17 December 2009

Obituary --O H Johnson

Obituary—O H Johnson

This obituary is by my favorite correspondent of the time. She appreciated a flowery turn of phrase.

3 April 1913 Fremont Times Indicator

Mrs. Wm. Robertson, Correspondent

Hesperia was shocked last Friday afternoon when the news when flying that Mrs. Manley Seymour had come home from shopping and found her father, O. H. Johnson, lying dead on the floor. Mr. Johnson had eaten a hearty dinner and was in good spirits and was reading about the flood in the daily paper, when he fell out of his chair. (OK—editorial comment here. If he was home alone, how did they know he was reading that item when he fell? And what flood?) Mrs. Johnson was making calls when the news reached her that her husband was dead, Rev. Bretz breaking the sad tidings had best he could.

Mr. Johnson had been laying pipes through the town to convey the water from his flowing well to different places. He was quite a business man and owned quite a lot of property about Hesperia. He preached in the Methodist church several years ago but he retired from the ministry and settled in Hesperia, he and his wife moving every spring to their cottage at Gunn lake to spend the summer.

He has a son living in Detroit, who came to the funeral which was held last Sunday in the M. E. church. He leaves a wife, one son and one daughter, Mrs. Manley Seymour who have the sympathy of every one in their sad and sudden bereavement.

The newspaper correspondent (or gossip, if you prefer) who wrote this as a style all her own. It has gotten so I can recognize an obituary by her, before I see her name, or if her name is missing, I know her by the region her column are from. These early obits were often contained in the body of the chatty columns written by someone from each neighborhood. Facts were often second hand, but still are better than nothing for genealogists.

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