Charles Greene Johnson1,2,3

ID# 9467, (1822 - 1898)
FatherOliver Johnson4,5 (1794 - 1868)
MotherEliza Disbrow5 (abt 1797 - 21 Jan 1884)

Key Events:

Birth: 13 Jun 1822, Washington St., Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan6,7
Marriage: Abigail Mayo Cobb, about 18448,9,10
Divorce: Abigail Mayo Cobb, 8 Nov 1881, Monroe Co.11,12,13
Divorce: Abigail Mayo Cobb, Wood Co., Ohio14,15
Marriage: Mary [surname unknown]16,15,17
Death: 6 Oct 1898, Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan18,19,20
Burial: 8 Oct 1898, Woodland Cemetery, Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan21,22

Spouse:Abigail Mayo Cobb (12 Oct 1821 - 8 Feb 1891)
     Children:

  • Sarah Louie Johnson49,4 (abt 1847 - bef 1860)
  • Kate Eliza Johnson49,50,4 (9 Mar 1850 - 4 Mar 1926)
  • Charles Cobb Johnson51,52,53 (abt Mar 1853 - 21 Jun 1860)
  • Oliver Johnson51,54,4 (15 Jul 1855 - 24 Dec 1917)
  • Harry Disbrow Johnson51,55,4 (abt Aug 1859 - 13 Apr 1921)

Spouse: Mary [surname unknown] (about Mar 1832 - 23 Aug 1895)
     No children

ChartsDescendants of Gideon Cobb

Copyright Notice

Narrative:

     Charles Greene Johnson was born on 13 Jun 1822 on what is now Washington St., Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan.6,7
     He was probably the male under age 5 to 10 listed in the household of his father, Oliver Johnson, in the 1830 Federal Census of Monroe Co., Michigan Territory.23 He was probably the male age 10 to 15 listed in the household of his father, Oliver Johnson, in the 1840 Federal Census of Monroe Co., Michigan, though he was actually 18 at the time.24
     Charles attended college at Gambia, Ohio.4 He then attended William's College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, where he graduated 15 Sep 1841.4
     Charles married first Abigail Mayo Cobb, daughter of William Cobb and Lora Fitch, about 1844.8,9,10
     How Abigail, a native of Rochester, and Charles, a native of Michigan, met is unknown. It may be they met when he came east to attend college. Her obituary says she moved Monroe, Michigan in 1844, about the time they married. However their first child was born in New York in 1847. Either she returned home for the birth, or she actually moved west later.25,26
     Charles and Abigail appeared on the 1850 Federal Census of Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan, enumerated 29 Jul 1850, reporting real estate valued at $4,400. Their children Sarah and Kate were listed as living with them, as was Madeline Rose, age 17 from Germany, who appears to have been a servant.2

A Supporter of Education --- Text Stolen from ReigelRidge.com !! ---


     He was one of the organizers of the Young Ladies' Seminary of the city of Monroe. When the legislature passed a measure authorizing the incorporation of that institution on 15 Feb 1850 Charles was named in the bill as a member and one of the 16 initial trustees.27 The school had actually opened the fall before, on 1 Dec 1849. Thirty years later it reported it had enrolled nearly 3,000 students, about 200 of whom had graduated.28
     He was appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state legislature as a trustee of the "Flint Institute" in 1871, and again in 1877 for another six-year term. The full name of the organization was the Michigan Institution for educating the Deaf and Dumb, and the Blind until 1879, when a separate school for the blind was established.29,30 He was one of the three trustees signing the trustee's biennial report to the governor and legislature for 1878-80. In it they described needed appropriations and changes in staff. They included the principal, who had resigned to take a like position in Kansas, and two teachers of the deaf and dumb who had left to take positions in similar schools in California and Illinois. They noted that "this school, like the great University, is contributing its quota of active and intelligent educators to the younger states farther to the west."31

Building a Successful and Prosperous Career --- Text Stolen from ReigelRidge.com !! ---

Charles G. Johnson
from Monroe Domocrat4

     He returned to Monroe after graduating he operated a dry goods business for a number of years.4,32,33 He later became a banker with his sister's husband, T. E. Wing, under the firm name of Wing & Johnson, Bankers. As the banking business occupied more of his time he closed out his dry goods business. When the national banking act was passed during the Civil War his bank became part of the First National Bank of Monroe, with Charles one of its officers. He was its cashier from 1865 to 1876.4,34,35
     Charles and Abigail appeared on the 1860 Federal Census of Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan, enumerated 1 Jun 1860, reporting real estate valued at $14,000 and personal estate of 10,000. Their children Kate, Charles, Oliver and Harry were listed as living with them, as were her mother, Lora Fitch, and her younger sister, Lora Fitch Cobb, and Mary Canady, age 50 from Ireland, and Ann Kelly, age 19 from Scotland, who appear to have been servants.36
     Charles registered for the draft for the Civil War, appearing on the register dated on 1 Jul 1863, while living in Monroe, reporting he was employed as a banker.37
     He was active in other business interests in the community as well. When a large meeting was held at City Hall in Feb 1866 to plan for a railroad from Holly to Monroe he was one of three named to a committee to secure subscriptions for stock in the new enterprise.38
     Charles and Abigail appeared on the 1870 Federal Census of Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan, enumerated 29 Jun 1870, reporting real estate valued at $16,000 and personal estate of $34,000. Their children Kate, Oliver and Harry were listed as living with them, as were his mother, her mother, two domestic servants, and Charles Wing, age 17, relationship unknown.39 He was elected by the state legislature as a trustee of the "Flint Institute" in 1871, and re-elected in 1877. The full name of the organization was the Michigan Institution for educating the Deaf and Dumb, and the Blind until 1879, when a separate school for the blind was established.29
     He traveled to Europe and the Far East for several years in the early 1870's.4
     After he withdrew from banking he entered the milling business, owning the Waterloo and Eagle mills. He was variously associated with his son Oliver, Syrus Stiles, and E. P. Campbell. He retired by 1880.40,41,42
     Charles and Abigail appeared on the 1880 Federal Census of Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan, on Washington St., enumerated 2 Jun 1880. Their son Harry was listed as living with them, as was Mary Klutz, a 19-year old servant from Prussia.43

A Very Messy Divorce --- Text Stolen from ReigelRidge.com !! ---


     Charles sued for divorce from Abigail on grounds of extreme cruelty. At trial much testimony was taken and the private lives of the parties for many years was described. They had been married 37 years, had children and grand-children, were members in good standing of a church, and had been "prominent and conspicuous persons in society." But it was evident that they had not lived happily together for a number of years. Judge Governeur Morris of Circuit Court in Monroe Co. granted the divorce 8 Nov 1881, "much to the surprise of the good people thereabouts" according to one news account.11,12,13
     Abigail filed a motion with the state Supreme Court to vacate the divorce decree and require a new trial on 4 Apr 1882, on the grounds that the trial judge's term had ended before the time for settling the case. Her petition was denied the next day.44
     On 20 Oct 1882 she filed an appeal of the original divorce decree with the Supreme Court. The Court decided the appeal 17 Jan 1883, founding that the "extreme cruelty" relied upon as the basis of the case consisted of "petty annoyances, complaints and fault-finding, and the disparagement of complaint's common sense, taste, and judgment." It continued "No doubt many of the little things now complained of were very annoying at the time, but such annoyances fall to the lot of many, who wisely bear therewith rather than seek relief in the courts." The Court expressed hope that the "parties may, as they should, become reconciled, and spend the remainder of their days under the same roof." It then dismissed the divorce decree and directed Charles to pay Abigail $500 for costs and expenses.44
     The Court's hope for reconciliation was apparently thwarted, as Charles again filed for divorce on the grounds of extreme cruelty, this time in Wood Co., Ohio. That county is the first county across the state line in Ohio, some 50 miles from Monroe. Ohio at the time had a one-year residency requirement to file for divorce, so Charles must have established his residence there soon after the first divorce was overturned by the Michigan Supreme Court.45,46 That divorce was eventually granted.14,15

Moving On --- Text Stolen from ReigelRidge.com !! ---


     Charles married second Mary [surname unknown].16,15,17
     Mary died on 23 Aug 1895 in Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan.47,48
     In his last few years Charles spent his winters in Florida.4
     An obituary said he was probably the oldest man in the city who was born there. It said he "was very successful and amassed a fortune which he spent his later years enjoying." It named his two wives, omitting mention of the divorce. It described him as "an unusually handsome man, of courtly manners, altho reserved and quiet... Cultured, traveled and wealthy, he was in a position to enjoy life such as is the lot of but a few."1
     Charles died on 6 Oct 1898 in Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan, at age 76, at his "handsom residence on First Street."18,19,20 He was buried on 8 Oct 1898 in Woodland Cemetery, Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan. There is a small stone with his name in the Johnson plot and his name also appears with his second wife on a large joint stone in her first husband's family plot.21,22

Citations

  1. [S7759] Charles Greene Johnson obituary, unknown newspaper.
  2. [S7692] Charles G. Johnson household, 1850 U.S. Census, Monroe Co., Michigan.
  3. [S500] Findagrave.com, online, memorial # 92958445, Charles Greene Johnson, includes tombstone photo showing same.
  4. [S7714] Charles G. Johnson obituary, Monroe Democrat.
  5. [S7695] Charles G. Johnson, Certificate of Death.
  6. [S7714] Charles G. Johnson obituary, Monroe Democrat, shows date, what is now Washington St. between Front and 1st.
  7. [S500] Findagrave.com, online, memorial # 92958445, Charles Greene Johnson, shows year and includes tombstone photo showing same.
  8. [S7692] Charles G. Johnson household, 1850 U.S. Census, Monroe Co., Michigan, shows them apparently living as husband and wife.
  9. [S7693] Charles Johnson household, 1860 U.S. Census, Monroe Co., Michigan, shows them apparently living as husband and wife.
  10. [S7711] Charles G. Johnson v. Abby C. Johnson, Michigan Reports, Cases Decided in the Supreme Court of Michigan, 49: 639-, shows they had been married 37 years at the time of the divorce trial in fall 1881.
  11. [S7878] Divorce Decrees, Monroe Co., Michigan, pg 145, Charles G. Johnson vs. Abby Cobb Johnson.
  12. [S7701] Local item, The Evening Leader, 10 Nov 1881, shows judge and reaction of others.
  13. [S7711] Charles G. Johnson v. Abby C. Johnson, Michigan Reports, Cases Decided in the Supreme Court of Michigan, 49: 639-, shows grounds, and decision summarizes testimony.
  14. [S4320] Return of Deaths,, Monroe Co., 1891, pg 297, no. 34, Abby Cobb Johnson, shows divorced.
  15. [S7695] Charles G. Johnson, Certificate of Death, shows him as divorced and married 2d time.
  16. [S500] Findagrave.com, online, memorial # 111483566, Mary Hammond Johnson, includes tombstone photo showing both names on same stone.
  17. [S7714] Charles G. Johnson obituary, Monroe Democrat, shows him twice married.
  18. [S7695] Charles G. Johnson, Certificate of Death, shows date, county, and state.
  19. [S7714] Charles G. Johnson obituary, Monroe Democrat, shows he died "Thursday morning."
  20. [S7759] Charles Greene Johnson obituary, unknown newspaper, shows he died Thursday of last week, but the date of 4 Oct 1898 typed on the clipping is obviously in errror, at his "handsome" residence, and street.
  21. [S7695] Charles G. Johnson, Certificate of Death, shows date, cemetery, and town.
  22. [S500] Findagrave.com, online, memorial # 92958445, Charles Greene Johnson, includes photos of both tombstones and note that the large stone is in the Hammond plot.
  23. [S7702] Oliver Johnson household, 1830 U.S. Census, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory.
  24. [S7703] Oliver Johnson household, 1840 U.S. Census, Monroe Co., Michigan.
  25. [S7756] Abby Cobb Johnson obituary, Monroe Democrat.
  26. [S7692] Charles G. Johnson household, 1850 U.S. Census, Monroe Co., Michigan, shows Sarah, age 3 and born in New York.
  27. [S7704] "An Act to incorporate," Michigan State Journal, 8 Apr 1850.
  28. [S7709] Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, pp 343-4.
  29. [S7705] "In Joint Convention," Detroit Weekly Tribune, 13 Apr 1871, shows him noninated and unanamously confirmed.
  30. [S7708] "Joint Convention," Jackson Daily Citizen, 9 Mar 1877, shows him noninated by Governor and confirmed by legislature for six years.
  31. [S7709] Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, pp 180-4.
  32. [S7692] Charles G. Johnson household, 1850 U.S. Census, Monroe Co., Michigan, shows occupation as merchant.
  33. [S7759] Charles Greene Johnson obituary, unknown newspaper, shows his first venture was dry goods.
  34. [S7693] Charles Johnson household, 1860 U.S. Census, Monroe Co., Michigan, shows occupation as banker.
  35. [S7696] Charles G. Johnson household, 1870 U.S. Census, Monroe Co., Michigan, shows occupation as banker.
  36. [S7693] Charles Johnson household, 1860 U.S. Census, Monroe Co., Michigan.
  37. [S7698] Charles G. Johnson, Civil War Draft Registrations Records.
  38. [S7710] "Monroe," Detroit Advertiser and Tribune, 20 Feb 1866, pg 5.
  39. [S7696] Charles G. Johnson household, 1870 U.S. Census, Monroe Co., Michigan.
  40. [S7714] Charles G. Johnson obituary, Monroe Democrat, shows associates.
  41. [S7759] Charles Greene Johnson obituary, unknown newspaper, shows names of mills.
  42. [S7697] C. G. Johnson household, 1880 U.S. Census, Monroe Co., Michigan, shows occupation as retired banker.
  43. [S7697] C. G. Johnson household, 1880 U.S. Census, Monroe Co., Michigan.
  44. [S7711] Charles G. Johnson v. Abby C. Johnson, Michigan Reports, Cases Decided in the Supreme Court of Michigan, 49: 639-.
  45. [S7712] "Divorce Notice," Perrysburg Journal, 25 Jul1884.
  46. [S7713] Giauque, The Revised Statues of the State of Ohio 1890, pg 1426, sec. 5690 shows residency requirement to file.
  47. [S4320] Return of Deaths,, Monroe Co., 1895, pg 322, no. 263, Mrs. Charles G. Johnson, shows date, as 23 Aug 1895, town, and state.
  48. [S500] Findagrave.com, online, memorial # 111483566, Mary Hammond Johnson, shows date, which is not visible on tombstone photo, as 2 Nov 1895.
  49. [S7692] Charles G. Johnson household, 1850 U.S. Census, Monroe Co., Michigan, shows them apparently living as parent and child.
  50. [S7699] Kate Eliza Phinney, Certificate of Death.
  51. [S7693] Charles Johnson household, 1860 U.S. Census, Monroe Co., Michigan, shows them apparently living as parent and child.
  52. [S7757] Johnson obituary, The Monroe Commercial.
  53. [S500] Findagrave.com, online, memorial # 97465561, Charles Cobb Johnson, includes tombstone photo showing him as son of C. G. and A. M. Johnson.
  54. [S7700] Oliver Johnson, Transcript of Certificate of Death.
  55. [S7696] Charles G. Johnson household, 1870 U.S. Census, Monroe Co., Michigan, shows them apparently living as parent and child.