Highland Township Historical Society
Highland, Oakland County, Michigan
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BIOGRAPHIES MAIN PAGE
and Biographical Album of Oakland County, Michigan, Chapman Bros. (1891), pp. 695-696
LEONARD S. JOHNSON, a prominent merchant of Clyde, came to Oakland County at an early day. He is the son
of Lyman, a son of Banks Johnson, a native of
Connecticut. This grandfather reared a family of three sons and two daughters.
He was a farmer, and like many of the New England farmers of that day, was a
soldier in the Revolutionary War. His son, Lyman, was born February
6, 1800. He married Catherine Sherwood, a daughter of Samuel
Sherwood, a native of Connecticut, who went to New York at an early day
and made that his permanent home. The children of Lyman and Catherine
(Sherwood) Johnson were Sallie A., Joel, Oscar,
Maria, Willis, Lyman, Leonard,
William (deceased) and William. Lyman
Johnson went to New York soon after his marriage, and there he reared most of his
children. Upon his removal to Michigan in 1846 he settled in Highland
Township, where he lived and died. His first purchase was forty acres, but he
sold this and bought eighty, which he owned until death. In connection with farminlg
he followed the trade of a carpenter. Both he and his good wife were Presbyterians
in faith, and both died in Highland Township - she in 1850
and he in 1875.
The subject of this biographical sketch was born in Onondaga County, N. Y., January 15,
1838. He was only eight years old when he removed with his parents to Michigan.
At the age of fifteen years he went away to school and attended for a year and a
half. At the age of nineteen years he commenced teaching, and followed it for three
years, earning the munificent sum of $25 per month. This, however, was considered
good wages for teaching in those days, and the young man was enabled to pay the debt which
he had incurred for board while attending school.
Our young man now decided to set up a home of his own, and he chose for his wife Catherine
Garrett, the daughter of Charles E. Garrett, a native of New
York. The wedding took place August 19, 1861, in Highland
Township. Mr. Garrett was a ship carpenter, and had been
quite a roamer. He was married in the Buckeye State to Seraphina Higgins,
and one child was born unto them, who afterward became the wife of our subject. Mr.
Garrett came to Michigan and settled in Trenton, in 1859, where he lived for a
number of years, and then came to Highland Township, where he lived until
1880, when he sold his farm and went to Missouri. Mr. Garrett was
bereft of his first wife in this county, April 5, 1872, and was a second time united in
marriage to Mrs. Sheldon, widow of Edwin D. Sheldon.
To Mr. Johnson and his estimable wife have been born five children, one
of whom died in infancy, and the four others are now living. They are by name, Ada,
who is now Mrs. Frank Fisher, and resides in Highland
Township; Charles L., [Begin Page 696] who
resides at home and manages his father's business; Leonard, Jr., who
resides at home and works in his father's store; and Maud C., still a
school girl. Mr. Johnson's farm embraces one hundred and twenty-two
broad and productive acres. He followed farming until 1881, when his health
necessitated his going to Florida. He took his family with him, and was gone for two
years. There he bought land and set out an orange grove, which he still owns.
In 1886 he returned to Highland, where he has since
lived. He then bought fifty acres, including most of what is now the village of Clyde. He engaged in the livery business, which he still
follows. The following year he inaugurated a mercantile business, which he has
carried to success. His wife was snatched from his side by death, January 12, 1889.
His health has been poor ever since her decease, but he still attends to business,
although within the past year he has given the matter over more into the hands of his
sons. Mr. Johnson is a Republican, and always has been. He
has been Township Treasurer one term, and filled the responsible position of Justice of
the Peace for eight years. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Clyde Lodge No. 229. Both he and his excellent wife were
identified with the Baptist Church. Charles L. took to wife Miss
Myra Wood, daughter of Rev. Alva B. & Ervilla
(Hollister) Wood. This important event took place at the home of Leonard
S. Johnson, in Clyde, May 20, 1891.
Mr. Johnson organized the Clyde Cornet Band, and was its leader for eight
years, and when his health failed his son Charles L. stepped into his
father's shoes, and has filled the place with credit up to the present time.