Holt County, MO Biography

DR. J. L. JOHNSTUN has been actively identified with the business interests of Craig since his residence in Holt Co. He has been one of the leading physicians of northwest Holt Co., carries on an extensive drug business, and is largely interested in dealing in grain. He is a native of Hamilton Co., Ohio; his parents were among the earliest settlers of that state. His father, Robert JOHNSTON, was born in Kentucky and, as a boy in 1798, moved with his father to the area of what is now Cincinnati, but then was a wilderness with just a scattering of people. Robert JOHNSTON married Mary WHITE, the daughter of Captain Jacob WHITE who served in the Revolutionary War. Capt. White settled in Hamilton Co., Ohio in 1793 and was one of the first two or three persons to locate outside Old Fort Washington, when there were only four houses where now stands the city of Cincinnati. Capt. Jacob White built the mill from which was shipped the first load of flour that ever passed down the Ohio River from the Ohio Terr. to New Orleans. This cargo of flour, shipped in 1800, was the commencement of the large trade that has since existed between New Orleans and Cincinnati.

Dr. J. L. JOHNSTON was born May 18, 1818 and raised in Hamilton Co., Ohio. He received part of his education in the schools of Cincinnati and later attended college at Oxford, Ohio. He started his study of medicine in 1841 with Dr. Alexander Duncan of Madison, near Cincinnati, and afterward attended medical lectures at the college at Cleveland, Ohio from which he graduated in 1844. In 1844, he moved to Daviess Co., Indiana and the following year started to practice medicine, in which he was engaged at that place until 1856. He then returned to Cincinnati and practiced medicine until the Civil War broke out. During the war he was variously employed. In 1863, he was engaged in trading in Tenn., was captured by Confederate forces, held prisoner 6 months, and escaped in Nov., 1863. He then returned to Cincinnati and remained there until 1867 when he moved to Mo.

He first located at St. Joseph, moved to Atchison Co. in 1868, then to Holt Co. in April, 1870 to make his present residence at Craig. He has been an ardent and successful practitioner of medicine in the area, not always an easy or pleasant job in the rural area. He now feels inclined to retire from the medical profession to devote full attention to other business matters. He is connected with the business concerns of Craig, has been influential in developing growth of the trade of that town, and is a member of the firm JOHNSTUN & MYERS. The firm has an extensive drug business in Craig, probably the largest of that trade in the county. The firm also does a heavy grain business, having the only grain elevator in the county.

Dr. JOHNSTUN has always been a strong and outspoken Democrat and as he advances in years, he is yet more strongly convinced the principles of the Democratic party form the only sound basis for carrying on a successful form of representative government. Dr. JOHNSTUN married Mrs. Mattie BOWEN of Ohio in 1865.


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