PROF. J. M. JOHNSON. This gentleman has resided in Christian County for the past six years, and though young, he is full of energy, business qualification and thoroughly fitted for the drug business which he is now following. He is a native of Webster County, Missouri, born February 24, 1862, but was reared principally in Wright County, this State. He is a son of J. C. and Mary (Russell) Johnson and the grandson of Spencer Johnson who was a Virginian by birth but of Scotch-Irish origin. The latter was an early pioneer of Tennessee, and some of the members of this family were active in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. J. C. Johnson and his mother, who was a widow at that time, came to Missouri as early as 1832, about the time the Indians were moved westward by the Government, and settled in Wright, now Webster County, four miles from Seymour. There they resided until the breaking out of the Civil War, then moved to Arkansas. The father of our subject enlisted with Gen. Price and was with him in the Arkansas campaign and in the raid through Missouri. Previous to this he was married in Webster County to Miss Russell, and after cessation of hostilities he returned to Wright County. He participated in a number of hard-fought battles and was a fearless soldier. He and his wife are still living on the old farm in Wright County and are well respected in the community. The nine children born to them were named in the order of their births as follows: J. M., subject; Ella, Nancy, Thomas, Ophelia, William, Eliza, Jennie, and Laura. The father has always tilled the soil and is a wide-awake energetic farmer and a man well posted on all the cur-rent topics of the day.
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Prof. J. M. Johnson spent his early days on the farm near Henderson and attended the country schools. Later he attended the high school at Hartville and the normal school at Henderson, Webster County. From there he entered the Missouri State Medical College at St. Louis and graduated from the same in 1892 with a view to practice medicine, and is a registered pharmacist. When he left school he began teaching and continued this until he entered the Medical College. He taught in the public schools of Wright and Webster Counties and for five years was president of a private normal at that place. As an educator he is well known and very popular and has had considerable experience. In 1892 he began the study of medicine and also embarked in the drug trade. In the latter he is in partnership with John B. Witty, who has lived in this county for a number of years. Our subject took up his residence in Sparta in 1887 and since then has been one of the prominent business men of the place. He also owns considerable real estate and has made a success of whatever he has undertaken. He selected his wife in the person of Miss Mary C. Ruffin, daughter of Henry Ruffin an early pioneer of the county, and three children have been born to this union: Walter; Otto, died young; and Lester. Prof. Johnson is a member of the I. O. O. F. and the A. F. & A. M. of Sparta, and has held all the offices in the former organization. In politics he is with the Democratic party and was elected by that party to the office of county superintendent of schools, holding the position for two years. He has ever been interested in educational work, and he and family are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in which he is deacon.