Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Johnsons' Law Five Generations Share Tradition of Careers in the Legal Profession

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Johnsons' Law Five Generations Share Tradition of Careers in the Legal Profession

Article excerpt

When P.K. Johnson V became an assistant St. Clair County state's attorney in Belleville last October, he was carrying on a father-to-son legal tradition dating back more than a century.

Illinois Supreme Court records show that the first of five successive P.K. Johnsons was admitted to the bar on June 15, 1882. Soon he was serving as Salem city attorney and also as editor of the local newspaper. P.K. Johnson IV, who heads the Johnson & Johnson firm today, said he had checked with all Illinois law firms that have been in existence for a century or more. None can claim five generations from the same family, let alone with the same name.

As was the tradition of the time, the first P.K. Johnson began his law practice without formal legal schooling, rather as an apprentice to a seasoned attorney - his older brother Hale Johnson.

The Johnsons were not related to President Abraham Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson. They were acquainted with a radical cabinet member of that President Johnson who was named Preston King.

"He was a friend of my great-grandfather," said P.K. Johnson IV. "For a slice of history, he named his son Preston King Johnson."

That was how the first P.K. Johnson acquired his initials.

When he died in 1887, his wife took over his newspaper. His son, born only two years earlier, carried on his name and later his legal profession.

P.K. Johnson II attended the University of Illinoi, another tradition followed by all his successors. He was admitted to the bar in 1909 and settled in Belleville.

The Johnson law firm has been based in Belleville ever since. Its offices today are on the fourth floor of the Boatmen's Bank building on the city's Public Square.

P.K. Johnson III was born in Belleville in 1915 and joined his father's practice after receiving his law degree from the University of Illinois in 1939. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.