Johnson Institute, a private secondary school founded in 1852 by Professor Thomas Jefferson Johnson, was located on Bear Creek near the site of present-day Driftwood, thirty miles north of San Marcos in Hays County. The original facilities, log buildings built with the assistance of students, were replaced in 1868 by a solidly built, two-story, ten-room, limestone structure, which served as boardinghouse and school headquarters. A coeducational student body drawn from the neighboring area included several hundred day and boarding students. Johnson died in 1868, and his family kept the school open until 1872. Johnson, his wife, and various family members and slaves are buried in the institute cemetery.
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