Monday, February 8, 2010

William Albert Johnson

William Albert "Sonny" Johnson

Itawamba County Times
February 14, 1946

W. A. Johnson, 90, Celebrates Quiet Birthday, Feb. 6th

W. A. Johnson, one of Itawamba County's oldest and most prominent citizens, celebrated his 90th birthday on Feb. 6, 1946 at his home on Fulton, Rt. 3.

Mr. Johnson came to Itawamba County with his parents from North Carolina when a child of two years, and was still a child when the Civil War brought strife between the states. He remembers much of the reconstruction days during his childhood while attending school near Ole Gum Church, where he learned "reading, riting and rithmetic" under the late and beloved John Patton.

He was married in 1876 to Miss Aquilla Jane Buchanan at the Ole Gum Church, to which union was born nine children, all of whom have been prominent in the affiars of the county. Mrs. Johnson died in 1944.

Of the nine children, seven are still living as follows: Mrs. Ida Chamblee of Fulton Rt. 1, D. S. Johnson, Miss Nollie Johnson, Allen Johnson and Kelly Johnson of Fulton Rt. 3, Mrs. Bessie Pierce of Fulton Rt. 1, and Mrs. Dezzie Steele of Santa Rosa, Texas. The two children who have died were: Mrs. Ella Wheeler and N. B. Johnson.

A true farmer all of his life, Mr. Johnson couldn't resist the temptation to pick cotton the past fall. He enjoys being up and about his farm throughout the year.

Being ninety years of age does not keep Mr. Johnson from enjoying his daily and weekly newspapers, nor does it keep him from enjoying and spending many leisure hours in reading the Bible, of which his favorite book is the Psalms.

Two brothers, N. A. Johnson, age 88, and C. S. Johnson, age 76, live on adjoining farms, where the three have spent practically all of their lives.

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W. A. Johnson's brother was John H. Johnson, who was the oldest child of Stephen Johnson and Harriet Caroline Pierce. Unfortunately for John, he didn't have the long lifespan of his brothers. John died at the age of 55, but his son James Nathan Johnson inherited the long lifespan of his uncles as he lived to be 81 years old. Nathan's daughter, Pearl, was my husband's grandmother.


Anonymous said...

Mona, to you and "cousin" Don, thank you for all your dusty sweaty "basement digging" at the Itawamba County courthouse - bringing to us the families who lived near and shared the times of some our ancestors although we may not know the names you "pull of of the air in your writings." It was the time when neighbors helped neighbors - barn raising, gathering the rewards of a summer growing if the man became ill or was injured around the farm, or died too soon in life. And, yes, these neighbors loaded their family in the wagon with a cow attached behind on a Sat. evening to head for their nearest church where they camped for the night. They could have an old fashioned hoe down around a camp fire before settling in for the night. Just tires one out recalling the life that our GGGgrandparents lived, yet they could group together and move to another part of the country, and start all over again at clearing the land. I have read in some tales of my Stone ancestors who moved from St. Clair County, AL to the central part of the state in Bibb & Perry Counties before making the next move into Marion County where there wasn't time to turn the soil before planting a crop so they felled the trees, and among the stumps, they used a grub hoe and with one move, the soil was opened to let a seed be dropped to grow. They claim they had quite productive amounts of cotton and corn per acre. I hope I properly identified the hoe that helped to settle the new lands, long before we had the "middlebuster" - or a "Deere" on each farm, complete with lights for working longer hours that would allow the farmer to take a rest in the hot part of the day.

How many of you have picked cotton? Well, you need to go to the cotton patch in the fall, and pick a little cotton to appreciate our life styles of today! I was allowed in the cotton fields of my Uncle Lecil Stone one time when I was about 8 or 9. I picked about 100 lbs. over two days, and my fingers are aching just remembering that time in my life of exploring and learning - but I had a lot of fun thinking how grown up I was! thanks guys. bettye

Richard said...

My memory of hearing stories about the Johnsons from my grandparents is that William Albert Johnson was known as "Billy," and Charles Stephen Johnson was called "Sonny."