biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
W. A. JOHNSON, of Oskaloosa, was born in Washington County, Ohio, July 10, 1846, and is the son of John Johnson, whose father, William Johnson was among the first settiers of the above-named county. When he settled there the old block house at Marietta was still standing, and the Indians were scattered over the country round about. He was the father of a large family, six sons and two daughters, two of whom are living, John and James Johnson of Decatur, Washington Co., Ohio. John is the oldest settler who was born in Decatur Township, and yet resides there. He married Miss Sarah McGirr. She was born in Belmont County, Ohio, and was a member of the Society of Friends. By this union there were six sons and one daughter, namely; William Arthur, of Oskaloosa; Worthy A., now of Attica, Iowa, who enlisted in Company A, 148th Ohio, and in an engagement at City Point, Va., received a wound in the shoulder from which he never fully recoved; Henry, now of Washington County, Ohio; Mary B., wife of Marion Rummer; and Harvey S., Dudley and Jonah, all of the same county. John Johnson was in early life a Whig, but afterward a Republican, and was a man of very strong convictions, and quite positive in his utterances. In religious belief he was a Universalist, while his wife, the mother of William A., was a member of the Society of Friends. They are both living in Washington County, Ohio, The subject of this sketch was reared upon a farm, and received a liberal education. At the age of seventeen years he enlisted in Co. F, 36th Ohio Vol. Inf., and participated in the various engagements, including Harper's Ferry, Winchester and Cedar Creek. He witnessed Sheridan as he came from his famous twenty-mile ride. He was with Grant up to the time of the surrender of Gen. Lee. Mr. Johnson was taken ill with inflammatory rheumatism and sent to the hospital at Harper's Ferry, where he remained until he was discharged early in the summer of 1865. On returning home our subject remained until 1866, when he went to Gallatin County, Ill., and engaged in the hardware trade. In the fall of 1871 he came to Iowa, and located in Des Moines, where he was employed at his trade for three years. He then went to Marion County, Iowa, and worked upon a farm for two years. In 1876 he came to Oskaloosa, where he formed a partnership under the finn name of Henry Myers & Co., and engaged in the wholesale tinware trade. This partnership continued two years, when Mr. Myers withdrew, and the firm became Kendig, Pilgrim & Co. Pilgrim and Johnson subsequently retired, but Mr. Johnson remained as head salesman for Mr. Kendig for four years, and then went to Des Moines, where he was employed by Beebe & Co., in the tinware trade for two years; he was then with Comstock & Co., of Keokuk, for one year. Mr. Johnson has been engaged in getting up excursions for the Central Iowa Railroad Company for the past five years. He is a member of the G. A. R. also of Pleasant Lodge No. 128, A. F. & A. M., of Pleasantville, Marion Co., Iowa; and the Hiram Chapter No. 6, of Oskaloosa. He is also a Knight Templar of Commandery No. 6. Mr. Johnson is an indefatigable worker, and a man who pushes whatever business he may be engaged in. His friends are limited only by the circle of his acquaintance, and he enjoys the confidence and esteem of all who know him.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy