History of Kentucky, five volumes, edited by Judge Charles Kerr, American Historical Society, New York & Chicago, 1922 Vol. IV, p. 343, Anderson Co.
James Mellette Johnson is a veteran banker of Lawrenceburg, a city with which his life has been identified for considerably more than half a century. He has been a Kentuckian since boyhood, but was born at Newcastle in Henry County, Indiana, April 14, 1847, son of John Foster and Catherine (Mellette) Johnson. His parents were born in Culpeper County, Virginia, of old Virginia families, were married at Fairmont, West Virginia, and soon removed to Indiana. Here Catherine Mellette Johnson died leaving several children. Later John F. Johnson married Mrs. Hector Lewis whose home was near Lexington, Kentucky, and soon after their marriage they moved to the vicinity of Lexington. By the second marriage there were two children. John F. Johnson was a well known minister of the Primitive Baptist Church, and had charge of churches of that denomination with headquarters at Lawrenceburg from
1863 until his death which occurred in 1881 at the age of eighty-one. Jesse Mellette Johnson was ten years of age when brought to Kentucky and his home has been at Lawrenceburg since he was sixteen. He acquired a public school education, also attended business college at
Lexington, and in 1873 became a merchant with the firm of Bond & Johnson at Lawrenceburg. He and others organized the Lawrenceburg Bank in 1885, and for over a third of a century his duties have been those of a banker. He became cashier of the bank, and has continued at the same post of duty since it was reorganized as the Lawrenceburg National Bank in 1905. In 1907 he reorganized the Citizens Bank & Trust Company of Lawrenceburg and served as its president until that institution was consolidated in 1920 with the Lawrenceburg National Bank. Mr. John has the honor of being the first mayor elected in Lawrenceburg. He has never sought the honors or responsibilities of politics, his chief activity being as a voter of the democratic ticket.
In 1874 he married Miss Sallie E. Bond, who died in October 1917. Of their eight children four are living. The youngest son Robert Eugene Johnson served as a second lieutenant in the famous Rainbow of Forty-Second Division during the World war, having enlisted sixteen days
after America declared war in 1917. (Picture facing page)