Biography of Philip Johnson

Among the beautiful and valuable estates in the vicinity of Peck, must be mentioned that of the subject of this article, which lies one and one half miles south from the town. This home place was acquired by Mr. Johnson by homestead right in 1897, and the excellent improvements that have enhanced the natural beauty and value of the farm have all been placed there by his labors. In addition to these, Mr. Johnson has a fine orchard and his place manifests the excellent skill, thrift and industry of the proprietor. Mr. Johnson is a man of sound principles and a patriotic and substantial citizen of influence and good standing. His birth occurred in Illinois, on May 7, 1864, his parents being Joseph and Susan (Heederick) Johnson, natives of North Carolina. The father was born in 1814 and died in 1894. having been a farmer all his life and was a pioneer to Benton County, Oregon. The mother died in 1882.

When Philip was but seven years of age, the family made the weary journey across the plains with ox teams to Benton County, Oregon, where the father took a homestead and became one of the builders of that County. Our subject worked with his father on the farm, studied in the public schools and was one of the home circle until he was seventeen, when he began life for himself. He came to eastern Oregon later and settled near Pendleton. He was in that country in the time of the terrible Snake and Bannock Indian War. It was his lot to be on picket and other duty and he was present when Egan and Big Horn, the leaders of the savages, were executed. Mr. Johnson also lived on John Day creek and on Camas Prairie and was always devoting his attention to farming and raising stock.

At the opening of the reservation he came, and in 1897 secured the land which was described above. Owing to the far reaching and grand view to be had from his place, the farm has been appropriately named the “Fair View Farm.” Mr. Johnson handles stock and does a general farming business. He has plenty of natural spring water on the farm and it is one of the most valuable places in this vicinity.

On December 24, 1881, Mr. Johnson married Miss Mary, daughter of William and Harriette (Bellings) Groom, natives of Missouri. The wedding occurred in Oregon and to this worthy couple there have been born the following children: Ernest E., Arthur X., Nora E., and William R. Mrs. Johnson was born in Willamette valley on November 24, 1865, and has three brothers and two sisters, John, Bird S., Lizzie Froxwell, Hattie Reeves and Fred, all in Oregon except Bird S., who is on the reservation. Mr. Johnson’s brothers and sisters are all dead. His brother David was in the Civil war.

In political matters, Mr. Johnson holds with the Republicans and is also a laborer for good schools.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903

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