The Iowa Soldiers and Sailors Monument on the Capitol Grounds

Iowa Soldiers and Sailors Monument

Murray Johnston was selected to haul the Iowa Soldiers and Sailors Monument in sections on flatbed rail cars from Peoria, Illinois, to Des Moines.  Family members, according to Johnston’s granddaughter Phyllis Kennedy Cameron, witnessed the train’s arrival in Des Moines.

20180726_090319 (3)

20180726_090236 (2)

Civil War Veteran

Murray Johnston was only 16 years old when he “heard the call of his country for more soldiers to fight in the great war between the states.” He’d been born in Davenport, Iowa, in 1849, and enlisted there in Iowa Infantry, Company E, 8th Regiment. After the war he enlisted for three more years with the 77th Regiment Infantry of the regular army, serving from 1866-1869.

Rock Island Railroad

Johnston began working as a railroad fireman for the Rock Island in Davenport, married Mary Bogart in 1874, moved with his family about 1880 to Stuart, Iowa, where they made their home. He worked for the Rock Island Railroad for 42 years. His last run was on the Guthrie branch in 1912–on Engine #344, affectionately called Liza Jane, possibly a Baldwin.

train (2)
Picture taken the day of Murray Johnston’s last run on the Liza Jane, Engine No. 344.


Here are more stories about Murray Johnston and the Liza Jane train.  Murray and Mary Johnston are buried at Stuart. 

Story about the monument from Iowa History Journal.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.