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WILL JOHNSTON

Another member of my grandparents' family that survived to maturity was the second son, Will. He was a pretty decent young fellow, somewhat less colorful than his wild brother, steady and reliable in fact; above all other things he was devoted to my father. He doesn't enter very deeply into my father's story but his simple annals will be recorded in order to complete the story.

Will worked in the store, running the grocery department primarily, although everyone was more or less all over the store. When Father closed up his affairs in Montpelier, Will worked with him. After numerous vicissitudes, he eventually opened up a grocery store of his own in Montpelier and did very well, in a modest way.

Will and Zada were married shortly after my mother died (September 1883). Zade was a red-head, daughter of the man who owned the store that my father bought out when he established the business in Montpelier. As a kid, I always liked Aunt Zade - enjoyed visiting them even after we moved away from Indiana. I didn't discover until long after I was grown up that there was some kind of lingering resentment between her and my father, which precluded the possibility of her ever visiting us. About all that I know is that, while Kit Johnston's daughter Zada was in training in the hospital in Chattanooga, and Kit was visiting there, Orphia (Henry's first wife) said something about having Aunt Zade down for a visit but Kit promptly squelched the idea by saying that she would never come so long as J.T. was alive. I mention this as a sort of "Man bites the dog" story, it being the only instance, that ever came to my knowledge, where anyone seemed to have an antipathy toward my father. I know that he tried to get Will to go to Chattanooga with him but Will wouldn't do it and, knowing his devoted admiration for my father, I figured out that Zada's attitude had something to do with it.

Will and Zada left a daughter - Mary Janet - (there seems always to be a Janet) whom I have not seen since she was a little girl but who turned out to be a pretty smart young woman. I believe she lives somewhere in Ohio but I do not recall her married name. Will and Zada have of course been dead these many years.

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