Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

George F. Johnston

George F. Johnston GEORGE F. JOHNSTON, M. D. In point of continuous service one of the oldest practicing physicians of Kearny County is Dr. George F. Johnston, who came to Kansas in 1892. In April of that year he stopped at Leoti for a visit with friends and was induced to locate, spending two years as a medical practitioner there.

In August, 1895, Dr. Johnston arrived at Lakin and has since that time carried many of the heavier burdens and responsibilities of the capable physician. He was born at Reading, Pennsylvania, December 26, 1864, grew up there, and finished his literary education in Lafayette College of Easton, Pennsylvania. He at once began the study of medicine at Reading with Dr. Shoemaker and in 1884 entered Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia, where he was graduated in 1887. He also took a short course on the eye and ear at Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York City, was resident physician of St. Joseph's Hospital at Reading, and then for nearly five years was in general practice in Reading, Pennsylvania. While there he was a member of the St. Joseph Hospital Medical Society.

Doctor Johnston has been a leader in all matters pertaining to the advancement and welfare of the medical profession as a whole. He is a member of the Santa Fe Medical Society, the Kansas State Medical Society and a Fellow of the American Medical Association. For twenty-three years Dr. Johnston has been local surgeon of the Santa Fe Railway Company at Lakin, having been appointed to that office at Leoti before the company took up its track there. At Lakin he has also served as health officer.

While a busy man with his profession Dr. Johnston has long been interested in politics and local government. For years he has been chairman of the Republican County Central Committee, an office he still fills, and for twenty years has been a delegate to almost every state republican convention. He was Kearny County's representative to the Legislature during the sessions of 1899 and 1901, serving under Speakers Osborn and Barker. In both sessions he was a member of the public health committee, railroad committee and agricultural committee. During the first session, in conjunction with Dr. Harry O'Donnell, a prominent physician of Ellsworth, he succeeded in getting passed some medical legislation for which these men received many high compliments from the profession. A noteworthy result of this legislation was the organization of the first State Board of Medical Registration and Examination, of which Dr. Johnston was appointed president by Governor Stanley, serving two years. He afterwards filled the office of secretary of the board for a year, and then Governor Bailey reappointed him for four years and Governor Hoch also continued him in office, so that he served for ten years continuously. While in the Legislature Dr. Johnston helped elect Mr. Burton to the United States Senate. At this writing Dr. Johnston is county chairman of the Kansas Council of Defense, having received the appointment from Governor Capper.

Dr. Johnston represents an old and well known family of industrial leaders of Reading, Pennsylvania. His grandfather, Adam Johnston, who was a first cousin of the great Confederate general, Joseph E. Johnston, founded the Franklin Iron Works at Reading in 1846. His son, Henry Johnston, father of Dr. Johnston, succeeded to the presidency of this institution. During the war the works manufactured mortars and cannon balls for the United States Government, Adam Johnston was a native of Virginia and settled in Pennsylvania early in the nineteenth century. He married Elizabeth Schissler, daughter of John Schissler, of Chester County, Pennsylvania. Adam Johnston died in 1882 and his wife in 1887. Their children consisted of Henry and Mrs. Maria O'Harra, Mrs. Asenath Shaaber and Miss Hannah, Mrs. Shaaber is still alive at eighty-five and Miss Hannah is also still living.

Henry Johnston was born at Reading, Pennsylvania, and spent his life there as a manufacturer. He married Emmeline Hoff, daughter of John Hoff, a prominent banker and a descendant of Michael Brecht, the founder of Reading in 1706. He was a republican, a Master Mason, and for years an elder in St. James Lutheran Church. He died in 1895. He and his wife had the following children: Henry, of Marshall, Texas; John, of Los Angeles, California; Dr. George Frear Johnston, of Lakin, Kansas; William, who died in Pennsylvania in 1916; and Miss Olivia, of Reading, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Johnston has identified himself with fraternal matters as a Mason at Lakin, is affiliated with the lodge of that town, chapter and commandery at Garden City, and Isis Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Salina. He is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias and the college fraternity Phi Kappa Psi. Dr. Johnston built a fine modern home on the most beautiful residence street of Lakin. At Leoti, Kansas, December 12, 1894, he married Miss Catherine Tipton, daughter of H. H. Tipton. Her father was a former resident of Mount Sterling, Kentucky, where Mrs. Johnston was born. H. H. Tipton is now proprietor of one of the hotels at Lakin, while his son runs the other hostelry of the town. Dr. and Mrs. Johnston are the parents of four children: Frear was for several years agent of the Santa Fe Railway Company at Holcomb, Kansas, and is now in the National Army in France in Company I, Three Hundred Fifty-Third Infantry, Eighty-Ninth Division. The other three children are Dorothy, Harmon and Elizabeth. Elizabeth is a student in the high school. Harmon is in France in the National Army.