WM. P. JOHNSON, the joint publisher and Times and News, Gadsden, Ala., was born in Cherokee County, this State, March 14, 1855, and is therefore at this writing less than thirty years of age. Mr. Johnson entered upon the profession of the art preservative at the age of fourteen, and has since followed it without intermission. His first work was on the Advertiser at Centre, Ala. In 1871 he came with Mr. W.M. Weeks, to Gadsden. Ala., and was on the Times until 1876.
This year he concluded to try his fortune in the Lone Star State, and made that his home for two years. During this time his life was without incident, only as usually happens to the craft. The love of the home of his youth was an attraction so strong, that he no longer resisted it, and returned in 1878 and resumed his place on the Times, which relation he continued to sustain until 1881. He was for some time the foreman of that excellent paper and its local editor, both of which places he filled to the eminent satisfaction of all concerned. In the year 1880 he married one of the accomplished daughters of Maj. W. P. Hollingsworth. He was fortunate in his marriage, finding in his wife not only a congenial companion, but one who had a just appreciation of his profession and work, to which he proposes to devote his life.
In January, 1881, Mr. Johnson, in connection with Mr. Wellington Vandiver, established the News. Soon Mr. Vandiver retired, leaving Mr. Johnson sole editor and proprietor. He was now in position to show the world his tact and ability in the conduct of a newspaper. Nobly did he meet expectations, and even went beyond them. The News was an ably conducted, clean and pure paper. Mr. Johnson gave it his entire time and attention, and put it on a paying basis. Last February the Times and the News were consolidated, since which time Mr. Johnson has been joint publisher and editor.
Mr. Johnson is a painstaking business man. Seldom does an item of any kind go into his paper which has not passed under his eye. He is a genial and pleasant companion, a true and tried friend. He is prosperous so far as the world is concerned, and a bright future awaits him.Source: McCalley, Henry, Northern Alabama : historical and biographical. Birmingham, AL: Smith & De Land, 1888, pp. 835.