Family Life

Clifton Johnson and Anna McQueston's wedding invitation, 1896

Invitation to Clifton Johnson and Anna McQueston's wedding, 1896

In his early thirties and with his career well in hand, Clifton Johnson had the opportunity to settle down. On May 25, 1896, he married Anna Tweed McQueston (1876-1954), a teacher at the one-room school in Hockanum both she and Johnson had attended as children.

Anna McQueston Johnson standing amidst the ruins of Logie House in Scotland

Anna McQueston Johnson while on her honeymoon in Scotland

After a honeymoon in England and Scotland (which doubled as a work trip for Johnson), they took up residence in his childhood home. It was on this farm that they raised their five surviving children (son Oliver died in infancy): Margaret, Arthur, Roger, Irving, and Katherine.

Johnson children fly a kite

Three of Clifton Johnson's children, Arthur, Roger, and Margaret, fly a kite

According to his son Arthur, “Clifton was a strict disciplinarian, but very kind to children. He took them on walks to nearby Mt. Holyoke and told them the names of the flowers and the birds…When each child became eleven, he was taken to New York City. Clifton showed us all the famous ‘sights’ and galleries. He also took us on some of his photo trips. And when he wasn’t on one of his writing trips, he read the children’s classics aloud to us every single night.” Though Johnson traveled extensively for his work, he also continued to operate the family farm and was “a man of great physical strength and enormous energy,” said son Arthur.