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Hon. Egbert Johnson
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Birth: May 18, 1836
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Jul. 12, 1897
Denver County
Colorado, USA

The following is an excellent obituary from The Rocky Mountain News dated July 13, 1897 and listed on page 8 on the life and death of Colorado Pioneer Egbert Johnson. I just love these kinds of stories and Thanks to the provider Find A Grave contributor Dr Andree #47094290.


Hunted and Trapped on the Plains in the Fifties and Subsequently Retired on a Comfortable Fortune Amassed in Business.

Hon. Egbert Johnson, one of the pioneers of Colorado and President of the first Fire and Police board of the City of Denver, died at his home at 1067 South Fifteenth Street, early yesterday morning. Something over two years ago, in 1895, Mr. Johnson suffered a partial paralytic stroke which made his retirement from active business life a necessity. He recovered sufficiently to take his daily outings, however, and was improving in general health until February 11 of the present year, when he suffered an attack of apoplexy. He recovered sufficiently to be able to take daily airings in an invalid's chair. On July 4 he began failing and had to give up his daily outings for a few days, but recovered sufficiently to be taken out during the latter days of last week. Sunday afternoon he began sinking rapidly and died at 2 o'clock yesterday morning.

Egbert Johnson was born at Pittsfield, Mass., on May 18, 1836. He crossed the plains in 1856 and located in Colorado. After two years spent in hunting and trapping in the various districts of the state he located in Clear Creek County in 1858 and started in the mining business. He was successful in his mining adventures and after some years amassed a fortune which he invested in farming and grazing lands in the Platte Valley and engaged largely in the cattle business. In 1870, in the height of his prosperous career, he was married at Chicago to Miss Marion Peck, who, with one son, Albert Johnson, aged 18, survives him. Five years after his marriage Mr. Johnson disposed of most of his landed property and invested his money in Denver realty and mining properties in the state. He removed to Denver in 1875 and made this city his permanent home.


While not a politician in the accepted sense of the word, Mr. Johnson took an active and intelligent interest in public affairs and held a number of offices. He was appointed state land commissioner by Governor Routt in 1876 and held the office for two years. He had made a study of the management of fire and police forces in large cities as a result of his study prepared a law vesting the government of these bodies in a board of three persons to be appointed by the governor of the state. The bill was introduced by Senator Carpenter in 1901 and became law. Governor Routt recognized the services of Mr. Johnson in the preparation of the bill and appointed him as president of the first Fire and Police Board for Denver on March 7, 1891. The other members of the board were R. S. Roe, Excise Commissioner, and Robert W. Speer, Police Commissioner.

After retiring from the Fire and Police Board, Mr. Johnson had no prominent part in political affairs until January, 1895, when he was appointed a member of the state land board by Governor McIntire. While serving as appraiser for the board on February 11, 1896, he suffered a paralytic stroke, from which he never recovered sufficiently to be able to engage in active business life.

Mr. Johnson was a member of the G. A. R., and his funeral will be held under the auspices of Veteran Post, No. 42 from the residence, 1067 South Fifteenth Street, at 2 o'clock this afternoon. The members of the Fire and Police Board and detachments from the Fire and Police Departments will attend the funeral.


O. P Wiggins, the veteran plainsman and mountaineer, now on duty as policeman at the post office, met Mr. Johnson forty-one years ago and has many interesting remembrances of his old friend. "When I first met Johnson," said Mr. Wiggins yesterday, "he was engaged as hunter at Fort Bridger. He had been in the mountains comparatively a short time, but he was a good hunter and was one of the pleasantest companions at the campfire I ever knew. We took a fancy to each other, as I had been on the frontier eighteen years and was able to give a new-comer pointers concerning the country, its game and the habits of the Indians. We decided to go into partnership, and Johnson resigned his position as hunter for the post, and we made a trip overland to Trappers' Lake about thirty miles northwest of Glenwood Springs, where we placed our traps and spent the winter. It was a very successful winter. I taught Johnson how to trap and when spring came around we had about all the furs we cared to carry away. Johnson went to Salt Lake and I came down to Fort Lupton. It was nothing unusual in those times, before civilization and whisky reached the country, for a trapper to undertake long journeys in the mountains alone. I shall always remember that winter on Trappers' Lake as one of the pleasant experiences of my life. For six months we did not see the face of a white man and our only company was the wild game and the friendly Indians who call occasionally to exchange compliments of the season. At that time Jim Bridger was living with his squaw at Fort Bridger, and Jim Baker was living with another squaw on the Blackfoot. The country was big and there was plenty of room for all.

"A queer thing about the traps we used forty years ago," remarked Mr. Wiggins, "was that we buried them and they were left in the ground until four or five years ago, when Johnson dug them up. The Indians recommended that we should grease the traps with panthers' oil or the oil of the mountain lion. They said we could bury them after they were well greased and the traps would never rust. We greased the traps and Johnson told me when he dug them up there was not a speck of rust on the outfit."


Mr. Johnson once related to a representative of The News a circumstance which apparently occurred a number of years after the incident related by Mr. Wiggins. It appears that Johnson came west several times, always receiving relief from constitutional lung troubles from the bracing climate of the Rocky Mountains. Returning on spring in unusually emaciated condition, Johnson met a young physician at a rude lodging house in one of the early settlements north of Denver. The physician appeared in even worse physical condition than Johnson, but there was a bond of sympathy between the two unfortunates and the next morning after their first meeting the physician made a proposition.

"We are in a bad fix," was the remark of the medico, "and the chances are against either of us ever seeing our friends again. I have a proposition to make, I propose that we buy a keg of whisky, and go upon a summer camping expedition in the open air. When fall comes around the keg will be empty and we will be alive or dead."

Johnson accepted the invitation, and the new acquaintances went out on the hills and hunted, fished and drank copious libations of fire water. "We kept pretty well boozed up," remarked Mr. Johnson in telling the story, "but the stuff did the work perfectly, and with the advent of the early frost, we found ourselves restored entirely to health."

The doctor mentioned by Mr. Johnson is Dr. Buchtel, the well known physician, now living in Denver."Next to parents BF & Roxana Johnson

Again this article was found in The Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Colo. July 13, 1897 Page 8 (Pen & Ink Sketch)

Thanks to Find A Grave contributor Dr Andree #47094290 for finding this obituary! I think it's great that whoever wrote this spent alot of time on it, yet only had hours to do it. I wish I could see the pen and ink drawing! 
Family links: 
  B F Johnson (1814 - 1888)
  Roxana R Johnson (1816 - 1895)
Riverside Cemetery
Denver County
Colorado, USA
Created by: SD Braddy
Record added: May 24, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 27041037
Hon. Egbert Johnson
Added by: SD Braddy
Hon. Egbert Johnson
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Cemetery Haunter
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

A true Colorado Pioneer, hunter, trapper and you name it. Just imagine the stories this man could tell you and has with this article on him. To live in the mountains for months on end trapping and hunting.
- SD Braddy
 Added: Jul. 23, 2011

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