Johnson, J. S.
The following data is extracted from Reminiscent History Of The Ozark Region, pub. Goodspeed Brothers, Publishers, Chicago 1894.
J. S. JOHNSON. It is always a pleasure to deal with the history of one of those grand old families that have for generations been distinguished for patriotism, genuine Christianity and strong characteristics which have made them prominent wherever they have settled. J. S. Johnson, who has been a resident of this State since 1868, and of Ozark since 1873, is descended from an old and prominent Virginia family. His grandfather Johnson was a native of the Old Dominion, and a soldier in the Revolutionary War, as were other members of this family. David Johnson, the father of our subject, was also born in Virginia and was a soldier in the War of 1812 under Gen. Harrison. He took part in the battle of Tippecanoe. All his life was spent in farming and he became fairly well off. In politics he was a Whig. He was married to Miss Frances McDaniell and subsequently emigrated to Indiana, where six children were born, our subject being one of these. By a previous marriage the father reared a family of twelve children. The father and mother of J. S. Johnson passed their last days in Indiana, the former dying in 1875, and the latter ten years later, both quite aged. J. S. Johnson first saw the light in Indiana, July 1, 1829, and his early life was spent on a farm. He secured a good education in the colleges of Indiana, and was married in that State to Miss Hannah Dean, a native of Ohio, and the daughter of William G. Dean, who was of a prominent Virginia family. Six children were born to this union, namely: William D., who died in this county in 1884; Z. A., ex-sheriff of the county; Clara J., the wife of David Wolff, of Ozark (see sketch), and three who died young. Our subject lost his first wife in 1872, and her remains were interred at Carthage, Missouri Mr. Johnson's second marriage was with the eldest daughter of Judge Samuel Boyd. Previous to his first wife's death Mr. John-son moved to Iowa, and in 1868 to Carthage, Missouri, where he resided until 1873. He then came to Ozark and was engaged in the mining business. The same year he was appointed postmaster at Chadwick, and in 1889, was appointed to the same position at Ozark, holding the same until July 17, 1893, and giving his whole attention to the office. He has ever been an ardent Republican and as a citizen and neighbor no man is more highly esteemed. He is a member of Friend Lodge No. 352, A. F. & A. M., at Ozark, and also of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Johnson held membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church. She has associated herself with her husband in church relations. At the present time Mr. Johnson is engaged in the meat business at Ozark, and is succeeding fairly well at this. During the late war he was so badly afflicted with rheumatism that he was not able to become a soldier. In the spring of 1894 he was elected mayor of the city of Ozark, being the recipient of every vote cast at said election. He is a man well posted on all the current topics of the day, a great reader, and a pleasant conversationalist. HENRY I. PURDY. In the year 1842 some eight or ten families emigrated from Vermont and settled in Jackson County, Illinois, forming what was and is known today as Vergennes Colony. Isham Purdy's family, consisting of father, mother and seven children, formed a part of this colony-three boys and four girls, Henry I., the subject of this sketch, being the oldest son. Edwin P. married and has made his home in Carbondale, Illinois, and has been extensively engaged in the lumber business for the last twenty years. Charles W. Purdy, the third son, married and settled in the old neighborhood and has resided on his pleasant and fine farm ever since the war. He enlisted at the beginning of the war and marched by the side of his eldest brother, Henry, and his sixteen-year old son, John W., making music with his fife and the father and son with their drums through many a weary and dangerous day. He was discharged as disabled in 1863, and was sent home to his family, where he resides today. The girls of the family all married prosperous farmers of the neighborhood and still reside in the vicinity of their father's old home. After buying land and making a small payment thereon the Purdy family, like all new settlers, found themselves very poor and with many obstacles to dis-courage them in their undertaking. But that true blue Yankee blood in their veins gave them determination to do or die. After living for a winter on a dirt floor they managed to build themselves a comfortable house, and shelter for their stock, from proceeds earned by the boys teaching school in neighboring districts. After this they prospered and in a few years Isham Purdy was a prominent man in his county. He retired from active farm life at sixty-four, and went to live at Duquoin, Illinois, where he resided at the time of his death in 1883. He was from early recollections a member of the Methodist Episco-pal Church and politically was for benefiting his fellowman. His boys all grew up in the Republican doctrine. The mother, Miss Roxcea Wiley, came of one of the first families, and was married to Grandfather Purdy in 1821, in their native village, Vergennes, Vt., her family being prominent in politics in the early settlement of Vermont, one brother, Clement Wiley, having served nineteen terms in the State Legislature. She lived to raise all her seven children and see them settled in homes of their own, and her grand and great-grandchildren were always welcome visitors to her. She died at their home in Dupuoin, Illinois, in 1874. Of the seven children, six taught school for their neighboring counties. After settling in their new home the subject of this sketch, Henry I. Purdy, then nineteen years old, worked for his father on his farm during the crop season, teaching school during the winter months, the proceeds of which he gave to his father. He was born in Vergennes, Vt., February 19, 1823. He was married to Jane Davis in 1846, and, like his father, he commenced life on a dirt floor and slept on a borrowed feather bed until he could buy one. He bought land on time, worked for his neighbors for the money to make his payments, and many were the moonlight nights that he put in grubbing out his farm, so that when in 1862 he was called to defend his country he left his family 240 acres of land out of debt, with plenty of stock and tools to carry it on and money in the bank, and his children can point back today and say, "Our father owed only $3 at the time of his death, and that was to his minister." To his union with Miss Davis were born three children, viz.: John Westley, who entered the army at the age of sixteen as a drummer boy and served to the end (he now lives on his farm near Makanda, Illinois); Elvira I. married R. A. Hall; Amanda E. married Henry H. Stone, and both reside at Billings, Missouri After the death of his first wife he married Polly Ann Varnum, who was a member of the Vermont Colony, resulting in the birth of George, who died in infancy; Alfred H. and Charles E., who are married and live in Billings, Missouri, and Alice M., who married David M. Owen and died in 1885. When the Civil War broke out Mr. Purdy enlisted in Company K, Seventy-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was in active service until he died in the hospital at Bowling Green, Kentucky, January 22, 1863. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, a stanch Republican, a man who took a deep interest in the welfare of his fellowman and his country. His widow married Phillip Griffin in 1865; moved to southeast Missouri, where their only child (David) lives now. Mrs. Griffin died at Clarkton, Missouri, July 15, 1872.
Source: Reminiscent History Of The Ozark Region, pub. Goodspeed Brothers, Publishers, Chicago 1894