Arapahoe County COGenWeb Genealogy

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Johnson, Egbert
Johnson, Sumner
Joslin, Jervis

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The Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Colo.
July 13, 1897 Page 8
(Pen & Ink Sketch)


Hunted and Trapped on the Plains in the Fifties and Subsequently Retired on a Comfortable Fortune Amassed in Business.

Hon. Egbert Johnson, one of the pioneers of Colorado and President of the first Fire and Police board of the City of Denver, died at his home at 1067 South Fifteenth Street, early yesterday morning. Something over two years ago, in 1895, Mr. Johnson suffered a partial paralytic stroke which made his retirement from active business life a necessity. He recovered sufficiently to take his daily outings, however, and was improving in general health until February 11 of the present year, when he suffered an attack of apoplexy. He recovered sufficiently to be able to take daily airings in an invalid's chair. On July 4 he began failing and had to give up his daily outings for a few days, but recovered sufficiently to be taken out during the latter days of last week. Sunday afternoon he began sinking rapidly and died at 2 o'clock yesterday morning.

Egbert Johnson was born at Pittsfield, Mass., on May 18, 1836. He crossed the plains in 1856 and located in Colorado. After two years spent in hunting and trapping in the various districts of the state he located in Clear Creek County in 1858 and started in the mining business. He was successful in his mining adventures and after some years amassed a fortune which he invested in farming and grazing lands in the Platte Valley and engaged largely in the cattle business. In 1870, in the height of his prosperous career, he was married at Chicago to Miss Marion Peck, who, with one son, Albert Johnson, aged 18, survives him. Five years after his marriage Mr. Johnson disposed of most of his landed property and invested his money in Denver realty and mining properties in the state. He removed to Denver in 1875 and made this city his permanent home.


While not a politician in the accepted sense of the word, Mr. Johnson took an active and intelligent interest in public affairs and held a number of offices. He was appointed state land commissioner by Governor Routt in 1876 and held the office for two years. He had made a study of the management of fire and police forces in large cities as a result of his study prepared a law vesting the government of these bodies in a board of three persons to be appointed by the governor of the state. The bill was introduced by Senator Carpenter in 1901 and became law. Governor Routt recognized the services of Mr. Johnson in the preparation of the bill and appointed him as president of the first Fire and Police Board for Denver on March 7, 1891. The other members of the board were R. S. Roe, Excise Commissioner, and Robert W. Speer, Police Commissioner.

After retiring from the Fire and Police Board, Mr. Johnson had no prominent part in political affairs until January, 1895, when he was appointed a member of the state land board by Governor McIntire. While serving as appraiser for the board on February 11, 1896, he suffered a paralytic stroke, from which he never recovered sufficiently to be able to engage in active business life.

Mr. Johnson was a member of the G. A. R., and his funeral will be held under the auspices of Veteran Post, No. 42 from the residence, 1067 South Fifteenth Street, at 2 o'clock this afternoon. The members of the Fire and Police Board and detachments from the Fire and Police Departments will attend the funeral.


O. P Wiggins, the veteran plainsman and mountaineer, now on duty as policeman at the post office, met Mr. Johnson forty-one years ago and has many interesting remembrances of his old friend. "When I first met Johnson," said Mr. Wiggins yesterday, "he was engaged as hunter at Fort Bridger. He had been in the mountains comparatively a short time, but he was a good hunter and was one of the pleasantest companions at the campfire I ever knew. We took a fancy to each other, as I had been on the frontier eighteen years and was able to give a new-comer pointers concerning the country, its game and the habits of the Indians. We decided to go into partnership, and Johnson resigned his position as hunter for the post, and we made a trip overland to Trappers' Lake about thirty miles northwest of Glenwood Springs, where we placed our traps and spent the winter. It was a very successful winter. I taught Johnson how to trap and when spring came around we had about all the furs we cared to carry away. Johnson went to Salt Lake and I came down to Fort Lupton. It was nothing unusual in those times, before civilization and whisky reached the country, for a trapper to undertake long journeys in the mountains alone. I shall always remember that winter on Trappers' Lake as one of the pleasant experiences of my life. For six months we did not see the face of a white man and our only company was the wild game and the friendly Indians who call occasionally to exchange compliments of the season. At that time Jim Bridger was living with his squaw at Fort Bridger, and Jim Baker was living with another squaw on the Blackfoot. The country was big and there was plenty of room for all.

"A queer thing about the traps we used forty years ago," remarked Mr. Wiggins, "was that we buried them and they were left in the ground until four or five years ago, when Johnson dug them up. The Indians recommended that we should grease the traps with panthers' oil or the oil of the mountain lion. They said we could bury them after they were well greased and the traps would never rust. We greased the traps and Johnson told me when he dug them up there was not a speck of rust on the outfit."


Mr. Johnson once related to a representative of The News a circumstance which apparently occurred a number of years after the incident related by Mr. Wiggins. It appears that Johnson came west several times, always receiving relief from constitutional lung troubles from the bracing climate of the Rocky Mountains. Returning on spring in unusually emaciated condition, Johnson met a young physician at a rude lodging house in one of the early settlements north of Denver. The physician appeared in even worse physical condition than Johnson, but there was a bond of sympathy between the two unfortunates and the next morning after their first meeting the physician made a proposition.

"We are in a bad fix," was the remark of the medico, "and the chances are against either of us ever seeing our friends again. I have a proposition to make, I propose that we buy a keg of whisky, and go upon a summer camping expedition in the open air. When fall comes around the keg will be empty and we will be alive or dead."

Johnson accepted the invitation, and the new acquaintances went out on the hills and hunted, fished and drank copious libations of fire water. "We kept pretty well boozed up," remarked Mr. Johnson in telling the story, "but the stuff did the work perfectly, and with the advent of the early frost, we found ourselves restored entirely to health."

The doctor mentioned by Mr. Johnson is Dr. Buchtel, the well known physician, now living in Denver.

Contributed by: Rita Timm Colorado Clues

Daily News, Denver, Colo.
December 12, 1893 Page 3


Funeral Service Over the Remains of the Late Sumner Johnson Today.

The funeral services of the late Sumner Johnson, a well-known newspaper man of the city, will be held at the undertaking parlors of Walley & Rollins at 5 p. m. today. The remains will be forwarded to Binghampton, N. Y. for burial. Mrs. Johnson will accompany the remains to the East. Owing to the illness of Mrs. Johnson, the burial has been delayed. Newspaper men and friends of the deceased are invited to attend the exercises this afternoon.

Contributed by: Rita Timm Colorado Clues

Denver Post, Denver, Colo.
January 4, 1899 Page 5


One of Denver's Oldest and Most Respected Pioneers Passes Away.

Jervis Joslin, senior member of the firm of Joslin & Park, jewelers, died this morning at 5:30, at his residence, 1345 Pearl Street, after a short illness of four or five days. Pneumonia, the result of a cold, contracted last week, caused his death.

For thirty-eight years Mr. Joslin had been closely identified with the business interest of Denver and the West. All those years the firm of Joslin & Park had been one of the staunchest and best known in this part of the country. The two main houses of the firm are now established in Denver and Salt Lake City, Utah. They formerly had branches in Cheyenne and Leadville.

Mr. Joslin was 62 years old and highly respected. He had a large circle of friends and had been prominent in social and musical circles. He was a man of refined tastes and was a great lover of music and musicians. His collections of violins is one of the finest in this country, many of the instruments having cost him fabulous sums of money.

Aside from conducting a general jewelry business, he has been interested in mining and other interests.

A brother, J. Jay Joslin, a wife and two children, Ralph Joslin and Miss Eleanor Joslin, survive him. Mr. Joslin was deeply attached to his family and his death comes as a great shock to both relatives and friends.

Mrs. Jervis Joslin and her son Ralph were at the father's bedside to the last. The daughter, who is studying in Boston, was notified Tuesday of her father's illness and is hastening home, unaware of the sad news awaiting her.

Boyd Park, the junior member of the firm , and Mr. Joslin's partner for nearly forty years, who is living in Salt Lake, left there yesterday for Denver and will reach here in time to attend the funeral.

When deceased started in business in Denver it was the straggling little village of Aurora. He was young and ambitious, and having confidence in the future of the place, made up his mind to settle here. The firm of Joslin & Park was started, prosperity followed the venture, branch houses were opened in Salt Lake, Cheyenne, then in Leadville, and for these many years the firm of Joslin & Park was as well known in the Rocky Mountain region as Tiffany in New York.

Mr. Joslin, being a great lover of music, was always surrounded by a music-loving coterie of friends.

Every noted musician who has visited this section of the country during the past quarter of a century knows Jervis Joslin. One of his warmest friends and admirers was Remenyl, who was always a guest of the deceased while in Denver.

Mr. Joslin was a true lover of art and in his quiet way enjoyed everything of an elevating character. In his home he was dearly loved and his sudden demise has brought sorrow to all.

Contributed by: Rita Timm 1895 Denver