50. Disbury JOHNSON was born on 1 Nov 1799 in Cadiz, Harrison, Ohio. He died on 25 Feb, 1883 in Greencastle, Sullivan, Missouri. Also thought to have died in Queen City, Schuyler, Missouri. He was buried in Liberty Cemetery, Lewis county, Missouri.

Census - Ohio 1840, Tuscarawas County, Perry Twp, Roll 430, Pg 336. Ohio 1850, Crawford County, Polk Twp, Roll 671, Pg 385. Missouri 1850, St Louis County, Carondel, Pg 297. (Disberry). Missouri 1860/70/80, Lewis Co.

It is believed that Disbury and Nancy Johnson moved with his father and mother (Griffin and Sarah Johnson) and a number of brothers and sisters from Ohio in 1842, (but see Abner born in Missouri in 1841) through Illinois, where Griffin and Sarah Johnson with most of the brothers and sisters settled in Perry County.

Disbury and Nancy came on to Osage County, Missouri, (now Maries Co.). Several of the daughters were married in Osage County, Missouri, while this was the family home.

In 1846 Disbury and Nancy Johnson moved to Perry County, Illinois for about a year. Perry County records show Disbury Mortgaging personal property to his brother John.

The family then moved to St. Louis County, Missouri, living beside the Dent family (in-laws of U.S. Grant). While living here a daughter Anna was married to Henry M. Barnes. This daughter and her daughter both died in childbirth on January 20, 1851 and the invalid son Griffin died the next day.

In 1853 Disbury and family moved to Lanes Prairie, Maries County, Missouri.

On March 14, 1855 Disbury bought land in Lewis County, Missouri and the family moved there. Nancy died there on January 9, 1883.

Disbury moved to Queen City, Schuyler County, Missouri with his daughter Emeline and her husband, James Willows. He died there within six weeks, on February 25, 1883.

Both Disbury and Nancy Johnson are buried in Liberty Church Cemetery, Lewis County, Missouri near their home and with various members of the Emeline and James Willows' family.

The following is believed to be written by his granddaughter, Lilliebell (McChesney) Flack...

"Disbury Johnson, son of Griffin and Sarah Wright Johnson, born Nov. 1, 1799 in Harrison County, Ohio. He married Nancy Gardner, daughter of Abner and Nancy Culp Gardner, January 20, 1823, and to them were born ten children, namely: Isaac, Sarah; Emeline; Anne Elizabeth; Joseph; Eleanor; Griffin; Abner B and Nancy Lucynthia. {Note: not mentioned; Mary}

"Court records in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, show where he bought land of William Gray in 1838, but soon after this Disbury felt he had been divinely led to sell his holdings in Ohio and move farther west, which he did, about the year 1839 or 1840. He drove with his family across the country to St. Louis, Mo., where he bought land adjoining the "Dent Farm", belonging to the father of General Grant's wife. Here he built a log house, as was the custom of the early pioneer in those days and here their two youngest children were born, Abner Browning, August 5, 1841, and Nancy Lucynthia, March 21, 1844; and here also, their five eldest children were married, within the space of six years.

"Disbury who had united with the Methodist Church at the age of sixteen years, did not forget his religion in the labors of the early farmer's life, and during his first winter in his new home he held a revival meeting, which resulted in many convertions, five men of whom afterwards became Methodist ministers.

"A letter written by Disbury Jan 28, 1852, to his brother John Johnson and his old father Griffin Johnson who were then living in Perry Co. Ill., tells of the death of two children only one day apart. Their beautiful daughter, Mrs. Annie Elizabeth Barnes (Henry), age 20 years died Jan. 20, 1852, after the birth of her first child, a little girl, who followed shortly after, and on the following day Jan. 21, 1852, an invalid son, Griffin age 13 years. The loss of these loved ones was met with Christian faith and prayer, which brought solace to their aching hearts.

"In the year 1849 disease broke out among his sheep and other stock followed by an epidemic of cholera, which put a band on all fresh fruits and green vegetables, making his loss very great and in 1853 he moved from St Louis Co., to Lanes Prairie, Maries Co., Mo. They did not remain in Lanes Prairie long for soon after this they purchased a small farm adjoining one owned by their daughter and her husband, James Willows, in Lewis Co., Mo.

"Their family of ten children had now dwindled down to three; the first of these to leave was Eleanor who, on Oct. 10, 1857 married Thomas McChesney, eldest son of Henry and Jane Sankey McChesney formerly of New Castle, Pa.

"Disbury Johnson and family were loyal to the Union during the Civil War conflict, when most of his neighbors round about were on the opposite side. This brought them many trying experiences. Their horses were stolen, and many times their supply of food as well. Their house was searched from time to time, in the hope of capturing their son-in-law, Lieutenant Thomas McChesney, whose wife and little family had sought refuge in their home, riding horse back in the dead of the night, with two little children on before her, in order to escape being molested by the Rebels, who were determined to capture her husband.

"Abner Johnson, their youngest son, enlisted in the Union Army, and that left them with but one remaining child at home, their youngest, Nancy, a beautiful girl of twenty years.

"Several skirmishes were held near their home; and at one time, when an encampment of Union soldiers, stationed near their home, were surrounded by the enemy, Nancy, who had gone to carry peaches to the soldiers, was also surrounded, and it was with great difficulty that she made her escape through the enemy's line, and returned home safely. Nancy was noted not only as a beautiful girl but as a singer. She had a sweet, clear soprano voice and song was always her great joy. Another little incident which shows the spirit of the times and cause some commotion, Nancy and a friend, arriving early at the country meeting house, tacked up an American flag over the door and openly defied all who came to worship that they must come in under the stars and stripes. At the close of the war Nancy married the brother of Thomas McChesney, Cowden A., who had served four years in the Union ranks during the late conflict. This left Disbury and his faithful wife, Nancy, all alone in their little log home.

"This little house held many quaint articles of great interest to recall at this time. The set of old blue dishes, so much sought after by collecters today; the loom and spinning wheel, upon which lovely old blue and white coverlets, blankets and home-spun cloth were woven. Disbury never wore a suite of clothes made from any other cloth than home-spun and hand sewn by his dear wife. The high posted bed stead had ropes stretched across it to take the place of springs, and on it was a straw bed topped by a large feather bed which furnished both comfort and warmth. The idea of a cook stove to take the place of their friendly large fireplace, which accommodated hickory logs of great size, was not considered for a moment. Nancy did her baking in the Dutch oven, and the kettle was always singing on the crane furnishing water for a cup of tea at any time. A gourd with a long crooked handle served as a drinking cup by the side of the bucket of cold well water. The grandchildren's delight was to dig the sugar from the big stone jar of sorgum and eat on the hot corn pone, so deliciously baked in front of the big fireplace.

"Nancy, who was noted for her beauty and sweetness of character, wore a white cap with full triple pleated frill, which she always sewed on herself. She was buried in one she had made and laid aside for that purpose.

"Although Disbury's eyesight was very poor he would sit for hours reading the Bible with the aid of one little eye glass. He was greatly interested in the study of astronomy and always kept a supply of almanacs on hand. Both he and his wife were singers in their early years.

"As the years of his labor as a farmer drew to a close he spent his time weaving baskets from the bark of the trees that grew near his home, and no visitor ever left their house without being presented one of these useful articles. He also kept his fire and that of the 'big house', occupied by his daughter Emeline, and which were within a stone's throw of each other, well supplied with all the chopped wood they needed, as his hands were never idle.

"Nancy and Disbury Johnson lived over 60 years together, in loving, harmonious companionship, and when the grim reaper claimed Nancy, Jan. 9, 1883, Disbury said he had nothing more to live for. The little log house, along with his daughter's had passed into the hands of strangers, and within two weeks after the parting with his dear wife, he moved with the Willow's family to Queen City, Mo. where he passed on Feb. 25, 1883, a little over one month after the death of Nancy. They are both buried in the Liberty Church buring ground in Lewis County, Mo. near his old home.

"Through his sympathetic and trustful nature, and his willingness to help those in trouble, he experienced many heavy financial losses from those who borrowed but forgot to return, but he left behind him the greater wealth of "good deeds and an exemplary life"."

He was married to Nancy Lucynthia GARDNER on 30 Jan 1823 in Harrison County, Ohio. Or Jan 30, 1832

51. Nancy Lucynthia GARDNER was born on 2 Jun 1802 in Maryland. Born 5 Jun 1802 or Jan 20 1823 or Jun 2 1802 She died on 9 Jan 1883 in LaGrange, Lewis, Missouri. She was buried in Liberty Cemetery, Lewis, Missouri.

Liberty Cemetery is a nice well-kept cemetery southwest of La Grange and can be reached by going south through La Grange on Business US 61. Go across the four lane Route 61 and take the local road on it's west side. One mile south of Wakonda State Park, turn west on the gravel road about 2 miles to Route Z, a blacktop road, north on Route Z 1/2 mile to Liberty Cemetery on the east side of the road. The record for Liberty shows 137 markers or stones. There are seven Johnson and four Willows' listed. About 3/4 mile east of Liberty Cemetery, in Bob Richters pasture is the Merrell Cemetery which contains the grave of Alice M., wife of J. T. Willows, Nov. 20, 1859 - February 28, 1888. This cemetery is much used by cattle and there are no stones standing. There are Johnsons and Willows listed in Lewis County telephone directories.

Letter to Mr. James H. Gritton, Des Moines, Iowa, dated March 7, 1977, from Ben C. Plank, 1121 N. 18th St., Quincy, Ill. 62301. Chart of cemetery: Go in eight rows from road on west side. Starting at South end will be:
72. Disbury Johnson, Born in Ohio Nov 1, 1799, Died Greencastle, MO Feb 25, 1883
Nancy L. Gardner, Born in Maryland Jun 2, 1802, married in 1822 to D. Johnson, died in LaGrange, MO Jan 9, 1883
73. William Pillatt, 1850 - 1896
74. Etta Frances Pillatt, 1883 - 1933
75. James Willows, 1825 1909
Emaline Willows, 1830 - 1899
Emma Willows, 1862 - 1903 Born near Cadiz

Children were:

child i. Isaac JOHNSON was born on 10 Jan 1824. He died on 17 Aug 1847.

child ii. Sarah JOHNSON was born on 10 Dec 1825 in Ohio. She died on 1 Jan 1863.

child iii. Mary JOHNSON was born on 17 Nov 1827 in Ohio. She died on 15 Jul 1907.

child25 iv. Emeline JOHNSON

child v. Anna Elizabeth JOHNSON was born on 9 Jul 1832. She died on 20 Jan 1852. Death may have been 20 Jan 1852, after birth of 1st child (girl) who also died.

child vi. Joseph J JOHNSON was born on 24 Nov 1834. He died on 23 Sep 1891.

child vii. Ellen Eleanor JOHNSON was born on 27 Feb 1837. She died on 1 Oct 1894. She was buried in Des Moines, Iowa. Buried in Aspen Grove Cemetery.

child viii. Griffin JOHNSON was born on 15 Jun 1839. He died on 21 Jan 1852. Invalid.

child ix. Abner Browning JOHNSON was born on 5 Aug 1841 in St Louis, Missouri.At J T Willows home, Kirksville, 1914



  He married Catherine BARNES on 16 Apr 1865 in Lewis County, Missouri.  Abner died 2 May 1919 at the age of 77,  in North or South Dakota.




child x. Nancy Lucynthia JOHNSON was born on 21 Mar 1844 in St Louis, Osage (Maries) County, Missouri. She died on 27 Dec 1910 in Ogden, Weber County, Utah. Joined ME Church 1853 in St Louis County, Missouri. She was buried in Aspen Grove Cemetery, Burlington or Des Moines, Iowa.