Charles Douglas “Charlie” Johnson

Charles Douglas “Charlie” Johnson

Mankato, Blue Earth County, Minnesota, USA
Death 25 Apr 1927 (aged 68)
Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA
Burial Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA
Plot Block 11, Lot 72, NWC
Memorial ID 74671342 · View Source
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Arrived in Brainerd on November 9, 1877.

Elected to the Minnesota State Senate on November 8, 1910.
Term of office from January 3, 1911 to January 4, 1915.

Brother-in-law of Newton McFadden; Julia Johnson McFadden Kyle is Charles' sister.

•See Blanche Sleeper Smith.
•See Milton McFadden.
•See Joseph Midgley.
•See Sarah Louise Kingsley Sleeper Boies.
•See Anna Steege Ferris Young.
•See James Meagher.
•See Fred A. Farrar.
•See Emma E. Forsythe.
•See Daniel F. McIntosh.
•See James M. Elder.
•See Nicholi C. Johnson.
•See Louisa Wright Congdon.
•See William A. Fleming.
•See Henry Spalding.
•See Maria A. Spalding.
•See Allen F. Ferris.
•See Caroline Morrison Grandelmeyer.
•See Dr. Christian S. Reimestad.
•See Caroline L. Morrison.
•See James S. Gardner.
•See Dr. Werner Hemstead.
•See Charles E. Peabody.
•See Frank B. Congdon.

      The Five Charlie Club, under the management of Charlie Johnson, Charlie Wadham, Charlie Brinkerhoff, Charlie Pegg, and Charlie White, gave a grand ball at Bly's Hall on Thursday evening. The company was quite recherche, being composed of the elite of the town, and a gay time was enjoyed. (Brainerd Tribune, 25 January 1879, p. 4, c. 1)

      THE FIVE CHARLEY'S RECEPTION AND BALL Thursday evening was one of the most enjoyable affairs, for our young folks, of the season. These young gentlemen spared no trouble or expense to please their guests, and the eminent satisfaction of those in attendance is sure evidence that they know how to do these things. Dancing commenced promptly at 9 o'clock and was kept up until the "wee sma' hours ayant the twal." The music was excellent and everyone in joyous spirits. The five Charleys have carried the day, and are unanimously elected "d—ish good fellows." (Brainerd Tribune, 24 January 1880, p. 4, c.'s 1 & 2

      The first choice of seats for the opening of the new opera house was sold to Charlie Johnson of the firm of McFadden & Johnson, on Monday night. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 22 November 1883, p. 3, c. 1)

      Charlie Johnson went out to Glendive on Thursday last, and on the return trip had quite an exciting experience. He was in the car with a couple of patients that were being brought to the Sanitarium and when they got near Casselton the train stopped, the rear car being immediately over a bridge which spanned a deep slough. Charlie heard him say "did you get wet!" It is unnecessary to add that hereafter he will hang [on] to the railing until he feels both feet firm on the ground when he alights from a railroad train. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 May 1886, p. 4, c. 6)

15 January 1892. The well known drug firm of Johnson and Bain has been dissolved, Mr. Bain retiring. The business will be continued at the old stand by Mr. Johnson. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 January 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

      Mr. and Mrs. C. D. Johnson entertained at progressive euchre on Friday evening last at their residence on Sixth street north. The prizes for progression were awarded to Mrs. F. A. Farrar and Mr. L. J. Cale while Mrs. H. Ribbel and Mr. Benjamin captured the booby prizes. Refreshments were served and a delightful evening enjoyed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 April 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

          Important Business Changes.

      ...On the same day [Saturday] Johnson's Pharmacy was sold to C. D. Johnson, who is now in possession. The business will be conducted under the same firm name. Both stores, as well as the McFadden Drug Co.'s store, are among the finest drug stores in the state, and all have been doing a splendid business, which is constantly increasing. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 April 1900, p. 1, c. 3)

11 August 1915. Col. C. D. Johnson will not go down as an expert in gardening. This morning he was ordered by his household to harvest some new potatoes. He pulled quite a number of plants without finding a single spud, only to be told that he had wreaked destruction on a whole row of innocent tomato plants. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 11 August 2015)


       Was a Boy Full of Hope, Ambition
         and Aspirations, How Brainerd
            Appeared When He Arrived

Indians Were Common on the Streets, the
          Business Section was All West
                     of Sixth Street

Editor Daily Dispatch:
      Forty years ago today, November 9, 1877 (and it was Friday then, I arrived in Brainerd. I was a boy eighteen years of age, full of hope, ambition and aspirations. I have lost my ambition, my aspiration has reached its setting star, but I am still full of hope.
      The branch of the Northern Pacific was completed between St. Cloud and Brainerd, and I came through on the first passenger train over that division; Captain Spalding was the conductor.
      I came here to work in a drug store owned by N. McFadden, my salary was $15.00 a month and board, and I had to sleep under the counter, and now, after forty years I own a big drug store. (Great Scott! How I have progressed.)
      Our esteemed fellow-townsman, I. U. White, was married the second day after my arrival, at a home on south Fifth street, and that night the event was celebrated by the outsiders with an old fashioned charivari. Now Ike is a grandfather, but such is the every-changing sands of time.
      It seems strange, does it not, at that time there were only seven houses west of Sixth street and 33 houses east of Sixth street north of the track? The business section was all west of Sixth street. There were no houses in Northeast or Southeast Brainerd, and that land could have been bought for $5.00 an acre. Let me enumerate the business houses and professional men of that time. There were four grocery stores, one drug store, two dry goods stores, one jeweler, one news and stationery, two lawyers, two draymen, three hotels, eight saloons, one newspaper, five churches, one barbershop, one doctor.
      In those days, it was as common to see Indians on our streets as it was to realize the presence of bedbugs in the “Leland Hotel.” The Indians have disappeared, but I hear, now and then, that the bedbugs are still with us.
      It may be amusing, if not interesting to some of my young boy friends, 18 or 20 years old to know that I flirted and danced with such likely girls as Mrs. Fannie Smith, Mrs. DeLamere, Mrs. Tim Brady, Mrs. A. J. Forsythe, Mrs. Henry Spalding and Louie Stallman’s wife [Jennie]. There were very few girls here then; hardly enough to go around, but they were likely and lovable girls and now when I see so many good looking, beautiful girlsl in Brainerd just budding into womanhood, I can’t help but use a once expressed thought, although I must have passed the age of attraction, (Thank God; the eye for beauty still lingers with me.)
      It seems passing strange when I think that our merchant prince, “Jimmie” Murphy was but a baby at his mother’s breast when I came to Brainerd, and Mrs. Emma Forsythe had the same sweet smile then that now graces her lovely presence. She was as active then in all of our city civic life as she is now.
      Ah! but in the curling smoke of retrospect, it dawns upon me that my “limbs are not as lithe and limber” as they were forty years ago.
                                    C. D. JOHNSON.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 09 November 1917, p. 1, c.’s 6 & 7)

      Johnson's Pharmacy. The soul of this popular drug firm is "Colonel" Charles D. Johnson.
      Since he came to Brainerd in 1877 he has been associated in turn with Newton McFadden, Wallace Baine, R. J. Hartley, and Richard M. Johnson, his son and present partner, a pharmacist and business man of genuine ability.
      This firm, The Rexall Store, is well-known for its reliable lines of pure drugs, leading toilet articles, and sundries, and for its progressive business ability and professional experience. (Brainerd's Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 115)

From C. D. Johnson's address given at Brainerd's Fiftieth Birthday Celebration in the summer of 1922:

      "A great battle excites admiration and inspires songs of epic praise. But how much better for the happiness of mankind was the planting of a civilized community in a great wilderness, where justice, law, liberty, and refinement might find a perpetual home. In its splendid consequences, the historical event we this day celebrate is really worth more to the world than scores of great battles, which shine with lurid lights on the pages of history.
      As we regard the men who fifty years ago were potent factors in the building of our city, we find the tomb has closed over many. There was Judge Sleeper, Judge Holland, L. P. White, Tom Bivins, Tom Cantwell, Wm. Ferris, Dr. Rosser, E. H. Bly, Newton McFadden, Judge Conant, G. G. Hartley, Warren Leland, Capt. Spalding, and other memorable men, who now sleep beneath the sod of the valley.
      Upon their graves we here and now scatter the flowers of sweet remembrance.
      But there are still among us those whose lives have been lengthened out to behold this happy day. We have Mr. and Mrs. James Gardner, Mr. and Mrs. Tim Brady, Mr. and Mrs. I. U. White, Mr. and Mrs. Anton Mahlum, Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Saunders, Mrs Henry Spalding, Mrs. Sarah Chapman, Mr. Richard Ahrens, Mr. C. B. White, Mr. E. H. Jones, typical old settlers, still full of life and abounding in good cheer.
      Let me not forget to mention the pioneer women that came with undaunted courage to this then uncultured spot. There was Aunt Jennie Bivins, there were Mrs. Sleeper, Mrs. L. P. White, the Mesdames Spaulding [sic] [Ellen], [Maria], Tennis, Jones, Pegg, Chapman, Old Mother Shupe, and other splendid and noble women. There were no hospitals here in those days, no trained nurses, but it was always those pioneer mothers who stood at the bedside of the sick and dying. Yes, they were old-fashioned mothers, not the women of today, with all their society manners, fine dresses, white jeweled hands that never felt the clasp of baby fingers, but they were dear old-fashioned mothers with sweet voices, eyes into whose depths love light shone. And tonight in the midst of all our rejoicing, let us say: Blessed be the memory of those old-fashioned mothers...." (Brainerd's Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; pp. 181-182)

          C. D. JOHNSON RITES
                              ON WEDNESDAY

      Funeral Conducted Tomorrow After-
                noon From St. Paul's
                   Episcopal Church


      Mr. Johnson Desired No Flowers or
                  Ostentatious Cere-

      Funeral services for Hon. C. D. Johnson will be held from St. Paul's Episcopal church tomorrow.
      The pallbearers selected by the family and conforming as closely as possible to Mr. Johnson's wishers are: Con O'Brien, W. A. M. Johnstone, F. E. Ebner, R. J. Hartley, J. J. Nolan, and H. P. Dunn.
      In referring to those selected by the late Mr. Johnson, of whom four are out-of-town residents, they will be made honorary pallbearers, should they arrive for the services. They include: Dan Gunn, of Grand Rapids; Dr. Werner Hemstead, of St. Cloud, Justin M. Smith, of Bozeman, Mont.; William Spencer, of America, Okla. The funeral will be held, in accordance with the wishes of Mr. Johnson, from St. Paul's Episcopal church at 2 o'clock, and on Wednesday afternoon. The remains will lie in state at the church from 10 o'clock to the hour of the funeral.
      Relatives searching among the effects of Mr. Johnson found a paper dated August, 1903, and giving full details of funeral arrangements, which stated:
      "When I die, it is my wish that the following arrangements be carried out, so far as may be possible at my burial:
      "First, I desire that the funeral be conducted by the order of Knights of Pythias, and I should hope that they turn out in a body, for that was my mother lodge; and I have given 20 years of my life in its behalf.
      "Second, belonging as I do to the orders of A. F. & A. M., B. P. O. E., A. O. U. W., and Fire Department I suggest that they appoint six brothers from their respective lodges to attend the funeral as representative of those orders.
      "Third, I would like to be buried from my home. It may be wished otherwise. If so, have my remains conducted to the church at 10 o'clock a. m., then to lie in state (as it were) till 2 p. m., then go ahead with the service.
      Fourth, I want no flower emblems from any of the orders I belong to, I want no bouquets thrown at me when I'm dead. I love flowers but this flower business at funerals has degenerated into a fad that is disgusting to me. Just have my casket strewn with carnations (loose).
      "Fifth, I want for my pallbearers Justin M. Smith, Dan M. Gunn, J. M. Elder, Con O'Brien, Werner Hemstead, William Spencer. I realize that this may not be practicable, but they would be my choice.
      "Sixth, my family well know my views on the vague, ancient and hideous custom of wearing mourning; let there be none of that, no crepe around the hat, no long black veils or other evidences of outward mourning. If there is to be any sorrow let it be in the silent heart of each individual friend.
      "Seventh, I want on my monument as follows: "Charles D. Johnson, Born at Mankato, Minn., Jan. 2nd, 1859. Died at (blank). While he lived, he lived.'" (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 26 April 1927, p. 3, c.'s 3-5)

            FUNERAL RITES
                              FOR C. D. JOHNSON

      Rev. Donald Smith, Little Falls, Offi-
            ciating at St. Paul's Episcopal
                        Church Services

                 MANY FRIENDS PRESENT

      Last Rites at Grave Under Auspices
                  of Knights of Pythias

      Funeral services for C. D. Johnson, one of Brainerd's most esteemed citizens, who passed away Monday morning, were held yesterday at - o'clock from St. Paul's Episcopal church of which he was a member. The remains lay in state at the church from 10 a. m. to the hour of the funeral. Rev. Donald Smith of the Episcopal church of Little Falls officiated in the absence of Rev. Robert J. Long, rector of St. Paul's, who is out of town. Interment was made in Evergreen cemetery.
      In accordance with the wish of Mr. Johnson expressed in a statement found among his effects shortly after his demise last rites were conducted under the direction of the Knights of Pythias. The service was simple and as he had requested few flowers were in evidence. A few flowers were strewn on the altar and a single red carnation was on the casket during the church service.
      At the close of rites at St. Paul's church local Elks, who attended in a body, marched past the remains, each member dropping a single red carnation on the casket as he passed.
      Final rites at the cemetery were given by the Knights of Pythias, who attended in a body, each Knight dropping a white carnation on the remains in final tribute. Edward Crust, Sr., chaplain of the order, gave a short eulogy honoring the memory of the deceased, and the earthly remains of Brainerd's grand old man were laid to rest.
      The large number of friends, relatives and acquaintances present at the funeral attested to the high esteem in which Mr. Johnson was held. Druggists with whom he had been associated attended from widely scattered sections of the state. Besides the near relatives a large number of friends attended the services, including James Kirkwood, Duluth, S. Rhodes, Duluth, A. S. Rasmussen, of Pequot, M. J. Riley [sic] of Detroit Lakes and John Anderson, of Wadena. George Weaver and son, Theodore, relatives of the late Mrs. Johnson were also in attendance. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 28 April 1927, p. 7, c. 3)

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  • Created by: A. Nelson
  • Added: 9 Aug 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 74671342
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Charles Douglas “Charlie” Johnson (2 Jan 1859–25 Apr 1927), Find A Grave Memorial no. 74671342, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA ; Maintained by A. Nelson (contributor 47143984) .