from Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa
Lewis Publishing Company of Chicago, 1887, p. 341
JOHN W. JOHNSTON
John W[esley]. 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 assistance.
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 (sic) L. BEIGHTOL, who was born in Clearfield
County, Pennsylvania, July 2, 1834, her parents, Thomas and Molly (YARGER) BEIGHOL, 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 Township.
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 workers.
NOTE: John Wesley JOHNSTON died on March 30, 1917. Lavina L. (BEIGHTOL) JOHNSTON died
May 12, 1918. They were interred at Ellston Cemetery, Ringgold County, Iowa.
Mary Ella (JOHNSTON) GOODELL was born in June of 1860, Illinois, and died in Kansas January 15, 1941.
Eliphaz (also spelled "Elipha") GOODELL was born in Ohio, January 20, 1853, the son of Abner GOODELL (1829-1890)
and Fanny (BUNKER) GOODELL (1831-1893), and
died June 18, 1909 in Kansas. Eliphaz and Mary Ella were the parents of Lloyd, born December 9, 1881, Ellston IA; Oral or Orrel F.,
born January of 1882, Ellston IA, and died June 4, 1953, spouse of Alma SKOURUP (1889-1951);
Arthur E., born April 1886, Ellston IA, died March 31, 1968, Kansas City MO, spouse of Anna Ethel (STRATTON)
(1886-1962); Bessie, born August 10, 1889, Ellston IA; Theresa B., born August of 1891, Ellston IA; and
Fred W., born November of 1893, Ellston IA., and died November 5, 1961, Kansas, spouse of Freda Leona (NICHOLS)
Mary Ella (JOHNSTON) and Eliphaz GOODELL's daughter Bessie died at the age of 2 years, 2 months and
25 days on November 5, 1891. Their son Lloyd GOODELL died at the age of
7 months and 27 days on August 6, 1882. Bessie and Lloyd were interred at Ellston Cemetery, Ringgold County, Iowa.
Cyrus D. JOHNSTON was born June 9, 1864, and died January 31, 1956. His wife Mary L. (?) was born
June 2, 1864, and died November 5, 1948. They were interred at Ellston Cemetery, Ringgold County, Iowa.
Joshua Bruner JOHNSTON was born in
Lee County, Illinois, on April 15, 1866, and died in Ringgold County, Iowa, on March 7, 1924. His wife
(LANDRETH) JOHNSTON was born January 17, 1866, Millersburg, Illinois, and died December 21, 1927. They were interred
at Ellston Cemetery, Ringgold County, Iowa.
Ellis T. JOHNSTON was born in 1867, and died in 1942, with interment at Ellston Cemetery.
Phineas F. JOHNSTON was born in 1869, and died in 1952. His wife Sadie O. (?) was born in
1877, and died in 1958. They were interred at Ellston Cemetery.
Ida JOHNSTON was born in 1871, and died in 1942, with interment at Ellston Cemetery.
Charles Wesley "Charley"
JOHNSTON was born near Ellston, Iowa, on May 20, 1874, and died March 31, 1931. Charley's wife Mabel Anna
(GARLAND) JOHNSTON was born in 1884, and died in 1948. They were interred at Ellston Cemetery.
Seth T. JOHNSTON was born in 1876, and died in 1942. His wife Nora (?) JOHNSTON was born in
1871. Seth and Nora were interred at Ellston Cemetery.
Anthony JOHNSTON, father of John W. JOHNSTON, was born in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, in 1796,
the son of Alexander and Margaret JOHNSTON. Anthony married second to Mary "Polly" ELDERKIN in 1827, John's mother.
Thomas BEIGHTOL, father of Lavina L. (BEIGHTOL) JOHNSTON, was born in Pennsylvania on August 6, 1810,
and died in Canal Township of Venango County, Pennsylvania, on February 11, 1890. Lavina's mother Molly (YARGER)
BEIGHTOL was born in Centre County, Pennsylvania in 1815, and died in Canal Township of Venango County, Pennsylvania,
in 1853. Thomas and Molly were married in Centre County, Pennsylvania on January 2, 1833. They were interred at Free Will Baptist Church Cemetery in Canal Township.
Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa, p. 341, 1887.
WPA Graves Survey
1930 Federal Census, Ringgold County, Iowa
Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2009
Biographical Sketches Pages Index: A - F,
G - L,
M - R, S - Z
To submit your Ringgold County biographies, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.