George F. Johnson M.D. – Mayor and a practicing physician of East Moline has made his mark in his profession for he is an earnest, skilled man devoted to his work. Dr. Johnson was born near Cobden, Union County, Ill., March 25, 1873, a son of George and Emma (Armstrong) Johnson both natives of Union County, Ill. Their parents came from Tennessee and Virginia respectively and all were farming people. George Johnson died in Union County in 1880 aged thirty-two years leaving a widow and four children, two having died previously. Dr. Johnson was the fourth child in order of birth and the second eldest of the survivors. Mrs. Johnson died in 1910 aged fifty-eight years. Dr Johnson was educated in the district schools of Union county and Murphysboro, Ill. Three months prior to the graduation exercises he left school to enter the St. Louis College of Physicians and Surgeons from which he was graduated in 1896 with the degree of M.D. That same year he began practicing at Luka, Ill., but after two years on account of failing health, sold his practice and moved to Colona, Ill., where he continued in practice until 1905 when he was attracted to East Moline on account of its promised expansion and has continued to reside here. In 1908, Dr. Johnson established and edited the East Moline Herald but sold it in the fall of 1911. He has been largely interested in the realty development of East Moline erecting in June 1911 the State Bank building 40x70 feet, two stories in height a modern store and office structure which he still owns. He is the senior member of the realty firm of Johnson & Green of East Moline. This firm built Majestic theatre and a number of other buildings which were sold by the time they were completed. Politically a democrat, he has served in a number of offices. In 1906, he was made village trustee and when the village became a city a year later he was elected mayor on the citizens’ ticket by a unanimous vote and was re-elected two years later. In 1911 he was re-elected for a third term and is the present incumbent of the office. Dr. Johnson is a member of the Rock Island County Medical Society, the Iowa and Illinois District Medical Society, the Illinois State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. Fraternally, he is a Chapter Mason, Odd Fellow, Knight of Pythias, Modern Woodmen of America, Eagle, and belongs to several other orders. His social connections are the East Moline Commercial Club, which was organized by him and T.J. Gorman; the East Moline Civic Improvement Association and he is president of the East Moline Physicians’ Club.
In November 1896, Dr. Johnson was married to Anna M. Shulze born at Blair, Randolph County, Ill., in 1871, daughter of Frederick and Elizabeth Shulze, farming people and natives of Germany. Frederick Shulze died in 1886 but his widow survives living on a farm in Randolph County. Dr. and Mrs. Johnson are the parents of two children: Irma born February 12, 1898 and Gilman W., born May 4, 1900. Dr. Johnson believes in outdoor live especially for young people. He contends that his happiest days were those when he worked on his mother’s farm during his vacations. East Moline owes Dr. Johnson a debt it will be difficult for it to discharge for as its chief executive; he has established the municipality upon a solid financial basis and made it a power among other cities of the county.
Transcribed by Denise Border
Historical Encyclopedia of llinois
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