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Johnson, Benjamin

Born: 1797-XX-XX North Carolina

Died: 1862-04-06

Flourished: Bond County, Illinois

Johnson came to Bond County, Illinois, with his father in 1817. He was a large land owner, and in 1833 he founded the town of Pocahontas, Illinois, which was originally called Amity. Johnson was the first postmaster in the town, owned the first general merchandise store and the first blacksmith shop, donated the land for the Amity Academy, and served on its first board of trustees. He served alongside Abraham Lincoln in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1838 to 1840, where he represented Bond County. He was also a member of the Illinois Senate from 1842 to 1846, representing Christian, Montgomery & Bond counties. In 1860, he was working as a farmer, and owned $18,000 in real estate and $2,500 in personal property. Johnson remained in Bond County until his death in 1862.

Gravestone, Sugg Cemetery, Pocahontas, IL; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Bond County, IL, 311; U.S. Census Office, Fourth Census of the United States (1820), Bond County, IL, 19; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 207, 210, 212; William Henry Perrin, ed., History of Bond and Montgomery Counties, Illinois (O. L. Baskin, 1882), 83, 141-42.