|Birth: ||Nov. 24, 1877|
New Mexico, USA
Emily Jane Sommerville was born November 24, 1877 in Uvalde, Texas. Her parents were Andrew Jackson Sommerville, a native of Kentucky, and Oma Jane Atkinson of North Carolina. They were married in San Antonio, Texas, about 1875, when he was forty-seven years old. As a young man, he had served with the Texas forces as a medic in the War with Mexico, receiving his discharge at Fort Inge, a frontier garrison located a few miles from the town of Uvalde. It was here he decided to make his permanent home and here he and Oma Jane lived out their lives. Both are buried there.
Emily Jane was their only child and weighed less than two pounds at birth. She was the source of unbounded pride to her parents and they were firmly resolved that she would receive the best education available in this remote outpost. Consequently, as she grew older and completed her elementary study at Miss Ella Vaughn's private school, she enrolled for courses at Teachers Institute which was being conducted by Professor Eugene Shropshire of San Antonio.
Within a few years her teaching career began in one-room subscription schools in Uvalde and neighboring communities. After she married and migrated to the Territory of New Mexico in 1906 with her husband and boys she taught several terms at Prairieview, along with Miss Fannie Carruthers.
Emily Jane Sommerville and Benjamin Carroll Johnson were married in 1899, at Prairie Lee, a settlement near Lockhart, Texas. Four children blessed this union: Elmer Vernon, born in 1902, presently a real-estate broker in Conroe, Texas; Evan Phelan, a retired Government surveyor who resides in Arcadia, Galveston County, Texas; a daughter Bernadine, who died at the age of three and is buried in Poth Cemetery, near Floresville; and the youngest Anna Mae, who is married to Roy Coggin. They have one son, David Leroy of Roswell, NM.
Mrs. Johnson, her husband, and two little boys came to New Mexico with a covered wagon, three horses and twenty-five dollars and filed on land northwest of Prairieview. To help make a living Mr. Johnson worked for cattle companies and was away from home much of the time. Mrs. Johnson kept her gun handy in the kitchen for unwelcome guests.
B. C. Johnson died in 1913, and is buried in the King Cemetery, a few miles north of the homesteaded tract. Mrs. Johnson remained a year, then rented the land and with her children returned to South Texas.
They lived for a time among relatives in Wilson County, then for a few years in Lake Charles, Louisiana. In 1917 she married Robert Lee Johnson, a brother of her deceased husband. She inherited his eight children along with hers. They farmed and ranched in the vicinity of Floresville until his death in 1936.
Mrs. Emily Jane Johnson passed her century mark November 24, 1977, celebrating the delightful event at the home of her son in South Texas. The many pictures in full color which were made at this memorable occasion will be treasured and handed down to future generations.
She is a devout Christian and each summer enjoys attending the annual meeting of her beloved religious order, the Non-denomination Church in Beaumont, Texas. Her children continue to see that there is transportation provided for this trip, either by comfortable car or plane. Another observance which is indeed a special pleasure for Mrs. Johnson is Old Folks Day which has been meeting each June for more than fifty years at the Prairieview school house. Since she lives with her daughter in that community, she has seldom missed a meeting.
Among her cherished possessions are early-day documents, Bible records, pictures and old letters from family and friends, as well as interesting correspondence from various prominent people. As a teenager she was well acquainted with the young country lawyer who became Vice president under Franlin D. Roosevelt--John Nance Garner. He and his adored wife, Ellie Rinerson, spent much time at their home in Uvalde after their years in Washington, but it was before he was elected to Congress that Emily Jane knew him best.
Mrs. Johnson is a remarkable woman, her memory is sharp and clear, her vision and hearing seem near perfect. It has been my delight and rare privilege to visit with her and to discuss days long past. It is not often that an opportunity of this kind comes our way.
Artress Walker, author. Copied from "Then and Now, Lea County Families" published by Lea County Genealogical Society in 1979, pages 462 to 463 by Cathey A. Cline, daughter of William Edward Weldy & Vera Pauline Coggin Weldy and great-niece of Anna Mae Johnson Coggin and husband Roy Coggin.
Benjamin Carroll Johnson (1860 - 1913)
Anna Mae Johnson Coggin (1909 - 1987)*
New Mexico, USA
Created by: Cathey & Karla
Record added: May 22, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 37374335
God bless you on this 2013 Christmas season, Rest in Peace.|
Added: Dec. 27, 2013
Added: Aug. 3, 2009