Noah Webster Johnstone

                          ┌── (unknown) Johnstone
Noah Webster Johnstone ───┤
B: 1822 
D: 1897 
M: Mary Jane Hall
   ├── May Johnstone  1
   ├── Howard Channing Johnstone (1855-1931) 1,2,3,4
   ├── Lillian Honorah Johnstone (1858-1932) 1,2,3,4
   ├── Frank Johnstone (1861-1862) 4
   ├── Martha Glendora Johnstone (1862-1903) 1,3,4,5
   ├── Bermadell Johnstone (1865-1934) 1,3,4,5,6
   ├── Edward Ervin Johnstone (1867-1934) 1,3,4,5,6,7
   ├── Mary Elizabeth Johnstone (1869-1937) 1,3,4,5
   ├── Arthur Eugene Johnstone (1874-1945) 1,4,5,8
   └── Robert Johnstone (1878-1878) 4

Noah Webster Johnstone     [ID 00620] Click here to switch to Ahnentafel view: Ahnentafel View

Born Dec 3 18221,3,5,7,9 [about 18242], Ohio1,3,5,7,9.  

He married Mary Jane Hall, May 7 1855, Lawrence County, Ohio.1,10  Mary Jane Hall, daughter of Robert Hall & Nancy Bowen, was born Jul 4 1834, Ohio.1,2,3,6,7,11  

Noah and family settled on a farm about three miles southeast of Patoka, Marion County, Illinois.1  

They had nine children, two dying at birth (one of which was premature).1  

Noah and family were shown in the 1860 census (Aug 17 1860), Patoka, Marion County, Illinois:2

Noah Johnson, age 36, born in Ohio; teacher; $800 real estate; $250 personal property.
Mary J. Johnson, age 26, born in Ohio.
Howard Johnson, age 5, born in Ohio.
Lilly Johnson, age 3, born in Illinois.
Living with Noah and family in 1860 was Mary Jane's mother (apparently widowed) and siblings:12
Nancy Hall, age 44, born in Ohio.
Martha Hall, age 28, born in Ohio.
Mary [..unclear..], age 20, born in Kentucky.

Noah and family were shown in the 1870 census, Patoka, Marion County, Illinois:3

Johnson, Noah, age 47, born in Ohio; farmer; $1600 real estate; $600 personal property; parents foreign-born.
Johnson, Mary, age 36, born in Ohio; keeping house.
Johnson, Howard, age 14, born in Ohio; attended school.
Johnson, Lillie, age 12, born in Illinois; attended school.
Johnson, Martha, age 10, born in Illinois; attended school.
Johnson, Delia, age 6, born in Illinois; attended school.
Johnson, Edward, age 3, born in Illinois.
Johnston, Mary E., age 1, born in Illinois.
Hall, Nancy, age 54, born in Ohio.

Noah and family were shown in the 1880 census (Jun 9 1880), Carrigan Township, Marion County, Illinois:5

Johnston, Noah, age 57, born in Ohio; parents born in Ireland; farmer.
Johnston, Mary J., wife, age 44, born in Ohio; parents born in Ohio; keeps house; sick or disabled: neural [..unclear..].
Johnston, Dora, daughter, age 18, born in Illinois; parents born in Ohio.
Johnston, Berma, daughter, age 15, born in Illinois; parents born in Ohio; attended school.
Johnston, Eddie, son, age 12, born in Illinois; parents born in Ohio; works on farm; attended school.
Johnston, Mary, daughter, age 9, born in Illinois; parents born in Ohio; attended school.
Johnston, Eugene, son, age 5, born in Illinois; parents born in Ohio; attended school.

Noah Webster Johnstone died Aug 16 1897, Patoka, Marion County, Illinois; buried Row 20 Grave 9, Patoka Cemetery, Patoka, Marion County, Illinois.1,7,9  

Widow Mary Jane and children were shown in the 1900 census (Jun 6 1900), Patoka, Marion County, Illinois:6

Johnston, Mary, head-of-household, age 65, born July 1834 in Ohio; parents born in Ohio; widow; 9 children, 7 living; rented home.
Johnston, Berma, daughter, age 35, born Jan 1865 in Illinois; parents born in Ohio; single; occupation: dress maker.
Johnston, Edward, son, age 33, born Jun 1867 in Illinois; parents born in Ohio; single; occupation: farm laborer.
Johnston, Louise, granddaughter, age 10, born Oct 1889 in Ohio; parents born in Ohio; single; attended school 8 months.
Johnston, Robert, grandson, age 8, born Oct 1892 in Ohio; parents born in Ohio; single; attended school 8 months.

Mary Jane Hall died Jul 5 1919, Nokomis, Montgomery County, Illinois; age 85.1,4,7,9,11,13,14  

Noah ("Father") and Mary Jane ("Mother") are buried together in a family plot along with daughter Martha ("Mama"), Martha's children James Reginald Doty and Hope Johnston Doty; Mary Jane's mother Nancy Bowen Hall; Mary Jane's sister Martha Hall Beach and Martha's adopted daughter Birdie Beach.1  See cemetery plot sketch below.  

Granddaughter Mary Beatrix Doty wrote the following memoir of the Noah Webster Johnstone & Mary Jane Hall family:1

The following is something about mother's family, the Johnstones.  Today the family has dropped the E.  Grandfather Noah Johnstone was born in Virginia, December 3, 1822, and following the trend of the times went west to Ohio and later farther west still to Illinois.  

The Halls also came from Virginia and settled around Heckley [sic - Hecla], Ohio, where he bought the Aetna Ironworks.  There, Hall married a Nancy Bowen and they later became our great-grandparents.  Whether grandfather Johnstone met Mary Jane there or later in Illinois, I do not know.  Papa said the Halls moved to Missouri but homesteaded in a river valley where the land was so rich, but mosquitoes were bad.  They all contacted [sic] malaria, great-grandfather Hall and one child dying of it.  His widow came to Marion County, Illinois with her two daughters, Nary Jane and Martha.  There, at the age of 16, Mary Jane Hall married Noah Johnstone.  Martha, whom we call Aunt Mat, married later.  Her husband, Doctor Edward M. Beach, was a kindly soul.  There were two Beach boys by a previous marriage.  They had no children, but not long before his death took a little girl, called Birdie, to raise.  

Grandpa and Grandma settled on a farm about three miles Southeast of Patoka and had nine children, two dying at birth.  Grandfather was a studious man.  Many of his books were in Latin and Greek and covered the full range of advanced education.  This, of course, reflects the times when men were questioning and doubting and Diasenters and Deists were not uncommon.  The last time I saw Grandma, in the summer of 1915 while on vacation from Brokav H.T.S., she reminisced considerably about Grandpa.  How he would leave the horse and plow to lean on the fence and talk for hours with a passing neighbor.  How he would start to Patoka for supplies and stop on the way (probably at Joe Wheelers, for Mr. Wheeler was just as bad) talking religion and philosophy until dark and then switching to astronomy.  Grandpa was known familiarly as Judge for he long served as Justice of the Peace.  He was persuaded to run for Circuit Court Judge but withdrew later because it required too much time from home for too little money.  He had to farm for a living.  

Of the two babies that died, one was born prematurely.  When Aunt Lilly married Alonzo Holmes of Nokomas and drove away, the entire family was desolate.  Grandma decided to go visiting and against advice, for she was quite obstinate, she road horseback.  Mama wrote in her diary -- "Monday, June 27, 1875.  Lill is married at last.  Oh I don't think I can ever be myself again.  I am so lonesome.  I don't want to speak to anyone.  Pa is lost.  I feel as if I had lost my only friend.  She doesn't know how I feel.  I haven't tasted anything but the cake for 4 days and now I feel like I would never want anything again.  Brother Snell came and married them.  The Campbells and (?) (I can't quite make out some of the words) came down.  That is all.  They went away today.  Pa is gone.  Ma is calm.  The children are noisy.  Oh, we are a broken circle, parted today perhaps never to meet again.  God's will, not mine be done.  I hope they have a happy life and no more trouble than (?)"

Another entry -- "She forgot some of her things.  I put them in the empty drawers.  I don't want to see anything of hers.  Pa says it is still as death in the house.  The organ is a sorrow to me ....  She gave me her drawing slate.  Can I ever draw on it?  No indeed.  I packed her trunk.  Hurt me nearly like it was her box (coffin).  Who will sleep with me?  Will I have to go to my bed alone in the cold?  Go to Patoka by myself?  No, I will stay at home."  

Mama was not 14 until the following April.  As a result of the horseback ride, Grandma took sick.  The good neighbor, Mrs. Campbell came down and Great-Grandma Hall.  The baby was born Friday night.  It lived 2 hours and 35 minutes -- was a boy 16 inches long.  For one week, Mama's diary had little entered.  It read only "Uncle Doctor and Aunt Mat came out.  Ma has pneumonia."  "No better," "No better," "Worse."  Finally she passed the crisis on Feb. 12 and was well enough for Mama to take over and Great-Grandma Hall to go home.  She lived in the old Beach house on Railroad Street, Patoka.  After Grandpa Johnstone and Uncle Doctor died, Grandma also lived there and Berma, Edward, Mae and Gene lived there when young.  I always thought of it as "Grandma's house" -- although it was Auntie Beach's house.  

This large building was across the R.R. tracks from the depot and watching the Illinois Central trains was part of the fun at Grandma's.  The post office and a store faced front under the long covered boardwalk.  Just beyond Aunt Mat's rose garden was another row of small stores, which were part of the property.  Along the side street, towards the back, was a hitching rock, a horse trough made from a hollow log and a covered well with pulley buckets, all used by the general public.  Over this "Old Oaken Bucket" well grew a luxuriant trumpet vine which extended itself almost to the top of the great tree where the rope swing hung.  There were 10 living rooms down and 9 upstairs in the old house with 2 great galleries on the south and west.  There, with the covered walk along the front made for lots of daring ventures climbing from place to place.  Climbing the stair railing of the west gallery, up and over onto the kitchen roof, was a grapevine.  This was the source of the wonderful green grape pies Grandma used to make.  It also concealed up when we climbed onto the roof and ridge pole of the annex, which we were forbidden to do.  We loved to have someone "run under us" in the swing for our toes would then reach as high as the gallery railing.  A barrel stove hammock also hung under the trees with a piece of Grandma's own weaving as padding.  By the backdoor was a pump, the like of which I never saw any place else.  On the side of the pump box was a wheel with a handle, which when turned, moved a chain in a never ending circle up and down into the water.  Fastened to this chain at short intervals were small cups.  This rising chain emptied these little cups of water down a spout into one's pail.  The whole thing was neatly boarded and such an advancement over the unsanitary open well!!  This was the rain cistern.  

There was a large vegetable garden and a great variety of fruit as well as a hen house and stable.  The stable, built of logs accommodated not only the doctor's house but those travelers too.  

Mother's sisters, Bermadell and Mary Elizabeth, had a dressmaking and millinery shop in the store for years, later moving to Nokomis, St. Louis and finally Akron, Ohio.  There they lived with my cousin, Louise Busby, one of Uncle Howard's 2 children which they and Grandma raised.  Uncle Ed and Aunt Dell lived over the Post Office for a while and then moved to the farm when its remodeling was completed.  The government built a new brick Post Office and that space became vacant.  Little by little as the old folks passed away, the building began to decay.  Rooms were closed off from time to time and finally no one cared to live there.  In 1934, when we went to the funeral of Uncle Ed and Aunt Berma, we noticed the whole thing had been condemned and torn down.

(photo)Photo: Noah Webster Johnstone 1

(photo)Photo: Mary Jane Hall 1

(photo)Photo: Noah Webster Johnstone obituary 1

(photo)Photo: Patoka Cemetery family burial plot sketch from the memoirs of granddaughter Mary Beatrix Doty 1


  1. "My Memory Book", a handwritten memoir by Mary Beatrix Doty Davison.
  2. 1860 census, Patoka P.O., Township 4 Range 1, Marion County, Illinois; roll M653-207, page 923, line #1, dwelling #1146, family #1189.
  3. 1870 census, Patoka, Township 4 Range 1, Marion County, Illinois; roll M593-253, page 212-213, line #36, dwelling #124, family #124.
  4. Ancestry Family Tree data "BJohnstone2" posted by "bebjay1".
  5. 1880 census, Carrigan Township, Marion County, Illinois; roll T9-0234, ED 121, page 149D, line #34, dwelling #93, family #96.
  6. 1900 census, Patoka, Marion County, Illinois; roll T623-327, ED 28, page 7A, line #7, dwelling #148, family #148.
  7. GEDCOM 'mato', submitted by Sherry Petersen () or ().
  8. Washington, Deaths, 1883-1960;
  10. Ohio Marriages, 1803-1900;
  11. Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947;
  12. 1860 census, Patoka P.O., Township 4 Range 1, Marion County, Illinois; roll M653-207, page 923, line #5, dwelling #1146, family #1190.
  13. Burials in Patoka Cemetery; "Cleveland Family Chronicles":

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