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Searching for Grandfather

College DVL Fraternity Photo circa 1922

My grandfather is a missing link in our research on the Johnston side of the family. He left little in the way of clues of where he was from or who his parents were. It was also rumored that he changed his name in order to play four more years of college athletics.

Clement Bernard "Johnnie" Johnston enrolled in Wake Forest College in Wake Forest, North Carolina in 1919. He played baseball, basketball and football. He married Helen Hope Saintsing in July of 1921 and had four children; Clement B.,Jr. "Johnny", Margaret, James and Betty Ann.

After graduation in 1923, he was high school coach at Greensboro (N.C.) High, then spent four or five years at Clarkson Tech College (Potsdam, NY) as the head football coach.

Wake Forest Baseball Team Photo

Coach Johnston at Clarkson Tech

Johnston at Clarkson Tech - circa 1926

From 1928 to 1932, he was head football coach at Appalachian College in Boone, N.C., where he posted a 29-9-7 winning record. He was fired for playing an ineligible player.

In 1932-33, he left Boone for Norfolk where he visited his wife's sister. My grandmother supposedly got a letter from him postmarked Zanesville, Ohio saying he was on the way to Chicago to get a book published. He never contacted my grandmother again.

Later, my father, who was golf coach at Wake Forest College from 1947 to 1951 may have seen him in Florida while the golf team was at a match (Orlando, Gainesville or Pensacola). One of my sisters located a former girl friend, Mary Cooke Clayton, who provided us with a photo and some interesting information. Much of what Mary told us has been helpful.

Johnston at Appalachian College circa 1930

Johnston (date unknown) This is the photo that Mary Cooke Clayton gave us.

Later research revealed he may have attended Loyola Hall High School in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1917. Loyola Hall was also known as Loyola Academy. The school was closed in the 1920's and the students transferred to St. Louis University High School.  Research at St. Louis Univ. High School was helpful in that they have the grade records of the students from Loyola but no photographs. There was a Thomas S. Johnston who graduated from Loyola in 1917, and who also had brothers named Bernard and John.

His marriage certificate and his children's birth certificates indicate he was from Wisconsin, possibly the Fond du Lac or Madison area.

If by chance, any of this makes sense to you, I would appreciate a reply and whatever information you may have. I am only interested in learning about my family roots. Respond to Clyde Johnston via Clyde at ClydeJohnston dot com. (Hope this keeps the web bots from pilfering my email address)