An Illustrated History of Central Oregon, Western Historical Publishing Company, Spokane, WA. 1905, page 344.

* A portrait of Mr. Johnston appears between pages 344 and 345.

* A portrait has been posted on-line at

HON. THOMAS H. JOHNSTON, of the mercantile firm of "Johnstons," Dufur, Oregon, was born at Centreville, New Brunswick, Canada, on November 30, 1852.

Sketches of his parents appear elsewhere in this work. Until 1876 our subject was reared and educated in Canada, in that year going to California where he settled in Sonoma county, remaining three years. He then came to The Dalles, Oregon, and for one year was employed as purser on the river steamers. Mr. Johnston then engaged in the fruit, fish and vegetable business and a year subsequently was in the employment of Wingate & Company. With that firm he remained two years, going thence to Dufur, where he purchased the general merchandise business of C.A. Williams, in company with his brother, George, as a partner. In the fall of 1904, our subject, with his brother, George, and his brother John, and W.A. Johnston of The Dalles, organized a company, incorporating under the laws of the state, the name being "Johnstons," with a capital of $50,000. They have erected a hand-some, two story edifice of brick, eighty by ninety-four feet, with electric elevator, the only one in the town, and electric lights, with other modern conveniences. They carry on an extensive business and are one of the leading establishments in this part of the state. Mr. Johnston has for years worked assiduously to secure a railroad to Dufur from the main line and has at last gained the proper concessions. He is also interested in the Wasco Warehouse & Milling Company, Johnstons Stock & Land Company, Johnstons Bank, and is the real promoter of the Great Southern Railroad, being also director of it.

Our subject has four brothers and five sisters, viz.: George W. and John C., partners; J. Henry, a druggist at Dufur; Samuel B., a farmer residing near Dufur; Mary E., wife of George Briggs, cattle man and butcher; Annie, married to George McClintock, a contractor and builder; Sophia, wife of Horace Estebrooks, a farmer; Clara, wife of Samuel Gallagher, a farmer; and Rose, married to Harry Clark, a farmer and machinist.

December 6, 1882, at The Dalles, Mr. Johnston was married to Laura E. Krause, born at The Dalles, the daughter of George and Emma (Murhard) Krause, both natives of Germany. In 1853 her father came to the United States, settling first in California. In 1862 he came to The Dalles, and for years he was engaged in the wholesale and general merchandise business. He erected the first brewery in The Dalles. He died in 1876. The mother, who was married in Germany, accompanied her husband to Oregon, where she passed from earth in 1897. Mrs. Johnston has one brother, George, a farmer and fruit raiser, residing near The Dalles; and two sisters, Ida, wife of David Creighton, farmer and fruit raiser, near The Dalles; and Caroline, widow of Benjamin Korten, late of Portland, Oregon. Mr. and Mrs. Johnston have two children, Amy L., aged twenty, a student in Portland Academy, and Edna V., aged twelve years, living at home with her parents.

The fraternal affiliations of our subject are with the K. of P., of which he is Past C.C., and member of the grand lodge; B.P.O.E., and A.O.U.W., being past noble grand. He is a Republican and was elected state senator from the Twenty-first senatorial district of Oregon in 1900. He has been chairman of the county central committee and is a member of the Republican state central committee, and always active in campaigns, taking a patriotic interest in all political issues.


Submitted to the Oregon Bios. Project in January 2005 by Jeffrey L. Elmer. Submitter has no additional information about the person(s) or family mentioned above.

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