INFORMATION FROM BOOK.I AM NO RELATION OR HAVE NO FURTHER INFO.
Biographical Review Volume XXIV
Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Pittsburgh and the Vicinity Pa
Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company 1897
SMITH ARCHIBALD JOHNSTON, an attorney-at-law of Pittsburgh, was born in Hopewell Township, Beaver County, July 18, 1839, son of ARCHIBALD and MARY (MACKRELL) JOHNSTON.His grandfather, JAMES JOHNSTON, who was born in the County Antrim, Ireland, came to this country in 1822, settling at Bower Hill, now a station on the Chartier Valley Railroad.Here he purchased a farm, upon he resided until 1830.Then he moved to a farm in the township of Hopewell, on which he spent the rest of his life.
ARCHIBALD JOHNSTON'S father was born in the County Antrim, Ireland, April 1, 1810.He was a boy of 12 when his father brought him to this country, and he grew to manhood in Pennsylvania.At the age of 14 he began to learn the machinist's trade with Evans & Co., of Pittsburgh.After serving an apprenticeship of 7 years, he was engaged as an engineer on a river steamboat for a quarter of a century.In the meantime he purchased the farm of Dr. James Rodgers in Beaver County, adjoining that of his father, and there spent his last days. He favored the Whig and afterward the Republican party; and he voted for Fremont at the time of his nomination.His death occurred April 11, 1882.He was married on his 21st birthday to MARY, daughter of HENRY MACKRELL, both of whom were natives of the County Derry, Ireland.MR. MACKRELL, who was then a widower, came to this country with his daughter when she was 16 years old, and settled in Pittsburgh.After her marriage he lived with her until 1840, the year of his death.She and her husband were members of the United Presbyterian Church.They were the parents of eight children, six of whom attained maturity, namely: JAMES, now deceased; AGNES, the widow of STEPHEN LAWSON, of Shousetown, Pa.; MARSHALL, a resident of Pittsburgh; SARAH E., deceased, who was the wife of WILLIAM SPRINGER, of this city; and THOMAS D., also of Pittsburgh.
SMITH ARCHIBALD JOHNSTON acquired his education in the public schools of Hopewell.Afterward, in 1851 and 1852, while boarding with an aunt in Pittsburgh, he attended the Ralston School in this city.Subsequently he took a course in a private school in Scottsville, Beaver County, and then entered Beaver Academy, at that time a noted institution of learning, presided over by Dr. Mateer, since a missionary in India.In his 18th year he engaged in the profession of teacher in Logstown, Beaver County, Pa., where he remained about 12 months.Then he taught for a year at Coraopolis, for two years in Green Tree Borough, and for two years in West Liberty Borough.While so employed he was entered as a law student in the office of Nathaniel P. & G. L. B Fetterman, of Pittsburgh.Registered on April 20, 1860, he was admitted to the bar July 18, 1863.Knowing that a young lawyer could except but a limited patronage, with a precarious income, he took charge of his old school in Green Tree Borough, devoting his spare time to such legal matters as his neighbors brought him.After a time he was obliged to engage the assistance of his cousin, HENRY C. MACKRELL, now of Brooklyn, N.Y., who had been admitted to the bar two years before MR. JOHNSTON, for the business demanding attention during school hours.On December 1, 1863, having resigned from his school, he opened an office, with his cousin as colleague; and the firm of Mackrell & Johnston managed a fair practice for two years.Mr. Johnston was then alone until April, 1869, when James P. (pg. 61 – picture of SMITH A. JOHNSTON) (pg. 63) Johnston (no relation) became his associate.The partnership of Johnston & Johnston was in existence until 1872.Then Mr. Smith A. Johnston was associated for 5 years with Charles S. Fetterman and J. B. Flack, under the style of Fetterman, Johnston & Flack.Mr. Flack retired first, and then Mr. Fetterman, who was appointed to the bench.The latter, however, resumed his relations with Mr. Johnston after 9 months; and their subsequent association lasted until 1882, when it was dissolved.MR. JOHNSTON was next associated with his brother, MARSHALL JOHNSTON, until February, 1894, since which time he and his son, CHARLES M., have practiced together under the firm name of S. A. & CHARLES M. JOHNSTON.They have an extensive and lucrative business, including all kinds of civil practice.In addition to his legal work MR. JOHNSTON attends to extensive mining interests in Texas, where he spent a large part of 1895.
MR. JOHNSTON has been the president of the San Carlos Coal Company since its organization, and was active in establishing both that and the Rio Grande and Northern Railroad Company.The railroad, the first enterprise of the kind in that section of the country, includes a line connecting Chispa, on the Southern Pacific Railway in Jeff Davis County, and San Carlos in Presidio County.The coal is bituminous, and finds a ready market near the miles.MR. JOHNSTON is an active Republican, and has been a delegate to a number of party conventions.He represented the Fifth War of Allegheny in the Common Council four years, from 1874 to 1878; and he was in the Pittsburgh Common Council from 1882 to 1884, serving on the Water Commission and on the Committees on Pavements and Wooden Buildings.He was made a Mason in St. John's Lodge No. 219, of Pittsburgh, and belongs to Duquesne Chapter; he is a charter member of the Americus Club; Past Master Workman of Centre Avenue Lodge, No. 124, A. O. U. W., which he has represented in the Grand Lodge; and he belongs to the Order of the Golden Chain and to the Ancient Essenic Order.An accomplished linguist, he speaks German especially well.In 1878 he spent three months in Europe, visiting the Paris Exposition and points of interest in England and France.
MR. JOHNSTON was married December 25, 1860, to JULIA, daughter of WILLIAM BURTT, of Green Tree Borough.Her uncle, ANDREW BURTT, who was the author of Burtt's Grammar and the principal of the Ralstan School from 1852 to 1883, was considered a very superior teacher.MR. and MRS. JOHNSTON have had four children: ANDREW BURTT, CHARLES M., HOWARD FETTERMAN, and MARY M.ANDREW BURTT died September 22, 1894, age 32 years.MARY M. died in infancy.CHARLES M. JOHNSTON studied law with his father, and was admitted to the bar in September, 1890.The other son, HOWARD F., was admitted to the Texas bar in El Paso, and is at present secretary of the Rio Grande & Northern Railroad.MR. and MRS. JOHNSTON are members of the Smithfield Methodist Episcopal Church.