Dodd, Johnstone (1874-1954)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1925
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1925

Early years

Johnstone was born on 29 April 1874 at Folly Syke, Farlam, Cumberland to parents John Dodd and Jane Johnston. John was a coal miner. Both parents were devout members of the Wesleyan Church. Johnstone was baptised on 23 April 1874 at Halton Lea Gate Wesleyan Chapel, Northumberland.

Johnstone went to work in the coal mine at the age of twelve and continued in that occupation until he went to college.

Johnstone was converted at fifteen years of age in a mission conducted by Rev J. S. Nightingale. Immediately he joined the PM Church at Cleskett, in the Brampton circuit, where the cause was weaker and in greater need of helpers that the local Wesleyan Church in which he had been brought up. He became a local preacher by eighteen.

In preparing for the ministry, Johnstone often got up at 3 a.m. and did three hours study before starting work in the mine.


A particular feature of his ministry was his preparation classes for young people, a method which added scores to the membership of the Church. His deep interest natural history provided him with endless themes for children’s addresses and apt sermon illustrations. He was a successful amateur gardener.

His obituary records that his strength was given to his pulpit and pastoral tasks, he was a big man, in body and mind and sympathy. Sound common sense, flavoured by humour, helped him in the leadership of his circuits and churches.


Johnstone married Wilhelmina Hardy Graham (1874-1960) in the spring of 1902 at Haltwhistle, Northumberland. Census returns and birth records identify four children.

  • Harold Graham (1903-1968) – a police constable (1927)
  • Raymond (1906-1992)
  • Alan (1907-1930)
  • Kathleen A Dodd (b1913)

Johnstone died on 1 June 1954 at Morecambe, Lancashire.


  • Hartley
  • 1897 Newton & Hyde
  • 1901 Silsden
  • 1904 Keighley I
  • 1910 Pudsey
  • 1913 Halifax II
  • 1919 Haworth
  • 1923 Manchester III
  • 1926 Bradford III
  • 1933 Oldham Henshaw St
  • 1936 Morecambe (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1925/817

Methodist Minutes 1954/143

W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


Note: The earliest records give Johnstone’s name as Johnston. The ‘e’ was added by the time of the 1901 census.

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