Transcribed by Deb Thormahlen
7 Jun 2008
Jesse Johnson (deceased) was born in troy, N.Y., April 2, 1798, and was the son of John and Sarah (Conkle) Johnson. His father was a graduate of Yale College, a soldier of the Revolution and a prominent attorney of New York. Jesse went to Loweville, Lewis Co., N.Y., while a young man, where he was married Feb. 8, 1822, to Miss Mary Webb. They had four boys and eight girls: Mary, wife of Carlos Ware, of Fulton Township. Sarah, wife of William Knight, died in December 1863. Charles J. married Mary Exley, and is an attorney of Sterling, Ill. Harriet, wife of William C. Green, the present Mayor of Fulton. John was an attorney of LeClaire, Iowa; he married Olive Abbott, and died in July, 1884, leaving a wife and seven children. Edmond L. married Mahala Wright, was a soldier of the late war and died in 1862, leaving a wife and son. Cornelia died in infancy. Cornelia P. is he wife of Richard Green, a merchant of Fulton, Ill. Henrietta, wife of Charles Davidson, a locomotive engineer of Bloomington, Ill. Anna M., widow of William Reed and a resident of Clinton, Iowa. Eliza, wife of Samuel Denison, of Port Byron, Ill. Caleb C., the youngest, is an attorney in Sterling and a Representative to the State Legislature from Whiteside County. He married Josephine Worthington.
Mr. Johnson moved from New York to Indiana in 1832, and in June, 1838, came to Fulton, Ill. He spent the summer at the village and in the fall moved to a farm about five miles distant, and was one of the very first to begin farming in the county. He remained on his farm till 1853, when he returned to the city and in company with his son-in-law, William Knight, purchased and put in operation the first steam ferry between Fulton and Lyons. He subsequently formed a partnership with Daniel Oliver in the grocery business in Fulton, but retired from business several years prior to his death, which occurred Oct. 12, 1876, at his residence in Fulton. His wife survived him till April, 1879. She was an estimable lady and highly respected. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson were members of the Baptist Church for many years.
Mr. Johnson was a Whig in early life and on the organization of the Republican party, became an earnest supporter of its policy. He never sought public office and only once served in a public capacity at Fulton, that of Road Commissioner.