History and Tales from 5 generations in Central Texas

Featuring Thomas Jefferson Johnson & Catherine Johnson

Thomas Jefferson Johnson and
Catherine Johnson

Pioneer Texas Educators
Founders of Johnson Institute
Started one branch of the Shelton Family
in Austin


T. J. “Bristle Top” Johnson and his wife and two small children came to Austin, and in 1856, they started the first institute for higher learning west of the Colorado River in Texas. They were parents to Lizzie Johnson Williams. Many members of Texas legendary families, including the Moody’s…were educated at the Institute. Bristletop died of cholera in 1868 after a recruiting trip to Galveston. His wife and children kept the school open until 1883. The Barsrana Dahm Temple in Northwest Hays County is at the site of the Institute. The Johnson Collection includes stories of life at the institute passed down at the family hearth as retold by Emmett Shelton Sr. and letters between family members from 1860 through the Civil War and up to the closing of in Institute in 1883.

- more -

Life at the Institute - by Emmett Shelton,Sr.
Autobiography of Melville Lockett

Johnson Institute - Frontier Times



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