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JOHN W. JOHNSTON

A seeming misfortune in the life of Mr. Johnston, when ill health forced him to relinquish a splendid professional practice in a most desirable location and seek a change of climate, proved to possess a recompense of no small value. The practice of law in Sacramento has brought him into prominence throughout the northern part of the state and, while enjoying the benefits accruing from restored health, he also receives gratifying returns from his practice, so "hat he has no reason to regret the apparent handicap occasioned from the removal. Since coming to Sacramento in 1899 he has built up an important clientele and during the past seven or more years he has been associated with Hon. Grove L. Johnson in professional work.

Among the thousands of Union soldiers whom Ohio furnished to protect the stars and stripes during the Civil war not the least conspicuous was Henry Johnston, a volunteer for three months at the Oldening of the Rebellion, then a reenlisted veteran for the entire remainder of the struggle. Eventually he received an honorable discharge after peace had been declared. When he had entered the army he left at home a wife and children, among the latter being John W., who was born in Pike county, Ohio, in 1857. The wife, who bore the maiden name of Louisa Slaughter, was a native of Ohio of southern family and had among her relatives a distinguished general, Slaughter, of the Confederate army. During the fall of 1865 the family removed to Missouri and settled at Kirksville, Adair county. The son, at that time a lad of eight years, received his education almost wholly in Kirksville and in 1881 he was admitted to the bar. Two years later he was elected city attorney of Kirksville and for a period of three consecutive terms he served satisfactorily in that capacity. Before the third term had expired he was elected prosecuting attorney of Adair county and for two terms he filled that office with conspicuous zeal and tireless energy.

When his long period of official service had been completed Mr. Johnston removed to Nebraska and opened an office at Omaha, where immediately he rose to professional prominence. During 1894 he was elected to represent Douglas county in the Nebraska state legislature and during his term he promoted the interests of his home city to the extent of his ability. The legislature of which he was a member elected Hon. John M. Thurston to the United States senate. The exciting and long continued campaign, however, seriously impaired the health of Mr. Johnston and developed throat troubles that did not yield to ordinary treatment. A change of climate was advised and he therefore came to California during 1896, settling at Ukiah, Mendocino county, where he engaged in the practice of law for three years, then removing to the capital city, his present headquarters.

While still making his home in Missouri Mr. Johnston married Miss Juliet M. Hollaway a native of that state and a descendant through her mother of the illustrious Lee family of Virginia. One of her cousins at present is serving his second term as a .judge of the supreme court of Montana. Mr. and Mrs. Johnston are the parents of five children. The eldest, Thomas D. Johnston, the present district attorney of Contra Costa county, represented that county in the California state legislature during the sessions of 1905-06, 1908-09 and 1912-13. Volney C, the second son, resides in Sacramento. The three youngest children are Pauline, a graduate of King's Conservatory of Music in San Jose ; Lucille, a student in a business college ; and J. Willard, who remains with his parents at the family home. No. 1010 F street. The broad and congenial fraternal relations of Mr. Johnston have included membership with the Ancient Order of Druids, the Woodmen of the World, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Masonic Order, all of which at various time have benefited by his professional knowledge, tactful spirit and unwavering adherence to the highest principles of honor. 


Source:
History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011