Robert E. Johnson, a pioneer of Burnet
County was called by death at the Legion Hospital
near Kerrville last Friday morning, December 16th,
1938. He had been in ill health for several
months, and his condition had been critical for
some time. The body was prepared for burial, and
brought to Burnet Saturday by a U. S. Army
ambulance, and taken to the residence of his son,
Ross H. Johnson. Burial was at 3:00 o'clock
in the Old Cemetery, with the Bailey Rodgers
Funeral Home in charge. The religious services
were conducted by Rev. Sparks, pastor of the
First Baptist Church of Burnet, assisted by a
quartette composed of Willis Smith, Mrs. Leslie
Shilling, Carlysle Dodd, and Tom O'Donnell,
Jr. This was followed by an impressive
ceremony conducted by the Spanish War Veteran Post
of Austin, with which Mr. Johnson was affiliated.
The pallbearers were O. B. Zimmerman, Frank
Atkinson, Herman Schnabel, Vernon Greer, Homer
Feild, and Cecil Humphries. The
honorary pallbearers were his Spanish War buddies
at this place &endash; R. A. Benick, Will Ross,
O. A. Riggs, Frank Thomas, Henry Harness, Dot
Corley and Bob Swoape.
Robert E. Johnson was born in Burnet,
Texas, February 27, 1868. His parents were the late
General Adam R. and Mrs. Johnson, who were
among the early settlers of this section of the
state. No man did more to bring peace and order to
this part of Texas and rescue it from the
depredations of the Indians, than General Johnson,
and being their eldest son, R. E. Johnson
was his blind father's constant companion and
guide until he reached his majority. He was thus
enabled to witness and participate in many of the
important questions that faced the early day
On December 7th, 1886, at the Presbyterian
Church in Burnet, Mr. Johnson was united in
marriage to Miss Maria Lewis Williams, who
preceded him several years ago. From this union
the following children survive: Rankin
Johnson of El Paso, Texas; Eastland and
Ross Johnson of Burnet; and Mrs. J. A.
Root of Paraguay, South America. All of his
children were present except Rankin, who with his
family had been with his father, but they were
called home a few days ago on urgent business. Mr.
and Mrs. Root and children came from South America
several weeks ago on account of Mr. Johnson's
serious condition. Four years ago Mr. Johnson was
united in marriage to Mrs. Minnie Kate
Johnson of Paragould, Arkansas, who survives
him, and with his children administered to his
comfort in every way possible during his long
illness. Other surviving relatives are a brother,
Adam R. Johnson of Austin, and four sisters,
Mrs. Walter Badger of Austin, Mrs.
George Christian of Austin, Mrs.
Ellis Guthrie of Burnet, and Mrs. E. L.
Humphrey of Austin.
Mr. Johnson lived a very active life, most of
which was spent in Burnet county, at Burnet and
Marble Falls. He was the first mayor of Marble
Falls and served Burnet County for many years as
District Clerk. Most of his life was spent in the
abstract business and at the time of his death he
was retired manager of the Johnson Abstract
Company, with his son, Eastland as active manager
and Thos C. Ferguson attorney. During his
earlier life Mr. Johnson was engaged for several
years in the mining business, in Arizona and Old
Mexico. He also resided for a time in Llano, San
Antonio and South Texas.
The predominant characteristic of Bob
Johnson was his intense patriotism, probably
inherited from his illustrious father. When the
Spanish American War broke out, he volunteered and
served throughout that conflict, part of the time
in Cuba. He came out of that war a First
Lieutenant. When the United States was drawn into
the World War, Mr. Johnson's first thought was to
get into the service. Although close to 50 years
of age at that time, he insisted that he be placed
some where, preferable on the firing line, but age
intervened. He finally got into the Y.M.C.A.
branch of the army, and his ambition for strenuous
service was partially satisfied when he was sent to
France, two of his sons having preceded him to that
country as active soldiers. One of the leading
hopes of his life was to see the army and navy of
the United States become so strong that no other
nation would dare attack this country.
Mr. Johnson always took a very active part in
county, state and national politics, and had little
patience with any man who would dodge and evade an
important issue that came before the people. With
an intellect far above the average, he made up his
mind on every question and expressed his
convictions forcibly, regardless of the
consequences to his own political advancement. Had
he been more conservative in expressing his views,
he would perhaps have advanced high in political
His death removed a man that knew more about the
early authentic history of this section than any
other person alive today.
The Bulletin joins many friends in extending
sympathy to the bereaved wife and his children.
Out of town relatives and friends who attended
the funeral were: Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Badger
of Austin; Mr. and Mrs. Adam R. Johnson of
Austin; Mrs. George Christian, Sr.,
of Austin; Mrs. E. L. Humphrey of Austin;
Mrs. Walter Badger, Jr., of Austin;
Mr. and Mrs. George E. Christian of
Austin; Mrs. Jack Woldert of Tyler; Mr.
and Mrs. Ed Maxwell of Austin;
Congressman Lyndon Johnson of Austin; Mr.
and Mrs. H. E. Faubion of Austin;
Senator Houston Brownlee of Austin, and many
others whose names were not ascertained.