COLBERT COUNTY, ALABAMA
BIOGRAPHIES

WILLIAM R. JOHNSTON, MD


DR. WILLIAM R. JOHNSTON was born at Tuscumbia, April 7, 1825, and is a son of Amos A. and Elizabeth R. (Ward) Johnston, natives of Bertie and Edgecombe Counties, N. C.

The senior Mr. Johnston was born in 1795. He reared a family of seven children, viz.: Martha A., deceased; William R., our subject; Lucy M. (Mrs. John L. Bunch); John Robert, steamboatman; Patrick Henry, died in his youth; Sarah E. (Mrs. William Challen), and James W., adjutant of brigade, Cheathamís Division, and was killed at Franklin, Tenn. The senior Johnston located at Tuscumbia in 1824, where he became a very prominent man. He served as magistrate, and was colonel of the militia, and was also a member of the Masonic fraternity. He died in 1852. The Johnston family came originally from England, and it is from this same family that the famous Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston is a lineal descendant.

Dr. William R. Johnstonís father being a poor man, his education was somewhat limited, and at the age of sixteen years he began work in a printing office. He began reading medicine, and graduated from the University of Louisville (old school) in 1851. He practiced medicine for eight years, then drifted into dentistry, which profession he has followed with marked success.

Dr. Johnston was the first man to raise a company for the Confederate service in Middle Tennessee, which was known as the First Tennessee Regiment. This regiment participated in the battle of Cheat Mountain under General Lee, and was later transferred to General Jacksonís command, under whom they participated in the battles of Shiloh and Perryville. After these latter battles Dr. Johnston joined Forrestís Regiment, with which he remained until the close of the war. He was on hospital duty two months prior to the surrender.

Before the war the Doctor accumulated considerable money, but when peace once more returned he found himself apparently a poor man. He immediately began the practice of his profession, and by his own perseverance and skill has again accumulated a handsome competency.

Dr. Johnston was married October 26, 1852, to Mrs. Martha Franklin, nee Houston, daughter of James B. and Rebecca (Herndon) Houston, and niece of ex-Gov. Sam Houston, of Tennessee, afterwards President of the Republic of Texas and United States Senator. The Doctor is a member of the F. & A. M. and the I. O. O. F.

[SOURCE: Northern Alabama Historical and Biographical. Illustrated. Smith and De Land, Birmingham, Ala. 1888., p. 434-5] Typed for inclusion here by Linda Ledlow.
 


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