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Presidential parents wed


On this day in 1907, Samuel Ealy Johnson Jr. married Rebekah Baines. Johnson, whose father Samuel E. Johnson Sr. was a prominent cattleman, was born in Buda in 1877 but raised in Gillespie County. He was first elected to the state legislature in 1904, succeeding his future father-in-law Joseph Wilson Baines. He and his bride, born in McKinney in 1881, eventually had five children, including Lyndon Baines Johnson, the thirty-sixth president of the United States. As a state legislator, Samuel E. Johnson Jr. authored the Alamo Purchase Bill, the Blue Sky Law, and other important measures. In 1906 he suffered severe financial losses which wiped out his cotton holdings and left him deeply in debt. Disappointed in her husband and frustrated by the poverty and isolation of Hill Country farm life, Mrs. Johnson tried hard to instill her love of education and culture into her five children. She was especially close to the eldest, Lyndon, and relentlessly coached him to improve his indifferent schoolwork and encouraged him to be ambitious and idealistic. Samuel E. Johnson Jr. died in 1937. Rebekah Baines Johnson died in 1958.

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