Last Updated 04 Oct 1999

16. Thomas Murrell JOHNSON, son of Martin and Sarah COMBS Johnson, was born on 9 Sep 1811 in Warren Co, Tennessee. He died about 1892 in Madison Co, Arkansas. He married Sarah MCMURRY in 1830 in Warren Co, Tennessee. Sarah MCMURRY was born on 12 Jan 1809 in Warren Co, Tennessee. A good part of what is known about Thomas was learned from his biography in Goodspeeds' History of Northwest Arkansas:

"Thomas M. JOHNSON was born in Warren County, Tenn., September 9, 1811, and is a son of Martin and Sarah (Combs) Johnson, natives of North Carolina, and afterward residents of Hawkins county, Tenn. The father was born in 1777, and died in Arkansas in February, 1851. His father had been killed by the Indians, and he was taken to Tennessee by his mother, who afterward returned to North Carolina. Martin JOHNSON was a farmer all his life, and in 1832 located in Madison County, Ark. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. The mother was born in Hawkins county, Tenn., in 1779, and died in Warren County of that State in 1829. Her husband afterward married Mrs. Polly HAWK. His first marriage was blessed in the birth of thirteen children. Their son, Thomas M., was married in his twentieth year to Sarah, a daughter of John McMURRY, who was of Irish ancestry. She was born in Warren County, Tenn., January 12, 1809, and of four children born to their union only one is now living, John, who was born July 29, 1833. Those deceased are Lucinda, the wife of C. A. SAMS; Monroe, and Annie, the wife of Maj. Elijah D. HAM. Mr. JOHNSON and family came to Madison County, Ark., in 1830, and he has become one of the successful farmers of the county, owning an excellent farm in Richland Valley. He has never been an office seeker, but at the termination of the war he was chosen county judge. During the war he was a Union man, and on that account suffered many cruelties and indignities at the hands of the Confederate soldiers and Southern sympathizers. He was taken prisoner, and in one month and four days was compelled to travel on foot 1,200 miles, and for three days and nights went without water and for seven days without bread. He subsisted on a small piece of raw beef during that time. Although suffering from a severe spell of sickness when taken prisoner, he weighed 176 pounds, and when he succeeded in making his escape he weighed far less. His son, Lieut. John JOHNSON, is also an influential citizen of the county, and made his home with his parents until 1874, when he moved to his present place of abode, and is engaged in farming and stock raising. He enlisted in the Federal service in March, 1863, and served until August 10, 1865. He was first lieutenant of Company G, First Arkansas Infantry, and was in a number of severe engagements. April 7, 1853, he was married to Rosanna, a daughter of Hugh ALLISON. She was born in Maury Co, Tenn., September 28, 1833, and was reared by an uncle, Miller KILPATRICK. Five sons and two daughters have blessed their union: Fannie (wife of J. C. CALICO), Ben F., Thomas F., Alexander M., Alfred M., Elhannon S. and Anna M. Mr. JOHNSON is a Republican, and in 1882 was candidate for county clerk, but was defeated by an independent candidate and by a small majority."

See also Glenn Gohr's Combs Genealogy

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