Saint Isidore Catholic Cemetery
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Saint Isidore Catholic Cemetery – Bio
Joseph Bertram Johnson
In 1869, he converted to Catholicism, the faith of his wife. According to his grandson, Joseph Reilly, Joseph nicked himself while shaving and blood poisoning set in. A few days later he died on April 11, 1872 at the young age of 39 and was the first member to be buried in the cemetery of the little church that through the efforts and his undying devotion to his wife culminated in the reality of a Catholic Church in Lake Village.
Joseph was buried in a brick tomb constructed above ground in accordance to New Orleans traditions on the banks of Lake Chicot. The erosion of the lake bank caused problems and in 1910 his tomb had deteriorated so badly his remains were reinterred to the present location at the Saint Isidore Cemetery.
During the 1920’s the parish priest buried four paupers across the foot of Johnson’s lot and their attorney’s worked on an agreement that the remaining three unused spaces would be reserved for the Johnson’s heirs. This did not happen, but each year a donation was made in November until 1935 for the upkeep of the lot. Several years later four corners of their grave space were laid with grey granite posts with the “J” initial and remains there today.
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