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Sgt John J. Johnson
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Birth: unknown
Death: Aug. 20, 1918


Man Who Gave Life In Vain Effort To Save Little Mildred Horning Was Spanish War Veteran

Amsterdam Recorder August 21, 1918 Old Fulton NY Post Cards
St. Johnsville, Aug. 21, Sergeant John J. Johnson, night watchman on a barge canal dredge at Mindenville, lost his life in the canal early last evening; in an attempt to save 14 year old Mildred Horning, who had fallen into the water while trying to board the dredge. The child was also drowned. The double tragedy occurred early In the evening. Mildred, who was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Horning, of Mindenville. a few miles east of this village, went with Sergeant Johnson's supper to the dredge. She was accompanied by Selma Crouse, a girl several years younger. The children reached the canal and It is believed that Mildred, in attempting to board the dredge, tell Into the water. Sergeant Johnson jumped In after her, but did not come up. The little Crouse girl returned to the Horning home, but said nothing about the accident. The Horning family performed the evening chores and the wondered why Mildred had not come home. The mother and father went in search of her and while they, were gone, the Crouse child told one of the boys of the family that Mildred had fallen into the water. She also said that Mr. Johnson had fallen into the water. Dr. C. P. Wagner, coroner, of this village, was notified and he organized the Home Guards, who were at drill, into a searching party, and they went In automobiles to the place with grappling hooks and other tackle. It was after 7 o'clock by this time. The canal was dragged for several hours, and it was not until 10 o'clock that the bodies were recovered. The bodies of the man and the child were both dragged to the surface by a hay rake. The double tragedy has cast a gloom over this place, for while Sergeant Johnson was not well known here, having but recently come from Fonda, his heroic attempt to save the child stamps him as a hero who gave his life for another. The parents of the child are heartbroken and the little companion and only witness of the tragic, affair, is too young to realize that she unwittingly failed to give the notice which might have been the means of saving both lives.

Sergeant Johnson began his military career 27 years ago, In 1891, and has served his country for 22 years, four years of which was in the Philippines. He was retired as a first sergeant of the 14th infantry about four years ago. Since his return to his home he had been active in training the Boy Scouts and the Blue Birds and when our country enter the world war, he immediately offered his services for active duty, but as men of his age have not us yet been needed, he was not called to service. Sergeant Johnson was about 45. Years old and made his home with his sister, Mrs. Charles Horning of Caughnawaga. He is also survived by three nieces and two nephews.

From a St Johnsville, N.Y. newspaper clipping for Wednesday, Aug. 28, 1918:

Sergeant John J. Johnson a retired Spanish War veteran possessing two medals for service in the Phillipines and the Boxer uprising in China.
Sergeant Johnson began his military career in 1891, and served his country 22 years, four years of which was in the Phillipines and he also saw service in the China Boxer uprising. These services brought him double time on retirement and he was also awarded two medals of which he was very proud.

He was retired as a first sergeant of the 14th infantry.

Amsterdam Recorder May 1, 1914 Old Fulton NY Post Cards
After a faithful service o f 21 years in the regular army. Sergeant John J. Johnson has retired with honors and returned to Fonda, his native town. He has participated in two wars, the Spanish-American and Boxer uprising, and has had unusual experiences and the opportunities of seeing many foreign countries. He was but 17 years old when he enlisted as & private and his faithfulness rose to. the rank of first sergeant On the eve of his retirement, April 18. 1914, his company gave a banquet in his honor and presented him a beautiful gold watch, suitably engraved, as a token of their esteem. His first visit home after enlisting was after thirteen years absence.
Caughnawaga Cemetery
Montgomery County
New York, USA
Maintained by: Kathy Van Alstine
Originally Created by: Bev
Record added: Aug 02, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 11465374
Sgt John J. Johnson
Added by: brianna guckemus
Sgt John J. Johnson
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Debbie Jordan
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- brianna guckemus
 Added: Aug. 4, 2015
Your service to our country is not forgotten by the Sons of Spanish American War Veterans.
- Spanish American War
 Added: Mar. 28, 2015

- nancy murray
 Added: Sep. 15, 2009
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