Last Updated 02 Jan 1997
15. John Clark JOHNSON, son of Martin and Sarah Combs Johnson, Sr., was born on 21 Aug 1810 in Warren Co, Tennessee. He died on 17 Jan 1855 (?) in Madison Co, Arkansas. He was married to Mary Jane DRAKE in 1828 in Warren Co, Tennessee. Mary Jane DRAKE was born about 1811 in Warren Co, Tennessee, the daughter of Jacob and Hannah ROSS Drake. She died about 1880 in Madison Co, Arkansas. Issue: (to be completed)
One primary source for the John Clark and Mary Jane DRAKE Johnson family is the Goodspeeds' biography of their son, Robert. L. JOHNSON:
"Robert L. JOHNSON, justice of the peace, and one of the leading farmers of the county, was born in Madison County February 19, 1850, and is a son of John [Clark] and Mary (DRAKE) Johnson. The father was born in Warren County, Tenn., in 1810, and by occupation was a farmer and horse trader. He was married in 1828, came to this county, driving from Tennessee in an ox-cart, and settled on the farm now owned by Mr. BEARD. He became one of the leading men of the county, a large owner of real estate, an extensive dealer in horses and mules for the Southern market, and was a member of the internal revenue committe. He died in 1850,* leaving his family in good circumstances. The mother, who was born in Warren County, Tenn., in 1811, was a daughter of Jacob DRAKE, of that county, and bore eleven children, all of whom grew to maturity. After the death of her first husband she married James PHILLIPS, a broker and real estate dealer, who died in 1874. She now lives with her daughter, Mrs. Allen WALKER, in Hindsville. Our subject received a good common-school eduction, was instructed by I. A. CLARK, and attended the academy at BERRYVILLE. He holds a first grad certificate, and has taught school to some extent. In 1871 he married Miss Mary HENDERSON, daughter of Nathaniel HENDERSON, who located in Prairie Township in 1830. Mrs. JOHNSON was born in this county, and received her education at Tesley [Wesley], Ark. Mr. JOHNSON now owns a farm on Brush Creek of 254 acres of well-improved land, upon which he has erected good frame buildings. He is a dealer in horses and mule breeder. He owns a fine jack, of Kentucky stock, which is registered as Black Mammoth. Mr. JOHNSON is an active member and deacon of the Baptist Church, and is a liberal contributor to local charities. He is a Democrat, and served as justice of the peace in 1872, 1886 and 1888. He is a man of fine physique, and when thirteen years of age weighed 180 pounds, measuring six feet and two inches in height. He served in the Confederate army, and is a member of the Masonic fraternity. Mrs. JOHNSON is also a member of the same church as her husband." (Goodspeeds History of NW AR, pp. 1099-1100)
*Note: According to their son, Robert. L. JOHNSON, John Clark JOHNSON died in 1850. However, in The JOHNSON Family, 1743-1978, Ruby Johnson Wiedeman lists the death of John Clark JOHNSON as 17 Jan 1855-1885 [sic]. If John Clark JOHNSON did in fact die on Jan 17, it was not in the year 1850 because he and his family appeared on the 1850 Madison Co, AR Census. Likewise he was probably deceased by the summer of 1860 since Mary Jane DRAKE Johnson was listed as HH in the 1860 Madison Co, AR census. The above Robert L. Johnson, born in Feb 1850 was their youngest child. His burial site is unknown to us thus far.
In addition to the Goodspeeds' biography of their son, Robert L. Johnson, we also have the biography of the grandson of John Clark and Mary DRAKE Johnson:
"John Coleman JOHNSON. Among the men who represent the mercantile interests of Madison County, Ark., is Mr. JOHNSON, who is a native of the county, and was born August 5, 1853, being a son of Jacob D. and Sarah E. (YOUNG) Johnson, who were Tennesseans. The father was killed in a skirmish on Richland Creek during the war. He became a resident of Madison County when a boy, and at the breaking out of the war enlisted in Captain Smith's company of cavalry, and served as first lieutenant part of the time. He was a Democrat and farmer. His widow afterward married E. H. SHIPLEY, who is now deceased, and is residing in Madison County. She is 58 years of age, and is a member of the Primitive Baptist Church. Five children were born to her first marriage and three to her last. John Coleman JOHNSON, who is the eldest child, made his home with her until he attained his eighteenth year. He then began depending on his own resources for a living, and spent some time at Hindsville learning photography, and afterward engaged in merchandising. In 1876 he came to Drake's Creek with a capital of $55, and since that time has been a prosperous merchant. In 1882 he formed a partnership with John Kennan. When nineteen years of age he was married to Sarah E. LEONARD, who was born in Tennessee in 1855, and by her became the father of the following family: Rosa M., Nina P., Elbert O., living, and Charles L., Thomas and Willie, deceased. Mr. JOHNSON is a notary public, and a Democrat, and is a member of the Masonic fraternity. Mrs. JOHNSON's parents, James G. and Louisa A. (HALL) Leonard, resided near Knoxville [ch: Knox Co], Tenn., and came to Arkansas when she was a child. The father died the first year of the war and the mother a few years later. Their children are Samuel T., Sarah E., Rosa F. and David Y. They were taken to rear by an aunt, who started with them to Tennessee, but the boat on which they were making their journey became imparied and sank. All were taken off the boat except Sarah E., who threw herself into the river. Her brother Samuel, who was then but nine years of age, swam a distance of over 100 feet to her rescue. He caught her by the hair and swam with her to the land. They finally reached Tennessee, where they remained until the close of the war, and then returned to Arkansas."
(To be completed)
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