|Birth: ||Dec. 1, 1844|
|Death: ||Apr. 29, 1916|
DuBois Courier, Monday, May 1, 1916
J. A. Johnston, A Pioneer of DuBois, Dead
One of the First Comers to This City Passed Away Saturday Morning After a Short Illness
Was an Active Citizen of DuBois
Was a Civil War Veteran and For a Long Time Had Been Engaged in Stationery Business Here
J.A. Johnston, one of the pioneers of DuBois, died Saturday morning at 10 o'clock at his home on North Main street, following an illness of several weeks, although the deceased had not been confined to his bed until last Friday. Bladder trouble, followed by a complication of diseases caused his death. In the demise of Mr. Johnston DuBois lost a citizen who has been prominently identified with the town almost since its inception, and one who has contributed greatly to its growth.
Few people were aware of the seriousness of Mr. Johnston's illness. About two weeks ago Mr. Johnston was taken seriously ill and it was believed that death was near, but his rugged constitution stood him in good stead and he recovered sufficiently to be around. He was able to get down town almost daily until Friday, when he was forced to take to his bed. Mr. Johnston was feeling quite well on Saturday morning just a few hours before his death. He had manifested great interest in the "Old Home" edition of the Courier and had been of material assistance in some of the details. As soon as a copy of the Courier arrived at the home Saturday he looked it over carefully, and was greatly pleased to find therein letters from many of the old friends of the early days in DuBois.
The news of his death was heard on Saturday with general regret, the deceased being a man who held the friendship of a large majority of the people of DuBois. He was a very companionable man, of genial disposition and one whose friendship was highly prized.
Mr. Johnston came to DuBois in the year 1873, taking up his residence in the forest that then covered the present site of DuBois. At that time there were but four families in DuBois. As a young man he found here tasks that were eminently suited to his unbridled enthusiasm and desire for development. He strove steadily at all times to assist in up building the town, and actively promoted every enterprise that had that end in view.
Just after coming to DuBois, Mr. Johnston was engaged in teaching school, first in the old Wilson school house in the township and later in a building that stood just above the present Knarr residence on East Long avenue. In 1880 Mr. Johnston was editor and owner of the DuBois Courier then a weekly publication and was successfully engaged in its publication until 1885. For the next two years, the deceased engaged in mercantile lines. In 1895 Mr. Johnston was appointed tax collector for the borough and served in that capacity for six years. Shortly after the close of his term, Mr Johnston opened the Johnston Book Store which he successfully conducted until the time of his death.
Mr. Johnston was a veteran of the Civil war enlisting with Co. D. 206th regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, when about 17 years of age. He was with that regiment when it entered Richmond at the time the Confederates evacuated. Mr. Johnston was a most interesting talker in regard to incidents of the Civil war and has often been the chief speaker at patriotic exercises in connection with the celebration of Memorial day. He was a very active worker with the ranks of the local G. A. R.., always being placed on the important committee of arrangements for Memorial observance. The deceased was also very active within the ranks of the local Odd Fellows, being a past noble grand. He also held positions on important committees, such as the orphans' home and other Odd Fellow institutions. When in good health he was invariably present at the meetings. He retained his enthusiasm and was the owner of a veterans' jewel, denoting 25 years or more membership. He also held a membership in the Heptasophs.
J. A. Johnston was born in Indiana county on December 1, 1844, and was one of 8 children. In 1873 the deceased came to DuBois and made his permanent home. He was united in marriage to Miss Sadie J. Wise in the year 1873. From the time of his coming to DuBois, Mr. Johnston took a leading part in the affairs of the town and his presence will be greatly missed.
Mr. Johnston is survived by his widow and three children: Mrs. Lillian Graves, at home; John D. Johnston, of Indiana, and J. Lamar Johnston, Akron, O. One brother, W. L. Johnston, of DuBois also survives.
The funeral services will be held on Tuesday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the Johnston home on North Main street. The sermon will be preached by Dr. J. Bell Neff, of Sharon, a former DuBois minister, who is an old-time friend of the deceased. The Grand Army will conduct services at the grave. The pall bearers will be from the ranks of the Odd Fellows. The remains can be viewed from 2 to 4 this afternoon and from 7 to 9 tonight.
Death certificate #40346
Created by: Carol Laughlin
Record added: Mar 04, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 66484489