WILLIAM CALVIN JOHNSON
History of Idaho, Volume 2, by Hiram T. French, M.S.
The Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago and New York 1914, Page 863
A pioneer who first became acquainted with Idaho is the year 1862, Mr. Johnson has been more or less identified with the stock business since his early youth, and his experience includes practically every phase of that industry in the northwest, and he has been everything from herder and cowboy to owner and proprietor of a large ranch of his own. For many years he has lived in the vicinity of Payette, and has a valuable farm devoted to mixed agriculture and well irrigated in that vicinity. Of the seventy-four years of his life, more than fifty have been spent in the northwest, and he is one of the men who has done much to make Idaho what it is, and is one of the most venerable of the pioneer settlers.
Jackson county, Missouri, was the locality of his birth, and he was born to Charles and Kezia (Trapp) Johnson, On November 25, 1839. His father was a Tennessean by birth, a farmer by occupation and reared a family of five sons and four daughters, among whom William C. was the fourth in order of birth. The latter was eleven years of age when the Johnson household accomplished its great migration across the western plains with wagon and ox teams to Oregon, first locating at Marysville. This journey across the western wilderness was not without its tragedies to the Johnson family. The Mother and one sister died of the cholera while in camp along the Platte river, and their bodies were laid to rest on the banks of the north Platte. The mother died the one day and her daughter the following, and the rest of the family soon took up sorrowful roads on to the northwest. The father took up a claim in Oregon, and made it his home until his death in 1874.
William Calvin Johnson grew to manhood in Oregon, and when twenty-two years of age left the old home in 1861, spending about a year in Walla Walla, and in 1862 came to Florence, Idaho. He was in the mines there but soon returned to Walla Walla, where he was employed on a farm up to May, 1865. In 1866 he returned to Idaho as his permanent home. He was engaged in herding stock, and also in teaching school until 1874.
On January 11, 1874, he married Nancy King. She was a daughter of Samuel W. and Elizabeth (Ruff) King, being one of their two children. The King family in 1869 took passage on the first railroad train that ran over the Union Pacific as far as Kelton, Utah, and thence came by stage into the Payette valley. For three years Mr. King had the management of a dairy for Peter Prince, near Payette, and finally located on land of his own, including the site of the present city of Payette.
Mr. And Mrs. Johnson were born seven children, five daughters and two sons, namely; Elizabeth, wife of H.C. Flint, of Middleton; Lora, wife of George Barker, of Payette; Ella, wife of Herman Kaiser, ,of Moscow, Idaho; Effie, wife of John Howard, of Payette; Charles who married Grace Christianson and lives at his father's home; Edward C., at home; Ruth, wife of Lee Boyd.
Mr. Johnson has never been out of the cattle business for any great length of time during all the period of his residence in the northwest. At the present time he owns three hundred and seventy acres of irrigated land, three hundred and thirty acres being on the Buding Island, this island being made by two forks in the Payette river. Mr. And Mrs. Johnson are members of the Methodist church, and he has always been an active Democrat and served as county commissioner of Ada county two terms. For the past thirty years he has been nine miles east of Payette, and none of the citizens of that locality has been more prosperous or more influential.