G. W. Johnson Self-portrait." I believe it is George but am not 100% sure. He looks like my grandfather, and in mid 1870 George would have been 50, and my grandfather only 20 years old. Also, believe it is a self-portrait since his necktie appears to be askew. This would have been noticed had another person been taking the picture. The original G.W. photo measured 2 1/2"w x 4 3/16" on a cardboard type material, and the corners were rounded. The picture itself is 2 1/8"w x 2 9/16h inside a small plain unmarked border. --- Gene P. Ryan.

G. W. Johnson

George W. Johnson was born about 1824 in the State of New York. Nothing is known about George's youth or his parents. A reference to G. W. Johnson was found in the 1850 census showing a person by that name living in Thetford, Orange County, Vermont. Mr. Johnson was married but no marriage date has come to light. His wife was named Mary Ann but no maiden name for her has been found. According to the l870 Iowa census for Council Bluffs, G. W. lived with his wife, Mary A. who was age 35 and born in Vermont.

George and Mary A. had two boys, Horace Willard, born l854 and William M., born l863 both born in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

In 1870 the census for Iowa shows George and Mary A. living in Council Bluffs, Kane Township, with two boys. George's personal estate was $l000. and his occupation was photographer. G.W. JOHNSON - Photographer Imprint

In the Council Bluffs City Directories the following entries can be found: l869-l870 page 7, G. W. Johnson boarding house S.W. corner Main and Farnam. l871 page 39, under "Photographic Artist": Johnson, G. W., 347 Broadway. l873-74 City Directory finds G. W. listed as "Photographer, 347 Broadway, r. same (Ogden House, Broadway N. E. corner). In l880 G. W., who would be nearly 60 years old, we find him listed in the City Directory but not as a photographer and in the Iowa census of the year it appears he is divorced. Upon further investigation a Mrs. Mary A. Johnson running a boarding house in Omaha, Nebraska, l04 S. 12th Street.

When G. W. died or where he is buried is not known but Mary Ann died Oct. 8, l888 in Hallock, Kittson Co., Minnesota.

G. W. Johnson was a fine photographer and his descendants have many of his family portraits.

Contributor: Compiled by Mrs. Frances Ryan

Council Bluffs, Iowa 1886 to 1898
Born about 1824 New York
Died March 15, 1901 Council Bluffs, Iowa

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