Ringgold County Biographical Sketches
Biographical and Historical Record of Ringgold and Decatur Counties, Iowa
Lewis Publishing Company, 1887. p. 341.
JOHN W. JOHNSTON
"John W. JOHNSTON, one of Union Township's leading agriculturists, residing on section 18, has
been a resident of Ringgold County since the spring of 1870, living on rented land in Monroe Township
the first two years after coming here. He had visited Ringgold County in the fall of 1869, when he
purchased eighty acres of land, a part of his present farm. While living in Monroe Township he also
improved his land on section 18, Union Township, and that year cultivated fifty acres without any
Mr. Johnston is a native of Venango County, Pennsylvania, born February 9, 1834, his
parents, Anthony Y. and Polly (Elderkin) Johnston, being natives of Pennsylvania and Vermont
respectively. Both of his parents are deceased, the father's death occurring in 1855, and the mother
dying in the year 1880.
Mr. Johnston was married in his native county, October 14, 1858, to Miss
Lovina L. Beightol, who was born in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, July 2, 1834, her parents,
Thomas and Molly (Yarger) Beightol, having been born in the same State. Her father is still living
in Pennsylvania. Her mother is deceased, her death taking place in 1853.
Mr. and Mrs. Johnston are
the parents of nine children, all but the eldest daughter living at home. Their names, given in order of their birth, are - Mary Ella, wife of Eliphaz Goodell, living near Mr. Johnston's; Ada May, engaged in teaching, which she has followed seven
terms, boarding at home; Cyrus D., Joshua B., Ellis I., Phineas F., Edith C., Charles W. and Seth T.
The year following his marriage Mr. Johnston removed to Mercer County, Illinois, and from there moved
to Lee County, in the spring of 1866, where he remained till coming to Ringgold County, in 1870. Mr.
Johnston was reared to agriculture, which he has always followed, and owing to his industry and good
management he has been very prosperous through life. He brought with him to Ringgold County a small
capital, having about $600 left after paying for his first eighty acres. His home farm now contains
360 acres of choice land, all under improvement, besides which he owns an eighty-acres farm in Liberty
Both Mr. and Mrs. Johnston are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Johnston is
a member of the Masonic fraternity. In school matters he has always taken a deep interest, and in all
enterprises for the public welfare or the advancement of his township he is one of the most active
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