E.C. Johnson, a retired farmer and nurseryman who now resides on West First Street in Dixon, where he has made his home since 1878, claims New York as the State of his nativity. Chemung County was the place of his birth and May 5, 1840, the date. He was there reared and educated and for many years made his home in that locality. His parental grandfather, Ezekiel Johnson, was one of the early settlers of Chemung County. In an early day he there located and in the midst of the forest hewed out a farm, upon which he spent the remainder of his days, living to be almost one hundred years old. He had been twice married and by his first wife had eleven children, all of whom were reared to manhood and womanhood, were married and had families of their own, residing in a locality familiary known as Johnson's Hollow. Of this family two are yet living- Mrs. Pricilla Prosenous and Mrs. Richard Prosenous both residents of Chemung County, N. Y. The father of our subject was the eldest of the family. He, too, was born in the Empire State, and was only four years of age when his father located in Chemung County, where the days of his boyhood and youth were passed. In fact, his entire life was spent in Johnson's Hollow, where he passed away at the age of sixty-five years. Like the other members of the family he made farming his life occupation and in the pursuit of that business won a handsome competence. In Tompkins County, N. Y., David Johnson married Miss Hannah Bangs, a native of that county who died after the birth of their only child, our subject. David Johnson again married and by his second wife, whose maiden name was Caroline Rodgers, reared a family. She is also now deceased.

Under the parental roof B. C. .Johnson was reared to manhood, his days being passed in the usual routine of farm labor. In the public schools of the neighborhood he acquired his education and not until he came to the West did he leave his native county. For a number of years he engaged in the nursery business, following the same at Almora and Horsehead at the same time. Desiring to come West he severed his business connections in the Empire State and as before stated, took up his residence in Dixon in 1878, succeeding to the nursery business of E. C. Smith, which had been established by Joseph Little whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work. For ten years he devoted his energies to that line of trade and furnished employment to several traveling salesmen. He made his business a signal success and at the end of that decade retired from the nursery business and has since been dealing in western lands.

In Chemung County, N. Y., Mr. Johnson was united in marriage to Miss Sarah McKinney, who was born in Belvidere, Ill., and reared in Beaver Dam, N. Y. She was the only child of William and Salina M. (Holmes) MeKinney, who with their family came to Michigan in 1869, settling in Cass County, where the father departed this life in 1888, at the age of seventy-three years. By trade he was a carpenter and builder. his wife, who still survives him, makes her home with Mrs. Johnson and although now seventy-two years of age is still hale and hearty. Although she has resided in Dixon but a few years she has already won a host of friends, in whose esteem she ranks high.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have been born six children, but they have lost three- Bangs, Herbert and Jennie, all of whom died in childhood. Dana C., Verna J. and Deja B. are yet at home. The mother is a member of the Methodist Church and in political faith Mr. Johnson is a Republican. They are both widely and favorably known in this locality and their circle of friends is indeed an extensive one.

Portraits and Biographical Pg 543


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Illinois - "Our Way"