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Mr. W.H. Johnston, one of the Organizers
of the Town Band, Dies of Paralysis
MEAFORD EXPRESS (1912) - There passed away at six o'clock on a Saturday evening a well known and justly popular citizen of the town in the person of Mr. W.H. Johnston, who was born in the vicinity of Meaford and who lived here practically all his life. A little more than two weeks since the deceased was seized with paralysis of the brain and right side. Although unable to move himself in the bed, he retained consciousness until Friday morning, when suddenly took a turn for the worse and was unable to recognize even the members of his own family. In this state he continued until death claimed him for its own at the time above stated.
   Mr. Johnson was a harness maker and carriage trimmer by occupation and worked for Mr. J.W. Horsley ever since that gentleman started business in Meaford about 22 years ago. On the 12th of May, 1879, Mr. Johnston was married at Southampton to Annie Laurie, eldest daughter of the late Mr. W.F. Livingston. To the union were born four sons and one daughter, all of who, with the widow, survive. They are: Fred, Meaford, Frank, Brantford; Hugh, Collingwood, and Nina and Carl, at home. Surviving the deceased also his mother and two sisters at the Soo, Mich., one sister in California, and two brothers - George, of London, and Edward, of St. Paul, Minn.
   Mr. Johnston was one of the first members of the Citizens' Band which he along with several other local band musicians now residing in Meaford were instrumental in organizing 36 or 37 years ago. Though the band has had many ups and downs since that time Mr. Johnston never for once shirked his duty as a member of this old and efficient musical organization. Rain or sunshine, he was always present at the regular weekly practice as well as at every engagement to play in town or country. For several years he was President of the band and at the time of his death held the position of librarian. During the many years of faithful membership the deceased played every instrument in the band, but for the past 25 years he played only the big bass horn, which did so much to win for the band a reputation for efficiency which is not excelled by that of any other musical organization in the county.
   It is safe to say that no other man living could be more strongly attached to his home or to his family than was Mr. Johnston. He took particular pride in having everything about his premises neat and attractive and never left other persons to do work which he felt it was his duty to perform himself. His jovial disposition and hearty laugh made him popular with all who knew him, while as a musician he was looked upon as the one man in Meaford to whom belonged the credit of keeping up the enthusiasm that served so much to encourage our band boys to still persevere when oft times they felt inclined to give up in despair.
   The funeral took place to Meaford Cemetery on Tuesday afternoon and was largely attended, the band attending in a body. The floral tributes were numerous and beautiful, including the follow: Mr. Oscar Boden and staff, Pillow; Boyd Bros., Thornbury, cross; J.W. Horsley, cross; large wreath from the Band boys, in which were displayed in beautiful combination, roses, carnations, sweet pea and lily of the valley. Other floral tributes from: Rumsey & Cartwright, Mrs. Frank Johnston and children, Brantford; Mr. and Mrs. Harry Leach, Mr. and Mrs. David Gibbons, Mrs. H. Carson and family, Miss Winnie Hickman, Miss Mabel Andrews, Collingwood; Mrs. W. Sheriff, Mrs. W. Roantree and son, Brantford; Mr. and Mrs. S. McClain.

Lakeview Cemetery, Meaford, Ontario tombstone inscription, from BGOGS :

William H 1857 - 1912 his wife
Annie LIVINGSTONE 1860 - 1919

For complete cemetery transcriptions, please contact the
Bruce Grey Ontario Genealogical Society

Obituary Source: Meaford Express

Obit & tombstone data submitted by: Donna Binsted

Contact : dbinsted at

Transcribed newspaper obituaries of Grey County residents, whether from the 1800s or 1900s are welcome for posting. Scans are not necessary as the emailed text is stylized on the web page as a reasonable approximation of the original obituary.

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