Bill’s family has been in Texas since before it was a state. Bill’s mother’s family settled the town of “Dallas” in 1840. His grandfather’s grandfather, James Jackson Beeman, built a cabin near White Rock lake in what is now the Lake Highlands area of Dallas. This was the first residence in Dallas. In 1841, Beeman and others asked Texas President Sam Houston to come to Dallas to work out problems with the Kiowa tribe. He did.
Bill’s father, Wilson Johnston, was born in 1914 in Coryell County, Texas near a settlement known as “The Grove.” The Johnstons, who had come to America from Scotland more than one hundred years earlier, have been in Texas since its early years.