Biographical sketch of Isaac V. D. R. Johnson, from "Portrait and Biographical Record, Randolph County, Indiana", by A.W. Bowen & Co., Chicago, IL. Published 1894.
Rev. Isaac V. D. R. Johnson, minister of the Christian Church, and farmer, of Washington Township, Randolph County, Indiana, was born here December 3, 1843, and is a son of John and Phebe (Thornburg) Johnson, the former of whom was born in North Carolina, August 9, 1812, came to Randolph County, Indiana, at the age of seven years, and in 1829 married Miss Thornburg, who was born in Ohio in 1815, a daughter of Joseph and Rachel Thornburg, also natives North Carolina. To the union of John and Phebe Johnson were born eleven children, of whom the following grew to maturity: Joshua M.; Elihu; Susannah; Jonathan; Daniel B., of the Nineteenth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, deceased; Isaac V. D. R.; William H. K., of the Sixty-ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, deceased; and George W. Johnson. Mrs. Phebe Johnson died March 10, 1851, and in 1853 Mr. Johnson married Rebecca Rockhill, and to this union there are six children living: Rachel; Jessie; Violetta; Evaline; Abraham L.; and Ulysses.
Isaac V. D. R. Johnson was reared a farmer, and August 19, 1862, enlisted in the Sixty-ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, under Col. Tom Bennett, and served until honorably discharged, at Mobile, Alabama, July 1865. He was wounded at Baker's Creek Mills, Mississippi, and also fought at Richmond, Kentucky, Chickasaw Bluff, Arkansas Post, Champion Hills, Jackson, Mississippi, and many minor engagements. On his return he resumed farming, and on October 28, 1865, married Martha A., daughter of Ezra and Minerva (Rogers) Vandergriff, of New Jersey. Mrs. Johnson was born in Randolph County, Indiana, in March, 1845, and became the mother of eleven children, viz: An infant, deceased; Phebe A., deceased; William G., a merchant, of Winchester; Sarah E., wife of William H. Meranda, machinist of Delaware County; Amanda M., deceased at five years; Effie, wife of Harvey Guthrie, of Randolph County; Elmer and Edna, who died at the age of six months; Ora S. and John A., at home; and Martha, deceased. Mrs. Martha Johnson died August 22, 1884, a devoted member of the Christian Church, and September 12, 1885, Mr. Johnson married Abigail Osborn.
Mr. Johnson became a minister of the Christian Church in 1871, has had regular work since that time, and has preached more than 1,000 funeral sermons. As a soldier he was brave and fearless. As a Christian he is always found at his post of duty. Hospitable to a friend and stranger, a kind husband and father, and ever willing to aid in any laudable undertaking that has for its aim the elevation and improvement of society, he has won the respect and esteem of the entire community. He was elected Treasurer of Randolph County in 1888 and served two years; is a member of Masonic Lodge, No. 223, at Farmland, is a member of the G.A.R. at the same place, and is a Republican. He is the owner of a fine farm of eighty acres, on which he resides, and also considerable property in Farmland.