BIO-Pen Pictures,page 242-243

Samuel R. Johnson
of the Hamilton District

SURNAMES: McKinley, Lynch,  Spratlen, Reed, Berger

 Among the beautiful and productive orchards in the Hamilton District, San Jose Township, that owned by Mr. Johnson is worthy of special mention. This orchard is located on Moorpark Avenue, or Gruwell road, about three miles southwest of the business center of San Jose. It is fifty-one acres in extent, all under a high state of cultivation, and devoted to orchard purposes, which is classed as follows: Nineteen acres of apricots, twelve acres of French prunes, eight acres of apples, four acres of egg plums, five acres of cherries, one and one-half acres of pears, and three-fourths of an acre in almonds. There are also a few vines of choice table grapes, and a select family orchard containing nearly all varieties of fruit grown in the county. Mr. Johnson is also the owner of a magnificent tract of 360 acres in extent in the Meridian School District, on the Doyle road, three and one-half miles southwest of his orchard property. Sixty acres of this land are planted with vines, producing wine grapes of the Zinfandel, Grenache, and Charbano varieties; also three acres of table grapes of the Black Hamburg and Muscat varieties. There is an extensive orchard upon this place, comprising seventy-five acres of French prunes and twenty acres of cherries. The rest of the land is devoted to hay and grain.

The subject of this sketch was born in Parke County, Indiana, November 1, 1830. His father, Isaac Johnson, was a native of Pennsylvania, and his mother, Mary (McKinley) Johnson, was born in Indiana. his early life was spent on a farm, and his education confined to the common schools. He continued his farm labor until 1853, when he came overland to California, and located in Solano County. He rented land in that county, and for two years engaged in raising grain. In 1855 he returned East and located in Sydney, Fremont County, Iowa, where he was engaged in a general merchandise business until 1857. He then moved to Cass County, Nebraska, where he continued his mercantile pursuits until 1866. In that year he located at Council Bluffs, Iowa, and was engaged in the wholesale grocery business for eight years. In 1874 he moved to Omaha, Nebraska, and there conducted an extensive wholesale grocery business until 1885, when he sold out and retired from mercantile pursuits. For thirty years Mr. Johnson was actively engaged in mercantile life, during which time, by his energy and sound business principles, he accumulated a competency. He was identified and associated with many public enterprises, investing his capital therein, among which was the cable road system in Omah. He is now (1888) the President of the Omaha Cable Tramway Company. Mr. Johnson has visited California many times during his business life, and fully appreciates its advantages in climate, soil, etc. In 1886 he purchased his orchard property on Moorpark Avenue, and in 1887 purchased 360 acres on the Doyle road. his business interests are such in Omaha that as yet he has been unable to reside permanently in this county, though his family and himself spend a large portion of each year at his residence on Moorpark Avenue. It is his intention in the near future to take up his permanent residence in Santa Clara County.

In 1856 Mr. Johnson married Miss Martha Spratlen, the daughter of James and Sarah H. (Lynch) Spratlen, natives of Virginia, but now residents of Fremont County, Iowa. Mrs. Johnson died in 1870, leaving four children, viz: Franklin B., who married Miss Marian Reed; Hattie L., who married Ed. B.Williams; William, and Nettie; all the above reside in Omaha. In 1873 he married Miss Fannie M. Berger, daughter of Enos and Elizabeth Berger, natives of Virginia, now residents of Santa Clara County. From this marriage there are two sons, Samuel Edgar and Ralph Raymond, who are residing with their parents.

SOURCE:  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. page 242-243 Transcribed by Carol Lackey