BEGINING OF JOHNSONS IN AL
BY CHARLES HERBERT JOHNSON 1957
EDITED BY GUY JOHNSON
by Charles Herbert JOHNSON, 1957
There are many JOHNSONS, not many of them are kin to us. My great-grand father, Washington Johnson who was the patriarch of the tribe, came from Carolina A. D. 1819. The JOHNSONS settled at O'Sparta ten miles south of Evergreen, Alabama
They had a long tiresome trip, some more than four hundred miles through lands uncleared and for the most part without roads or bridges over the streams. But being of the type people they were they went on, they were going to Alabama. Alabama was admitted as a state, and became a part of the United States that year. They were all happy to get here, and though tired and worn, they stopped at this little place and all agreed, "Here we rest." For the most part the JOHNSONS have remained in Alabama to this good year of A. D. 1957.
My purpose in writing this record of the JOHNSONS is that we who are living and the ones who come on later will know who we are and from whence we came. We have not been the greatest people in Alabama, and we sure have not been the worst.
Our people have been, and are now, good livers and owned our homes and farms, and, for the most part we have been farmers. But none of us have been rich. In all my knowledge of the several families, none have been mentally afflicted; none went to jail or court as a criminal. But we have been law-abiding, church-going, Christian people.
I will say more about my own immediate family. My grandfather Washington JOHNSON Jr was born in South Carolina A.D. 1811. He was 8 years old when they came to Alabama A.D. 1819. The land office, that is, where pioneers could come and apply for homestead land. They homesteaded 160 acres between Owassa1 and Evergreen, Alabama. Washington JOHNSON Sr, my great grandfather, patriarch of the tribe, lived there with his family. His children were all sons Westley, William and Washington, Jr.
Westley, when many others from these parts were going to Texas, also went to Texas. We know nothing of him now. William settled some 7 or 8 miles west of "Homestead" and in that community owned a farm and raised a family of boys. His sons were Smith Jim, John, and George. I knebut I did not know the third generation.
Washington, Jr. was my grandfather and remained on the old "Homestead." He married Susan YATES who was a sister of John YATES of Owassa, Alabama. I can remember seeing Uncle John YATES many times.6
Born to Washington JOHNSON, Jr. and Susan YATES were six children: Jefferson, George, William (my father), Westley, Eliza, and Rebekah. Jefferson married a sister of Henry SHELL and had no children. George died in the Civil War. Westley married Laura CANDY and had several children. I can remember Mitty and Johnny. Eliza had one son, Douglas. Rebekah had a daughter, Susan, and a son, Billy. Each of these three: Douglas, Billy,and Susan married in or near Old Homestead and raised nice families who went to school and church in this community being respected by all people.
William, my father, was married to Mary Ann McGRAW, my mother, Feb. 5, 1882 at McGraw Hill three miles east of Evergreen--now on Road 31. Soon after this, he homesteaded 160 acres of land 7 miles south-east of Evergreen. This was 2 1/2 miles east of Old Beulah Church, the first organized Baptist Church in Conecuh County.
They, my father and mother, having this fine land and thousands of the finest timber in the world settled down, built a home of the same timber on the ground and all their children were born on this frontier. He had many cows, hogs, sheep, and goats in the woods and on the land he cleared and cultivated. Of this they had a good living for the times.
To them was born five children, the first two were boys, born dead, then Charles Herbert (myself), Elizabeth Susan (Sister), and Mary Alice (The Baby).
In December 1895, my father traded for "McGraw Hill" and much of the land connected with it. We moved to "McGraw Hill" December 9, 1895. My father sold the timber and livestock and land of the homestead and by this was able to buy at "McGraw Hill". My sisters and I went to school at Evergreen, a long muddy road to walk, but being of that hardy stock of which we were. we made it. We were growing up fast and were soon married off and gone,my sisters were, I remained and was last to marry.
Elizabeth married 1909 to Walter BROOKS She bore four children: Elvin (died when one year old), Alvin born October 1912, Vera 1916, Myra 1918 (all were born on McGraw Hill) Alvin married a girl in Pennsylvania where he now lives. Vera married Leslie THOMkINS and lives in Montgomery, Alabama. Myra married Lehman SPENCE--a Pentecostal Holiness preacher.They have two children.
Alice married Nat REYMUNDO May 19097 and to them was born eight children:
Lizzy, Earl, Pearl, Leon, Bill, Alice Mae, Preston, and Irma. Three of
these boys, Leon, Bill, and Preston, were all in World War II and came
Leon was paralyzed in service, a total invalid. The government gave him $66.15 per month for several years. In 1956. I began to see what could be done. I engaged Senator Lister HILL and furnished him with affidavits from business men of Evergreen concerning Leon. This, HILL presented to the Veterans Administration and I was able to get for him $135.00 per month. They are now able to live very well and have added to their (he and his mother) little house many conveniences.
My mother died December 29, 1910 and my father and I were left in our old home. After a while, my father married Miss Ina TANNER and lived at her home near Bowles, Alabama 12 miles north of Evergreen, Alabama. I was left at McGraw Hill after Pa and Miss Ina married and moved to her home.
My mother was one of the best women in the world and because of her prayers and encouragement to me I was influenced for God and brought to the fold of Christ. Because of the death of my mother and Bessie's little sister, Edna, about the same time we (Bessie and I) were not married at the date set: December 28, 1910.
I was married to Bessie ODOM March 9, 1911. Bessie was the daughter of Aaron and Roxie ODOM. Roxie was the daughter of Rev. Joe G. JOHNSON one time presiding elder of the Methodist Church, all fine people. Clyde was born September 6, 1912. Bessie died December 4, 1912. I was ruined and sick, lost my health. Mrs. Roxie ODOM kept me and my baby and was good to us. In 1914 I lived with Pa and Miss Ina but in December 1914 I gave up farming and bought a shoe shop in Evergreen, Alabama. From that time to now I have been a shoemaker and owned shops in Evergreen, Enterprise, Dothan, and Andalusia and lived in these places.
The Lord was good to me and I had regained my health. In 1915 I went to Camp-Meeting at Dothan, Alabama and met Sadie LAMMON. We were married March 14, 1916 at Hartford, Alabama where she lived with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. O. B. LAMMON, who were descendants of pioneer people who came from South Carolina to Alabama as some of the first settlers. The LAMMONS were sawmill men in the early days, and took to automobiles and were the first Ford dealers in Geneva County. They also had the Standard Oil Agency at one time. At one time they owned a great part of the land where Hartford, Alabama now is and gave land for the Church (Assembly of God).
It was a great blessing appointed of God, for Sadie to come to live with Clyde and me. Sadie and Clyde were very fond of each other. We had four other children: William Edward, Mary O'Keith, Rachel, and Charles. The Lord was very good to us and we were able to get all of them through High School with the exception of Mary who died at age 6. Clyde finished H.S. in Dothan, Alabama in 1930. After this he wanted to teach. Mrs. Roxie, Clyde's grandmother, had died and in a division of the property and money from the Aaron ODOM estate Clyde was able to enter Teachers College of Troy, Alabama. He also at tended the University of Alabama for a short while. After teaching several years in the schools of Covington County, Alabama, he sold his home at Straughn, where he taught, and entered Peabody college of Nashville, Tenn. where he finished the Masters and Doctors degrees He has now taught several years at North Carolina State College. He has visited us back home nearly every year since being inRaleigh. Clyde married Agnes WISHAM of Andalusia, a fine young school teacher. She has been a good wife and mother and we all love Agnes. They have two boys: Joseph Herbert and Thomas Wisham.
Billy, after finishing school, worked several years for Singer Sewing Machine Co. Then he went to the navy for World War II. When the war was over, and it was long and hard for him, he went back to Singer as manager of sales shops in Anniston, Pensacola, and Birmingham.
In 1943 Billy married Marjorie DAUGHTRY of Andalusia, one of the best Christian girls we ever knew. They live now in Andalusia and are very happy in their own home with two daughters: Mary Ann and Sharron. Billy has been a very successful insurance salesman now for several years.
Rachel, after she had finished H. S. in Andalusia, worked for some time for Alabama Textile Co, here and had saved some money. She then, in 1942, went to Central Bible Institute of Springfield, Missouri and finished with special honors in 1945. After this she went with mother in several evangelistic campaigns as pianist and music director. Rachel is accomplished in music and has taught instrumental music and voice.
In 1948 Rachel married Kyle RIGBY who is of an outstanding family of
Bratt, Florida. Kyle is a good man and a good provider. He now has a position
as auditor for the San Carlos hotel of Pensacola, Florida. They have a
nice home at 23 N. K Street in Pensacola Rachel and Kyle have two girls:
Ruth and Rebekah.
Charles, our youngest, after finishing H. S. in Andalusia in 1942 also had to do military service during World War II. By government appointment he was trained as an engineer for the Merchant Marine Service. He carried on in this capacity through the war and then for several years after, and made many ports throughout the world. Coming home in 1954 Charles had a place with the R.E.A. steam plant at Gantt, Alabama, and from this to the Escambia Bay Chemical Co. of Pensacola. Now Charles has aresponsible place as an electrical engineer in Baton Route, LA.
Charles was married to Hilda EVERAGE of Andalusia, who has a son, Larry, of a former marriage. He is a fine well-behaved boy.We all love Larry and his mother, Hilda.
Mary Keith died October 1924 when she was six and had just started to school. It was a terrible shock to us and we have never gotten over it, but we do feel that God knew best.
Now, I will write of the McGRAWS as I know them.
I do not know the first name of my great grandfather McGRAW, but he
came from South Carolina, the city of Camden, about the year of 1830 and
settled in Wilcox County, Ala. Now I only know of three of his sons: William,
Lewis Douglas, and Henry. William settled in Dallas County, Alabama and
there many McGRAWS from his families. We do not know so much of them. Henry
remained on the old McGRAWhomestead in Wilcox County. Henry had several
children. I can remember seeing Will and Charlie and two of Henry's grand
daughters: Evie and Bea.
Lewis Douglas was my grandfather. He was a school teacher, and when he was teaching in Escambia County, Alabama, he met and married Elizabeth MURPHY. To them was born eleven children: Amanda, Ben, Tom, Mary Ann, John, Martha, Sherman, Douglas, Dorcas, Frank, and Alice.
Amanda,[ Aunt Mandy,] married (4 Sept 1872 Conecuh Co, AL, by Rev. Ingram
SPENCE) Rev. Daniel SPENCE, a Baptist preacher and to them was born five
sons: Timothy, L.D., Elijah, Judson, and Jodie. The Rev. SPENCE died in
1882 just before Jodie was born. Timothy married Florence KELLEY. L. D.
married Elizabeth TILL. Elijah married Imojean MILLER then Lorena EVERETT.
Judson died about twenty never married. Jodie married Lilly PYNES. Herman
and D. J. are sons of Jodie and Lilly. Ben, oldest son of L. D. McGRAW
married Cenobia BUSH.. Their children were Jodie, Mollie, Tom, Bill, Rufe
and others. They lived in Birmingham and Gadsden, AL8.
Uncle Tom married Nancy BRANCH. Their children were Challe, Lee, Elizabeth, John, Curtis, and Alma. Mary Ann, my mother, married W. S. JOHNSON, my father. Their children were: Herbert, Elizabeth, and Alice.
John married Isabella JONES. Their children Were: Ellen, Belie, Simeon, Annie Dorcas, Johnny and Augustus.
Martha married Travis SMITH. Their children were Walter, Martha, Mollie, Cade, Hezzie, Thomas, Dovie, Myrtle, and Gus.
Uncle Sherman married Elizabeth DANTZLER. Their children were Ruby, Elmer, Bessie, Alva, and others.
Uncle Doug married Ada HARDEN. Their children were: Nora,Earnest, Curtis, Lucile, Frank and Grace.
Aunt Dorcas married Oscar RUFF and had no children.
Uncle Frank married Annie CENTERFIET. They had two boys: Jewel and Maxey.
Now, all the old JOHNSONS, my father's brothers and sisters are dead.
And all the old McGRAWS, my mother's brothers and sisters are dead
This has been written by myself, Charles Herbert JOHNSON, as well as I can remember and will never be corrected or amended. But I would be glad if any of my children will add to this anything that pertains to their respective families, and also I would like to request that this be reproduced in five copies: one to Clyde, one to Billy, one to Rachel, one to Charles, and one to myself; and that each make eeffort possible to preserve this for future generations ;Now I pray the lord, in His Goodness and Mercy will save and keep us in His will and bring us safely to Himself in His Kingdom above.
Your Father, Charles Herbert JOHNSON.
 NEAR THE WILL CHAPMAN PLANTATION
 CENSUS RECORDS SHOW MORE CHILDREN
 THIS IS OUR WILLIAM WHO MARRIED MARY ANN GRACE
 NEAR THE IRWIN PLANTATION
 ANDREW SMITH JOHNSON WHO MARRIED MARTHA JANE BROOKS