The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Albert A. Johnson

Trouble magnet.

    THE ABDUCTION CASE.--The colored man, Albert Johnson, who was arrested and imprisoned, a few days since, for abducting the 13-year-old daughter of another colored man, by the name of Butler, was brought before Judge Wade on Tuesday last, and after an extended examination discharged. Although the evidence brought out on the examination was not sufficient to warrant his being bound over for the crime charged in the complaint, still enough leaked out to show that "old Fifteenth Amendment," as the boys call him, was not altogether innocent in the premises, and fearing an arrest on a new charge, he has sloped [sic--eloped?]. So the story comes to us.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 23, 1870, page 3

Jacksonville, Oregon:
Harriet A. Johnson, 43, mulatto, born Maryland, keeping house
Albert A. Johnson, 26, mulatto, born Mexico, laborer, parents born outside U.S.
Malcomb A. Johnson, 17, mulatto, born California
U.S. Census, enumerated July 28, 1870

    ON THE WAR PATH.--On Wednesday a female "Lo," residing on Kanaka Flat, donned the war paint, and attacked a dusky sister with a carving knife, inflicting several cuts about the head and hand. We understand a warrant has been issued for the arrest of the termagant.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 27, 1871, page 3

BOUND OVER.--The belligerent she-digger, referred to in another place, has been held to answer a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, after an examination before Justice Wade.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 27, 1871, page 3

    BELLICOSE.--The she-digger row, referred to last week, was the origin of a passage at arms between Joe Ball and Albert Johnson (colored) last Saturday. Neither party were hurt, no blood was shed, but an awful amount of profanity was expended. Marshal McDaniel wanted the belligerents to visit Recorder Hayden, who requested them to contribute $7.50 to the town treasury as the price of their warlike pastime. Being unprovided with the necessary funds, Charley, the colored barber, became Ball's surety for his fine, while Chinaman Yack went security for Johnson, and "all is quiet on the Potomac" once more.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 3, 1871, page 2

    FREE FIGHT.--A free fight, between the white, negro and Indian race, has been going on during the past week. Albert Johnson and a white creature, named Barnhart, had a combat over a dusky daughter of the forest, and in the melee the latter was battered up in a manner most fearful to behold. He swore out a complaint against Johnson, but the latter was too wily for the officers, and up to yesterday had eluded their vigilance. Barnhart is covered with wounds from head to foot, inflicted with a club. This Johnson has of late made himself notorious with his lawless exploits, and the sooner the community gets rid of him, the better.
    P.S.--He was captured yesterday.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 28, 1874, page 3

    A colored individual named Albert Johnson, and a white creature named Barnhart, had a combat over a dusky daughter of the forest at Jacksonville, and in the melee the latter was battered up in a manner most fearful to behold.
"Pacific Slopers," Albany Register, Albany, Oregon, April 4, 1874, page 3

    The origin of the fire is not precisely known, and reports in regard thereto are conflicting. Some say that the fire first broke out in the rooms of the Social Club, while others aver it started in the Eldorado Saloon. Others, however, believe it to have been set on fire, and John Lennox, white, and Albert Johnson, mulatto, both notorious characters, were arrested on suspicion. The evidence against them not being sufficient, however, they were discharged.
"Disastrous Conflagration," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 18, 1874, page 3

    ARRESTED.--Albert Johnson, a mulatto, was this week arrested by Deputy Sheriff Kent and Marshal McDaniel, for breaking open Horace Rice's house, on Rogue River, last October, and taking some firearms, etc., therefrom. He sold a shotgun to parties in Crescent City, where it was identified by D. H. Hudson, son-in-law of Mr. Rice, which led to Johnson's arrest. He will have a preliminary examination today.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 16, 1875, page 3

    Albert Johnson, a mulatto at Jacksonville, was last week arrested by Deputy Sheriff Kent and Marshal McDaniel, for breaking open Horace Rice's house, on Rogue River, last October, and taking some firearms, etc., therefrom.
"Oregon," Oregonian, Portland, April 20, 1875, page 1

    BOUND OVER.--Albert Johnson, accused of breaking open Horace Rice's house last October and stealing some articles therefrom, had a preliminary examination before Justice Stinson last Friday, who held him to appear before the grand jury in the sum of $10,000. Being unable to respond, he now languishes in jail.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 23, 1875, page 3

    GONE FROM OUR GAZE.--Harris and Johnson, the negroes convicted at the present term of court for larceny, and sentenced to the penitentiary for six and seven years respectively, were last Friday taken to Salem, in charge of Deputy Sheriff Kent and P. D. Hull.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, 
June 11, 1875, page 3

    DISCHARGED.--James Wilson, the youth brought from Crescent City, and also "Old Joe," the negro arrested near Waldo, Josephine County, who have both been confined in jail in relation to the case of Albert Johnson, were last week discharged, there being no apparent cause for their further detention.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, 
June 11, 1875, page 3

    Albert Johnson, for larceny, serves Jackson County seven years in the penitentiary, and Mathew Harris, a horse thief, goes for six years. That is the way to set these cusses up.

"Pacific Coasters," Albany Democrat, Albany, Oregon, June 11, 1875, page 2

Jacksonville, Oregon:
Harriet A. Johnson, 49, black, born Maryland, parents born Maryland
Malcom Johnson, 28, black, born California, father born Va., mother Md., wood chopper
Edward Johnson, 16, black, born Oregon, father born Va., mother Md., wood chopper
U.S. Census, enumerated June 4-5, 1880

    Albert Johnson, the mulatto sent to the penitentiary from this place by Judge Prim several years ago, has been released from his confinement.
"Brief Reference," Democratic Times, April 15, 1881, page 3

    There was a row in Africa last Saturday evening, in which a half-breed, named Frank Duke, shot at Albert Taylor, but missed him. A warrant having been got out for Duke's arrest, he lost no time in making tracks for the Klamath.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, September 22, 1882, page 3

    The infant daughter of Albert Johnson of this place died one day recently, after a protracted illness. It was buried the following day.

"Here and There," Democratic Times, October 21, 1887, page 3

    Albert Johnson was proudly displaying an enormous coyote skin yesterday, having killed the animal on Applegate last Tuesday. He reports the "varmints" very abundant over the hill this year.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 29, 1888, page 3

    Mrs. Harriet Johnson, who has resided in Jacksonville for many years, died on Saturday. She was 80 years of age and has been a county charge for some time. She has two grown sons who reside here. Services were held at the Catholic church on Sunday by Rev. Desmarais.
"Jacksonville News," Medford Mail, April 2, 1897, page 3

    The infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Johnson was buried on Monday.
"Jacksonville News," Medford Mail, April 16, 1897, page 3

    Albert Johnson, a Spaniard, charged with the crime of rape on a girl of 15, was held to answer yesterday by Justice Dunlap, with bonds fixed at $200. District Attorney Watson, who appeared for the state, was dissatisfied with the bond, and upon application to Circuit Judge Hanna the bond was raised to $1000. Johnson is in jail. His case will come up for trial Tuesday. He was convicted some years ago in this county of larceny, and served a term in the penitentiary.
"Jury Failed to Agree," Oregonian, Portland, December 18, 1899, page 3

    Albert Johnson, the Spaniard held for rape on a girl 15 years old, pleaded guilty and was sentenced today by Judge Hanna to 15 years' imprisonment in the penitentiary. He was taken to Salem on tonight's train.

"Liberated on Second Trial," Oregonian, Portland, December 21, 1899, page 6

    State vs. Albert A. Johnson: information charging defendant with rape on one Grace Allen, a girl under 16 years of age; defendant pled guilty and was sentenced Wednesday to fifteen years in the penitentiary.
"Doings of the Circuit Court," Medford Mail, December 22, 1899, page 3

    A LONG SENTENCE.--At the penitentiary, yesterday, Albert Johnson of Jackson County was received, under a fifteen-year sentence for rape. Deputy Sheriff T. M. Reed escorted Johnson to Salem and delivered him to the prison officials, the cost of transportation being $81.75.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, December 22, 1899, page 5

    Mrs. Millie Johnson, wife of Albert Johnson, died at home in Jacksonville Saturday evening, Feb. 24, 1900, of abscess of the lungs, aged 22 years, 5 months and 29 days. Mrs. Johnson was born and raised in Jackson County. She was married to Albert Johnson in 1893, by whom she had four children, one of which died not long since. Three children and her husband survive her. The remains were buried in Jacksonville cemetery, Monday at 2 o'clock, Father LeCroix officiating.
"Jacksonville News," Medford Mail, March 2, 1900, page 3

Albert Johnston Has Spent Six Years Behind Bars on a False Charge.
    SALEM, Or., March 29.--(Special.)--After having suffered imprisonment in the  penitentiary for nearly six years in silence, it now develops that Albert A. Johnston is innocent of the crime charged against him, as evidenced by an affidavit to that effect from the girl supposed to have been the victim of criminal assault, for which he received a sentence of fifteen years. The crime was alleged to have been committed in Jackson County, this state, December, 1899, and Johnston was convicted upon the testimony of the girl who was the principal witness for the prosecution.
    The girl's name is Grace Allen. She is of Indian parentage and was scarcely 15 years of age when the crime was alleged to have been committed. Now she is married and lives at Siskiyou, Cal., bearing the name of Mrs. Frank Barfield.
    In an affidavit contained in an application for the pardon of Johnston received by the Governor today, Mrs. Barfield states the testimony she gave upon the witness stand is false; that Johnston never was guilty of the crime with which charged and convicted, and never attempted to commit such crime; that she was young at the time and did not know the meaning of the charge of criminal assault.
    The Governor has taken no action in the case yet, but will probably grant a pardon upon the receipt of confirmatory evidence of the innocence of Johnston.
Oregonian, Portland, March 30, 1905, page 6

After Securing Marriage License Hugh Combast
Changes His Mind and Refuses to Wed--
Seduction Is Charged.

    Having won a young girl's love and trust and then, even after going so far as to secure a marriage license, refusing to marry her, Hugh Combast of Applegate must face trial for seduction. He was indicted by the grand jury Thursday. The girl is only 16 years of age and is now at the home of her parents on the Applegate. She is the daughter of Albert Johnson.
    Combast is said to have met the girl some time ago and immediately started to woo her. Being a dashing young fellow he soon won her love and confidence. Later he secured a wedding license and the day was set for their marriage when he refused to go on with the bargain.
    Later the girl confessed to her parents her relations with Combast and her father laid the matter before the authorities with the result that the grand jury indicted Combast and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 1, 1911, page 4

A. A. Johnson, 72, and Negro Held on Girl's Charges.
    MEDFORD, Or., Dec. 16.--(Special.)--A. A. Johnson, 72 years old, and Charles Turner, a negro, have been held under $500 bonds to the grand jury on the charge of living in a house of ill repute.
    According to the evidence of the 19-year-old niece of Johnson, she had been beaten and abused by her uncle and inmates of the house in an effort to compel her to submit to the advances of Turner, who previously was a hotel porter. She said her screams had attracted neighbors to the scene, which resulted in the arrest of the two men.
Morning Oregonian, December 17, 1913, page 3

    Charles Turner, a negro, on trial in the circuit court on a charge of living in and about a house of ill fame, was acquitted by a jury this morning after short deliberation. A. A. Johnson, indicted on a similar charge, and a pioneer of the Rogue River Valley, will be on trial Monday.
    Turner's acquittal was largely due to a change of heart on the part of Dolly Johnson, age eighteen, and the girl in the case, whose story before the justice court resulted in the binding over of Turner. On the stand Friday afternoon her memory regarding important details was hazy. She claimed she could remember nothing because her mind was not clear, due to too much homemade wine.
    One feature of the case was the charge of the defense that prosecutor Kelly used undue influence to get the girl to testify as she did before the justice court.
    Charles Estes pled guilty to dynamiting fish in Bear Creek, was fined $250 and sentence was suspended by the court pending good behavior and the promise that he would report once a month to the prosecuting attorney.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 28, 1914, page 8

    A. A. Johnson, convicted of living in and about a house of ill fame, was sentenced Friday morning to serve from two to 15 years in the state penitentiary. V. Odin has appealed to the supreme court from his conviction for rape.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, March 7, 1914, page 2

    A. A. Johnson, age 72 years, a pioneer of the Rogue River Valley, convicted at the last term of court of living in and about a house of ill fame, was sentenced from 2 to 25 years in the state prison yesterday by Judge Morrow. The state institution will not be entirely new for the old man; was there once before. He received the verdict without a show of emotion.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, March 7, 1914, page 2

    JOHNSON--Albert A. Johnson passed away Wednesday evening, aged 82 years, 3 months, 29 days. Mr. Johnson had been a resident of Jackson County for the past 60 years. He leaves two daughters, Mrs. Joe Mahan, Eagle Point, Ore., and one of Ogden, Utah.
    Funeral services will be held at the Catholic church Monday morning, 9 a.m., January 12, 1925, Father Black officiating.
    Interment in the Jacksonville cemetery. Arrangements in charge of the Perl Funeral Home.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 10, 1925, page 2

Last revised April 26, 2020