J. F. Johnson, Merchant & Banker

Mr. Johnson was born in 1858 in Tennessee. He married Elizabeth Winsett there in 1878 and moved to Kiowa, Kansas in 1885 to establish a merchandising business. Mr. Johnson extended the business into Oklahoma and Texas. One of his earlier stores was constructed in Higgins, Texas in 1887.

Once the Santa Fe crossed the Canadian River, he built the store, shown here, at Fourth and Main Street in Canadian. In addition to the mercantile establishments, he organized banks in Canadian, Miami and Glazier. He was very involved in civic affairs in Canadian, serving on the Canadian Educational Association which founded the Canadian Academy in 1904 which offered elementary, high school and college credit. He was involved in the founding of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows – IOOF Lodge in 1892. J.F. Johnson died in April of 1927 and is buried in Canadian.