Nicholi C. “Nick” Johnson

Death 15 Dec 1895 (aged 39–40)
Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA
Burial Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA
Plot Block 14, Lot 21, 6 ft. SWC
Memorial ID 119089195 · View Source
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Crow Wing County Death Records, Book A, Page 52, Line 25:
Johnson, Nickolay [sic] C., male, age 40; died December 15, 1895; gunshot wound; Brainerd

Losey & Dean Mortuary Records:
Nicholi C. Johnson, died at Camp's Hospital, age 40, gunshot wound; certifying physician, Camp, date of death December 15, 1895; autopsy held by Camp and Groves on December 16, 1895.

                  Was it Accidental?

      A Scandinavian by the name of Nick Johnson, was shot through the body shortly after supper on Wednesday evening, the shot being fired from a 32-calibre revolver in the hands of another Scandinavian by the name of Charles Dahl, well known about town as "Swede Charlie." The shooting occurred in the alley in the rear of Henry Moberg's saloon on Laurel street, both men being badly intoxicated at the time. It seems that Dahl has been hanging around Moberg's saloon for some time helping to tend bar at times. On the evening of the shooting, he, with Johnson and several others, were drinking quite freely, and as they grew hilarious Dahl would take a revolver that is kept back of the bar, and flourish it around. The party then went out the rear door, Dahl taking the revolver with him. While out the revolver was in some manner discharged, the ball, as stated above, entering Johnson's left side two inches below the heart, and passing through the lower portion of the left lung and lodged near the surface in the back. Johnson was brought into Moberg's saloon after the shooting, and Dr. J. L. Camp was called, who bound up the wound and had him conveyed to the Lumberman's Hospital, where he is getting along as well as could be expected. Dr. Camp says the wound is not necessarily fatal. After the shooting Dahl left Moberg's saloon and went to Murray's place, where an officer arrested him and lodged him in jail. He says the shooting was accidental and so do those connected with Moberg's saloon.
      Dahl was arraigned in the municipal court yesterday afternoon, charged with assault with intent to kill, but the preliminary examination was postponed until next Thursday to give the authorities a chance to investigate the matter and ascertain what the facts really are. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 December 1895, p. 4, c. 5)


  Several Witnesses Testify to Have Heard
               Him Make Threatening

      Nick Johnson died from the wound received from a revolver in the hands of Chas. Dahl on Wednesday of last week at the Lumberman's hospital Sunday morning and no statement was made by him before he died as to the shooting, and Chas. Dahl occupies a felon's cell at the county jail charged with manslaughter in the second degree.
      The case is a peculiar one in many respects for the two men were friends and no trouble existed or had existed between them if the statements of disinterested parties are true. Both men were hard drinkers and during the day had been indulging their appetites for liquor to more than an ordinary degree and were intoxicated, but the prisoner was not so drunk but that he remembers the circumstances, as his testimony before the coroner's jury, published below, will indicate. Dahl's Brainerd record is not of the best and he is considered to be a bad man, having recently served a jail sentence of 90 days for robbery. He appears to be bowed down with grief over the fatal termination of the spree of a week ago.
      Nick Johnson, the man killed, was a harmless individual and a man who spent his money that he earned for drink, and had been around Brainerd for some time. It is stated that he has a wife and family and an aged father and mother in Christiania, Norway.
      On Monday Coroner Dean summoned a jury and an inquest was held over the remains, the following being the testimony of the witnesses and the verdict of the jury:
      Chas. Dahl, the prisoner, was the first witness sworn, and his testimony was as follows: "Am 27 years old and have been in this country eight years this fall, five years in Brainerd, and have known Nick Johnson three years. Saw him last Wednesday night at Moberg's saloon and around there all day. We were drinking together, were also at Parson & Swanson's. Don't know exact time of shooting. When I came from Moberg's there was a crowd standing around a dog kicking it and said he was sick and couldn't walk. I went into Chas. Swanson's and asked him if he had a revolver, and he said not. I went into Moberg's and go a revolver and when I went out the dog was gone. I was drunk. Went back into Swanson's and out again and went into the closet and was sitting there and Nick Johnson came up there. Don't know if he went with me or not. I sit down with revolver in my hands in closet and he was standing in front of the door, when I was buttoning up my pants, I had the revolver in my hands and I touched the revolver and it went off. I asked Johnson, "Did I shoot you?" and he didn't say anything and I went in the saloon and handed the revolver to Nels Peterson or Henry Moberg and I said, "I think I shot Nick, let us go and see." After Nick was shot he went into back room and laid down. We went into the back room and I opened his shirt and pants and found blood on him but couldn't find bullet hole. I went from there over to the new hotel with Chas. Molgren and the policeman arrested me there. I got the revolver to shoot the dog; never had a revolver to shoot anything before. Didn't drop the revolver. Chas. Molgren said he saw me shoot him. I never said I wanted to kill a man that day that I know of. I remember what happened. Was not so drunk but what I remembered what I have told jury. Don't know whose dog it was. I gave it some grub. The men were kicking it and I told them not to and they said kill him, and that was why I got the gun. Got the revolver in the afternoon."
      The testimony given by Chas. Swanson was substantially as follows: I reside in Brainerd and run a saloon on Laurel street. I know Dahl and Johnson, saw Dahl on Wednesday and talked with him. About 6 o'clock as near as I can judge he came in to me and asked me for cartridges for revolver, at the same time pulling it out of his pocket and showing it to me. I told him I didn't have cartridges of that kind, and asked him what he was going to do with them. He said, "I am going to shoot some one out here." I told him he must not do that. He was laughing a little and went out the back door. That was the last I saw of him and was 15 or 20 minutes before the shooting. He was under the influence of liquor but was not so intoxicated in my opinion as not to know what he was doing. He did not mention the dog to me, but said, "I want to shoot somebody" and I didn't know or hear anything about a sick dog."
      Henry Moberg was sworn and testified to taking the revolver away from Dahl, it being 32-calibre, and to the coming into his saloon of Johnson, and to his going for a doctor.
      John Jacobson, a witness to the affair testified as follows: "Am 23 years old and have been in Brainerd one week. Know both parties. Was in Laurel street saloons on Wednesday. Saw Dahl in Swanson's. He wanted cartridges and said he wanted to kill some one. Held the revolver up and pointed it at my partner. He asked Swanson for cartridges ten minutes before man was shot. I was close to them when pistol went off. They were between the closet and door, three of them. Saw the flash and heard the report of the revolver. Johnson yelled. They went into Moberg's. I went into Peterson's, and then to Moberg's and saw Johnson and Dahl and saw Henry take revolver away from Dahl. Hear Dahl say gun fell down and when he went to pick it up it went off. Went back to room and tried to get Johnson up.
      Dr. A. F. Groves testified that together with Dr. Camp they held an autopsy and that the man came to his death from a gun shot wound in the left side.
      The verdict of the coroner's jury was as follows:
      "We find that said Nick. Johnson came to his death from a gun shot wound fired from a revolver in the hands of one Charles Dahl, on or about 6 p. m., Wednesday, Dec. 11th, 1895.
            C. D. JOHNSON,
            A. G. TROMMALD,
            P. M. LAGERQUIST,
            A. OLSON,
            E. M. WESTFALL,
            C. E. COLE.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 20 December 1895, p. 1, c's. 2 & 3)



  • Created by: A. Nelson
  • Added: 21 Oct 2013
  • Find a Grave Memorial 119089195
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Nicholi C. “Nick” Johnson (1855–15 Dec 1895), Find a Grave Memorial no. 119089195, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA ; Maintained by A. Nelson (contributor 47143984) .