Artemus Johnson

M, #12589, b. 5 April 1740, d. 14 August 1784
ChartsThompson (maternal side) - Mary Elizabeth Wells
Pages 1-3

Organized religion in Orwell Township began with the organization of a church of ten members in the house of Lebbeus Roberts on the Robert's Corners, afterward called Woodruff's Corners, at a site north of the residence of James E. Eastman on the Orwell Ridge Road.

"On October 10, 1803 the Rev. Messrs, Seth Williston and James M. Woodward, under direction of the Connecticut Missionary Society, organized a church of ten members in the house of Lebbeus Roberts on the Roberts Corners, " According to a historical note supplementing the record book of the "Church of Warren and Orwell". The names of these ten members, listed in the handwriting of Hampton Champlin, are: William and Abagail Ranney, Levi and Phebe Frisbie, William and Abagail Johnson, Susanna Choat, Hannah Pierce, Hulda Woodruff, and Esther Roberts. The historical note continues, " This church, then called the Church of Orwell, subsequently became centered at LeRaysville, and is known as the Church of Pike. The Rev. Benoni Mandeville was ordained its pastor October 12, 1812 and was deposed January 5, 1814." Deacon William Johnson from Burlington, Conn., was a brother of Asahel Johnson, and both sons of Artemas Johnson (1740-1784), a Connecticut Revolutionary Soldier. Mrs. Harry A. Bosworth of LeRaysville is a descendant of William. Mrs. Frank L. Dimock of Wyalusing is a descendant of Asahel (1768-1857) through Joel, George N., Cora Johnson, wife of Fay Pierce father of Alice E. Pierce; wife of Frank L. Dimock William Johnson was the son of Artemus and Mary Johnson. Artemus was a Revolutionary Soldier who died in Connecticut August 14, 1874. ("Connecticut Men in the Revolution," pages 42, 52). His wife Mary came to Orwell in 1819, died in 1820, her body being buried in the East Cemetery, according to Mrs. Rena Maynord Lott, a descendant. The wife of William Johnson was Abagail Hart. William owned 3000 acres and lived at the first crossroads south of Potterville, where Albert Conklin lived in 1876, shown in Beers " Atlas of Bradford County, Pa., Orwell Township. His brother Truman had a farm nearby. William, born April 14, 1772, died in Pike Township September 6, 1853. He was a shoemaker for fifteen years, and his son Denison continued the trade for fourteen years after his father ceased to follow it. Denison employed four men, tanning all his own leather and considerable more. He married Susan Esther Matteson of Coventry, Kent Co., R. I.

Denison and Susan Johnson had children: (Geo. Denison (1825-1888); Charles Darlington born June 18, 1827; Emily Eliza (Merick), B. 1825, d. 1855; James Henry (1831-1922) and Susan Ellen (Vance), born Feb. 21, 1836.

William was one of four sons and two daughters of Artemus and Mary Johnson who came to Orwell: Asahel, William, Truman, Edmund, and Mary and Elizabeth. Edmund came to Orwell, but returned to Connecticut to be married, and died there. Mary Married John Cowles, died September 7, 1802 at the age of 25. Elizabeth, born October 1, 1874, married Josiah Benham of LeRaysville, died in February 1827. (Another daughter is listed in the family Bible as Abigail, born January 25, 1780, died September 13, 1810.)

Asahel Johnson, born February 28, 1768, son of Artemus and Mary Johnson died in Orwell, November 25, 1857, with burial in the East or Darling Cemetery. He married March 3, 1788 Beulah Hitchcock, who was born February 19, 1770, died September 13, 1851. The record from the Bible of Asahel Johnson and his son Joel gives their Children as follows:

Lydia, born September 11, 1788, died in 1802
Artemus, born June 27, 1790, died in 1859, aged 69
Simeon, born February 27, 1792, died December 15, 1878, aged 86
Amanday, born May 24, 1794 (Bown) died in 1865
Charlotte, born June 27, 1796 (Grant) died May 9, 1840
Joel, born May 18, 1799, died November 6, 1880, aged 81 yrs. 5 mos. 12 days
Welthy, born February 15, 1801 (Brown), died September 16, 1825
Julia, born May 25, 1804, died August 22, 1832, unmarried
Clarissa, born May 30, 1806, (Wilson), died September 12, 1858
Lydia (2nd) born May 8, 1808 (Wilson, died April 10, 1875
Nelson, born May 25, 1810, died August 1, 1858
Mary, born May 6, 1812, died in 1888, aged 76 (Mrs. Rena Lott thinks Mary moved to Clearfield County, Pa.)

Mrs. Frank L. Dimock of Wyalusing states that the Asahel and Joel Johnson Family Bible was published and Purchased in 1815, was used many years in the old Johnson home in Orwell village, on the south side of the road, next to the present Grange Hall, and is now owned by Dr. G. W. Gage, 5928 North Eleventh St., Philadelphia, Pa. Whose mother was Julia Johnson, daughter of George Nelson Johnson, who was a son of Joel, son of Asahel Johnson, Dr. Gage being a great-great-grandson of Asahel Johnson. Mrs. Myrtie Hammerly of LeRaysville, sister of Mrs. Rena Lott of Orwell, remembers her grandfather Joel reading his Bible daily. For nine years this Bible could not be found, having been stored in a trunk in the Gage homestead in LeRaysville. Mrs. Frank L. Dimock was the only person living whom knew that the Bible had been presented to Mrs. Julia Johnson Gage by her mother, Mrs. G. N. Johnson.

Joel Johnson married June 1, 1803, Sophronia Benham, born December 25, 1803, at New Hartford, Conn., daughter of Jehial and Lydia (Caldwell) Behman. Sophronia B. Johnson died June 25, 1893. Five children were born to them: Amanda (Mrs. William Browning of Towanda), Emeline Russell of Milledgeville, Illinois; Frank N., who lived and died on the old homestead near Conklin's Corners; Charlotte (Mrs. Lycurgus Maynard, mother of Jessie of Elmira, Rena Lott of Orwell, Myrtie Hammerly of LeRaysville, and one son, the late Benham Johnson Maynard; George N. Johnson, LeRaysville, father of Cora Johnson who married Fay Pierce, parents of Alice E. Pierce (Mrs. Frank L. Dimock).

Mrs. Myra Bailey Kuhn, Mrs. Anna J. Keeler, and Mrs. H. A. Bosworth are other Johnson descendants living at LeRaysville, Pa.

The centennial of the organization of the Church of Pike was observed October 10 and 11, 1903 at LeRaysville, when Rev. Magee Pratt was pastor.

Previous to the organization of this church in 1803, the first settlement in the present township bounds was made in 1796, near what is now the junction of the Orwell hill road and the Wysox Creek road (state highway No. 187), called for a long time Ransom's Corners. The first settlers were Dan Russell, a native of Tolland County, Connecticut, who came from Vermont; and Francis Mesusan who located on the place owned by Edward Gridley in 1878, lately in possession of Raymond C. Hammond, deceased. Mr. Cleveland Russell, a descendant of Dan Russell, occupies the Russell farm now, just south of the corner. These two settlers were followed the next year by the three others, Asahel Johnson, Josiah Grant, and Samuel Wells.
Asahel Johnson located on the waters of the Johnson Creek four miles away from the place of Francis Mesusan, and had title to 3,000 acres. His house was not far from the Potterville ballpark on the road leading from Wells Hollow to LeRaysville. Albert Conklin owned the place in 1869, it was in 1940 the property of Mr. Earl Chaffee, Beaver, Pennsylvania, the father of Mrs. Edward Woodburn, Rome, Pennsylvania; and was sold since to Andrew Benjamin.

Josiah Grant was a captain in the Revolutionary War, serving with his cousin Colonel Ethan Allen in the brigade of the "Green Mountain " boys. He lived 100 rods west of the Presbyterian Church on the brow of the hill.

"Samuel Wells, who married a sister of Asahel Johnson, came from Burlingon, Vermont, and settled on the farm just south of Johnson in 1799." His oldest son, Theron, owned the property in 1878 (Craft), and it is now the property of Fred Hunt of Wells Hollow. Washington Wells ran a wagon shop on a small place adjoining, which he owned all his life.

The town was then called Mendon. "In April, 1801, the court of Luzerne County appointed Ezekial Hyde, Josiah Grant, and William Spalding commissioners to erect a township embracing the territory of the present Orwell. Who, at the November session, reported the following bonds:" From the fifty-second milestone the North line of the county and State running south twelve miles, fifty-one chains, and fifty links, to the south line of Tioga district; thence east eleven miles, thence north twelve miles thence west eleven miles to the place of beginning." The report was approved by the court and the township named Mt. Zion. In April, 1802, on petition of Ebenezer Coburn and others, the name was changed to Orwell, from a town of that name in Vermont, from which many of the settlers came." This township included the present township of Warren, for the most part (see map facing p. 113 in Craft's History of Bradford county.)1

Birth*5 April 1740 Artemus Johnson was born on 5 April 1740 at Connecticut; The IGI shows Artemus Johnson b.5 APR 1740 Burlington, Litchfield, CT son of Cornelius Johnson & Hannah Penfield. Research on this not yet done. 
Marriage*8 December 1765 He married Mary Barns on 8 December 1765 at Branford, New Haven Co., Connecticut; Artemas, m. Mary Barns, b. of Branford, Dec 8, 1765 by Josiah Rogers, J.P.2 
CAUTION* Artemus Johnson and Jemima Johnson have the following CAUTIONARY INFORMATION: Jemima, the wife of Samuel Wells, is not proven to be the daughter of Artemus Johnson (and the sister of Asahel Johnson). In the church history cited elsewhere, it is claimed she is Asahel's sister. However, other places it is claimed that Artemus had two daughters, Mary & Abigail, with no mention of a Jemima. However, my inclination is to believe that this is another daughter fitting in between potential brothers William (b.1772) and Truman (b.1775). We know for sure that Samuel's wife is named Jemima, and there must have been some reason for the history to claim that she was Asahel Johnson's sister. 
Military*1775 Artemus Johnson was in the military in 1775 Continental Regiments 1775, 1st Regiment General Wooster, 6th Company Capt Douglas. Page 10 says see Record of Connecticut Men in the Revolution, page 41. Extract from Capt William Douglas' account book, giving names of soldiers in his Company in 1775, and the time for which they received wages. The privates each received 52 shillings bounty money, and the majority of them are credited with mileage for 253 miles. Artemas was credited with 7 months no days. Page 16 says see Record of Connecticut Men in the Revolution, pages 37-90. Names of soldiers extracted from a volume of "Sick Bills", 1775, being itemized accounts of the expenses of individual soldiers during sickness. on page 24 of the list is listed Artemas Johnson, his company is Capt. Douglas, his regiment is Wooster. Page 265 says Pensioners, Half Pay. This and the following list are condensed from several lists by omitting all but a single reference to each name. The United States Dr. To the State of Connecticut for disbursements for half pay for Troops wounded in the service of the United States Agreeably to Act of Congress August 26th 1776. Under Bills & Accounts is Artemas Johnson, and remarks is Col. Woosters Regt.
     Compiled Service Records index card #3605 says Artemas Johnson, 1 Regiment CT Forces with no other information
     Record of Service of CT Men in the War of the Revolution (SLC 974.6 M2ca) - Page 42 - 1st Regiment Gen. Wooster's 1775, 6th Company, Private, Artemus Johnson Disc. in North. Dept 1 Nov 1775, discharged. Page 44 - Additional men discharged from the regiment in the Northern Department Sep-Nov 1775, Artemas Johnson (of Branford)
     Supplement to The Record of Service of CT Men in the War of the Revolution 775-1783 (SLC 974.6 M2r) - Vol 1 Page 1 - Continental Regiments 1775, Returns of men in service, Branford list shows Artemas Johnson. Vol 2 Page 10 - Continental regiments 1775, 1st Reb. 6th Co. Capt Douglas, 7 months service. Vol 2 Page 24 - in a list of "sick bills" Woster regiment, no remarks. Vol 2 Page 265 - on Pensioners Half Pay list.
     From The public records of the state of Connecticut, with the journal of the Council of safety and an appendix (Volume 5) pg 41 at (
Upon the Memorial of Artemus Johnson of Branford in the County of New Haven Shewing to this Assembly that he Inlisted as a Private Soldier in Capt William Douglas Company General Woosters Regiment, which Regiment was Ordered to march to the Northward from the reduction of St Johns &c, and that at the Isle of Noix in Lake Champlain on the 8*'' of Septembr 1775 he being then serving in a Gun Boat and being foremost in Landing, when by Accident a Soldiers Gun behind him was discharged, which Charge entered his left Arm near his Shoulder which Shivered the Bones to such a Degree that amputation become necessary which was Performed on the 17th' of said Septembr, and he being thereby deprived of One of his Arms, and having a large Family of Children to Support and in needy Circumstances acknoledges to have received the Sum of Sixty Pounds in Continental Bills as a Gratuity which the General Assembly were pleased to Grant to him at their Session in May 1776* which Sum has long since been expended in the necessary Support of his needy Family Praying for further Releif as Per Memorial on File —
     Resolved by this Assembly that the Committee of Pay Table be and they are hereby Ordered and directed to adjust the Pay and allow the Memorialist Wages in the Same manner and by the Same Rule as though his Wound had been recieved in an engagement with the
* See Conn. Col. Recs., 1775-1770. pp. 374-375. - that can be found at
Upon the memorial of Artemas Johnson of Branford, shewing to this Assembly that being a soldier in a company commanded by Capt. Douglas in Genll Wooster's regiment in the northern campaign in the year 1775, at the Isle au Neaux, he accidentally received a wound in his arm, which neccessarily occasioned the amputation thereof, whereby he is rendered unable to labour for the support of himself and family; praying for relief &c., as per memorial on file; Resolved by this Assembly, that the sum of sixty pounds, L. money, be granted, and the same is hereby granted to the memorialist, and the Treasurer of this Colony directed to pay the same accordingly. (wonder if the memorial on file has his children listed?)3,4 
Death*14 August 1784 He died on 14 August 1784 at Connecticut at age 44; 14 Aug 1784 as the date of death is from Bradford Co PA History (cited), which does not give the place of death.
"Connecticut Men in the Revolution," pages 42, 52 is what Orwell church record says is the source of this date. However, the Rolls & Lists cited previously quotes from those same pages without mentioning a death date. We may still have to track down the original source to see if the death is mentioned.
Negative sources looked at trying to find confirmation:
Orderly book & Journals kept by CT Men While Taking part in the American Revolution 1775-1778 (SLC 974.6 B4c v.7)
Revolutionary Characters of New Haven (SLC 974.68 M2r.)



Mary Barns b. 25 Jun 1747, d. 23 Oct 1820
Last Edited1 Jan 2012


  1. [S265] A History of the Churches of Orwell, Pennsylvania 1803-1951,
  2. [S153] CT Vital Records - Barbour Collection on Ancestry, Branford Vital Records pg 129.
  3. [S151] Rolls & Lists of Connecticut Men in the Revolution Hartford CT Hist Soc, 1901, 10, 24 & 265, SLC 974.6 B4c v. 8, My Evd # 151.
  4. [S154] NARA Index to Compiled Service records of Revolutionary War Soldiers, Roll 14 I-KY, SLC 882267, My Evd # 154.
  5. [S264] History of Bradford County PA 1770-1878 - CAUTION: this web page has information that is NOT in the book, Rev David Craft, ,
  6. [S153] CT Vital Records - Barbour Collection on Ancestry, Branford Vital Records pg 132.
  7. [S153] CT Vital Records - Barbour Collection on Ancestry, Branford Vital Records pg 131.