ISAAC N. JOHNSTON. Throughout all this section of Illinois, we find many families who are of Southern birth, but whose ancestors in the last generation came north to find for their children better educational advantages, and to make their home in a free State, where they would not be under the blight of slavery. Isaac B. Johnston, the father of our subject, was born in Kentucky and came to Macoupin County about the year 1835 from Madison County, this State, where he had previously resided for s short time. He settled in North Palmyra Township, where he met and married Elizabeth Berry, their wedding day being January 25, 1843. This lady, the mother of our subject, was the second wife of Isaac Johnston, his first wife being Elizabeth King, who had died in North Palmyra Township, May 2, 1842. The family home remained in North Palmyra Township until about the year 1851, when they removed to North Otter Township, and settled on section 16, where the father died April 20, 1856. The mother survived until December 31, 1887, when she was called to her heavenly home at Edgar, Neb.
The union of this worthy couple was blest by the birth of eight children, of whom our subject is the eldest, and he was born in North Palmyra township, February 5, 1844. He spent his childhood days in his native township up to the age of seven years, when his parents came to North Otter township. Here he grew to manhood upon his father's farm, which is now owned by his brother-in-law, William M. Drennan.
When our country's flag was assailed, Mr. Johnston was one of those who felt that he had a personal call to go to its defense. He thoroughly endorsed the Government in its efforts to put down the rebellion and to enforce the necessity for a union of States and gladly welcomed an opportunity of enforcing his belief upon the battlefield. He therefore enlisted August 10, 1862, in Company D., One Hundred Twenty-second Illinois Infantry and served faithfully until August 5, 1865, when he was discharged at Springfield, Ill. He took part in the engagements at Parker's Cross Roads, Tupelo, Miss., the siege and capture of Ft. Blakeley, Ala., and Nashville, Tenn., December 16 and 17, 1864. Upon the return of peace he came home to North Otter Township, and there resumed farming, in which he has been engaged from that day to this. His farm is a beautiful tract of one hundred and forty acres, richly cultivated; upon it have been placed excellent buildings and a pleasant home, a view of which appears on another page.
The marriage of Mr. Johnston to Miss Emily F. Chapman, a daughter of the late John Chapman of Tenn., occurred October 17, 1867. The mother of Mrs. Johnson, Charity C. Richards, was a Virginian by birth, and was united in marriage with Mr. Chapman in Tennessee. Thence they removed to this State in 1828, making their first home in Greene County. In March, 1830, they came to Macoupin County, and settled in North Otter Township, where they continued to live until the death of Mr. Chapman, which took place December 26, 1890. His farm was known far and wide as Chapman's Point. His bereaved widow is still living and of her large family of fourteen children, Mrs. Johnston was the twelfth. She was born in North Otter Township, December 22, 1850, and was there reared to womanhood on her father's farm.
Mr. and Mrs. Johnston are the parents of nine children whoa re named as follows: Eva, Elizabeth C., John B., Lewis I., Nathan, Jesse B., Charles F., Dan, and Archie. John and Lewis died in infancy. The most afflicting blow which has fallen upon this affectionate family was the sudden death of Charles F., who was struck by lightning June 4, 1890, while standing in the door of the barn, and was instantly killed. He was in the eleventh year of his age, a bright and promising lad, and one whose affectionate qualities had endeared him greatly to all his friends. The bereaved parents feel keenly this loss and can never cease to mourn for the dear child who was taken from them so unexpectedly. This affliction has rendered them even more than before tenderly watchful over their children and solicitous to do all for them that parents can do for their dear ones.
In the field of politics Mr. Johnston is an interested though quiet actor. He is not an office seeker but has accepted at the hands of his fellow citizens the office of School Trustee. He fully endorses the doctrines of the Democratic party and works for the success of that organization. He is a prominent member of the John Baird Post, No. 285 G.A.R. of Virden. Mrs. Johnston is an active worker in religious matters and a conscientious member of the Baptist Church. A sister of Mr. Johnston is the wife of Mr. W. M. Drennan, of whom the reader may learn more in his sketch which appears in another part of this volume.