Biography of Charles Johnson
Audubon County, IA Biographies

The respect which should always be accorded to the brave sons of the North who left home and peaceful pursuits of civil life to give their services and their lives, if need be, to preserve the integrity of the American Union, is certainly due the memory of the late Charles Johnson, to a brief review of whose life the following lines are devoted. He proved his love and loyalty to the government on the long, tiresome marches, in all kinds of situations, exposed to summer's withering sun and winter's freezing cold; on the lonely picket line a target to the unseen foe; on the tented field and in the flame and smoke of battle, Where the rattle of musketry mingled with the terrible concussion of the bursting shell, and the deep diapasons of the cannon's roar, which made up the sublime, but awful, chorus of death. Among these valiant defenders of the Union and of Old Glory, the late Charles Johnson was one

Charles Johnson, one of the pioneer settlers of Audubon county, Iowa, was born on February 11, 1823, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When a young man he removed from Philadelphia to Bucks county, Pennsylvania, where he was reared to young manhood. Subsequently he removed to Princeton, Illinois, where he worked as a farm laborer for the same man who had employed him in Pennsylvania.

The late Charles Johnson was married on April 20, 188, to Barbara Ball, and after their marriage they settled in Putnam county Illinois, where they lived until the outbreak of the Civil War. After the close of the war they moved to Macon county, Illinois, and lived there for eleven years on a rented farm. In 1875 they moved to Greene county, Iowa, and in 1882 sold their fine farm in Greene county and came to Audubon county. Here Mr. Johnson purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres. raw prairie land, wholly unbroken, for which he paid seven dollars an acre. Here he erected a small house, consisting of one room down and two rooms upstairs. He later added five rooms to this house, and this became in time a good house. Subsequently, he erected a fine barn on this farm, and the family lived on that place for twenty one years, at the expiration of which time they moved to Audubon and bought a comfortable residence. Mr. Johnson also became the owner of one hundred and twenty acres of land in Guthrie county, Iowa, and was accounted a very substantial citizen. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson began life with nothing, and during all of their early struggles, Mrs. Johnson practically supported the family from the proceeds of her poultry and the dairy. Mrs. Johnson now cultivates three lots in Audubon, and is hale and hearty despite her seventy seven years.

In 1862 the late Charles Johnson enlisted for service as a Union soldier in the Civil War, in Company C. One Hundred and Thirteenth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served eighteen months. He contracted lung fever during his service and was not able to perform strenuous war duty, part of the time being detailed to hospital duty. Charles Johnson was a Republican and served as constable while living in Illinois, discharging the duties of this office in a creditable manner. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson were lifelong members of the Presbyterian church, and Mrs. Johnson is still an active worker in this church, in whose welfare she is deeply interested. Fraternally, Mr. Johnson was a member of Allison Post, Grand Army of the Republic. He was also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and filled all the chairs in that lodge. His death occurred on December 20, 1910, and he was buried an December 22, 1910, under the auspices of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Charles Johnson's widow, Mrs. Barbara (Ball) Johnson, was born on September 9, 1837, in Belmont county, Ohio. She is a daughter of Vachel and Frances (Everett) Ball, who were natives of Virginia and Ohio, respectively. Vachel Ball was a descendant of the Ball family of Virginia, which was related to George Washington. In 1849 the family went by steamer to La Salle, Illinois, and then by train they removed to Princeton, in that state, and settled on a farm four miles west of Princeton. During the eighties Vachel Ball removed his family to Poweshiek county, Iowa, and there his death occurred at the advanced age of ninety four years.

To Charles Johnson and wife were born two sons, Charles, Jr., and Eugene M. Charles, who lives near Stuart, Iowa, married Nora Reddy. and they have five living children, Nellie, Grace, Wilbur and Willie (twins) and Gerald. Eugene M. lives at Audubon, where he is engaged in the automobile and garage business. He married Mary Snyder, to which union three children have been born, Glen, Iola and Charles Leon.

Mrs. Johnson is a member of the Woman's Relief Corps and also belongs to the Daughters of Rebekah, and takes an active interest in both these organizations.

History of Audubon County, Iowa
Its People, Industries and Instutions
H. F. Andrews, Editor
B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.
Indianapolis - 1915

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