Wayne County Family Biographies

Abner Johnson of Butler

Johnson Family


I have been visiting your site in hopes that I can get past my brick wall Abner Johnson. Abner was born in 1817 in New York. I know that he lived in Butler and was on the 1840 census next to Roswell Johnson, possibly a brother. Both disappeared from the Wayne County census in 1850. Abner married Philura Plumb of North Rose. She was the daughter of Green Plumb and Melinda Richardson. I have the family report on the Plumb family. Green died in Lyons in the asylum and Melinda is buried in Evergreen Cemetery. Abner and Philura had four children in Wayne County; Kirk in 1840, Mark in 1842, Alice in 1844, and Stephen Allen born in Wolcott 1849.

Abner and Philura migrated to Armada, Macomb County, Michigan after 1849. They had a son Roswell born in 1859 in Armada and moved again to Wales, Township in St. Clair County, Michigan where a son Henry was born. Henry died at age five. I am attaching the biographical sketch from a book on St. Clair County. The biography is about Roswell Johnson, son of Abner and Philura. The article concentrates extensively on Abner as well as his son. Maybe someone visiting the Wayne County site will recognize the family. Abner and Philura are my great-great grandparents. Roswell is my great-grandfather. The picture on the left is Abner and Philura. The picture on the right is unidentified.

Carole (Johnson) Kline

Biographical sketch of ROSWELL JOHNSON from the book entitled, "Biographical Memoirs of Saint Clair County, Michigan," published in 1903 by B. F. Bowen Publishers in Indiana.

His bio spans two (2) pages: 501-502


This late lamented farmer of Wales township, St. Clair county, Michigan, was born in the adjoining county of Macomb, in the town of Armada, October 24, 1859. His parents were Abner and Philomena (Plumb) Johnson, the former of whom was a native of New York, born in 1817. He came west in an early day, was a carpenter by trade, but later became a farmer, and settled in Wales township, St. Clair county, in 1860, in which year he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of forest land, which he converted into a farm, and on which he passed the remainder of his life, dying, at seventy-one years of age, in the faith of the Methodist Protestant church. In politics Abner Johnson was first a Democrat, but with the mutations of political affairs died a member of the Republican party. Roswell Johnson was reared a farmer and was successful in all his agricultural undertakings. In 1880 he married Miss Catherine West, a daughter of John and Isabelle (Holmes) West, the former of whom was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1813, and the latter in Scotland in 1818. John West, on coming to America, first located in Canada, which country he left in 1861 and came to Michigan, engaged in farming at Lenox, Macomb county, but later came to Wales township, St. Clair county, and purchased a tract of one hundred and twenty acres. To the marriage of John and Isabelle West were born eight children, namely: Peter, who was a foreman of a bridge gang in an early day, but is now keeping a hotel at Conroe and is married to Sophia Barton; Hector, a farmer, is the husband of Jennie Tigchon; William is a scaler or land inspector in the woods; John, who was a farmer, married Lizzie Glendenning, but is now deceased; Edward, a merchant at Bay City, is married to Lydia Yarger; Elizabeth is the wife of Franklin Mudge, a farmer; Catherine is the lady who bears the name Mrs. Roswell Johnson. Mrs. Johnson has two hundred and ten acres of land in her own right. To Mr. and Mrs. Johnson were born seven children, of whom the eldest, Lulu, is married to John Lashbrook, a farmer; Abner and Sadie are still with their mother; Johnnie died young, and Letha, Oberd and Clarissa are also under the maternal roof. In politics Roswell Johnson was a Republican in early life, but later became a Democrat. He never aspired to the holding of public office, however, but devoted his entire interest and attention to the cultivation of his farm, in which he was more than ordinarily successful and was rated by his neighbors as one of the best agriculturists in St. Clair county. He was a popular gentleman and highly respected, and held membership with the Independent Order of Foresters at Smith's Creek. He was an industrious man and earned by his own efforts the competency he left to his family. He died in full membership with the Methodist Protestant church, beloved and honored by all who knew him, the sad event occurring at his farm residence December 12, 1899. Too much credit cannot be awarded to Mrs. Johnson for the capable manner in which, assisted by her son, she is now conducting the home farm.

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Created: 7/12/02
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