Privilege License for Williamsburg Antiques

Gregory M. Johnston, being sworn in as a law clerk for Justice James L. Roberts, Jr.

History of 732 Magnolia Street

As a child, Greg fondly recalls visiting the “Old House”, a turn of the century cottage located at 732 Magnolia Street in Madison, to visit his paternal grandparents Esther and Bower Johnston. After the Johnstons retired from their respective careers, they decided to turn their hobby of antique collecting and restoration into a business.  The Johnstons purchased the property at 732 Magnolia Street in 1972 and opened Williamsburg Antiques.  For the next 30 years, until the death of Mrs. Johnston in 2002, Williamsburg Antiques operated from the Old House.  As a boy, Greg spent many happy times at the Old House polishing furniture, mowing grass, and picking up pecans in the yard from the many old pecan trees surrounding the house. 
After Mrs. Johnston’s passing in 2002, Greg, with the help of his parents Brent and Cynthia Johnston, decided to restore the Old House and convert it into Greg’s law office. This project was certainly a labor of love. 

For years, the Johnston family had been curious about the history of the Old House but had little information. In 2006, Greg received a letter from Mrs. Marie Farr Reid, a 96 year-old lady who was living in a retirement home in Ridgeland. Mrs. Reid said that she had noticed someone had “fixed up” the place and wanted to come by for a visit, a request to which Greg was more than happy to accede. When Mrs. Reid, and her daughter, Loretta Reid Newton, came to visit, Greg was surprised to learn that Mrs. Reid’s father, George Bryan Farr, had originally built a house on the site in 1894, but it was destroyed by fire. The Old House was built on the site in 1903, and Mrs. Reid was born in the home in 1911. Mrs. Reid had many wonderful memories about the Old House, the town of Madison, and the soldiers riding by on the train that runs right in front of the house during WWI and WWII. As a lover of history, Greg cherished the opportunity to learn such rich and vivid details about the Old House and even videotaped an interview he conducted with Mrs. Reid so that her memories could be preserved for future generations.  In addition to her many wonderful stories and memories, Mrs. Reid also brought Greg some original documents related to the purchase and construction of the Old House, pictures of the house as it was originally built, and even keys to the original china knob door sets that are still on many of the doors in the home today. Today, the “Farr House”, as Greg now calls it, serves as a sanctuary for Greg and his clients, feeling much more like a home, and less like a law office.  Many of the antiques that Greg polished as a boy can still be found there, and every fall Greg still enjoys picking up pecans out in the yard with his sons. 

About Gregory M. Johnston

Gregory M. Johnston is a native of Ridgeland, Mississippi.  He graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Communication/Public Relations from Mississippi State University in 1995.  While at MSU, Greg was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, Phi Kappa Phi honor society, and served as Student Government Vice-President and Chairman of the College Republicans. Greg was also named Blue Key Man of the Year. 

Greg received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi in 1998. At Ole Miss he was a member of the Journal of National Security Law and served as President of the Christian Legal Society.  He was admitted to practice before all state and federal Mississippi courts and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in April 1998. He served as a law clerk to Justice James L. Roberts, Jr., of the Mississippi Supreme Court and subsequently practiced with Daniel, Coker, Horton, & Bell in Jackson and Adams & Edens in Brandon. In 2004 Greg opened his own practice in Madison. Greg is active in the Mississippi Bar and has previously served on the Board of Bar Commissioners and as Chairman of the Professionalism Committee.

In addition to his law practice, Greg is a commercial real estate developer and a licensed real estate broker and commercial contractor and has developed a number of projects in Madison, Mississippi.  He lives in Madison with his wife Michelle and two sons, Gregory and Harrison. They are members of Broadmoor Baptist Church in Madison, where Greg has previously served as Chairman of Deacons and currently teaches a life group for young married couples.  He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Jackson Academy and serves on the Board of Directors of In His Steps Ministries, a ministry to at-risk youth in Canton.