In my research on my JOHN ancestors very little has been said about Johanna, which is not unusual, but certainly frustrating. Her being a woman automatically makes her of little interest when it comes to history, especially if she didn’t go out in the world and make a name for herself. But recent research in the Oconto newspapers, which are being thoroughly digitized, yielded this great story — told by F. W. of course:
ON THE SIDE.
F. W. John: Away back in the early days, Ernst Funke, Louis Pahl, O. W. Bloch, and William Klass used to come out to my place in the woods for a hunt. Upon one occasion we were shooting at a mark, for chickens, when Mr. Funke — who was the poorest shot in the crowd — asked if he would be allowed to furnish a substitute, which request was granted, when he placed his gun in the hands of my wife, and her unerring aim won him three chickens out of the lot.1
It is nice to know that Johanna was well known in the area for being a great shot, and was also well respected for it. She had probably honed this talent during the Civil War while F. W. was off fighting. Being the only parent around she had to be able to put food on the table for her and the children, Clara, Alfred, Henry and William (who ranged from about 10 to 4 years in age) and a fine job of it she did too. In fact, she was so good that she was able to provide meat for their neighbors too.
1 Friday, March 6, 1896; v25, issue 10; page ? col 4
This last Sunday (September 20) the Gillett Historical Society held a cemetery walk with members representing 5 different citizens of the city of Gillett that were buried in the Wanderer’s Rest Cemetery. My father, spouse and I decided to attend as two of the persons being represented were relatives of the John family. The weather co-operated by being sunny and relatively warm to the delight of all.
Our cousin, Ron Hinz, played the part of Calvin John, and did a fine job of it too. After the ‘speeches’ everyone met at the Gillett Historical Society for some snacks and talk.
The coolest part of the day was meeting folks who knew Cal or F. W. or of them and the cousin we met who was a descendant of F. W. and Johanna. I am looking forward to more contact in the future.
So if you missed the walk, I have uploaded to our YouTube site the two videos I took with my iPhone of F. W. John and Calvin John. The first 1-10 seconds are missing from each talk, operator error, Enjoy!