Police Captain Johnson Is Dead
Was Veteran Officer of Grand Rapids Department
Served the City 39 Years
Nearly 80 Years Old, Attributed Longevity to Non-Use of Tobacco - Never Swore
Police Veteran Ends Life's Work
Captain John Johnson, the oldest man in the police department of Grand
Rapids, is dead.
At 5 a.m. Wednesday he passed away at his home, 510 Thomas street, S. E.
He was born in 1837 in Manchester, England. His public life in Grand Rapids began in 1877, when he started as a pipeman at engine house No. 6. He rose to the rank of captain in a year and then resigned to become a patrolman, joining the force Sept. 1, 1879. He was promoted to sergeant July 13, 1882, as a reward for hi diligent and conscientious work. He was elevated to the rank of captain Nov. 8, 1888, and was retired from active service Nov. 28, 1908, and retired on a pension Aug. 1, 1915.
Since his retirement, and until about a year ago, he had been instructor of probationary patrolmen and inspector pf equipment. He also looked after a little office detail. It was his desire to work as long as his health would permit.
He was the best known and most respected police officer in Grand Rapids.
He was a firm believer in discipline and conducted his department rigidly along those lines.
He was much quoted because of his frequent denunciation of the use of tobacco. He attributed his longevity to the fact that he never smoked or chewed tobacco. He took justifiable pride because of the distinction that he never was known to swear.
Superintendent of Police Carroll will detail an escort of patrolmen for the funeral.
Funeral services will be held at 48:30 a.m. Friday at the residence, and at 9 o'clock at St. Andrew's cathedral. Interment in St. Andrews' (old) cemetery.
Besides the widow, two children, a daughter, Mrs. Rose Ley of Grand Rapids, and a son, Walter Johnson of California, survive.
(Also and article in the G. R. Herald, 17 August 1916, p. 6)
Created: 5 February 2010