Robert E. Johnson

1868 - 1938

Source: Burnet Bulletin, December 22, 1938; transcribed by JoAnn Myers, March 2005

 


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 pioneers.

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 circles.

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.

 


 

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