William P. Johnson, well-known druggist at Greenfield and one of Hancock county's most enterprising and progressive business men, has been a resident of that city since he was two weeks old. He was born at Sunman, in Ripley county, Indiana, April 30, 1877, son of John R. P. and Eleanor (McConnell) Johnson, who came to this county two weeks later and settled at Greenfield, where they established their permanent home. John R. P. Johnson was born in Ohio in 1849 and was but a boy when his parents moved over into Indiana, settling in Hancock county, where he completed his schooling and where he was trained in the trade of brick-making. His father, John R., grandfather of William P., operated an extensive brick-making plant at Greenfield, he and his six sons carrying on the business in a large way, the Johnson firm manufacturing much of the brick that entered into the construction of most of the chief buildings erected in Greenfield during that period.
Having been but an infant in arms when his parents moved to Greenfield, William P. Johnson was reared in that city and has spent all his life since then there. He received his early education in the Greenfield schools and was graduated from the high school in 1897, after which he entered Purdue University and spent a year there pursuing the course in civil engineering. He then taught school at Westland for a couple of years, at the end of which time he re-entered Purdue University and was graduated from the pharmacy department of that institution in 1902, he having in the meantime, beginning in 1900, been connected with the Pilkenton drug store at Greenfield, and upon receiving his diploma re-entered that store as a registered pharmacist. When the A.C. Pilkenton Drug Company was incorporated in November, 1911, Mr. Johnson became one of the members of the firm and on April 1, 1913, he bought the remaining interests of the other stockholders an has since been sole owner of the store, of which he has made quite a success, his well-stocked store and up-to-date methods of doing business attracting a large trade.
On April 19, 1903, William P. Johnson was united in marriage to Lottie Smith, who was born in Blue River township, this county, daughter of J. B. and Mary E. Smith, both of whom are now living in Shelby county. Mrs. Johnson has three sisters, Mrs. Bert Unger, of Morristown, this state; Mrs. Vernal Long, of Gwynneville, Shelby county, this state, and Mrs. H. G. Kennedy, of Greenfield. Mr. Johnson has one brother and four sisters, John T. Johnson, of Cambridge City, this state; Mrs. Eli Gillingham, of Indianapolis; Mrs. J. W. Taylor, of Cape Giradeau, Missouri; Mrs. Ora Taylor, of Illmo, Missouri, and Miss Nellie Johnson, of Greenfield. On sister, Mrs. Forman, is deceased.
To William P. and Lottie (Smith) Johnson three children have been born, Martha J., born on April 5, 1904; Mary E., October 7, 1907, and William E., November 15, 1914. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are members of the Presbyterian church and Mr. Johnson is one of the elders of that church, as well as the teacher of the young ladies' class in the Sunday school. He is a Mason and a member of the local lodges of the Improved order of Red Men and of the Modern Woodmen of America. He has been "through the chairs" in the Red Men's lodge and is now degree captain. Mr. Johnson is a Democrat and gives a good citizen's attention to local political affairs, but has never been an aspirant for public office.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Pages 926-927.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI October 7, 2001.
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