Johns, Harvey C.

Born: 1819-06-20 Ohio

Died: 1900-04-22 Decatur, Illinois

Alternate name: Johnes, Harvey C.

Born in Delaware County, Ohio, Harvey C. Johns was a physician, farmer, public servant, Odd Fellow, abolitionist, Whig, and, later, a Republican. He attended school in Granville, Ohio before attending Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. After graduating in 1812, he began practicing medicine in Circleville, Ohio. Although his surname was originally "Johnes," he changed it to "Johns" for the sake of convenience just before marrying Jane Martin in October 1845. The two eventually had five children together. The family relocated to Piatt County, Illinois in 1849, and he gave up his medical practice to pursue farming and livestock raising, at which he became very successful. He was a leading member of the Illinois State Agricultural Society through the Civil War. He relocated to Decatur, Illinois in 1854, and, in the election of 1854, won a seat in the Illinois House of Representatives. In May 1856, he served as a vice-president to the Illinois anti-Nebraska State Convention in Bloomington, and later was also a delegate to the 1856 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. By 1860, he was quite wealthy, owning personal property valued at $10,000 and real estate valued at another $30,000. During the Civil War, he helped raise regiments for service, went to the war front to treat the wounded and sick at the request of Governor Richard Yates, and accepted commission as surgeon for the 129th Regiment of Illinois Infantry. He resigned from service in February 1861 due to poor health, but, at the request of Governor Yates, traveled to Tennessee in 1864 to help escort sick and wounded Illinois soldiers back home.

Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 2 January 1855, 2:3; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 30 May 1856, 2:3; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Ward 4, Decatur, Macon County, IL, 100; Illinois Statewide Death Index, Pre-1916 , Macon County, 22 April 1900, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; The Daily Review (Decatur, IL), 23 April 1900, 2:1-2.