biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
SAMUEL JOHNSON, deceased, was for many years a resident of Monroe Township, Mahaska County. He was a native of Ohio, born in Muskingum County, May 5, 1824. His father, George Johnson, was a native of Maryland, and his mother, Nancy (Humphrey) Johnson, of Virginia. The State of Ohio, in his youth, was but sparsely settled, and therefore Samuel experienced all the privations incident to pioneer life, and was inured to hard work, and had literally to earn his bread "by the sweat of his brow." He was practically self educated, but attended Concord College for a time. In early life he developed a talent for music, in which he became quite proficient, and which, in after years, was the principal means by which he obtained a livelihood. In 1846 Mr. Johnson was united in marriage with Miss Frances Gillagly, a native of Ohio, born in 1829, and daughter of Henry and Mary (Grandstaff) Gillagly. Ten children were born unto them: James W., now editor of the Saturday Globe, 0skaloosa; Eleanor J., the wife of Dr. W. W. Hawk, of Mingo, Jasper Co., Iowa; Martha F., Mrs. Dr. J. W. Frank, of Kearney, Neb.; Ezra, who married Miss Lou Wells, and is living at Indianapolis, Iowa; Mary C., wife of George Frank, living near Kearney, Phelps Co., Neb.; Wilbur, who married Miss Dell Turner, and is living in Oskaloosa; Alice and Stella are at home. Two died in infancy. With the hope of bettering his fortune, Mr. Johnson moved with his family, in the spring of 1864, to Mahaska County, and purchased a small farm near Indianapolis, Monroe Township, which he cultivated, and varied his occupation by teaching vocal music and officiating as a public auctioneer. In this latter business he was quite successful, and in music he was equally proficient, often having classes occupying every night in the week, save Sunday, and extending over considerable territory in Mahaska and adjoining counties. Several of his children inherited his musical talents, and while the home circle was as yet unbroken, a quartet was formed in the family, which was a source of great pleasure, not only to themselves, but neighbors and friends who would drop into their hospitable home to enjoy a passing hour. Samuel Johnson was a sincere Christian, a zealous member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a leader in all church and social affairs in his neighborhood. The cause of education found in him a stanch friend, and he was the encourager of every enterprise tending toward the moral welfare of his community. While yet in the prime of life, death claimed this excellent man, he departing this life Feb. 6, 1877, at the age of fifty-one years. His death was sincerely mourned not alone by her who had been truly a helpmeet to him for thirty-one years, and his children who had been guided by his wise counsels, but by all who had known him and who had been cheered by the songs he had sung, and by his generous and genial disposition.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy