Contra Costa County












WILLIAM JOHNSON.  An early settler of Contra Costa county and now a retired resident of the Sycamore valley, William Johnson was born in Cass county, Mich., July 11, 1836, a son of James Johnson, whose nativity was Licking county, Ohio, where his father, Jeremiah Johnson, reared his family.  James Johnson removed to Michigan when a young man and there married Elizabeth Mendenhall.  Her brother, William Mendenhall, having come to California and settled in the San Ramon valley, Contra Costa county, Mr. Johnson decided to bring his family west, and accordingly on April 6, 1853, he set out from his home in Michigan and crossed the plains by ox-teams, arriving in the Sycamore valley on the 11th of September of the same year.  He brought with him his son and daughter.  After stopping with Mr. Mendenhall for a short time, Mr. Johnson proceeded to Santa Clara county, where he engaged in farming until 1855, when he returned to Contra Costa county and took up a quarter-section of government land.  This he proceeded to farm until later years, when he retired from active duty, and so lived until his death, which occurred in June, 1892, at the age of seventy-two years.  His wife died in August, 1900, at the age of eighty-eight years.  They were the parents of two children, namely; William and Almira, who married J. G. Chase, of Antioch.


William Johnson was a young man of seventeen when he crossed the plains with his father, and after the return of the latter to Contra Costa county, he also took up a quarter-section of government land adjoining that of his father.  He there entered into the raising of stock and grain, and began improvements which have made his home an attractive and comfortable one, putting up a substantial residence, barns and outbuildings.  In addition to this property he also owned a stock ranch of six hundred and forty acres in the mountain district, but on account of failing health was compelled to dispose of this land.  He married Annie Shimphiff, a native of Germany.  Born of this union were three children, namely:  Almira, the wife of C. G. Goold, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this book; Emma, deceased, and Clara, at home.




Transcribed by Donna Toole.

ญญญญSource: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 745-746. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

2015  Donna Toole.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library