Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  James Victor Johnson  

Pen Name: Vic Johnson

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1929, in Kankakee

E-Mail: --

Illinois Connection

Johnson was born in Kankakee and graduated from Kankakee High School.

Biographical and Professional Information

Victor Johnson was always interested in writing. He had one short story published in Rod Sterling's Twilight Magazine. He also wrote several technical articles on industrial coatings for technical magazines. Between 1990 and 2003, he wrote a Sunday column for the Kankakee Sunday Journal on regional history. He also edited the Bourbonnais Historical Society newsletter for a number of years and wrote occasional miscellaneous articles for the Kankakee Journal and the Bourbonnais Herald. He was associate editor of Farm Pond Harvest magazine for 20 years.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Bourbonnais (Images of America: Illinois)
ISBN: 073854096X

Arcadia Publishing. 2006

The village name Bourbonnais is attributed to Franžois Bourbonnais. He was a 19th-century French Canadian fur trader who maintained a post in a grove of trees along the east bank of the Kankakee River. This location became known as Bourbonnais Grove. Noel LeVasseur, a former American Fur Company employee, bought two sections of land in the grove in 1834 and established a settlement of immigrant French Canadians. At first, the village was called variously La Point, La Ville, and Vasseurville. A post office named Bourbonnais Grove opened in 1838. The village was known as Bourbonnais Grove until 1875, when it was incorporated as Bourbonnais. By the 1860s, Bourbonnais Grove had 1,719 inhabitants, a blacksmith shop, livery stable, hotel, and a new church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Nativity and built of native limestone. The images in this book depicting life in Bourbonnais have been gathered from local private and museum collections.

Bradley (Images of America: Illinois)
ISBN: 0738551732

Arcadia Publishing. 2008

At the age of 49, Ohio-born J. Herman Hardebeck had earned a gilt-edged reputation as a real estate developer in Kankakee. In the spring of 1891, to the north of Kankakee and south of Bourbonnais, lay a flat, mile-wide prairie. The land stretched eastward from a grove of Kankakee river timber, past the Illinois Central Railroad into the watershed of Soldier Creek. In May, Hardebeck signed agreements with Alvah Perry and Hiram Goodwin for the purchase of 340 acres of this property. He had taken options on additional tracts. Here Hardebeck would establish an industrial community first named North Kankakee and later renamed Bradley in honor of farm implement manufacturer David Bradley.

An Illustrated Sesquicentennial Reader: Kankakee County, Illinois 1853-2003
ISBN: 0966360818

Kankekee County Historical society. 2004

Burt E. Burroughs Annotated The Story of Kankakee's Earliest Pioneer Settlers
ISBN: 0917914546

Lindsay Publications. 1986


  • Illinois Association of Museums award for Excellence as a Scholarly Publication,

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