Marker location: 1700 Miliam St., Columbus
Marker erected: 1994
Jesse H. Johnson, born in Clarksburg, West Virginia, came to Texas in 1868 and settled here in Columbus, Colorado County. In May 1869 he was appointed sheriff of Colorado County, a position he held until the end of that year. Johnson became a part of Texas' legendary late 19th century cattle industry when in 1871 he led a cattle drive from Columbus to Abilene, Kansas, and delivered over 600 head of cattle. He was sworn in as Colorado County Justice of the Peace in 1872. In 1873 Johnson married Laura Glenn Harbert, a local landowner of some prominence and the daughter of an important county judge. He served as district clerk of Colorado County from 1876 to 1882 and became a director of the Columbus Meat and Ice Company in 1883. His last official position in Colorado County was that of tax collector from 1886 to 1894. Johnson joined the United States Foreign Service in 1899. He served as U.S. Consul in Coaticook, Quebec, Canada (1899-1901); Santos, Brazil (1901-1906); Swansea, Wales, U.K. (1907-1910); Matamoros, Mexico, (1910-1917); and at Regina, Saskatchewan, Western Canada, from 1917 to 1923. Johnson retired from the Foreign Service in 1923 and returned to Columbus. He died in Houston and his body was returned to Columbus by railroad for burial.
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