Western Kansas World, February 7, 1924
OBITUARY of Carl M. Johnson
AN EARLY SETTLER PASSED AWAY
To have lived alone in a little claim shack in the country east of WaKeeney five miles for many years and then to have died there alone was the lot of Carl M. Johnson (Charley, as he was better known) one of the pioneer citizens of Trego county. For several months he had been in poor health and very feeble with age and his neighbors have been very kind in keeping a close watch upon him. He was visited on Sunday by Wm. Matke and although not feeling very well was apparently in no immediate danger. On Monday afternoon after the storm had subsided, Mr. Matke and Chas. Griswould went to his home and upon entering found him lying on the floor near his bed. Examinations showed that he had been dead for several hours. The body was brought to WaKeeney and taken care of at the G. L. Hays Funeral Home. Relatives of Mr. Johnson were notified but it was not possible for them to come to the funeral. The body was buried in WaKeeney Cemetery Wednesday afternoon. The funeral services were held at the Funeral Home and were conducted by the Rev. Copley of the Methodist church.
Carl M. Johnson was born at Smolan, Sweden in February 1838 and at the time of his death was eighty-six years old. He was married in Sweden and to him and his wife two sons and two daughters were born. One son lives in Minnesota and the other three children are living in Illinois. When the family came to Kansas [America] they located in Illinois and we understand the wife died there. In 1884 Mr. Johnson came to Ogallah alone, and for eleven years was employed by the Union Pacific section. In 1893 he homesteaded an eighty-acre tract three miles west of Ogallah, built his shack upon it and has lived there ever since. He was an honest, hard working man and a good citizen and although his relatives wanted him to live with them and his friends in this county offered him the same privilege, he chose to live alone. His death was the result of old age and natural causes. In his home were plenty of provisions and fuel and he was not in want. He is survived by his children and also by a sister-in-law who lives at Hoisington, Kansas.
Editor's notes: Some errors are obvious in the obituary. Carl was born on December 14, 1843, not 1838 as the obituary suggests. He also came to Kansas in 1880 or 1881, not 1884. He moved onto his claim near Ogallah in November 1890, and the land grant was dated December 11, 1897. The sentence that reads, "When the family came to Kansas they located in Illinois and we understand the wife died there." Obviously, "Kansas" should read "America". They arrived to Andover, Illinois from Sweden in 1867. His death certificate lists the cause of death as "old age and exposure to the cold". He was described by a neighbor as living like a hermit on his lonely claim.
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