My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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CLARK T. JOHNSON. This name for many years was a familiar sound to the older resients of Jamestown and vicinity, among whose people Mr. Johnson moved in and out for nearly a lifetime. After an honorable and useful career he was gathered to his fathers April 22, 1888, when nearly seventy-seven years old. He was born in Highland County, this State, January 4, 1811, and was the son of James L. and Susannah (Moorman) Johnson, who were born and reared in Campbell County, Va. Both were the representatives of fine old families of English extraction and honorable antecedents.

The Johnson family was an offshoot of one to which the famous Ben. Johnson belonged. After their marriage the parents of our subject settled on a farm in their native county, where they lived a few years and then in the early part of the present century came to Ohio and began life as pioneers among the wilds of Highland County. They built up a comfortable home from the wilderness, but about 1820 left the farm and removed to Xenia. Later, after becoming old people, they were taken into the home of Clark T., our subject, and died at his residence in Jefferson Township, Greene County, when ripe in years. They were people greatly respected wherever they had lived and nearly all their lives were consistent members of the Church of Christ (Disciples).

The subject of this notice was the oldest son and second child of his parents who reared a large family of sons and daughters. He was a lad of five years when his parents settled in Highland County, this State, and removed with them to Xenia where he attended the city schools and developed into manhood. When nearly thirty-three years of age he was married, near Bowersville, to Miss Sarah Vanniman, whose parents were from New Jersey and in early life settled upon a large tract of new land in Jefferson Township where they lived until death overtook them.

Miss Sarah Vanniman obtained the best education possible at that time and in that place. She departed this life at her home in Jamestown in 1875. She was a lady of unassuming manners and a consistent member of the Church of Christ. Of this union there were born three children of whom Miss Carrie Johnson is the only survivor, who with the present Mrs. Johnson, lives in Jamestown, and is a young woman of more than ordinary intelligence, and a member of the same church to which her mother belonged.

The subject of this notice followed farming nearly all his life and during the last years of his active labor was largely interested in stock-raising. He was successful in the accumulation of this world’s goods and after his removal to Jamestown was largely instrumental in the organization of the People’s Bank in 1886 and of which he was a director and large stockholder. Prior to this he had been connected with the Farmers’ & Traders’ Bank nineteen years and was one of its main stays. Later there seemed to arise the necessity for a new bank and Mr. Johnson was looked to as one in whom the people had abundant confidence to establish it. He proved himself worthy in all respects of the trust which had been placed in him.

Politically, Mr. Johnson was a sound Republican. During the administration of President Lincoln he was a Revenue Assessor, discharging the duties of the office with great credit to himself and satisfaction to all concerned, notwithstanding the “Butternut” element sought to annoy him in every way possible and to loosen his hold upon the confidence of the people. He also served as Justice, of the Peace and Assessor of Jefferson Township, he was a man loyal to all good principles, to his country and his church, and his death was not only deeply mourned by his family and his friends, but the entire community.

After the death of his first wife Mr. Johnson was married January 2, 1879, in South Charleston, Clark County, to Miss Rebecca Hodges. This lady was born in Jamestown, in 1832, to Nathaniel and Malinda (Campbell) Hodges, who were natives respectively of Norfolk County, Va., and Maysville, Ky. On both sides of the house she sprang from noted families. Mr. Hodges was of English ancestry and the son of Mathias Hodges, likewise a native of Virginia, but whose parents were born in England. The latter emigrated to America at an early day, settling in Virginia where Mathias was reared to manhood and became owner of a large plantation in Norfolk County, this being worked by slaves. He became a prominent and wealthy man and died at a ripe old age.

Nathaniel Hodges was reared to manhood in his native county of Norfolk, Va., but even at the early age of eighteen years he contracted such a dislike of the peculiar institution, that he left his home and went to Maysville, Ky., where soon afterward he enlisted as a soldier in the War of 1812. Peace, however, was declared before he had the opportunity of engaging in active service. Soon after reaching his majority he settled in Aberdeen, Ohio, where he engaged in general merchandising and was married to Miss Melinda Campbell. His wife was born and reared in Kentucky and was the daughter of Matthew Campbell, a native of Argyleshire, Scotland. Mr. Campbell emigrated to America at an early day, settling in Maysville, Ky. He was a brother of the well-known Col. John Campbell and a clansman, if not kinsman, of Alexander Campbell, D. D.

Matthew Campbell became a prominent man in the State of Kentucky where he spent his entire life. His three sons, Evan, James and John, bore worthily the mantle of their honored father and like him had no little to do in forming the history of their native State. They were prominent both in military and civil circles and were looked upon as representative men of Maysville. Col. John Campbell, the younger, especially distinguished himself as a military man. Matthew Campbell married Miss Sarah Shelby, who was of English and French ancestry.

After their marriage Nathaniel Hodges and his wife lived in Aberdeen, Ohio, until 1829, and were also prominently known to many of the citizens of Maysville, just across the river. Nathaniel Hodges was a Mason and belonged to the Lodge in Maysville, Ky. During the year mentioned they changed their residence to Greene County, locating at Jamestown, where Mr. Hodges established an old style woolen-mill which he operated successfully for a number of years. Finally he went to the home of his daughter, Mrs. Dr. Steele, of Xenia, and died there in April, 1859. He was then in the seventy-first year of his age. Politically, he was an old line Whig, a strong anti-slavery man and a devoted member of the Church of Christ. The wife and mother died at Jamestown in April, 1845, at the age of forty-seven years. She sympathized with her husband in his political views and belonged to the same church.

Mrs. Rebecca (Hodges) Johnson was the youngest of five daughters and one son born to her parents, of whom she and her sister, Miranda, a resident of Jamestown, are the only survivors. All the children received a good education and Mrs. Johnson completed her studies at Eminence College, Ky., from which she was graduated in the class of 1860. She subsequently engaged as a teacher in her alma mater and other places, following this profession for the long period of twenty years. She is a devoted member of the Church of Christ, a very amiable and intelligent lady who has seen much of life and learned well from a large experience. Of her union with Mr. Johnson there were born no children. In collecting the names of the early and honored residents of Southern Ohio, that of Mrs. Rebecca Johnson and her stepdaughter Miss Caroline Johnson should occupy a place in the front rank.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

View additional Greene County, Ohio family biographies here: Greene County, Ohio Biographies

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