History of Bucks
County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
LAWRENCE JOHNSON AND HIS DESCENDANTS
LAWRENCE JOHNSON AND HIS DESCENDANTS. The family of JOHNSON, from which Lawrence JOHNSON descended, belonged to the yeomanry and lived in Lincolnshire, England, having settled in Barrow-on-Humber in 1684, after the marriage of Robert JOHNSON and Mary HALL, nee LEDGARD. Here five generations of the family lived and owned property. Edward JOHNSON removed to Hull after his marriage in 1796. Previous to 1680 the family had lived and owned property at Grasby, in Lincolnshire.
Edward JOHNSON had a large family of children, and, believing that their prospects for advancement would be greater in America, he was induced by his sons to sell his property in Hull, and emigrate with his family to America. On July 4, 1818, with his wife and ten children, he sailed from Grimsby on the brig General Ripley" for New York, where the vessel arrived August 28, 1818. The people of New York looked so pale that Edward JOHNSON thought it could not be a healthful place, and accordingly sailed immediately up the Hudson to Albany, where he bought a farm of one hundred and twenty-fice acres near Cato, Cayuga county, New York.
Lawrence JOHNSON, son of Edward and Ann (CLAYTON) JOHNSON, was born in Hull, England, January 23, 1801, and was baptized in Holy Trinity church, March 2, 1801. Immediately after coming to America with his parents in 1818, he found employment in the office of the "Troy Budget," a newspaper published at Troy, New York, but the following spring went to New York city, where he was employed in several printing establishments. About 1820 he settled in Philadelphia and established a stereotype foundry, to which he later added the industry of making type, under the firm name of L. JOHNSON & Company, and built up an immense business. He became interested in many prominent enterprises in Philadelphia and elsewhere in Pennsylvania, the development of coal lands, building of street horse-car lines, and many other enterprises, and acquired a fortune. He was also president of the Commonwealth Bank. He died in Philadelphia, April 26, 1860.
In the spring of 1851 Lawrence JOHNSON purchased a farm and country seat in Bristol township, Bucks county, known as "Lansdowne," where he spent much of his time, and which has ever since been occupied by members of his family.
Mr. JOHNSON had married May 3, 1825, Sarah B. MURRAY, of Philadelphia, who died August 21, 1834, leaving one child, a daughter. He married a second time, on May 29, 1837, Mary WINDER, daughter of Aaron and Sarah (VAN HORN) WINDER, of Lower Makefield township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, who was born June 18, 1814, and died February 26, 1877. (See WINDER Family). Lawrence and Mary (WINDER) JOHNSON were the parents of ten children, viz: I. Edward Winder; 2. Anna Rebecca; 3. Mary Ella; 4. Caroline Fletcher; 5. Howard Lawrence; 6. Russel Hampden; 7. Lawrence; 8. Walter Richards; 9. Robert Winder; 10. Alfred Clayton.
I. Edward Winder JOHNSON, eldest son of Lawrence and Mary (WINDER) JOHNSON, was born in Philadelphia, April 12, 1838. In the summer of 1847 he accompanied his father on a trip to Europe. He was educated at Mr. Fay's boarding school at Elizabeth, New Jersey, and at Dr. Faires' and other private schools in Philadelphia. In 1856 he traveled under the care of an agent of his father to Havana, Mexico, Texas, and up the Mississippi river, and to Cincinnati, Ohio. In the latter place he remained for some months, working in a branch type foundry established there by his father. On October 23, 1857, he was commissioned as a midshipman on the flagship "Powhattan," and on December 9, following that frigate left Norfolk, Virginia, on a long cruise, with ex-President Franklin Pierce and wife on board. She sailed first to Maderia, St. Helena, and Cape Town, preceeding thence to Hong Kong, stopping on the way at Mauritius and Singapore, and arrived at Hong Kong in May, 1858, and proceeded to Japan in the following July. Becoming ill in Japan, Midshipman JOHNSON obtained a dismissal from service on the U. S. frigate "Powhattan," and embarked as a passenger on board the "Minnesota," October 3, 1858 to return home, arriving in Boston, Massachusetts, May 29, 1859. On September 26, 1860, he sailed from New York on the clipper "Messenger" for Hong King, intending to enter into business with A. W. HABERSHAM, in Japan. He arrived in Yokohama, April 20, 1861, where he remained for some time, engaged in business. On learning of the outbreak of the civil war in America he left Japan on the steamship "Carrington," and arrived in San Francisco, California, October 20, 1861, from which place he proceeded at once to New York. He enlisted in August, 1862, in Company G of the Anderson Cavalry, and fought in the battles of Antietam and Murfreesboro. Afterwards his regiment was reorganized, and he became a member of Company A of the Anderson Cavalry. He was also in the battle of Chickamauga, under General Rosencrans. On December 30, 1863, he returned home on a furlough, and did not again enter the army. He died at Lansdowne, Bristol township, Bucks county, January 12, 1874, unmarried.
2. Anna Rebecca JOHNSON, second child of Lawrence and Mary (WINDER) JOHNSON, was born in Philadelphia, December 15, 1839. She was educated at the school of Professor Charles D. CLEVELAND, in Philadelphia. In 1858 and 1859 she traveled extensively in Europe, Egypt, and Palestine, under the care of Mr. And Mrs. GARDEL. She was married in Philadelphia, December 3, 1863, to Theodore Hoe MEAD, of New York. Theodore Hoe and Anna Rebecca (JOHNSON) MEAD have been the parents of six children, three of whom survive, viz: Lawrence Johnson MEAD, who married, June 29, 1901, Anna Frances ELY, of Doylestown, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, daughter of Samuel L. and Mary (KNIGHT) ELY; Anna Johnson MEAD, who married, October 7, 1902, Herbert Gordon THOMSON, of New York; and Gilbert MEAD, who married, July 25, 1903, Mary Comly ELY, daughter of Samuel L. and Mary Comly (KNIGHT) ELY, of Doylestown, Bucks county. (See WINDER Family.)
3. Mary Ella JOHNSON, third child of Lawrence and Mary (WINDER) JOHNSON, was born in Philadelphia, September 22, 1841. After spending five years in Professor Cleveland's school in Philadelphia, she traveled in Great Britain, Europe, Egypt, the Sinaitic Peninsula, Palestine and Syria, as well as the rock-hewn city of Petra, to which, it is said, no ladies had previously ventured with the exception of two English ladies, somewhat earlier in the same year. Miss JOHNSON married, December 4, 1862, William D. STUART of Philadelphia, who died April 7, 1863, leaving no children. Mrs. STUART married a second time, January 11, 1870, Dr. James Chester MORRIS, of Philadelphia, by whom she has eight children, all residing in Philadelphia.
4. Caroline Fletcher JOHNSON, fourth child of Lawrence and Mary (WINDER) JOHNSON, was born in Philadelphia, July 10, 1843, and was educated at Dr. Cleveland's school. She married, February 21, 1871, Anthony TAYLOR, son of Robert TAYLOR, and a nephew of Hon. Caleb Newbold TAYLOR, of Bristol, Bucks county, Pennsylvania. Anthony TAYLOR enlisted in the Pennsylvania cavalry August 8, 1862, was promoted sergeant, October 30, 1862; first sergeant, March 1, 1863; first lieutenant of 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry, May 8, 1863; and captain, June 1, 1865. He was awarded a medal of honor for signal acts of bravery, and was honorably mustered out June 21, 1865. He died in Philadelphia, May 21, 1894. Anthony and Caroline F. (JOHNSON) TAYLOR were the parents of two children Mary Lawrence TAYLOR, who married, February 25, 1893, Bromley WHARTON, now private secretary to Governor Samuel W. PENNYPACKER; and Elizabeth Elmslie TAYLOR, who married, December 31, 1904, Houston DUNN.
5. Howard Lawrence JOHNSON, born October 31, 1845, died June 25, 1891; married, May 7, 1876, Mary Evangeline BRADLEY. They had no children.
6. Russell Hampden JOHNSON, son of Lawrence and Mary (WINDER) JOHNSON, was born in Philadelphia, September 15, 1847, and received his preliminary education in private schools in Philadelphia. He entered Princeton University at the age of seventeen years, and graduated in the class of 1868, after a four years' course, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He then made an extensive tour of Europe, and on returning entered the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, where he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1871. After serving as resident physician in the Episcopal Hospital of Philadelphia, he once more visited Europe, spending two years in travel, chiefly for the further prosecution of his medical studies in the University of Vienna. Returning to Philadelphia he began the practice of medicine there, where, excepting occasional visits abroad, he has since lived and practiced his profession. He married, December 13, 1877, Grace H. PRICE, of New York. Five children blessed this union, all, like their father, devotedly attached to the old home on the Nashaminy, in Bucks county, where the youngest daughter was born. The children are: Russel Hampden, Jr., born September 16, 1878; Lawrence, born September 17, 1880; Anna Price, born September 20, 1881; Louisa, born May 20, 1883; and Paul Sears, born October 24, 1896.
7. Lawrence JOHNSON, seventh child of Lawrence and Mary (WINDER) JOHNSON, was born in Philadelphia, September 28, 1849, and was educated at private schools there and at Princeton University. In 1868 he began his business career as a clerk in the shipping house of Isaac Hough & Morris, where he remained for about two years. On coming of age in 1870 he began business for himself, under the firm name of Lawrence JOHNSON & Company, shipping and commission merchants and foreign bankers, which business he has since followed. On November 21, 1891, he was elected a director of the Philadelphia National Bank, and he is also a director of the Pennsylvania Company for Insurances on Lives and Granting Annuities, the Insurance Company of North America, and the Philadelphia Warehouse Company. He married, December 6, 1877, Louisa Philler GAW, daughter of Henry L. GAW, of Philadelphia. They have one child, Millicent Gaw JOHNSON, born November 22, 1884.
8. Walter Richards JOHNSON, eighth child of Lawrence and Mary (WINDER) JOHNSON, was born at Lansdowne, Bucks county, August 24, 1851. He was educated at Dr. Faires' and other private schools of Philadelphia. He married, October 31, 1876, his cousin, Mary Rebecca WINDER, daughter of Moses and Margaretta WINDER. He purchased a farm on the right bank of the Neshaminy, in Bensalem township, Bucks county, between Hulmeville and Newportville, where he lived the remainder of his life, and was actively engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was also actively interested in political affairs and held several political offices. He died March 25, 1897, leaving one child, Winder Lawrence JOHNSON, since deceased, who married, October 11, 1899, Susan D. FINE.
9. Robert Winder JOHNSON, ninth child of Lawrence and Mary (WINDER) JOHNSON, was born Sunday, May 7, 1854, at No. 727 Pine street, Philadelphia. He prepared for college at Mr. Gregory's private school on Market street, near Eleventh, and entered the freshman class of the University of Pennsylvania, September, 1870 (class of 1874,) but left the University in the spring of 1871 and accompanied his mother to Europe, where he studied and traveled until October, 1874. He again traveled abroad in 1875 and 1876. In January, 1877, he entered the office of Lawrence JOHNSON & Company, doing a large business as importers and exporters and bankers, and in July, 1879, was admitted as a member of the firm and has since been actively associated with its business. He was elected a member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in 1874 and a life member in 1877; was elected a member of the Rittenhouse Club in 1883; a member of the vestry of St. Peter's church in 1891; member of the board of managers of Christ Church Hospital in 1892; member of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania in 1892; member of the Colonial Society of Pennsylvania in 1897; member of the Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church for the Advancement of Christianity in Pennsylvania in 1897; member of the Board of managers of the Children's Hospital in 1897; member of the Netherlands Society of Philadelphia in 1899; and a life member of the Bucks County Historical Society in 1903. He takes a deep interest in the local history of Bucks county, where his maternal ancestors, the VAN HORNS, VAN DYCKS, VAN SANDTS, VAN PELTS, VANDEGRIFTS, WINDERS, and others were among the earliest and most prominent settlers, and has devoted much time and expense during the last twenty-five years in tracing out the history of these early families of Bucks. Mr. JOHNSON was married on November 10, 1887, to Rosalie MORRIS, daughter of George Calvert and Elizabeth (KUHN) MORRIS, at St. Peter's Church, Third and Pine streets, Philadelphia. Their children are as follows: Morris Winder, born July 5, 1889, at Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia; Lawrence Edward, born July 9, 1892, at Lansdowne, Bucks county; Robert Winder, Jr., born August 19, 1894, at Lansdowne, Bucks county; and Rosalie Eugenia, born October 12, 1900, at Chestnut Hill.
10. Alfred Clayton JOHNSON, youngest child of Lawrence and Mary (WINDER) JOHNSON, was born in Philadelphia, September 17, 1856. He was educated at private schools in Philadelphia and at Dresden, Saxony. He read law under P. Pemberton MORRIS, Esq., of Philadelphia, and also attended lectures on law at the University of Pennsylvania, and was admitted to the Philadelphia bar April 3, 1880. He was appointed consul to Stuttgart, Germany, in 1893 and vice consul general at Dresden in 1898. He married in Dresden, July 21, 1888, Countess Toni VON BAUDISSIN, and they have one child, Mary Winder JOHNSON, born in Bristol township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, June 11, 1889.
Text taken from page 98 of:
Davis, William W. H., A.M., History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905] Volume III
Transcribed JULY 2000 by GRACE T. BURTON of PA as part of the Bucks Co., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html
Published September 2000 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb pages at http://www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/