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Charles Andrew Johnson

CHARLES ANDREW JOHNSON, now deputy clerk of the Circuit Court of Wise County, Virginia, and president of the Citizens Bank, was born at Mount Pleasant, Hamblen County, Tennessee, on April 13, 1866, and is the son of Joseph P. Johnson. The- father was a native of North Carolina and finally was taken by death in Wise County, Virginia, in 1911. He was reared in North Carolina on the plantation of his father, and received in youth an unusually good education in the public schools. He learned the arts of successful agriculture in youth, and also from his surroundings became familiar with all the problems of slavery. While yet in his teens he secured a certificate and taught school in his native state.

In 1865 he moved to Hamblen County, Tennessee, where he became a little later principal of the schools at Russellville. In 1870 he again changed his location and established his home in Lee County, Virginia. He was much superior to the ordinary teachers because he had mastered the difficult art a English grammar and specialized in this branch of instruction, greatly to his reputation and distinction. At the same time he conducted farming on a large ind modern scale on a fine tract of land which he managed to secure. In 1879 he again moved, this time locating in Wise County, Virginia, where he resumed his profession of teaching and at the same time continued farming on a tract he had recently purchased.

After the close of the Civil war he affiliated with the republican party. He was a conspicuous member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and took great interest in all religious movements. He was also a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity and of various other social and brotherly organizations.

While yet a resident of North Carolina he married Miss Mary Lindley, who was a native of that state, was given a good education and at last died at his home at Wise, Virginia. To this marriage the following children were born: C. Webster, who at present resides at Ben Hur, Arkansas, where he is postmaster, a proficient farmer and a clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal Church; Elizabeth, who became the bride-of Simon P. Dotson, a successful farmer and apiarist, now living near Wise; James O., who is a resident of Wise and is engaged in clerical work; Sallie A., who became the wife of Ellington Cooper, a prominent teacher in the public schools of Wise County, and one of the county’s deputy clerks, and upon his death she married John F. Wester, a farmer and a justice of the peace, and they reside at Celina, Texas; Sanford Y. who engaged in farming and died in Wise County at the age of sixty years; Fannie, who wedded William Young, a successful farmer now living at Turkey Cove, Lee County, Virginia; Charles A., subject; and Samuel L., who died at the age of twenty years.

Charles A. Johnson received his liberal education in the public schools of Lee County, Virginia, largely under the tuition of his illustrious father. In the meantime he assisted his father in operating the farm, and thus learned to grow crops of all sorts and to raise herds of live stock. He thus continued until he reached the age of twenty-five years and then for seven months visited the states of Missouri and Arkansas. About this time he was elected teacher of penmanship and drawing at Vanderbilt College, Clintwood, Virginia, where he was employed for one year. Then until -1891 he traveled through the mountain regions of Kentucky lecturing on penmanship and drawing. In 1891 he was appointed a justice of the peace by the county judge of Wise County, and was duly elected to the same office in the spring of 1893. Soon afterward he resigned this office to accept the position of deputy clerk of the County and Circuit Courts of Wise County. This position he filled to his credit and to the satisfaction of his constituents until 1906 when he was elected to the office of clerk of the County and Circuit Courts of Wise County and took charge of the office in that year and held the same for six years. Then for three years he was a dealer in farm lands and in real estate of all sorts, and was occupied thus until July, 1916, when he was again made deputy clerk of the Circuit Court and has occupied that position down to the present time.

He is a republican, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, of Hoge Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of which he is a past master of Craig, Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, of Cyrene Commandery, Knights Templar, of Kazim Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles-of the Mystic Shrine, is an ex-member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, is a stockholder in, and president of the Citizens Bank, owns a good home in the town, and also owns a farm of 200 acres two miles east of Wise.

On August 4, 1890, at Clintwood, he married Annie E. Gilliam, daughter of Charles W. and Caroline (Beverley) Gilliam, both of her parents being deceased. Her father was a blacksmith. Mr. Johnson’s children are as follows: Doeta Lee married Charles W. Bickley and he died of influenza, in Texas. He was cashier of the First National Bank of Farmersville, Texas, and was mayor there at the time of his death. His widow resides with her father, Mr. Johnson, and is a teacher of music in the Gladeville College. Mabel C. became the wife of James R. Dale and they reside at Glamorgan, Virginia, where he is a clerk for the Stone Gap Co1liery Company. Inez married Parkis D. Kennedy, cashier of the Citizens Bank of Wise, Virginia. Charles Jr., a student in the Gladeville at School, Wise, Virginia. Lee is a graduate of the same high school and Rex J. is a student in the local public schools.

Ashley Johnson, grandfather of Charles A Johnson, passed the most of his life in Yadkin County, North Carolina, where for many years he carried on successfully the occupation of farming and raising live stock. He became prominent in local affairs and had the confidence of the community.

It should be noted that the subject of this review is at present at work writing a standard and authentic history of Wise County, which is now being published in weekly installments by the Big Stone Gap Post. Later the whole will be published in book form and distributed to the entire county.