William A. Johnson is the junior member of the Frech & Johnson Milling Company at White Hall. He was born in Hardin, Calhoun [C]ounty, Illinois, on the 13th of August, 1849. His paternal grandfather was Richard Johnson, of English lineage and a native of England. Henry L. Johnson, the father of our subject, was also born in England and followed various pursuits, including milling, farming and the grocery business. He likewise conducted a livery stable at one time. He married Miss Martha Hutchinson, a native of Ohio and a daughter of W. R. Hutchinson, who died in the year 1861. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson removed from their home in Calhoun [C]ounty, Illinois, to Jerseyville, this state, where Mr. Johnson owned and operated a flouring mill. Subsequently they became residents of Carrollton, where he conducted a similar enterprise for a time. Eventually he became interested in the grocery trade with his son William A., this relation being maintained until 1886. The father died in 1892 at Carrollton, aged sixty-seven years, and the mother died in 1890, at the age of sixty-five years. Both were members of the Methodist Episcopal church and were deeply interested in its work and the moral development of their community.

William A. Johnson pursued his education in the schools of Jerseyville, Carrollton and Jacksonville, Illinois, and was thus well fitted for life’s practical and responsible duties. He engaged in clerking in his father’s store for fourteen years and thus gained broad experience concerning business methods. He also learned something of the milling business while his father was conducting a mill in Jerseyville and later while carrying on the same line of business in Carrollton, which they conducted with success until 1886. In 1890 he became bookkeeper for the Advance Flouring Mill Company, of Carrollton, with whom he continued for seven years, and in 1897 he became bookkeeper for the firm of Frech & Wilton, of White Hall, filling that position until 1902, when he purchased Mr. Wilton’s interest an became a partner of Mr. Frech. The mill is a well equipped plant, having the latest improved machinery and excellent facilities for turning out a high grade of mill products. The business is conducted under the name of the Frech & Johnson Milling Company and Mr. Johnson has charge of the business management, while Mr. Frech superintends the active operation of the mill.

On the 15th of August, 1871, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Johnson and Miss Mary E. Lowe, a daughter of R. E. Lowe, who is a fruit farmer of Greene [C]ounty, now living at the age of seventy-seven years. Mr. Johnson was reared in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal church and still attends its services. In politics he is a Republican, but is not active in the work of the party. Fraternally he is connected with the Knights of Pythias lodge. In the community he is regarded as a safe, reliable business man, is a jovial, genial gentleman and his uniform courtesy and kindly consideration for others have won him the respect of all.

Extracted 2021 Jul 31 by Marti Swanson from Past and Present of Greene County, Illinois, by Ed Miner, published in 1905, page 544.

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