John Cyrus Johnson

Capt., 149th Pennsylvania Infantry
GAR – D. W. Taggart Post 241, Pennsylvania

Pictured above is Captain John C. Johnson, ESQ. with a painting of his wife Frances (Fannie) Amanda French Johnson. John Johnson was born September 20, 1836 in Lisle Broome Co., New York where he spent his childhood. He was the youngest of eight children of Captain Cyrus Johnson, ESQ. and Abigail Wheeler.

He entered the University of Michigan in 1857 and graduated from the Literary Department in 1861. He enlisted in the Federal Army in 1862 and was commissioned as Captain of Co. K 149th Pennsylvania Volunteers, known as the “Bucktails”. At the Battle of Gettysburg Johnson was taken prisoner and had been in several prisons during his incarceration. He was finally exchanged and honorably discharged in 1865. Later, he was asked to give a presentation, which still exists as a 14 page speech, describing his prison experience. It was written in March of 1865 and delivered in Lisle, New York. He also gave a speech at the Dedication of the 149th Monument in September 11, 1889, in Gettysburg, PA. His name is listed on the monument.

He returned to the University of Michigan and graduated from the Law Department in 1866. That same year he was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar and located in Emporium, Cameron County, PA. The law firm of Johnson & McNarney was then formed in 1888, where for 30 years J.C. Johnson was solicitor for the PA Railroad. During his law practice, he was connected with nearly all the litigation in Cameron County and was often successful in defense as well as prosecution of cases.

He married Frances (“Fannie”) Amanda French of Coudersport, PA on Sept. 17, 1867. She was the daughter of a well known physician named Dr. Amos French, and Sabria French of Coudersport, Potter Co. PA. John and Fannie had three sons. Fannie died in 1886 at the age of 44 and their son, George, died in 1890 at the age of 22. J.C.’s two remaining sons, Thomas C. became a prominent Realtor in Seattle, Washington, and Fred A. of Emporium, Pennsylvania, became an Attorney and District Attorney of of Cameron County. John C. Johnson never remarried.

John C. Johnson’s accomplishments include being elected a member of the House of Representatives of PA during the 1889 and 1891 sessions, Chairman of the Judiciary General Committee, Chairman of the Republican Steering Committee, Sponsor for the General Revenue Act of 1891, he was a 33 Degree Mason and a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.

He died April 16, 1925 at the age of 87 in Washington, D.C. The Old Johnson Homestead was in the Johnson family until the late 1950s when the property was sold.

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