Samuel Johnson, Texas Veteran


    The tombstone of Nancy, “old man” John Kitchin’s wife, in Johnson Cemetery shows an open book—“Holy Bible”. “Farewell” on nearby stones. On the way to Texas a childless couple stole the Kitchins’ second child, Elizabeth. She was never seen again. J. W. Wilbarger, in Indian Depredations in Texas, mentions “Kitchin’s Station”:

The Kitchens family came to Texas at an early day, and settled in Fannin county. In order to secure themselves against the attacks of Indians, Mr. Kitchens built a kind of fort, to which they could retreat in case of need. Several other families settled near this fort subsequently for protection. Thus they lived for several years without being disturbed by the Indians. But in the year 1835 a large party of Indians came into Fannin county determined to attack Kitchen’s station. They selected a dark night for their purpose.... Young Kitchens was killed instantly.... Among the Indians there was a negro man who had run away from his master and joined them....The two young Kitchens were so exasperated at the death of their brother that they cut off the head of the negro man who had been killed and stuck it on a pole, where it remained for several months.

n Kitchin now rests beside Nancy (both pictured). She, that Sunday afternoon, watched her infuriated daughters cut off the negro’s head. He said Texas was getting “too tame,” before setting out for the California Gold Rush and death. Nancy had his body exhumed and brought back to Johnson Cemetery. Five years before John Kitchin fought William Twitty, his daughter Malinda, aged fifteen, married Captain Samuel Johnson, aged thirty; the date was November 27, 1842. A letter written at “Venison Grove” in 1880 survives:

   ...they [Samuel and Malinda] settled on Cayney Creek in Fannin County on the 12th of December and camped under the shade of a post oak tree till they could bild a house to live in. Bonham was not at that time but has grown up since. The two had no meat nore Bread for supper but managed to git a morsel for supper.

hen the seventh child of Samuel and Malinda, named Salvina, was Mrs. Foshee in Ladonia, aged eighty-seven, it was noted, “Her father was a person of large means... contributed $500 to the building of the Fannin County Court house and a like sum to the building fund of the State Capitol at Austin.”

    Long after all had become quiet again, Judge Evans wrote:

    Near Old Warren was Samuel Johnson, one of the heroes of San Jacinto. He was a prosperous farmer. I do not know  the year that he came to Fannin County, nor of what State he was a native. I knew him as one of the heroes of the battle that won Texas her freedom.

    I first met him in 1857, and often from that time until his death, which occurred some time about 1890.  At one time he exchanged his farm near Warren for property in Ladonia and lived there a few years, then moved back to the old neighborhood and there finished his work on earth.

    He was an energetic, active man, true and positive in his convictions and an earnest and honest advocate of what he believed to be right. He was a prominent, true, and faithful member of the Baptist church.

    The old soldier now sleeps neath the soil of Texas, his last resting place being the land to which he aided in giving its freedom. He lived to see it become the greatest State in the union.

Weaving other accounts of the Johnson family story:

    Samuel Johnson was born in Warren County, Georgia, on August 18, 1812. In February 1836, at age twenty-four, Samuel and his brother Alfred, three years younger, left Georgia for Texas. [Samuel Johnson was my Grand father. The story goes that he and his brother Alfred came home one day and found their father Abner mistreating their step mother and having visited a tavern on the way home they beat the old man up pretty badly and fearing that they may have killed him they got on their horses and headed for Texas, swimming their horses across Red River....]

    [In the fight for Texas Independence:] They joined the Alabama Volunteers under Capt. Ratcliff about April 5th. They arrived at San Jacinto just after the battle was over, were then put under Capt. Mabbitt, and helped with the prisoners. Samuel was discharged from the Texas army in Victoria on July 22, 1836 (1st Regiment, Company C). He received a land grant of two-thirds of a league in Fannin County.

    Samuel [then] joined the Texas Rangers. He served under many different men and different places; one was the burning of Waco Village, where his name is on the plaque at Fort Fisher. Records show that he was a lieutenant in Capt. James Bourland’s Company in 1841, and a captain of the Ranger Spy Company under Tarrant. While at Fort Warren to help quell an Indian uprising, he met and married Malinda Kitchings.  [While at Fort Warren, Fannin County, there was Indian trouble, when William Kitchins and Daniel Dugan were killed. He met William’s sister Malinda and married her. His brother Alfred was evidently with him since he married Malinda’s sister, Melissa....]  Samuel and Malinda had ten children, all being raised in Fannin County. Samuel died November 9, 1887 at seventy-five, and his wife Malinda on April 22, 1902. They are both buried at Johnson Cemetery. 

    1844 March 10: Samuel Johnson purchased 640 acres in the Journey survey, on Caney Creek, from Daniel Montague.

    Brother Alfred moved on to Collin County, later formed a company of volunteers during the Civil War, was captured by Union forces at Arkansas Post and died a prisoner on February 7, 1863 in St. Louis.

Son Alfred’s Death at the “Red Light” and Eb’s Discharge

    1879 October 4: (Denison Daily News)  [Marshall Sam Ball] who was standing near Mr. Fowler, addressed “Sport,” calling him ugly names, and without any provocation or a moment’s warning, drew back and dealt “Sport” a heavy blow with his fist. He received a severe gash over the eye, and his head is now ornamented with a handkerchief. “Sport” went before a justice of peace and entered [a] complaint, but Ball had previously plead guilty to an assault before the mayor, and thus stopped further proceedings. If the affair was as reported to us, the assault was an outrage.

    1879 December 19: (DDN) News reached the city about 11 o’clock last night that Marshal Sam Ball had been fatally shot. We are able to gain but meager particulars this morning. It is understood that Marshall Ball was attempting to arrest a man at the Red Light Saloon [in Sherman]. The stranger resisted arrest and commenced firing. A man named [Alfred, son of Samuel] Johnson [aged 24] from near Savoy was almost instantly killed [Johnson fell dead in the street] and Sam Ball was shot three times [near the right lung]. It is feared the wounds are fatal, although at 12:30 o’clock he was resting easily. The murderer escaped, but a strong posse is in search of him. 

    December 21: (DDN) A well known citizen of Sherman expresses the belief that the recovery of Marshall Ball is very doubtful. The opinion is divided as to the shooting affair.  The Marshal’s friends claim that under the circumstances he was justified in killing Johnson; whereas a large number of citizens think that Ball acted hastily. Mr. Ball’s statement has not as yet been taken.

    1880 February 23: (DDN) Eb [Edwin] Johnson, who was held for an attempt to murder Sam Ball, in the unfortunate affair of a week or so ago, was yesterday finally discharged. This is the end of one of the most deplorable cases that has happened in the country for years, and is another strong argument that we have so long insisted on that public houses of prostitution should be abolished.

   John K. and Robert, still other sons of Samuel, brought their brother’s body to Johnson Cemetery. All marks from a stone thought to be Alfred’s have washed away; on a smaller stone at the foot, A. J.

    1887 November 9: Ornamental carving on Samuel’s tombstone, with “Texas Veteran,” depicts a shock of wheat.


    1908 May 12: (Bonham News)  Well do I remember my first home on Caney Creek just west of Ravenna and also my school days at Sandy Creek school house. I often think of the ones who were my early associates in Fannin county, one of whom, Isreal Journey, has drifted here for a few days stay. Our talks carried me back to the time when Gen. Agnew, Joe Anthony, and many others too numerous to mention were having the jolliest time of our lives. A great many of the old friends are gone, too many have been taken to their eternal home, and I am now growing old....

J. K. Johnson

photo: John Kitchin Johnson (1851-1931), third son of Samuel

            and Malinda

    John Kitchin by Leon Hollingsworth

    [Born September 9, 1799 in Germany; wife Nancy, March 10, 1804, in Holland. A son, William, was born in Holland in 1819.]

    John stowed away on a ship in a wooden barrel and came to America where he worked a co
uple of years and sent for his family.  They lived in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio.  A son, Daniel, was born in 1826 and daughters, Malinda and Melissa, were born in Ohio 1827 and 1830.  He then imigrated to Illinois and then joined a group coming to Texas, stopping the first night at Renne Allred’s place.  He then settled about a mile south of Dugan’s farm on a place belonging to another Mr. Allred who had left an account of the Indian trouble.  This was in May 1841 and they lived there in peace until July 27.  John was up near Preston and he heard that a group of hostile Indians were on the prowl, so he hurried home, arriving about dusk.  Meanwhile Daniel Dugan had employed William Kitching to help him cut logs with which to build a house.  John was going to advise the boys, but could not locate them.  The next morning a group formed a party to search.  The boys were found, both killed and scalped.  The following Sunday, memorial services were held, and afterwards, they all went home and a Mr. Stephens accompanied them.  That afternoon the Kitchings were all sitting outside the house and the Keechies (a tribe of Indians), about 12 in number, attached the group.  Quite a fight went on and several Indians and one negro were killed.  The Indians retreated, taking their dead, but leaving the negro.  The Kitching girls were so angry that they cut off the negro’s head and put it on the gatepost.

    John, later in about 1860, got the gold fever and he and Daniel went to California, previously having operated a trading post at Warren.  When the Civil War broke out, John started home, taking a ship to Panama, where he walked across the isthmus and contracted the fever and died on the way to New Orleans.  Later Nancy had his body exhumed and reburied in the Johnson Cemetery on Caney Creek in Fannin County.

Johnson Cemetery: “Grave Stone Inscriptions”

Three small stones reading children of R. F. and M. J. Broyles.  [Robert F. and Mattie (Johnson)     Broyles.  Mattie was a daughter of William and Mary Elizabeth (Jolley) Johnson.]

.  Mary J.  b. May 1879  d. Aug. 20, 1888.  [Second daughter of George W. and Salvina (Johnson) Fooshee]

.  John Kitchens   b. Sept. 9, 1799  d. Aug. 4, 1864.

.  Nancy Kitchens  b. March 3, 1840  d. Aug. 29, 1884.  [Parents of Malinda Johnson]

.  Abner Johnson  b. Sept. 3, 1792  d. Nov. 21, 1883.  [Father of Samuel Johnson]

.  Samuel Johnson  b. Aug. 18, 1812  d. Nov. 9, 1887.  “Texas Veteran”

.  Malinda Johnson  b. Aug. 21, 1827  d. April 10, 1902.  [Married Samuel on Nov. 27, 1842]

.  Edmund Johnson  b. Aug. 30, 1843  d. Oct. 27, 1843.

.  Nancy Johnson  b. July 19, 1848  d. July 20, 1852.

.  William Johnson  b. Sept. 26, 1846  d. Dec. 14, 1878. 

.  Eugene O. Johnson  b. Sept. 11, 1872  d. Sept. 1, 1884.

. John S. Johnson  b. Dec. 30, 1880  d. April 3, 1881.

. Frank E. Johnson  b. Jan. 11, 1875  d. Sept. 7, 1884.  [Three children of John K. and Mary (Garrett) Johnson]

. Ada Johnson  b. Aug. 29, 1885  d. Feb. 28, 1886.

. Etta Johnson  b. Aug. 28, 1885  d. March 23, 1887. [Twins of Edwin and Mary Elizabeth (Jolley) Johnson]

. W. Henry C. Johnson  b. Nov. 19, 1828  d. April 29, 1887.  [Probably a son of Abner by his first marriage]

. [Illegible. Probably the grave of Alfred Johnson, killed in Sherman. b. 1855 d. Dec. 27, 1879]

“Children of Samuel and Malinda Johnson”

Edmund  b. 1843

Mary  b. 1844  (married John Evan Price)

William  b. 1846  (married Mary Elizabeth Jolley)

Nancy  b. 1847

John K.  b. 1851  d. 1931  (married first Mary Garrett, then Tilda Skaggs)

Salvina  b. 1854  d. 1941  (married George W. Fooshee)

Alfred  b. 1855  

Edwin “Ebbie”  b. 1857  (married first Monty Duncan, then Mary Elizabeth, widow of William)

Josephine  b. 1859  d. 1948  (married “a Mr. Marshall”)

Robert  b. 1863  (married Kitty Kardy)

Elizabeth  b. 1865  d. 1948  (married David Nicholas Price)