Union County Obituaries JOHNSON

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Copyright 1999-2003
Janine M. Bork

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Mrs. Alex Johnson

"Brick" Johnson

Edgar B. Johnson

Edgar R. Johnson

Herbert Johnson

Child of J.M. Johnson

John Johnson

Marion F. Johnson

Mina (Womack) Johnson

Mrs. Philena Steward Johnson


The community was considerably shocked Thursday because of the death of Mrs. Alex Johnson, well known and highly respected resident of the North Powder rural community. Although she had been seriously ill following an operation, she seemed well on the road to recovery, and everyone took it for granted she would get well. However, pleurisy set in and was followed by pneumonia, which was the cause of death.

Mrs. Johnson was born in Arvika, Sweden, July 4, 1861, and with her first husband emigrated to the United States in 1879. She lived about six years in Pittsburg, Penn., and then moved to Mora, Minnesota. Here her husband, Mr. Norum passed away. She was married to Alex Johnson at Mora, and ten years ago came to a homestead in Baker county, eight miles from this city, where the Johnson home has been maintained since.

Besides her husband she is survived by three sons and a daughter; Harold Norum, of Mora, Minn., Rev. Hilmer Norum, of St. Paul, Minn.; Charles Norum, of Florida, and Mrs. Agnes Curry, of St. Paul, Minn., and two grandchildren.

A brief service was held from the West Chapel in Baker, Friday, in charge of Mrs. Johnson's son, Rev. Norum. Friday evening the body was placed on a train for Mora, Minn., and was accompanied by Mr. Johnson and Rev. Norum. She will be buried in a Mora cemetery.

During the ten years of her residence here Mrs. Johnson made a great many friends by her genial disposition and kindly acts, and her sudden demise will be a sad experience for her many friends.

North Powder News
Saturday, November 22, 1924


John Bear Enters Saloon From the Rear and Shoots Johnson Through the Head

"Brick" Johnson, a notorious character of Wallowa county, was foully murdered in a saloon at Enterprise Monday evening at 7:30 by John Bear, a resident of the same city. Johnson had been tending bar in Ott Bros. saloon and on Monday afternoon Bear, who was intoxicated, attempted to crawl over the bar. Johnson prevented him from doing so and trouble arose. A number of Bear's friends appeared on the scene and persuaded him to go to his home and leave Johnson alone or serious trouble might result.

About 7:30 Bear took his 30-30 winchester and went to the saloon, entered the rear door and without any warning shot Johnson who was sitting on the bar shaking dice with friends, through the head, killing him instantly. Johnson or none of the men in the saloon could see Bear, as all were in the front of the saloon standing at the bar when Bear opened the back door and fired the fatal shot.

As soon as the bloody deed was committed Bear fled to Shackleford's livery stable and commanded the keeper to saddle a horse for him. This the keeper refused to do and Bear went into the street and took a horse away from a small boy and begun his flight. By this time sheriff Blakely and a number of men were on the scene with guns and several shots wre fired at the fleeing murderer. One shot struck the horse and brought him to the ground. Bear continued his flight on foot and was soon over the hill east of town and out of sight. It was dark by this time and the search for him was conducted with difficulty through a greater part of the night. During the night a shot was fired in the neighborhood where the search was being made and the sheriff's posse concluded that Bear had killed himself and they returned to town.

Morning came and a posse of 10 men was organized and a search begun. Investigation revealed the fact that bear was still alive and possibly many miles away from the scene. The posse continued the search in the hills of Wallowa county until yesterday morning, when they returned to Enterprise.

Bear was raised in hills of the Imnaha section and it is said he knows every foot of ground from there to the Snake river and the country is broken and unsettled that it is very difficult to trace a fugitive of his character. He has relatives and friends in that section who are probably helping him in his escape and it will doubtless be several days before his capture is accomplished.

Word comes from Enterprise that should Bear be found and surrounded it will be a difficult matter to take him as he is a dsperate man and a perfect shot with a rifle, and it is feared that several men will be killed ere he is brought to bay. Regardless of this fact however a determined effort will be made to get him.

Johnson, the dead man, is only a young man of 28 years. He grew to manhood in that county and had a reputation as a bad man and for several years was in a continuous round of trouble. He has figured in several shooting scrapes and bears the marks of five bullets, which were fired at him by deputy sherriff Luttrell, who was attempting to arrest Johnson a few years ago. Johnson very seldom got into trouble when he was not drinking, but when intoxicated he became desperate and feared no man. During two different sprees he attempted to commit suicide with a knife but failed. It is said however that he had been trying to reform for several months, and was leading a quiet life. Johnson leaves a wife, one child and several relatives. he was buried in the Enterprise cemetery Wednesday.

Elgin Recorder June 15, 1906

"Plan Requiem Mass for Edgar Johnson"

 Requiem Mass will be said for Edgar B. Johnson, 79, 1807 Cove, at 9 am Friday at the Catholic Church here followed by burial at the Catholic Cemetery.

 Mr. Johnson, a retired blacksmith, died today in the hospital five days after he was hurled from his auto during a collision at the intersection of Spruce and Highway 82.

 Lifelong county resident, he was a member of the Woodsmen of the World.  Rosary will be recited at Arrivey and Daniels funeral home at 7:30 pm Thursday.

 Surviving are a son, Clifford E. Johnson, La Grande, daughter Mrs. C. C. Cross, La Grande, Mrs. Charles Rich, Longview, Wash., a grandson and three great-granddaughters.

LA GRANDE EVENING OBSERVER, Wednesday, 19 Oct 1949, Page 2.

Donated by Robert Bull

"Edgar Johnson Passes Sunday"

 Edgar R. Johnson, a resident of La Grande for 36 years, died yesterday at the Grande Ronde Hospital after 3 months illness of heart disease.  Funeral services will be held Tuesday afternoon at the Snodgrass and  Zimmerman mortuary with burial in the Island City Cemetery.

 Mr. Johnson, who made his home at 2708 North Birch, was born in Iowa Feb 10, 1868 and was 65 years, seven months, and 21 days of age.  He leaves two brothers, Marion of Imbler, and Walter of Providence, Iowa; and a sister, Mrs. Jessie M. Rush of Redding, Iowa.  Mrs. Johnson died about three years ago.

LA GRANDE EVENING OBSERVER, Monday, 2 Oct 1933, Page 2.

Donated by Robert Bull

JOHNSON: - In this city, Dec. 8, 1892, Herbert, infant son of Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Johnson, aged one year, 5 months and 26 days.

The funeral took place from the residence at 1 o'clock Friday afternoon. The parents have the sympathy of the community in their affliction.

Eastern Oregon Republican
Thursday, December 15, 1892


JOHNSON - in this city Friday, Nov. 2o, the infant son recently adopted by Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Johnson.

Eastern Oregon Republican, Union
Thursday, November 26, 1891

John Johnson Killed in Premature Powder Explosion

John Johnson, foreman for Eden & Brown, sub-contractors, on the Elgin extension, met a horrible death Tuesday. He was out early with his gang and at about 7:30 a.m. had placed a keg of black powder ready for a blast. He used a shovel to tamp the explosive, and it is the supposition that the metalic substance came in contact with rock, produced a spark, igniting the powder. Johnson was hurled through the air a distance of 120 feet, lodging in the river along side the right of way. Companions watched his descent and rescued the bleeding, charred victim from a watery grave. He was hastened to the office of Dr. Kirby who, assisted by Dr. McNaughton, made a minute examination, finding that both legs had suffered compound fractures, his left knee crushed, skull fractured and face and hands charred to a crisp. The explosion had literally scalped the man.

The surgeons from the first were convinced that Johnson had received fatal injuries. The sufferings were untold, but willing hands, aided by medical science made death easier for the poor sufferer.

Strong men accustomed to scenes of suffering were nearly forced to abandon the scene, for the injuries were dreadful to behold. Johnson was of a splendid physic and, owing to a rugged, strong constitution, he baffled for over nine hours with death, succumbing at 4:40 p.m.

Johnson was about 40 years old, and in his incoherent moments he informed the attendants that an old mother resided on 22d street, Oakland, California, and efforts are now being made to locate her.

Johnson was foreman and 'tis said he was absolutely honest in the performance of his duty, and the appearance of one higher in authority than he would cause him to become extremely excited. Did the appearance of one higher in authority on that fatal morning cause the hand to tremble and the shovel to go wide of its mark, striking a stone with a ring, producing the premature explosion with such fearful results.

There are many who contend that Johnson was a victim of careless methods in force by contractors in general on railroad construction work. Many are of the opinion that Johnson, experienced in handling powder, was the victim of his own carelessness.

The remains were moved to J.H. Henderson's undertaking rooms and placed beside those of J.G. Burke who was killed the day previous.

Wednesday afternoon, Rev. Parker, of the Presbyterian church, conducted short services in the presence of a few interested and kindly disposed ones, and the two bodies were consigned to graves, practically unknown.

Elgin Recorder Friday October 27, 1905


 Funeral services will be conducted July 7 at 2 p.m. for Marion F. Johnson of Imbler, who died at his home yesterday.  Mr. Johnson has been a resident of Union County for several years and is survived by his daughter, Mrs. Tom Wilson of Marysville, Wash., and son, Ira E. Johnson of Hartford, Wash.

 Funeral services will be held at the Snodgrass Funeral Home.  Interment will be at the Island City Cemetery.

LA GRANDE EVENING OBSERVER, Friday, 4 Jul 1947, Page # 7

Donated by Robert Bull

Mina Johnson

     Wallowa County native Mina Hazel, (Womack, Litchfield)  Johnson died Thursday, March 21, 1996, at Wallowa Memorial Hospital. She had been a resident of the Wallowa County Nursing Home for the past year.

     She was born December 12, 1903, at Lostine, the daughter of Jacob (Clairborne) and Emily (Elestia-Emma) Womack.

     As a young  woman she met and married Ira Litchfield. They ha two children, James M. (McClelland) and Esther D. He preceded her in death.

     On August 20, 1937, she married Eugene E. (Tiny) Johnson. They lived in Wallowa for many years before moving to Enterprise. He preceded her in death in 1979.

     She worked as a dispatcher for the city and county before she retired.

     Mina was a member of the Christian Church, and the Stitch and Chatter Club. She was a devoted mother and grandmother.

     She is survived by her son, James Litchfield of Wallowa and a daughter Esther D. Carper of Enterprise; five grandchildren, Melodie (Twidwell) Bailey and Ron Carper of Hillsboro, Oregon., Judy Horton of Wallowa, Marvin Litchfield of Portland, Oregon and Larry Twidwell of California; and eight great-grandchildren.

     She was also preceded in death by two grandchildren, Gary Carper and Steve Litchfield, two sisters and daughter-in-law, Joan Litchfield.

     Funeral services were held at the Bollman Funeral Home on Monday, March 25, with internment following at the Bramlet Cemetery in Wallowa. Remembrances may be made to the Enterprise Christian Church, Wallowa County Nursing Home or Wallowa Memorial Hospital in care of the Bollman Funeral Home, 315 W. Main, Enterprise, Oregon.

I remember Mina and Gene had a farm as you left Wallowa going to Lostine, just as you entered the valley, there on the left was the ranch that they operated for years, this is where my memory of my great grandmother Emily (Emma) was. I remember that Gene and Aunt Mina moved to Alder Slope and he farmed there before he became chief of Police of Enterprise, Oregon. I remember him later becoming a judge in Enterprise, maybe a municipal  Judge.

Aunt Mina and Uncle Gene were very nice to me, I always enjoyed going to visit them when I was young.

Gary Jaensch
June 04, 2003


 Mrs. Philena Steward Johnson, aged mother of one of Montana's two women legislators, Mrs. Luck A Curran, whose picture was carried in yesterday's Observer,. passed away yesterday afternoon at her home here after a short illness.  Mrs. Johnson is survived by her husband E. R. Johnson, and by her two daughters, Mrs. Curran of Helena, Mont., and Mrs. Charles Sterling, of Brocton Mont.  Both daughters are to arrive in La Grande, tomorrow.

 The body is at the Snodgrass and Zimmerman mortuary and funeral arrangements will be made later.

LA GRANDE EVENING OBSERVER, Tuesday 6 Jan 1931 Front Page.



 Funeral services for Mrs. Philena Stewart Johnson, who died here Monday afternoon, will be held Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the Snodgrass and Zimmerman mortuary.  Burial will take place in the Island City Cemetery.

 Mrs. Johnson had been a resident of La Grande for the last three decades.

LA GRANDE EVENING OBSERVER, Wednesday, 7 Jan 1931, Front Page.

Donated by Robert Bull