Cruel Irony
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Section 1:  Our Heroine is Born 

Esther's early years were lived in a Little House on the Prairie manner, in southeast Kansas.

Birth Place

Esther was likely born on a farm approximately 3 miles south of Udall, Kansas, in Cowley County. This county borders Oklahoma, which at the time of her birth was still Indian Territory.

She was born September 15, 1896. Curiously, by 1925, she started listing her birth year as 1899, slicing three years off her age. She continued this practice the rest of her life.

Family Members

Esther was the youngest of four surviving siblings; A infant sibling died in 1886, presumably at or shortly after birth.

Her parents were William Henry Johnson and Marian Amy (Foster) Johnson. Her three sisters and brother included:

  • Amy Sarah Johnson
  • Inez Johnson
  • Mina Catherine Johnson
  • William Henry Johnson II
Esther Johnson

Cowley County

Ninnescah Township in Cowley County, Kansas (Click image for larger view)