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1 I I A 5 S
End Gomes Peacefully to Dis
DEVOTED WIFE AT BEDSIDE
Brightens Last Moments of Her
Rochester, Minn Sept. 21.—Gov
ernor John A. Johnson died at 3:2
o'clock this morning.
Life quietly slipped away and in its
wake there remained but the sorrow
'of a great state, the infinite grief of a
devoted and courageous wife and the
thoughts of what greatness to which
his career might have expanded had
not it been so sadly brought to a
Until death came, he was quite con
scious, his firm, resolute mind fully
cognizant of the approaching end and
meeting it with the clear equanimity
which so characterized his active life.
As the shortening hours passed by,
the governor remained tranquil despite
the mental anguish which he must
have enduied. Knowing quite well
that which he could not avert, he lay
quietly in his bed, waiting.
With him during the last hours were
Mrs Johnson, Frank A Day, Doctors
Mayo, Dr. Charles F. McNevin, Miss
Maigaret Sullivan, Miss Jammie, head
nurse of the hospital, and Miss Schil
ler, the governor's night nurse. All
the hospital attaches were those who
had guarded him as best they might
since the operation nearly a week ago
and who had ministered to him so
Through the evening and the early
morning Mrs. Johnson remained tire
lessly beside him, giving the solace
which only she could give. She held
his hand almost constantly, and at in
tervals bathed both of them with al
hohol. Although none could ever
know how she suffered, she cheered
the governor when his spirits drooped
lowest Although her husband seemed
Aware of the Great Weakness
which was gradually flooding over
him and its. import, Mrs. Johnson _da-
VOLUME NEW UL.M, BROWN COUNTY, MINN., WEDNESDAY, SEPT 2& 1909.1
clined to allow the physicians to tell
him the time had arrived when there
was no hope. Steadfast at his bed
side she stayed, repressing her own
grief In order that she might ease the
last moments for her husband.
When death touched the still figure,
Dr. Will Mayo led Mrs. Johnson away
to an adjoining room, where Miss Sul
livan gave those comforts so needed
to dull the widow's grief.
And so came the end to a state's
governor, who was so deeply In
trenched in the people's confidence,
esteem and love.
Governor Johnson's tronble, which
Iliad its fatal termination Tuesday
Governor John A, Johnson Succumbs after a
Gallant Fight For Life.
Conditions Looked Favorable Up Until About Three O'clock Monday Afternoon. A Change
for the Worse Took Place. Life Gradually Ebbed Away.
Death Occurred at 3:25 Tuesday Morning.
The end came Tuesday morning. Gov. Johnson, Minnesota's favorite son, is dead. The soul of that brave man, whose gallant fight for life against
great odds has been watched by countless thousands, breathed its last Tuesday morning at 3:25 at the hospital in Rochester. His last words, addressed
to his dear companion, who so nobly stood by him during the last days, were:
"Well, Nora, I am going, but I made a good fight." He was unconscious an hour and a half before passing away. Two hours before he died the
Governor thanked all the nurses and attendants in his room and also Dr. McNevin.
Mrs. Johnson went through the ordeal with remarkable fortitude. Shortly after the Governor's death she was taken to a waiting automobile and
went to the Sullivan home for the rest of the night. In the room at the time of the Governor's death were his wife, Mrs. Johnson, Miss Margaret Sul
livan, Dr. C. H. McNevin, Nurse Powderly and Head Nurse Jammie.
During the night, F. W. Johnson, brother of the Governor, was summoned to his brother's bedside.CHe left New Ulm on the 4:25 Tuesday morning.
The remains of the late Governor Johnson were taken to St. Paul on a special train Tuesday afternoon where*the public will be given an opportuni
ty to view the dead executive and chief of the state at the new capitol. The funeral will take place Thursday afternoon at St. Peter, the former home
of the Governor.
morning, began ten years ago. At
that time he was operated on for ap
pendicitis and the operation was not
entirely successful. Two subsequent
operations were performed, but both
were unsuccessful in restoring him
to his usual health and vigor. Final
ly the last operation was decided up
on as the governor had been feeling
poorly for several months. That Gov
ernor Johnson did not regard the
operation as dangerous was evidenced
when he declined to settle his per
sonal affairs at the suggestion of his
secretary, Frank A. Day.
After the governor had been operat
ed on and..examined an old abscess
was found that had left a fistula in Ms
abdomen that was removed as well as
the hernia that was the primary
cause of tne operation. It is soid
that the operation was one of the
most difficult ever performed by the
Doctors Mayo, it requiring nearly
three hours' time. The prolonged ex
posure and disturbance of the intes
tines caused unusual gas accumula
tions, which caused a distension of
the abdomen, excruciating pains and
sapped the vitality.
pessimists say that oppor
tunity for the American boy
has passed, but the career of
the late John A. Johnson, gov-
ernor of Minnesota, does not prove it.
When Johnson was nominated for gov
ernor in 1904, to lead a forlorn hope,
as everybody supposed, his political
opponents published broadcast the
statement that his father bad died a
drunkard in a poorbouse and that his
mother had taken in washing. The
report was investigated and proved
true, bat it did not have the effect
that its circulators had hoped. The
American manhood of Minnesota, the
same kind of American manhood that
had elected the rail splitter, Lincoln,
president, arose for Johnson. He was
elected, although the remainder of his
ticket was snowed under by nearly
160,000 majority. Not only so, but he
has been elected rwic* since, the only
Democrat chosen in bis strongly Re
publican state. In 1900 Johnson was
the most prominent candidate for the
Democratic presidential nomination
second to Brvan.
Governor Johnson died as the result
of the fourth operation for appendi
citis, or, more correctly, the adhesions
resulting from former operations for
appendicitis, the first of which occurred
fifteen years ago. He was born in
Minnesota in 1861, the son of poor
The last notable utterance of Gov-*
ernor Johnson was an appeal for the
west to stand together and look out
for its own interests, whieb President
Taft regarded of sufficient importance
to rpfer to in bis Boston address, made
at the very time that Johnson was pre
paring to undergo the operation which
resulted in his death.
Nominated For Governor.
In 1901 the Democrats of Minnesota
nominated for governor a country edi
tor, the St. Peter Herald man. John
Johnson was a pretty good country ed
itor, too, bat there were some 700 oth
ers in Minnesota. St. Peter is a small
town, and the Herald is a small paper.
Bat it Is not necessarily true that a
small paper in a small Jpwn had a
small man at the head of if. Plenty
of instances to the contrary might be
jtited, but Johnson's is enough. For
fifteen years Editor Johnson had run
the editorial end of the Herald, while
his partner, Henry Essler, had run the
mechanical end. Both took a hand at
the business end. Johnson became sec
retary and then president of the state
editorial association. So the other edi
tors knew him. and they liked him.
Johnson had served one term as a
state senator, and some of the politi
cians knew bim and liked him too. But
he was defeated for re-election, being
a Democrat in a Republican district,
and when Lis party placed him at the
head of the state ticket he was plain
John Johnson, country editor.
Minnesota's normal Republican ma
jority is between 60,000 and 70,000.
The Democrats had little or no expec
tation of electing Johnson. One reason
I hey picked him for the candidacy was
that he was a Swede and would get
the Scandinavian vote, which in Min
nesota is a considerable factor. They
hoped be, at any rate, would make a
decent showing, and most of them
would have been satisfied with that.
But Johnson, having accepted the nom
ination, made a systematic campaign.
His opponent, State Auditor Dunn,
was not altogether popular in his own
party. Dunn's unpopularity helped
Johnson, against whose record nobody
had anything to say. Johnson's popu
larity Increased as Dunn's decreased.
Something had to be done for Dunn.
Ten days before election some boom
erang thrower in Minnesota printed
and distributed a circular setting forth
that Candidate Johnson's father had
been a drunkard and had died in the
poorhonse and that his mother had
taken in washing. Ton cannot find in
Minnesota today the thrower of this
political boomerang. Most likely be is
and was then an inmate of the asylum
for the insane.
Some supporters of Johnson, too
much excited to know a golden oppor
tunity when they met it face to face,
were perturbed by this circular and
urged the candidate to make a strong
denial of the statements. A
"I can't," was Johnson's quiet reply.
Story Quickly Went the Sounds,
The reason be couldn't was that what
the circular said about his parents was
true. A St. Paul newspaper which
supported him sent a staff correspond
ent posthaste to* the little town of St
Peter. The staff man investigated the
immediate antecedents of John John
son. The repertorlal assignment would
have delighted any good newspaper
man. It is not often that ajneporter
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