Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
September 2007

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


George Franklin Johnston

Head of Many Financial Corporations. Montreal, Que.

GEORGE FRANKLIN JOHNSTON, capitalist, was born at Oxford, Grenville County, Ontario, July 3rd, 1862. His father, Isaac Johnston was a native of Ireland but of Scotch descent. His mother, Margaret Johnston, was born in England (the daughter of an English landlord). His education was obtained in Chesterville and Morrisburg, Ontario schools and finished at McGill University, Montreal, intending to enter upon a professional career, but throat affliction prevented. He commenced his business life by becoming a school teacher, and from that he entered the field of "Insurance" and made a remarkable success from the very beginning. At first he went with the " Sun Life " (when he was about twenty-six years of age) as general agent, and in a very short time after he held the office of manager of foreign agencies. Next he became superintendent of agencies and was in charge of the entire business of the company outside the head office. He was with the " Sun Life " for over ten years when he was offered the position of general manager of Canada for the " New York Life " which he accepted. Some two years later he was advanced to the office of supervisor of agencies for the Dominion of Canada and the States of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island, with headquarters at Montreal. In 1906 Mr. Johnston retired from the insurance field (while at the very acme of success) and went into the financial business with J. W. McConnell and Mr. H. J. Allison (a nephew) as partners. This firm has met with wonderful success and has handled many millions of dollars of securities and has well earned the confidence of its numerous clientele throughout the Dominion of Canada, Great Britain and the United States. Mr. Johnston was a candidate for House of Commons, 1911, St. Lawrence Division, and is connected with many of the notable financial corporations throughout the Dominion of Canada. He is a member of the Montreal Club, and was married May 22nd, 1889, to Mary Jane Macfarlane of Perth, Ontario, the union bringing four children: Norman Douglas Johnston, Morgan Macfarlane Johnston, Charles Franklin Johnston, and M. I. Gladys Johnston. Mr. Johnston is governor of the Montreal General Hospital, governor of the Wesleyan Theological College, a director in the Y. M. C. A. and is a very prominent church worker. He is president of a number of the large financial corporations of the Dominion.

Source: Canadian History Makers. A Volume Containing Accurate and Concise Sketches of Men who have Done Things in The Dominion of Canada Past and Present Together with Photogravures Made from their Latest Photographs, Montreal, Canadian Publication Society, 1913, 159p., p. 93.

© 2007 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College