Janitor, Jefferson Market
On Martin Luther King's birthday, Jefferson Market commemorates the death of a noted military veteran, a Colonel, and a "Colored Man" [as he was called in the newspapers c. 1870-1903].
• • • January 1903 [from news accounts] • • •
• • William Johnson, the youngest brother of Jacob Johnson of Fishkill, New York, died in New York city, at his residence, No. 173 Waverly Place, aged about 56 years. Mr. Johnson his daughter, and some other colored people attended the funeral which was a large one, deceased being a noted military man.
• • The morning service of Zion A. M. E. Church was was dispensed with Jan. 18, and at 11:30 a. m. the mortal remains of Col. William Johnson, commander of Thaddeus Stevens Post, No. 255 were borne into the church. Following the mourners came the church officers, church societies, his class, the board of stewards and stewardesses, John Brown Circle No. 24 Ladies of the G. A. R... . marshall Thaddeus Stevens Post No. 255, G. A. R.. Samuel W. Smith, S. V. commander commanding. ...
• • Past Commander Alex Powell and Adjutant C. W. McKie eulogized his military life and service.
• • William Johnson was well known throughout New York city as a stalwart Republican.
• • He was appointed janitor of the Jefferson Market Court House under Mayor Strong, and served until the VanWyck administration came into power. He was considered an authority on Grand Army matters.
• • Nearly 500 persons took part in the procession that was led by Major Charles Pierson's Manhattan Fife and Drum Corps, leaving the funeral at 10th Street and Fourth Avenue, which proceeded to Cypress Hills Cemetery. Internment was in Zion's Ground. Service was held at the grave by Mr. E. V. C. Eato, secretary of the citizens auxilliary committee. Col. Johnson leaves a wife, two sons, a daughter, 4 brothers and a large number of relatives residing upstate.
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New York Public Library