May 13, 1916

Circuit Court Magistrate Had Been Off Bench for Months.

Judge Frank G. Johnson of Division No. 5 of the circuit court died yesterday evening at 6:15 o'clock, at his home, 3100 Garfield avenue. He had been seriously ill for several months and various attorneys, acting as special judges, have carried on his duties at the court house.

Judge Johnson was "a self-made man." He read law as a shoe clerk in Philadelphia and finished a long and successful legal career ranking as one of Missouri's respected lawyers and magistrates. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Cora M. Johnson, two sons, Herbert F. and Walter L., both living at home and two sisters, Miss Mary E. Johnson, West Boyleston, Mass., and Miss Maverette Johnson of Gill, Mass. Funeral services will be held Sunday, but the details had not been arranged last night.

Judge Johnson was born January 18, 1851, in West Boyleston, the son of a farmer. In his boyhood days the example of Abraham Lincoln was held up before country lads as an illustration of what opportunities might be found in reading law by those who possessed plenty of pluck and perseverance.

After receiving a common school education and attending Worcester academy, he went to work in the shoe store in Philadelphia, employing his evenings studying law. Later he went to Towanda, Pa., where he completed the course of reading and was admitted to the bar in 1883. In 1884, after an unsuccessful attempt to establish a clientele in Towanda, he packed up his belongings and moved to Kansas City, where there were fewer young lawyers and, he believed, proportionally greater chances of making good.

It happened that just at that moment Kansas City was experiencing a boom and legal business was plentiful. He was fortunate enough to associate himself with Henry Woodman, who since has made his mark in New York legal circles, and from that day on his rise in the profession was assured.

He was appointed assistant prosecuting attorney by Marcy K. Brown and served in the same capacity under James A. Reed, Edward E. Yates, and Herbert S. Hadley. He was elected police judge, serving one term, and he also served a term as associate city counselor. he was police commissioner from 1890 to 1896. Later he was trial lawyer for the Metropolitan Street Railway Company.

Judge Johnson was practically forced to run for the nomination of judge for Division No. 5 of the circuit court by the members of the Jackson county bar, in 1912, on the Democratic ticket. He took his place on the bench in January, 1913.

He was married in 1876 to Miss Cora M. Moore of Towanda, Pa. Both of their sons were at the bedside last night.