David J. Johnston
Navarro County, Texas


Biography Index


David J. Johnston, ex-Tax-Collector of Navarro county, son of David J. and Isabella Johnston, was born in county Derry, Ireland, March 27, 1844. His parents came to American in 1848, settling in Alabama, but moved to Texas in 1851, taking up their residence in Leon county, where the subject of this sketch was mainly reared. He grew up on a farm and received only a limited common-school education. He entered the Confederate army in September, 1861, at the age of seventeen, as a member of Company D. Twenty-sixth Texas Cavalry, and served until the close of the war, taking part in most of the engagements west of the Mississippi, notably those in Arkansas, which were fought at the opening of the war, and those following Banks' memorable expedition up Red river. After the war, in September, 1865, he settled in Navarro county, near Eureka, where he bought a farm and engaged in farming and stock-raising.
July, 1870, he married Emma J. Stell, a daughter of Colonel J. D. Stell of Leon county.
In November 1888, Mr. Johnston was elected Tax Collector of Navarro county and re-elected to the same office in November, 1890. He was elected by a majority of something over 400 out of a total vote of about 3,500 the first time, having no opposition at his second election. Mr. Johnston has given the people of Navarro county a faithful administration of the affairs of his office, an one that seems to have met with very general approval. He is an hones, capable officer, and a very worth man. The affairs of his office are conducted in a business-like way He gives to its details his personal attention, and serves every one with that degree of promptness and courtesy which are the distinguished marks of a faithful public official. Although the duties of his office have required his removal to the county seat, he still retains his farming interest, and is identified with the farming community in everything affecting its welfare. He is a member of the Alliance, but is an Alliance man within the ranks of the Democratic party. He has been elected each time to the office he holds as the nominee of his party. He believes it is possible to be loyal to every interest and obligation as a farmer and still be a Democrat. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, being Royal Arch Mason, and belongs to the Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Johnston's people, coming to Texas as early as they did, may, in a certain sense, be said to be a Texan family, and as such deserving of further mention in this connection. The father, who was a native of county Derry, Ireland, died in  Leon county soon after settling there, this event occurring in 1852. The mother died in 1887. She was also a native of county Derry, Ireland, and bore the maiden name of Johnston. William Johnston, the eldest son, resides in Centreville, Leon county, being a practicing attorney of that place. Mary H., the eldest daughter was married to Robert Hall, and died in Navarro county, leaving a widow and four children. Catherine resides in this county, unmarried. Isabella, who was married to James Hooper, died at Lebanon, Kentucky, the mother of two children. Fanny is the wife W. J. Blackmon, of Navarro county. Mr. Johnston's wife's family settled in  Leon county about the time his own people did. They were from Georgia, in which State Mrs. Johnston was born. She was reared by her mother, her father, who was an old citizen of Leon, having died when she was quite young.


Navarro County TXGenWeb
Copyright March, 2009
Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox