Samuel Ealy Johnson Jr.

Samuel Ealy Johnson Jr.
Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr. - Life Magazine.jpg
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 89th district
In office
Preceded byWilliam Bierchswale
Succeeded byBen F. Foster
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 89th district
In office
Preceded byJoseph Wilson Baines
Succeeded byWilliam Bierchswale
Personal details
Born(1877-10-11)October 11, 1877
Buda, Texas, U.S.
DiedOctober 23, 1937(1937-10-23) (aged 60)
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Rebekah Baines
ChildrenLyndon B. Johnson
Rebekah Johnson
Josefa Johnson
Sam Houston Johnson
Lucia Huffman[1]
ParentsSamuel Ealy Johnson Sr.
Eliza Bunton

Samuel Ealy Johnson Jr. (October 11, 1877 – October 23, 1937) was an American businessman and politician. He was a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives representing the 89th District. He served in the 29th, 30th, 35th, 37th, and 38th Texas Legislatures. He was the father of the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson and the son of Samuel Ealy Johnson Sr. He was a struggling farmer and cattle speculator who lived in the Texas Hill Country.

Early life

Samuel Johnson was born in Buda, Texas, the fifth child of Eliza Bunton and Samuel Ealy Johnson Sr., and showed intelligence at an early age.[2] When he was ten years old, his family moved from Buda to the Pedernales. On his family's Pedernales farm, he developed a strong sense of competition. In his teens he developed a desire to be "more than a farmer" and began attending a local school.[2] However, at that time even so-called public schools required tuition, and his family struggled to afford the payments. When the barber of Johnson City retired, Sam bought his chair and tools with a loan and began practicing on his friends to gain skill at cutting hair. Once he learned, he was able to pay his school's tuition fees by selling haircuts in the evenings.[2]

He had to quit going to high school because of health problems, and his parents sent him to live on his uncle Lucius Bunton's ranch in Presidio County, Texas for several months.[3] When he returned home, Johnson had ambitions to become a teacher; however, the Texas hill country at that time had no state-accredited high schools and no colleges. He learned that he could get a state-issued teaching certificate without finishing high school by passing a state examination.[3] In 1896, with the thirteen textbooks he needed to study for the exam, he moved to his retired grandfather's nearby home to study in quiet.[4]

Johnson passed the exam and, for the next three years, taught in one-room school houses throughout the hill country.[4] He wanted to move on and become a lawyer, but financially he had to return home and work alongside his father on their family farm. Once his father became too old to work, Johnson began renting the farm from him and working it by himself. After a few years of plentiful rain and no flash floods, he had gained enough income to hire a number of farm hands and begin trading in cotton futures contracts in Fredericksburg, Texas.[4] Considered a very friendly person, he became a popular figure in the area surrounding Johnson City.[4]

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