Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
A. J. JOHNSTON. A forward-looking, dynamic-energied citizen of Springfield, a man of vision and purpose, who has in many ways aided in Missouri's betterment, is A. J. Johnston.
Mr. Johnston was born in Washington county, this state, near Potosi, on June 14th, in the year 1869, of English and German parentage. His father was a minister of the Christian church, later joining the Baptist communion. While still a mere child he was brought to Houston, Texas county, and was reared on a farm near the county seat. His equipment for the affairs of life in the way of an education came from the common schools and the training of a model Christian home. Reaching manhood's estate, in 1890, he and Miss Verta Cross were married and for twenty-five years now have faced sunshine and storm together. Mrs. Johnston is the daughter of T. A. Gross, of Marion, Ohio.
The four children who have blessed this union are, Ray Augustus, Floyd Albert, Glen Paul and Beulah, but the little girl crossed over the river many years ago.
Some six years ago, Mr. Johnston moved to Springfield and for the last five years has been in the real estate business. He has made a number of deals and always has on his books a list of good properties. When he came to Springfield he determined to give of his talent, time and money in aiding the upbuilding of Greene county and its capital, and has never failed to do his part.
In his chosen business, Mr. Johnston has always stood high, for he is honest and careful in all his dealings. Recently he has leased a suite of rooms in the Landers building, which are perfectly adapted to the business, fitted up with every modern convenience.
Mr. Johnston has been prominently identified with the development of southern Missouri, in which he has extensive interests. No one has given more time, thought and effort to bringing before the people of the United States the great resources of the Ozark region and the opportunities which are presented here for men of moderate means to get a start and secure a competence in a few years.
Prominent among the propositions which he has on hand at the present time is the disposition of the Springdale ranch, the only body of land of its kind remaining in this section. Eight thousand acres of virgin soil under laid with mineral wealth and covered with a forest in which valuable timber abounds, here await development. The position of this great tract of land is in the midst of a portion of the country in which important projects are on hand and rapid progress is being made. Springdale ranch is interesting, not only in connection with prospective developments there, but in the fact that it is a great reservation in which the natural resources of the Ozark region are shown in a remarkable manner, exhibiting to the people of this day and generation a view of the land as it appeared to the pioneers who made their way into this country in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, a reminder of the vision which excited the enthusiasm of the French explorers of an earlier period, causing them to write charming descriptions of this portion of the domains of the king of France, then known as Louisiana. Samples of ore taken from the Springdale ranch have been sent to a prominent assayer at Denver, Colorado, who reports a value Of $78.90 of gold, silver, lead and zinc per ton.
Springfield-Greene County Library