Filed Under Scott E. Johnson

Scott Edwin Johnson

Born on October 14, 1894 to Scott and Caroline Johnson, Scott Edwin Johnson served as a teacher, principal, and city councilman in Huntsville, Texas. Today, the Scott E. Johnson Elementary School in Huntsville Independent School District honors his years of devoted service to the local community.

At the age of twelve, Johnson enrolled in the Samuel Walker Houston Industrial and Training School in Galilee. He studied hard, worked around campus, and graduated in the school's first class in 1915. Upon completion of his high school degree, Johnson took a job picking cotton near Waco. Then, with the outbreak of World War I, he volunteered to serve his country in the military. His tour of duty began in Newport News, Virginia, and while stationed there he contracted influenza. Johnson was sent to the base hospital for treatment, and while there his Twelfth Company was dispatched to the front lines in Europe. Leaving in haste, the Twelfth Company lost his service record. The federal government was informed that Private First Class (PFC) Scott E. Johnson was missing and notified his parents. A memorial service was held, and his parents began receiving checks from a $10,000 life insurance policy. Meanwhile, he was very much alive in a hospital in Virginia. Upon his release from the hospital, PFC Scott E. Johnson was placed with the Sixth Company, and the government notified his parents.

After the war, Johnson attended summer school at Hampton Institute. He had been impressed with the campus while stationed in Virginia and vowed to return and study there after the war. While attending Hampton, Johnson accepted a position as a chauffeur for the wealthy Gannett family, who had a residence in New York. He remained in New York until 1927, when he accepted a teaching position at the Center Point Training School in Pittsburg, Texas. While working there, Johnson met Ethel Mae Downs, and the two married in June 1929. Shortly after their wedding, Johnson accepted a teaching position with the Fort Valley Industrial School in Georgia, and he and his wife welcomed their only child, Ethel, while living in the Peach State.

Johnson returned to Huntsville during the 1929-1930 school year. He assisted Samuel Walker Houston during the transition period involving the school consolidation/merger in which the Samuel Houston Industrial and Training School merged with the Huntsville City Colored School.

Until his retirement in 1960, Johnson served in many capacities including teacher, bus driver, coach, and principal of two schools. In 1968, he was elected as the first African American city councilman in Huntsville during the 20th century. Following his retirement, a new junior high school in Huntsville was named in honor of Scott E. Johnson. Early in the 1990s, an integrated facility was renovated, expanded and re-designated as an elementary school.

Throughout the thirty years of his retirement, Johnson kept a steady interest in his namesake school. Even until his late 90s, he returned to the school every year on his birthday. Johnson died on June, 22, 1995 at 101. After his death, Lee Jamison, a professional muralist sought a way to effectively memorialize a great man. The Scott Johnson Memorial Mural is featured at Scott Johnson Elementary School.


City Council
City Council City Council, 1968. Scott Edwin Johnson on the far right.
Black Chamber of Commerce, 1950
Black Chamber of Commerce, 1950 First Row; left-right; Percy Howard, Dr. J. A. Johnson, Calvin Lewis, Scott Johnson, Miss Holloway, Iowa Jones, O. B. Toliver,K. H. Malone. Second row; Johnny Roberts, J. R. Powell, Alex Holt, ?, Ernest Grover, Sr. , Sapp Delaney, ?, George Oliphint, Aaron Curington, Herman Harper, Lucas Smith. Back row; Andrew Perkins, John Sowells, Earl Larue, Cecil Williams, Earnest McCowan, Carny Allen, Goree McGlothlin, Lucious Jackson.



Chelsea Branch, “Scott Edwin Johnson,” East Texas History, accessed July 17, 2024,