The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

June 9, 2011

City founder’s descendants visit Johnstown


Founder Joseph Johns might be taken aback at what’s become of his namesake city, aside from the passing of 200 years, his descendants said Thursday.

City fathers chose two cannons to flank the Central Park statue of Johnstown’s founder. But – irony of ironies – Joseph Johns was Amish and would never have taken up arms, and might not have swatted a fly.

“Being Amish, he was a pacifist and probably wouldn’t like to see all the guns and arms (statuary) that are in Central Park right now,” the Rev. Loren Johns – a direct descendant of the founder – said good naturedly.“He’d probably say hmmm,” about the area’s growing defense industry, Johns added.

Johns was in town Thursday as part of a 26-person bus tour from the state of Indiana. About three-fourths of the visitors trace their lineage to Joseph Johns. The reverend also delivered a lecture on his great-great-great-great-grandfather at the Heritage Discovery Center.


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