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Salem Pioneer Cemetery ~ Hiram Alva Johnson ~ part of the Marion County Pioneer Cemeteries of Oregon
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Hiram Alva Johnson
BORN: 18 Feb 1819 DIED: 4 Feb 1896 BURIED: 6 Feb 1896
ETHNICITY:   OCCUPATION:  Farmer; Merchant
BIRTH PLACE:  Russell, St. Lawrence Co., New York
DEATH PLACE: Salem, Marion Co., Oregon
IOOF - Hyram [sic] A. Johnson, age 77 years, born in New York, died in Salem of heart disease, "early Pioneer to Oregon"
Rigdon Records indicate that H. A. Johnson d. on the 4 Feb. 1896, age 77, and the funeral and IOOF burial was ordered by "the family".
1880 OR CENSUS - H. A. Johnson, age 60, b. New York, occupation justice of the peace, is enumerated with his wife Elizabeth J. Johnson, age 60. Illinois. Also enumerated in the home are John Earl, age 31, b. Canada, occupation farmer, and his wife, Rachel [daughter of H. A. & Elizabeth], age 27, b. Oregon.
Death Caused by Enlargement of the Heart Superinduced by La Grippe. 
At 3:30 o’clock yesterday morning Salem sustained the loss of another one of her most highly respected citizens and the ranks of the early pioneers of the Northwest is also affected thereby. Hiram A. Johnson, Sr., departed this life at the above named hour at his home on church street, near Chemeketa, leaving a wife and seven children to mourn the loss of a husband and father. 
Mr. Johnson was a strong and hearty man, physically, up to about six years ago, when like many others, he was stricken with la grippe, the effects of which he never fully overcame. This left Mr. Johnson in a condition similar to one on which asthma had taken hold and, concluding that a change of climate was necessary for his immediate relief, he went to the state of Idaho to remain for some time. This failed to benefit him, and he returned to Salem where he had so long been resident. Later developments gave indications that he would be subject to heart trouble in the future and for this he sought medical aid. 
About six weeks ago Mr. Johnson’s condition became so distressing that he was compelled to take to his bed and from that time until the hour of his death he suffered intensely. The funeral services will be conducted at the First Christian church tomorrow at 2 p.m. by Rev. H. A. Denton, after which the Masonic order of which he was an honored member will take charge of his remains and conduct the burial service at the grave in Rural cemetery. With the exception of one son, W. W. Johnson, a merchant at Burns, Harney county, all members of the family will be present. 
A very complete sketch of the life of the deceased, appearing in Rev. H. K. Hines’ "Biographical History of Oregon," is given in the following: "Hiram A. Johnson, one of Oregon’s respected pioneers, was born in St. Lawrence county, New York, February 18, 1819. His father, Charles Johnson, was a native of Saratoga county, New York, and was of Scotch-Irish ancestry; the mother’s maiden name of Rachel Pratt, and she was born in Vermont, of Puritan stock. Hiram A. was reared on his father’s farm and received his education in the common schools. He remained under the parental roof until he was 21 years of age. In the spring of 1840 he started out on a career that has taken his through many hard experiences, but has also brought its reward. He went to Pike county, Illinois, and July 25, 1841, was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth J. Whitley, a native of Wayne county, Illinois, her ancestry being Scotch-Irish and English. Mr. Johnson purchased and partly improved two places, but in April 1847, he started from Pittsfield, Illinois for Oregon. There was not a bridge or a ferry on the whole distance. There were twenty-three wagons in the train and Mr. Johnson’s family consisted of a wife and two children, to which was added another soul before the journey was completed. They were the first train to take the Barlow trail. They arrived in the valley September 10th. After their arrival in Marion county Mr. Johnson took up a donation claim of 640 acres, which had been taken up previously by a sailor, who had built a log house and then abandoned it; this structure was without windows or door, but was soon made habitable, and furnished a shelter until 1840, when it was replaced by a hewn-log house; this in turn was abandoned for a better one in 1855. The experiences of our subject are not dissimilar to those of many of his brother pioneers; provisions were very high and sometimes could not be purchased at any price. They lived on beef and potatoes the first winter. In the fall of 1848 the news of the gold discovery reached Oregon, and Mr. Johnson started for the mines September 18th with pack horses; he dug for gold on the American river and Spanish bar, taking out from $50 to $75 per day until the bad weather begun. He then returned by sail-vessel in February, 1849, to his family with such luxuries as coffee, sugar and a few dishes. Later a store was established at Oregon city, where supplies could be procured. Mr. Johnson followed agricultural pursuits, and added to his lands until 1862 he had accumulated 1,200 acres. At this time he purchased a general mercantile stock at Jefferson, and conducted the business five years, meantime renting his farm. At the expiration of this period he returned to his farm and in 1872 he sold a portion of the land, gave each of his sons a farm and removed to Salem. While a citizen of Jefferson he was elected assessor of the county; he was a justice of the peace several years, and soon after coming to Salem he was elected to this office, which he filled acceptably for twelve years. He has served the term as deputy county treasurer. In 1882 he built a residence in Salem and retired from active pursuits. He has a family of six sons and daughter: George W., John C., William W., Hiram A., Jr., Samuel Thurston, Rachel C., and Francis M., a farmer living near Moscow, Idaho. Mr. Johnson was made a Mason in 1862, and has been a master of his lodge and an active Mason for thirty years. He and his wife are consistent members of the christian church. He and his good wife celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their wedding day July 25, 1891. In 1870 they made a trip to the East, visiting the scenes of earlier days, but the landmarks had disappeared, and there was little to remind them of their youth. They are people of much force and character, and have done their share in the development of the wilderness of the Pacific coast to one of the greatest commonwealth of the nation. 
Oregon Statesman 5 February 1896 5:1-3 

A detailed autobiography is included in the newspaper quoted above. 

MASONIC BURIAL- Pacific lodge No. 50, A.F. & A.M., took charge of the funeral of H. A. Johnson, Sr., which occurred at the home this afternoon. They were assisted by a goodly delegation from Jefferson lodge No. 33. There was a very large attendance of business men and prominent citizens, the old personal friends of deceased, who was one of the most highly esteemed men who has ever resided in Salem. The remains were taken to Rural cemetery. 
Capital Journal 6 February 1896 1:5
Hiram A. 
Born in 
St. Lawrence Co., N.Y. 
Feb 1819 
Feb. 4, 1896 
(south face of monument shared with Elizabeth J. Johnson)

2nd Marker: "Father"
IOOF Register of Burials 
Rigdon #18 
DAR pg 76 
Saucy Survey & Photographs
1880 OR CENSUS (Marion Co., E. Salem Pct., pg 31D)
OS 5 Feb 1896
CJ 6 February 1896 1:5
Gary Poole, Gary has a webpage with information about Hiram Johnson. URL:
LOT: 921 SPACE: 1 SW S½ LONGITUDE: N 44° 55.190' LATITUDE: W 123° 03.009'

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