Johnson, Samuel Ealy, Jr. (1877–1937)

By: Dayton Kelley

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: February 1, 1995

Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr., legislator and father of Lyndon Baines Johnson, the son of Eliza (Bunton) and Samuel Ealy Johnson, Sr., was born at Buda, Texas, on October 11, 1877. He moved with his parents to Gillespie County, where he attended school at Johnson City. Although forced to leave school at an early age, he passed the teacher's examination and was awarded a teaching certification. He taught school in 1896 at White Oak School in Sandy and later at Rocky School near Hye. In 1904 he was elected to the state legislature from the Eighty-ninth District, succeeding his future father-in-law, Joseph Wilson Baines. He served in the Twenty-ninth, Thirtieth, Thirty-fifth, Thirty-sixth, Thirty-seventh, and Thirty-eighth legislatures. He was the author of the Alamo Purchase Bill (which appropriated $65,000 for the purchase of the Alamo property), a bill providing $3 million to aid drought-stricken farmers and ranchers of West Texas, the Blue Sky Law, and other important legislative measures. On August 20, 1907, Johnson married Rebekah Baines (see JOHNSON, REBEKAH BAINES). The couple were parents of five children, including the thirty-sixth president of the United States. In 1906 Samuel E. Johnson, Jr., suffered severe financial losses, which wiped out his cotton holdings and left him deeply in debt. For a number of years he was engaged in real estate transactions. In 1935 and 1937 he was stricken with heart attacks. He died on October 23, 1937, and was buried in the family cemetery at Johnson City.

Robert Dallek, Lone Star Rising: Lyndon Johnson and His Times, 1908–1960 (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991). Robert A. Caro, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power (New York: Knopf, 1982). Rebekah Baines Johnson, A Family Album, ed. J. S. Moursund (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1965).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Dayton Kelley, “Johnson, Samuel Ealy, Jr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 26, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995