Biography of Walter H. Johnston
Napa County, CA Biographies





WALTER H. JOHNSTON.
Among the honored and respected citizens of Calistoga, Napa county, is numbered Walter H Johnston, well known druggist at that place. Particular interest is attached to his record from the fact that he now owns and lives in the house in which he was born and that he also owns the business establishment in which he started to work twenty five years ago. Mr. Johnston was born in Calistoga on the 22d of October, 1885, and is a son of Richard P. and Helen V. (Lovejoy) Johnston.

Richard P. Johnston was born at Flushing, Long Island, New York, June 18, 1853, and was there reared to the age of thirteen years, The family then moved to Garden City, Blue Earth county, Minnesota, where they remained for two years, going from there to Madelia, Watonwan county, that state. Mr. Johnston had received a fair public school education, and he was subsequently engaged with his brother in law, B. G. Yates, working for three years in the latter's store. At the end of that time he returned to his father's farm, where he worked for two years, and in the spring of 1874 he went to Colorado and engaged in the stock business in association with his brother, Robert A. In the fall of that year he came to California, locating in Calistoga, where he found employment in the dry goods store of H. Getleson & Company, but in the autumn of 1876 he returned to his old home in the east. Soon afterward, however, he again came to Calistoga and became head salesman for the Getleson company. He served as recorder for the Calistoga mining district and in the spring of 1881 was elected school trustee of the Calistoga district. On July 24, 1879, he was married to Miss Helen V. Lovejoy, who was born in Columbus, Michigan, February 1, 1860. Of the children born to this union, the following are living: Frank H., now of Fresno, California; Walter H., the immediate subject of this sketch; and Mrs. Grover Hill, of Fresno.

Walter H. Johnston secured his education in the public schools of Calistoga, and when he was fifteen years of age he entered the employ of the Armstrong Drug Company, beginning in an humble capacity, keeping the store clean and doing all the work that usually falls to the apprentice. Subsequently he began clerking, and he took up the study of pharmacy in his leisure hours, so that in the course of time he was able to pass the state examination, becoming a registered pharmacist. He has continued his identification with the same store to the present time. In 1921 he bought the business and is now conducting it under his own name. He carries a large and complete line of drugs and medicines and also carries the usual line of accessories and sundries to be found in an up to date drug store. By reason of his unfailing courtesy and accommodating manner; and the high quality of his goods, he has enjoyed a splendid trade and is numbered among the substantial and progressive merchants of Calistoga.

Mr. Johnston is a member of the Free and Accepted Masons and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and is a charter member of the Calistoga Rotary Club. On December 31, 1912, he was married to Miss Myrtle Irene Decker, who was born and reared in Yountville, Napa county, and they are the parents of three children: Helen, aged ten years; Marie, aged eight years; and Robert, one year old.

From:
History of Solano County, California
BY: Marguerite Hune
and Napa County, California
BY: Harry Lawrence Gunn
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago 1926


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