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A Narrative History
The People of Iowa
SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THEIR CHIEF ENTERPRISES IN
EDUCATION, RELIGION, VALOR, INDUSTRY,
EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL. B., A. M.
Curator of the
Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa
THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc.
Chicago and New York
GEORGE A. JOHNSTON. Within nearly two decades of professional activity at
Creston, judicial center of Union County, Mr. Johnston has gained secure
vantage ground as one of the able and representative members of the bar of this
county, and his practice is now of substantial and important order, the while
he is valued as a loyal, liberal and public-spirited citizen.
Mr. Johnston is a scion of families that were founded in the southern part
of our national domain in the Colonial period of American history, and his
father grained pioneer prestige in Iowa. Mr. Johnston was born in Wayne County,
this state, July 1, 1877, and is a son of Andrew Duncan Johnston and Sarah
Jane (Tedford) Johnston, the former of whom was born near Madisonville,
Tennessee, and the latter in the State of Indiana. Andrew D. Johnston was a son of
Samuel Johnston, who likewise was born in the Madisonville district of
Tennessee and whose father had become the owner of one of the large and valuable
plantations in that part of Eastern Tennessee, as well as owner of a large
retinue of slaves. Samuel Johnston's wife, whose family name was Duncan, was
conscientiously opposed to slavery, and he thus was led to refuse his heritage
of slaves, other property having been given him instead, while his younger
brothers became the owners of the old home plantation. He came with his family
to Iowa in the year 1854, and here he and his wife passed the remainder of
their lives, with secure standing as sterling pioneers of the Hawkeye State.
Andrew D. Johnston came with his parents to Iowa in 1854 and the family home
was established in Louisa County, where he continued his association with
farm enterprise until the outbreak of the Civil war brought to him a higher
duty. He enlisted as a member of Company C, Eleventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry,
proceeded with this command to the front, and in his service of three years
and eight months he lived up to the full tension of conflict, through
participation in major and minor engagements. After the close of the war he removed
to Wayne County, where he became a prosperous farmer and where he and his wife
passed the remainder of their lives, secure in the high esteem of all whom
knew them. He was commander of his post of the Grand Army of the Republic and
at the time of his death, was a Republican in politics, and he and his wife
were members of the Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Johnston, as before stated,
was born in Indiana, and she was a daughter of William H. and Polly M. (Orr)
Tedford, who were born and reared in Tennessee, where their marriage occurred
and whence they later removed to Indiana, from which state they came to Iowa
as pioneers of the year 1854.
After completing his high school studies George A. Johnston, dependent
largely upon his own resources, found ways and means to follow the course of his
ambitious purpose, that of preparing himself for the legal profession. In the
law department of Drake University, Des Moines, he was graduated as a member
of the class of 1912, and his admission to the bar of his native state was
virtually coincident with his reception of the degree of Bachelor of Laws, and
his initiating the practice of his profession at Creston, which fine little
city has since continued the central stage of his law practice, extended into
the various courts of Iowa, including the Supreme Court and the Federal
courts. He has long controlled a substantial and representative general practice.
He served four years as county attorney and his political allegiance is
given to the Republican party. In addition to his home place in Creston Mr.
Johnston is the owner of a fine stock farm in Union County, the same being
devoted in large measure to the breeding and raising of Hereford cattle and Belgian
draft horses. He is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, has membership
in the Union County Bar Association and the Iowa State Bar Association, and
his wife is an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church in her home
The year 1899 recorded the marriage of Mr. Johnston to Miss Sadie Frances
Fisher, who was born and reared in Ringgold County, this state, and whose
father, S. H. Fisher, came to Iowa in 1866, from Illinois, he having become one of
the substantial farmers in Ringgold County. Neva Jane, eldest of the
children of Mr. and Mrs. Johnston, is the wife of Donald F. Henry, a farmer and
stockman near Shannon City, Union County; Paul Fisher, the elder son, is an
ensign in the United States navy and at the time this writing, in the fall of
1929, is in service in Chinese waters; Mildred is the wife of Hulan A. Shay, and
they reside at Creston, where he is assistant manager of Armour & Company;
and Elton Andrew is in service as a member of the United States Marine Corps,
with which he is at present stationed in Nicaragua.
Debbie Clough Gerischer
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