Biography of Frank L. Johnson
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Frank L. Johnson, an influential farmer of Cornish and the owner of one of the old picturesque farms on the banks of Blow-me-down Brook, was born September 24, 1852, son of William P. Johnson. William, who was born in Cornish in November, 1815, son of Nathaniel Johnson, was educated in the town schools. He became a farmer, and has since followed that occupation. He has been essentially a home man, not caring for public life, though well fitted for it in point of energy and ability. He has been much interested in the educational affairs of the town, and has served as a member of the School Board. He was also Highway Surveyor for a time. He has been bandmaster, and for thirty years has led the choir and played in the Baptist church. He married Salome Souther, of Plainfield, who has had four children-Jane, Belle, Frank L., and Edward. Jane, born in Cornish, married Freeman Johnson, a farmer, and has had three children-Alva F., Ebenezer, and Mary. Belle resides on the old homestead with her father. Edward lives at Cornish, and is married to Anabelle Lear, daughter of William Lear, of South Cornish. Their children are: Darwin and Charles Johnson.
Frank L. Johnson’s early training was obtained in the schools of his native town. His working life began on his father’s farm, where he stayed until his twenty-fourth year. He then bought the beautiful estate along the Blow-me-down Brook that has been his home for twenty years. Only a few of the old homesteads on the banks of the Blow-me-down remain in the possession of the descendants of the original owners. The rest have been purchased by wealthy Boston or New York people for use as summer residences. At one time to own one of these estates was proof sufficient of a reputable ancestry. The buildings on Mr. Johnson’s farm are large and in an excellent condition. Besides carrying on general farming, he trades extensively in cattle. Like his father, he has been too busy a man to give much time to public affairs, although he is interested in all questions pertaining to the general welfare of the town.
On December 25, 1877, Mr. Johnson married Dora A. Chase, daughter of Lewis T. and Mary (Smith) Chase, of Plainfield. Mr. Chase, who carried on a large farming business, and was Selectman of Cornish for a number of years, died August 16, 1876. His wife died June 27, 1892. He was son of Jacob Chase, who was son of Joseph, who was son of one of the three Chases who first settled the township of Cornish. Joseph built the house now owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, hewing the timbers and making the nails needed for the purpose. Joseph, Jacob, and Lewis. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have a daughter, Marjorie May, who was born May 7, 1892.