THE VALLEY OF HEART's DELIGHT
deceased. The subject of his sketch was one of the pioneers of California, who was led here by the gold emigration of 1849. He was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, July 9, 1805. Although reared to a farm life, he acquired the trade of stone mason. He left the State of Pennsylvania soon after reaching manhood, and worked at his trade in Baltimore, Maryland, and later in Ohio. Thence he went to Arkansas, becoming a farmer and cotton grower, and also a slave owner. Leaving his property in Arkansas in charge of Bob Johnston, his trusty slave, Mr. Johnston came to this State. After spending two years in mining he came to Santa Clara Valley, and bought 240 acres on the Alviso road, two and one-half miles north of San Jose.
A few years later he sold 140 acres to J. Q. A. Ballou, who still owns the property. The remaining 100 acres Mr. Johnston improved, and later became associated in its ownership with W. W. Cowan and Thomas Scott. The property is now (1888) in the possession of Dr. M. M. Chipman, of San Francisco. After settling upon his land, Mr. Johnston sent to Arkansas for his slave, Bob, and his family. Not long afterward he freed him and his family, and they now live at Watsonville, the former slave having become quite well off.
Johnston’s sister, Mrs. Margaret Scott, joined him in this county about
1871. She now has her home with Mr. and
Mrs. W. W. Cowan. Mr. Johnston never
married. His death occurred April 18,
1884. He was a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church, and one of the
founders of the first church of that denomination in San Jose.
Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888. p.