Biography - C Johnson

C. W. JOHNSON, M. D., a very prominent and successful follower of the science of medicine, is one of Litchfield's most enterprising physicians. He is also the proprietor of the Central Illinois Infirmary, which institution is well and favorably known throughout the State. Mr. Johnson hails from the flowery shores of the celestial land of China, having been born in Hong Kong, May 17, 1848. However, he does not belong to the Mongolian race. His father, John W. Johnson, was a missionary of the American Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, and it was during his stay in the city of Hong Kong that his son C. W. was born.
John Johnson was born in New Hampshire in January, 1821, but left that State when a child and removed to Maine. He was a graduate of Amherst College, and soon after leaving that institution he studied theology, first as a Congregationalist, but during his course he was led to change his views on immersion and united with the Baptist Church before his studies were completed. In the year 1847, he chose a helpmate in the person of Miss Anna Stevens, who was born at Eastport, Me., and who was slightly his junior. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson set sail for China, which was to be the scene of their labors.
Mr. Johnson remained in the missionary service until his death in 1872, and devoted his entire life to the conversion of the heathen. In 1860, he left Hong Kong and made Swatow his headquarters, where he remained until his death. During the entire time of his residence in China, he made only two trips to the United States. His was a grand, noble life, self-sacrificing and Christ like. Any missionary deserves the respect and esteem of all people, but when a missionary is as good and devout a man as Mr. Johnson, no praise is too great. His wife, to whom he was devotedly attached, died when her only child, our subject, was born, and Mr. Johnson was left alone in a strange land. His body rests in the land he labored to redeem and gave his life for. Peace be to the ashes of such a hero.
Our subject was sent to his mother's sister, when only two and one-half years old, via Liverpool to Amesbury, Mass., and while on the way over, the ship was attacked by pirates and one-half the crew lost. In 1859, the father made a trip to America and took his son back with him to China, but young Johnson only remained there three years. November 11, 1862, he set sail for the land of his adoption from Fon Chow, on the "Jacob Bell," an East Indian tea ship. When the ship had been out ninety-six days, they were captured by the rebel privateer, "Florida," and their vessel was burned. They were kept on the "Florida" for five days and then transferred to a Danish barque bound for the West Indies. After reaching the last-mentioned place, Johnson proceeded to the Bermuda Islands, thence to Halifax, Nova Scotia, by steamer, and from there managed to reach Boston, March 8, 1863, after a voyage of nearly four months.
After our subject's second arrival in America, he entered school at Phoenix, R. I., where he remained for one year, and then completed his preparation for college at Philip's Academy, Exeter, and the University Grammar School in Providence, R. I. He then entered a business college at the same place, from which he was graduated in 1867. Afterward, he followed steamboating for one year and book-keeping for one half-year, at the end of which time he decided to devote his life to the physical needs of humanity, as his father had given his life to their spiritual needs. In accordance with this resolve, he began the study of medicine in 1868, under the instruction of Dr. L. P. Babb, at Eastport, Me. His lectures were received at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, from which institution he was graduated March 9, 1872.
Upon graduation, our subject settled in East Machias, Me., and practiced his profession until the 4th of September, 1884, having built up a fine practice during that period. It was a country practice, however, and was so large that he was completely broken down attending to the demands made upon his time and skill. He therefore sold the good-will and devoted himself to special studies in his profession, serving as Chief Assistant to O. H. Allis, who had charge of the Orthopedic Department of Jefferson College. In addition to his studies and the duties of his office, he carried on a practice in a large section of the city. There he remained until 1886, when he removed to Litchfield, Ill., where he has built up a fine practice, having had the confidence of the people from the first.
In 1890, Dr. Johnson purchased the Infirmary to accommodate the large number of patients he had under his care. On first going to Litchfield, he had purchased a residence and in that endeavored to treat such patients as required his constant care, but the house soon became too small for his needs, and in September, 1890, he opened this institution. It is always crowded, and has never been without occupants, with the exception of ten days. The knowledge that Dr. Johnson has full control of the establishment is advertisement enough for it, as everyone has the fullest confidence in his skill and ability.
On the 9th of January, 1873, our subject married Miss Allie Ryerson, of Lubec, Me., and succeeding years have proven his choice to be a happy one. One child, a son, has been born of their union, namely: Simeon Ryerson. Dr. Johnson is very prominent in his section of country, holding many of the important positions of different organizations, and is identified with the American Medical Association, Knights of Pythias, Knights Templar and Eastern Star. In addition to this he is a member of the Board of Education, and for three years was a Trustee of the Maine State Insane Asylum, his term of office extending from 1883 to 1886. He is a devout member of the Methodist Church, to which he contributes liberally, and his name is a synonym for geniality, intelligence and skill. All unite in praise of so learned and successful a man.

Extracted 04 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 183-184.

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