One of the highly esteemed citizens of Waterloo, Illinois, who is now living retired from active pursuits after many years spent in farming and school teaching in Monroe county, belongs to one of the oldest families of this section, and is descended on both sides from ancestors who have resided in America since Colonial days. He is a native of Monroe county, and was born November 10, 1856, at New Hanover, a son of Elisha and Julia A. (Whiteside) Johnson.


The paternal great-grandfather of Mr. Johnson, whose name has been forgotten, was a Virginia planter prior to the Revolutionary war, and removed in later years to the state of Kentucky, and there his son, Jordon Johnson, was born in 1793. The latter came to Illinois, and settled down to agricultural pursuits in Monroe county, where he died in 1864. He married Susan Lock, who was born in 1800, a New York Yankee who migrated from the Empire state to Tennessee, and from the latter to Monroe county, where she died in 1889. Elisha Johnson was born in 1830, in Monroe county, and was here married to Julia A. Whiteside, a native of New Hanover. Her grandfather, William Whiteside, came from Virginia into Kentucky, and thence to Monroe county in 1793, becoming commander of the second fort in this county, located two miles south of Columbia, and participated in the Indian wars. He married Mary Nolan, and among their children was Hiram Whiteside, who was born in 1802 at Fountain Creek, Illinois, and in 1867 died at New Hanover. His wife, Delilah (Kidd) Whiteside, was born in 1810, near Fort Chartres.

Stephen Albert Johnson was educated at St. Joseph's Academy, at Waterloo, and as a youth engaged in school-teaching in Monroe county. During the vacation periods he followed farming, and eventually the latter interests caused him to give up his work as an educator and for many years he was successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits. On attaining what he considered a comfortable competency, Mr. Johnson retired from active life, and is now living a quiet, unostentatious life, enjoying the fruits of his years of labor. In political matters he is a Republican, but he has never desired to enter the stormy field of politics, and takes only a good citizen's interest in affairs of the day. He has never married. Mr. Johnson is not a member of any fraternal organizations, but holds membership in the Roman Catholic church, and has interested himself in the work of that denomination. His chief pleasure lies in mechanical work, and he is never so happy as when engaged in sharpening or repairing tools, or working over a refractory lock. A natural bent in this way has caused him to become skilled in putting things into condition, and he is often called upon to work out problems that fall to the lot of the man who is handy with tools. A good citizen and man of sterling integrity, Mr. Johnson has many warm friends in this community, and his circle of acquaintances is a wide one.

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