LEWIS C. JOHNSON, one of the County Commissioners of Calhoun County, is a native of this part of the State, and is prominent in its public life and as one of its enterprising and prosperous farmers and stock-raisers. His agricultural interests are centered in Belleview Precinct, where he has an attractive home on section 15. He is a son of one of the pioneers of the county and was born November 24, 1853, in his father's pioneer home. His parents, James and Melinda (Arney) Johnson, were natives respectively of Illinois and Virginia. They came from Randolph County, Ill., to Calhoun County early in the '50s and settled on the farm in Belleview Precinct, which is now occupied by our subject. They were among the earliest to locate here and in the busy years that followed Mr. Johnson developed a good farm of which he was a resident until his death, January 5, 1888. His widow who is now seventy years old, makes her home with her son, our subject, and is one of the oldest pioneers living in this part of the county. She and her husband settled here in the woods, and much of his prosperity was due to her active co-operation in his work of building up a home. Mr. Johnson was a true and consistent Christian and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He favored all things which would in any way enhance the religious, social and material status of his precinct or county, and in him his community had a representative pioneer and an honorable citizen, he was twice married, but of the five children, born to him and his first wife, only one is now living, John R. who is a resident of Adams County, this State. By his second marriage with the mother of our subject he became the father of seven children, of whom Lewis is the only survivor.
Our subject was born in the humble log cabin that formed the early home of his parents, which his father subsequently replaced by the present, commodious and substantial residence, in which the son now resides. He was reared here amid the primitive scenes of pioneer life and was early set to work to assist his father in developing his farm. He thus gained a fine practical knowledge of agriculture in its various branches that has been useful to him in his after career as a farmer and stock-grower. His education was conducted in the public schools of his native county and he has since supplemented it by reading and by close observation. He is the proprietor of two hundred and seventy acres of land that is unsurpassed in point of fertility and cultivation, and is well supplied with neat and well-ordered buildings, and first class farming machinery.
Mr. Johnson has been very fortunate in his married life, as when he wedded Miss Louvadia Mc-Bride, January 1, 1881, he secured a wife who has been to him a useful helpmate and a true companion. Mrs. Johnson is also a native of Calhoun County, and she is a daughter of John McBride of Belleview Precinct. Of the children born to them only one remains, Bessie L. Henry C, Lewis E. and Arthur F. were victims of diphtheria, their parents being called upon in the short space of eleven days to give their loved ones up to that dread disease.
Mr. Johnson's career as a farmer and as a civic official has been such as to reflect credit on the citizenship of this his native county. His fellow-citizens, recognizing his practicability and the worth of his character, have called him to public life. He has served as School Director and Township School Trustee and is still an incumbent of the latter office. In the month of November, 1889, he was elected County Commissioner for a term of two years to fill a vacancy caused by the death of a former commissioner, and it is unnecessary to say that he is discharging the obligations imposed upon him in this important office with fidelity and so as to secure the best interest of his county as far as he possibly can. In politics he stands among the Democrats of the community and socially he is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Extracted 16 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 374-375
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