JOHNSTON, RIENZI MELVILLE
JOHNSTON, RIENZI MELVILLE (1849–1926). Rienzi Melville Johnston, newspaper editor, son of Freeman W. and Mary J. (Russell) Johnston, was born at Sandersville, Georgia, on September 9, 1849 (some sources say 1850). Early in his life he began work in a print shop, and at the age of twelve he became a drummer in the Confederate Army (1862–63). After discharge he reenlisted in 1864 and served until the end of the war, when he returned to newspaper work. In the early 1870s he was city editor of the Savannah Morning News. He traveled to Texas in 1878 to edit the Crockett Patron. After a year he edited the Corsicana Observer and established the Independent there. In 1880 he moved to Austin, where he was associated with the Austin Statesman (see AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN). The Houston Post secured his service as correspondent to cover the state capital. Johnston was chosen editor-in-chief of the reorganized Houston paper in 1885, and later he became president of the Houston Printing Company. As an editorial writer he was quoted by the press throughout many states. For two years he was first vice president of the Associated Press. Johnston was one of the leaders of the Democratic party in the South. He declined the nomination for lieutenant governor of Texas in 1898. From 1900 to 1912 he was a member of the Democratic National Committee. Early in 1913 Governor Oscar B. Colquitt appointed him United States senator to fill the unexpired term of Joseph W. Baileyqv. Johnston served from January 4 to February 2, 1913, when he returned to Houston and resumed his duties as active head of the Post. He retired in 1919 and served as state senator from the Houston district; he resigned when he was appointed chairman of the state prison commission by Governor William P. Hobby on January 12, 1920. Johnston married Mary E. Parsons in 1875, and they had three children. He died on February 28, 1926, and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Houston.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, "Johnston, Rienzi Melville," accessed July 01, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fjo38.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.