265. CLARENCE LESTER5 JOHNSTON (JAMES GREGORY4, JAMES FRANKLIN3, GEORGE GREGORY ("G.G." OR "GREG")2, LEWIS1) (#1003) was born in Bell County, Texas, September 21, 1887. CLARENCE died April 17, 1966 San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, at 78 years of age. His body was interred San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, San Jose Cemetery.
He married LYDIA B. (REEVES) JOHNSTON in McClennan County, Texas, May 14, 1927. (LYDIA B. (REEVES) JOHNSTON is #1567.) LYDIA was born January 5, 1889. LYDIA died April 18, 1970 San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, at 81 years of age. Her body was interred San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, San Jose Cemetery.
Note: Clarence L. Johnston was the first Johnston in the George Gregory branch of the Johnston family to be born in Texas, being born very shortly after the arrival of his father and mother to Bell County on their first move to Texas. When he was 7 or 8, he moved with the family back to Randolph County, Arkansas, and then back to Bell County, Texas, in a covered wagon in 1901, when he was about 14.
When he was 25, in 1912, and still single, he moved with the family to Corpus Christi, where he worked for a while with his Dad in the freight business. After that he worked for the local county, helping to build bridges and culverts, for about 5 years. He then worked at building dipping vats for cattle. This work consisted of digging a deep trench in the ground, 6 to 8 feet deep, and walling the sides with heavy lumber, usually railroad ties. You ended up with a walled trench about 2 /2 to 3 feet wide and 6 to 8 feet deep, with ramped ends. It was then filled with a dipping solution, usually a mixture of water and creosote. You drove the cattle, in single file, into one end and they had to swim the length of the vat to emerge at the other. This was to kill ticks and other insect parasites. Later, in Brown County where I grew up, we used concrete to build the vats.
In 1924 or 25, he took a job in Waco, with the State Highway Department. Whether that was before or after his brother Luther had died, is not clear to me. Also not clear, is whether Luther's widow, Lydia Reeves Johnston, with her children and step-children, stayed in Corpus Christi, or had moved to McClennan County. At any rate, on May 14, 1927, Lydia B. (Reeves) Johnston and Clarence Johnston were married, and Clarence became the "instant" step-father of his nieces and nephews.
Sometime before his 1966 death, Clarence wrote, or dictated, a half-page autobiography. Obviously a man of few words, he casually stated within it, "On May 14, 1927, I married a 'widder woman,' Lyda (sic) Reeves Johnston, who had a large family. I wanted to get a farm so I could get all my family to work. I rented a farm near Palestine, Texas, and made a good crop that year." Talk about an understatement! This 40 year old bachelor, in one fell swoop, gets a wife, her three children, her three living step-children (all six being his own nieces and nephews), and all he says is that he married a "'widder woman," with a large family." Not, "I married my widowed sister-in-law, and took all my brother's children to raise," or, "I didn't have any responsibilities of my own, so I felt obligated to assume the responsibility of taking care of my late brother's large family. Kids need a father." It was obvious that he knew what kids really needed, though. It wouldn't do to have them hanging around town with nothing to do but get in trouble, he needed a farm to put them to work.
Clarence and Lydia went on to have two children of their own; one daughter born on the farm at Palestine, and another born back in Waco, a couple of years later. They then moved to a farm near Jourdanton, Atascosa County, about 30 miles south of San Antonio, and then into San Antonio, where his father and a number of brothers and sisters lived. Clarence and Lydia are buried side by side in San Jose Cemetery, in San Antonio.
CLARENCE LESTER JOHNSTON and LYDIA B. (REEVES) JOHNSTON had the following family:
+ 442 i. FANNIE LEE6 JOHNSTON was born November 14, 1928.
+ 443 ii. CARRIE LOUDEEN JOHNSTON was born November 30, 1930.
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