Convention Member Edward Johnstone

Convention Member
Born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, July 4, 1815, where he received an education that fitted him for the study of law, which he practiced in Greensburg. At the age of 22, he was admitted to the bar, and started west where he first settled at Mineral Point, Wisconsin, where he remained until the fall of that year. He then went to Burlington and served as clerk in the Territorial Legislature. During that session, he was appointed one of three commissioners to collect testimony relating to the titles to the half-breed lands. When he was discharged of this duty he settled at Montrose, where he remained until January, 1839. Mr. Johnstone was elected to the Legislature, and was chosen to preside over the deliberations of the House, and, in 1840, was elected to the Council. When James K. Polk succeeded to the Presidency, was appointed United States Attorney for the Judicial District of Iowa. In 1851, when the Board of County Commissioners was abolished, he was elected to be County Judge of Lee County, and made the most efficient guardian of the interests of the taxpayers to whom the management of the public affairs of the county were ever entrusted. He was elected to the Constitutional Convention on the ticket with Col. Wm. Patterson, and took a prominent part in the deliberations of that body. In 1868, he removed to Keokuk to become Cashier of the Keokuk Savings Bank. In all the relations of life, public or private, Judge Johnstone has but few, if any, superiors. He was a public-spirited, enterprising citizen, and one whose honesty and fidelity to public and private trusts is unimpeachable. He was an excellent scholar, a close reader and deep thinker and was eminently qualified by nature and education to be a leader in the affairs of State and nation. Judge Johnstone was married in April, 1849, in St. Louis County, Missouri, to Miss Elizabeth V. Richards. They had four children. Source: The History of Lee County, Iowa published in 1879