Rienzi Melville "R.M." Johnston, 10th president, was born in Sandersville, Ga., Sept. 9, 1849.
In the Civil War, Johnston served as a drummer in the Confederate army. He learned the printer’s trade and was a first-class printer. He went from the print shop to the front office.
He came to Texas as a young man after some newspaper work in Georgia.
His first newspaper work in Texas was as staff correspondent of the Houston Post at Austin. About 1886 he became editorial writer on the Post and later purchased a large interest in the paper and became editor in chief.
He served as a member of the Texas Senate representing Harris, Waller and Fort Bend counties in the 35th and 36th Texas legislatures, from Jan. 9, 1917 to Jan. 12, 1920. He once was granted the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor, but declined.
He was appointed by Gov. Oscar Colquitt as a U.S. senator to succeed Joseph W. Bailey, from Jan. 4-29, 1913. He was the Texas member of the Democratic National Executive Committee from 1900 to 1912.
Johnston married Mary E. Parsons in 1875. He died Feb. 28, 1926.
Sources: Biographical directory of the U.S. Congress and the State of Texas' Legislative Reference Library.