With all the progressiveness and enterprise of the native Kansan, Leslie V. Johnson had made his years in this state count chiefly as a banker, and for many years had found a large opportunity to serve the public through his post as cashier of the State Bank of Randolph in Riley County.
As in the case with many successful business men and financiers, he had the atmosphere of a farm during his youth. He was born on his father’s farm in Pottawatomie County, October 8, 1872, and his earliest recollections are associated with that rural district. As a boy he went from home to the rural schools, and subsequently enjoyed the advantages of higher training, at first in the Kansas State Normal School at Emporia and later in Holton College.
His banking career began in the employ of an institution at Oldsburg, Kansas. In 1898 he transferred his connection to the State Bank of Randolph, and had been closely identified with its management ever since. In 1901 he was elected cashier, and now had the executive management of one of the strongest and best conducted banks in Riley County.
The State Bank of Randolph was organized in 1887, and is now elosing its thirtieth year of executive existence. Beginning with a capital of $10,000, that had since been increased to $25,000, and a recent bank statement in 1916 showed a surplus of $17,000. For many years the president of the bank was the late Vietor E. Johnson.
Mr. Johnson belongs to a family of Kansas pioneers. His father, Anders V. Johnson, was born and reared in Sweden, and coming to the United States when a young man he located about 1858 in Pottawatomie County, Kansas. Kansas was still a territory, and he was one of the pioneers who first tilled the soil and made crops necessary for the support of civilized man in that section of the state. He took up a homestead near Oldsburg, and in that one community had continued to live now for upwards of sixty years. Starting out as a poor man, without friends, without resources, and with a limited acquaintance with American institutions and customs, he had used diligence to unlock the door of suecess, and by industry, frugality and good management had prospered and become a prominent farmer and stock raiser. The management of his private affairs brought him also the esteem and confidence of his fellow citizens, who twice elected him treasurer of Pottawatomie County. He had held other minor offices and politically had always been a republican. He is one of the most widely known and most highly honored men of Pottawatomie County. Soon after coming to Kansas Anders V. Johnson met and married Maria Sinikins, who was a native of Ohio. She was well fitted for companionship with her husband and sharing in the hardships and labors necessary to the establishment of a home in a frontier community. She was a loving and kind mother, and her memery will always be cherished by her descendants. At her death she was survived by four children. Both she and her husband early in their married life became members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Mr. Leslie V. Johnson had devoted himself strictly to one line of business, and had neither time nor inclination for political activities. However, he is a republican voter, and is a member of the Methodist Church. In 1902 he married Miss Nora Ipsen. They have one son, Eiston.