Last Updated 02 Jan 1997


6. James Martin JOHNSON , son of William and Tisha Combs Johnson, was born on 25 Dec 1806 in Georgia. He died on 11 Nov 1868 in Madison Co, Arkansas. He was buried in Madison Co, Arkansas. He was a Farmer in Madison Co, Arkansas. He was married to Elizabeth DUNIGAN before 1830, possibly in Warren Co, Tennessee. Elizabeth DUNIGAN may have been the daughter of Absalom DUNAGAN [DUNIGAN], born 1770-1780, who resided in Warren Co, Tennessee in 1830. James Martin JOHNSON divorced Elizabeth DUNIGAN before 1835. Elizabeth DUNIGAN was born about 1813 in Warren Co, Tennessee. She later remarried to another unidentified JOHNSON. She died in 1853 in Washington Co, Arkansas. Issue: Col. James M. JOHNSON.

He married next to Miriam WORTHINGTON before 1834 in Benton Co, Arkansas. Miriam WORTHINGTON was born on 17 Apr 1816 in Warren Co, Tennessee. She died on 5 Apr 1879 in Madison Co, Arkansas. She was buried in Madison Co, Arkansas. Issue: William H(ouston?), Alexander M(urray?), Robert S., Francis M(arion?), Britton C. and Louisa JOHNSON.

A good deal of what we know about James M. Johnson was learned from the biographies of two of his sons in Goodspeeds' History of Northwest Arkansas:

"Col. James M. JOHNSON. Prominent among the most respected and enterprising citizens of the county stands the name of Col. James M. JOHNSON, whose birth occurred in Warren County, Tenn., December 8, 1832. He is the son of James M. and Elizabeth (DUNIGAN) Johnson, grandson of William JOHNSON and great-grandson of James JOHNSON, who was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and he was killed by the Tories while on a furlough. Evidence goes to show that he was a commissioned officer of some note. William JOHNSON was a soldier in the War of 1812, was under Gen. JACKSON, and participated in most of the principle battles. James M. JOHNSON, Sr., was a successful farmer, which occupation he followed all his life, and was a soldier in the late Civil War. He lived in Warren County, Tenn., until 1836, when he moved to Madison County, Ark., and there died in 1869, at the age of sixty years. The mother was about forty years of age at the time of her death, which occurred in Washington County, Ark., in the year 1853. Their son, James M. JOHNSON, Jr., received a good education in the Arkansas College at Fayetteville, and at the Ozark Institute. In 1850 he married Miss Elizabeth JOHNSON, a daughter of James JOHNSON, and a native of Warren County, Tenn., born in 1833. She died in Madison County, Ark., August 24, 1884, and had been a member of the Protestant Methodist Church from early girlhood. To Col. and Mrs. JOHNSON were born a large family of children, six now living: Albert P., a graduate of Fayette University, also Ann Arbor Law School, and is now a successful lawyer of Winfield, Kas.; Thomas M., a graduate of Lafayette University and Columbia Law School at Washington, having graduated with honors from both institutions; James F., now a resident of LaGrange, Oreg.; T. L., at Fort Smith, Ark., engaged in merchandising; Kate, wife of William LUCAS, and W. T., who is at home. Col. JOHNSON followed farming until 1855, when he began to read medicine at Fayetteville, Ark. In 1857 and 1858 he attended the St. Louis Medical College, and in the last mentioned year began the practice of his profession at Huntsville, Ark., where he continued until April, 1862. He then went, in the company of Isaac MURPHY (who was afterward governor of the State of Arkansas by the suggestion of the subject of this sketch), to Curtis' army, where he was detailed mail agent on the Mississippi River, and afterward joined Gen. SCOFIELD's's army at Springfield, Mo. In the spring of 1863 he was authorized to raise troops, and raised all the Union troops furnished by the State except Col. HARRISON's and LYON's regiments. He took command of the First Arkansas Infantry, and served with credit until the close of the war. At that time he was brevet[ed] brigadier-general, and commanded the third division of the first brigade. While in service he participated in the battle of Cotton Plant, was at the massacre of Fort Pillow, and was in numerous other engagements. During the war his family moved to Illinois, and settled in Madison County of that State. In 1866 they returned to Arkansas, where they have since resided. In 1864 Col. JOHNSON was elected to Congress from the Third District, and re-elected in 1866, but never took his seat. In 1867 he was elected lieutenant-governor of the State of Arkansas, and served two years. In 1869 he was appointed by Gov. CLAYTON secretary of State, to fill an unexpired term, and was appointed to the same position in 1870, serving in all about five years. Since then he has been out of politics. The Fayetteville State University owes its origin and location to Col. JOHNSON, who was one of the board of trustees of that college for several years. He is a member of the Masonic Fraternity, and is a Republican in his political views."

"Maj. Francis M. JOHNSON, a prominent citizen and native of Madison County Ark., was born on the 13th of February, 1842, and is a son of James M. and Miriam (WORTHINGTON) Johnson. The former was born in Georgia December 25, 1806, and the latter in Warren County, Tenn., April 17, 1816, and they died in Madison County, Ark., November 11, 1868, and April 5, 1879, respectively. They became early residents of Tennessee, and were worshipers in the Christian Church. He was a Republican in his political views and in 1862 joined the Union forces, but was discharged in the fall of 1864, on account of disability. He was the father of six sons and one daughter, the sons being soldiers in the federal army, and four of his sons and the daughter are now living. J. M., F. M., W. H., A. M., and Louisa, the wife of Frank M. LOLLAR. One son, R. S., was a private in the Sixteenth Kansas Cavalry, and died in 1864 in the Black Hills country, in Dakota Teritory. Another son, B. C., was a private in Company F, Fourteenth Kansas Cavalry, and died September 4, 1867. James Means was breveted brigadier-general in 1865. Maj. Francis M. JOHNSON received a liberal education at Huntsville, Ark., and March 3, 1862, he attached himself to the Third Illinois Cavalry, but was detailed by Gen. S. R. CURTIS of Iowa, to the secret service, and served in that capacity one year. He was taken prisoner July 4, 1862, court-martialed and sentenced to be shot, but the authorities at Richmond, considering it unwise in this instance, and injurious to the cause of rebellion, to proceed with the execution, issued orders delaying the enforcement of the sentence, and before long Mr. JOHNSON made his escape by swimming the Arkansas River. In 1863 he was promoted to first lieutenant of Company B, First Arkansas Infantry, and was soon commissioned by Gov. MURPHY as captain, and May 10, 1864, was commissioned major. He was in many hotly contested battles and in numerous skirmishes. After the close of the war he married to Mary A., a daughter of John C. CALICO, who is an old settler, and was at one time treasurer of Madison County. Mrs. JOHNSON was born in Madison County April 29, 1852, and seven daughters and one son have blessed their union: Lydia B., Fannie E., Miriam, Lulu, Cora, Frankie, William L. and Gracie. Mr. JOHNSON is a Mason and a member of the G. A. R., and is highly esteemed by all who know him as an honorable and upright citizen."

(To be continued)

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