biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
HON S. KELLY JOHNSON, Judge of the District Court of the Sixth Judicial District, is a native of Ohio, born in Green County, Aug. 22, 1841. He is the son of Abijah and Elizabeth (Bailey) Johnson, of whon mention is made elsewhere in this volume. When thirteen years of age he removed with his parents to Indiana, and in Wabash College and Battle Ground Institute received his literary education. After completing his studies in those institutions he entered the Law Department of the Michigan University, at Ann Arbor, attending one winter. While at Ann Arbor his parents moved to Oskaloosa, where he also came in April, 1865. Shortly after his arrival here he entered the law office of J. R. Barcroft, at present a prominent attorney of Des Moines, where he pursued the study of law for a time, and then went into the office of Seevers & Williams. He subsequently attended law school at Des Moines, and in 1867 was admitted to the bar. On bis admission he went to Eddyville, where, he formed a partnership with Henry N. Clements, a fellow student of Ann Arbor, who is at present practicing law in San Francisco, Cal. Soon after going to Eddyville Judge Johnson was appointed by the Council of that place City Attorney, which office he held until his removal to Oskaloosa in 1868, where he was first associated with George W. Lafferty in the practice of his profession, and which partnership continued until his elevation to the judgeship in 1883. In 1869 he was appointed by the council, City Solicitor, and was elected at the next regular election and held the office nearly six years. In the year 1879 he was elected to the State Senate, and participated in the deliberations of the memorable Eighteenth and Nineteenth General Assemblies of Iowa, when the Constitutional Amendment prohibiting the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors as a beverage, was framed and submitted to the people. In the Nineteenth General Assembly he was Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments in the Senate. In 1882 he was nominated by the Republicans as their candidate for Judge of the District Court of the Sixth District, was elected, and in the month of January following took the oath of office, the duties of which he filled so ably and impartially that June 10, 1886, he was renominated for the same position. The Democratic and Greenback parties at their joint convention in 1886, appreciating the fine abilities of the Judge and his absolute fairness under all circumstances, paid him the high compliment of passing a resolution that no nomination should be made against him. The Judge is yet a young man, hardly in the prime of life, possesses legal ability of the highest order, is a close and analytical student, possesses a mind free from bias, and is considered by those most competent to criticise, one of the ablest District Judges of Iowa. He was married, April 27, 1871, to Miss Ann E. Gruwell, daughter of Dr. J. P. Gruwell, a native of Ohio. By this marriage there were seven children, five livingÄIrving C., Beasie, Carl, Alice and Emily; Ralph and Herbert are deceased.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy