence at the corner of Second and Mulberry streets, and had another dwelling house in the southeast part of town.
Mr. Johnson had been one of the progressive men of affairs in Eureka for many years. He served as mayor for four years from 1909 to 1913, being the first mayor under the commission form of government. His term of office brought many marked benefits to Eureka. Largely through his efforts the paving of the streets was begun, and during his term the Carnegie library was built, electric lighting system was installed on the streets and a number of other municipal improvements might be mentioned to his credit. He also served nine years on the school board of Eureka. Mr. Johnson is a republican, is affiliated with Fidelity Lodge, Ancient free and Accepted Masons, which he served as master three terms, with Eureka Chapter No. 54, Royal Arch Masons, of which he is past high priest; with Eureka Commandery No. 45, Knights Templar, of which he is past excellent commander. He also belongs to Eureka Lodge of Odd Fellows and is past noble grand, is a member of Ossian Lodge No. 58 of Knights of Pythias.
Mr. Johnson was married at Buffalo, Kansas, in 1888 to Miss Eva White, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. L. White. Her parents are both deceased. Her father for many years was a farmer in Wilson County, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are the parents of two children: Lois M., who lives at home, is a graduate from Washburn College with the degree A. B. in the class of 1914, and is now a teacher in the Eureka High School. Roscoe E. is a sophomore in the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
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