Dr. John M. Johnson
The success of Dr. John M. Johnson, of Denison, in the practice of medicine is a striking illustration of the progress which may be made by a young man who thoroughly prepares himself for an important calling. Seven years ago he opened an office in this city and today he is at the head of the hospital of which he was the founder and has also built up a flourishing practice.
He is a native of Seneca, Kansas, born March 17, 1874, and is a son of Albern and Clara (Hampton) Johnson, the former of whom was born in Vermont and the latter in Illinois. The father worked when a boy in the milling business in Vermont. At the age of fourteen he removed to Sycamore, Illinois, with his parents and there grew to manhood. Later the family moved to Oregon, Missouri, where he and his father started a lumber and planing mill, which was just fairly established when the Civil war broke out and he enlisted in the Union army, becoming a member of the Thirteenth Missouri Cavalry. He participated in many of the great battles, among which were Shiloh, Gettysburg and Chickamauga, and also in some of the most important movements of the war, and was slightly wounded at the battle of Shiloh. He enlisted as a private but performed his duties so ably that he was made provost marshal. He served for three years and nine months and after receiving his honorable discharge lived in various places in Kansas, his property at Oregon having been destroyed while he was absent in the army.
At Seneca, Kansas, he was married to Clara Hampton and after living in town for a few years he began farming. In 1876 he removed to York, York county, Nebraska, where he bought one hundred and sixty acres of the Burlington & Missouri Railway, upon which he resided until 1900, since which time he has lived in Omaha. There were seven children in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, four of whom are now living: John M ., the subject of this review; Lena Beatrice, now a music teacher in Omaha; Maude J., the wife of Frank Brown, of Florence, Nebraska; and Mary C., a teacher in the public schools of Omaha.
Our subject's paternal grandfather was a millwright and also ran sawmills. He was the head of a large family, among whom may be named George W., Samuel, Emma, Albern L. and Edward William.
The maternal grandfather was Jasper N. Hampton, a native of Illinois, who married Maria Irvin. He was captain of a boat on the Mississippi river which plied between Muscatine, Iowa, and New Orleans, but later he became a farmer in York county, Nebraska. His wife passed away in October, 1910, at the age of seventy-nine years, and he took up his home in Omaha. In their family were Anna, Clara C., Mary, Mildred, James and Gertrude.
John M. Johnson was reared on his father's farm in York county, Nebraska, from two years of age and attended the district schools and the York high school. Later he entered the United Brethren College at York, from which he was graduated in 1894. He then taught school for four years and in 1898 matriculated in Creighton Medical College at Omaha but later transferred his allegiance to the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from which he was graduated with the degree of M. D. in 1902. He began practicing in Omaha but in 1904 came to Denison and started a small hospital in his own home. Three years later he founded the Denison Hospital, of which he is superintendent. The hospital has from the beginning been a remarkable success and is one of the well established institutions of this city.
On the 16th of June, 1904, Dr. Johnson was united in marriage to Mrs. Lola R. Ellithorpe, widow of N. S. Ellithorpe and a daughter of Frank B. Doty. Two children have been born of this union, Mary Claire and John A. Mrs. Johnson by her former marriage was the mother of one son, Ralph C.
Professionally Dr. Johnson holds membership in the County, State and American Medical Associations and has many friends in those organizations who are in thorough sympathy with the important work which he is carrying on in Denison. Fraternally he is very active, being connected with the Odd Fellows, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Maccabees, the Woodmen of the World, the Yeomen of America and the Royal Highlanders. In religious belief he adheres to the teachings of his early years and is identified with the Catholic church. Energetic and efficient, he has won a high standing in his profession and is recognized as one of the leading practitioners of the healing art in Denison.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.