Allen "Allie" Johnson: Birth: 06 NOV 1882. Death: 06 SEP 1889
Bradley Thomas Johnson: Birth: 05 MAR 1884 in Morganza, St. Mary's County, Maryland. Death: 08 DEC 1954 in Victor Cullen State Hospital, Frederick County, Maryland
Title: Index to Obituaries, Memorial and Death Notices (1931-1969) from the St. Mary's Enterprise, Page: 61
Page: p. 61
Author: Long, Charles David
Publication: Leonardtown, Maryland: St. Mary's County Historical Society
Title: St. Mary's Enterprise: Obituary, Location: Leonardtown, Maryland, Page: 1, Col. 5
Page: Deceased: Zachariah Johnson Age: 82
Date of Enterprise: August 26, 1932
Publication: Aug 26, 1932
Title: Burials from Tombstones, Grave Markers, and Church Registers of St. Mary's County Maryland, (1664-1990), Page: 314
Author: Tice, Janet
Publication: Leonardtown, Maryland: St. Mary's County Historical Society
Title: Marriages and Deaths, St. Mary's County, Maryland (1634-1900), Edition: 3rd Edition, Page: 408
Page: p. 170
Author: Fresco, Margaret C.
Publication: St. Mary's County Historical Society, Leonardtown, Maryland, 2001
Note: , was born May 12, 1852 and died August 12, 1932. He and Missouri are both buried at St. Joseph RCC. Missouri Woodburn was born October 28, 1853 and died in 1932. She is also buried at the "New" St. Joseph's Cemetery. Zachariah and his wife were farmers. It was said by my uncle Bradley Johnson, Jr., that Zachariah's special love was horses. My uncle also indicates that he had at least three stills on the property that he knew of.
Zachariah left all his personal property to Elizabeth H. "Esther" Woodburn for services for 40 years. He also left her his farm, known as "Part St. John's" for life and at her death it was to be divided equally among his children. In the family she was known as "Aunt Terry."
Interview with Walter Johnson (contributed by his daughter Linda Johnson):
There was a time during my father's youth (Walter Johnson) when the boys from Baltimore, my father and his four brothers, would each have a week during the summer months when they would visit Bushwood. My father, being the youngest of the Baltimore Johnson's, would have a week in residence by himself, but his other brothers would visit in pairs or trios, three of them closer in age to Leonard, Cousin Bernard's older brother. Uncle Julius and Aunt Lillian were gracious hosts, but rather aloof as parents and so the boys would roam the farm with their cousin or spend time in the vast attic of the house doing whatever adolescent boys do when left to their own devices.
My uncle, Bradley Thomas., otherwise known as Bee and as Chub, (who knows why, he was always tall and lean) told me about spending summers during his formative years, in St. Mary's County visiting Bernard and Leonard. He would stay for part of the summer on the Grandfather Zachariah's nearby farm and then at Bushwood for a while. Chub describes Bernard's father, known as Uncle Julius as a stern but loving man, but one who made it crystal clear that you did not mess with his horses. Dinnertime at the farm had its very well defined ritual. Upon being seated Julius would say the grace. The boys, Bradley and Leonard, remained motionless while Julius reached around behind him to the decanter of bourbon, pouring himself a shot in a glass. After one sip, the glass was placed on the table whereupon Lillian and the boys could begin to eat. This was an invariant routine, one not to be challenged or tested.
My Uncle Chub tells a story about an event that happened one summer that shaped his thinking about life and one's personal circumstances. One of the several routines and traditions of farm life during those summers was to go to Leonardtown every Saturday with Grandfather Zachariah to buy supplies for the farms and ice cream for Chub, and Leonard; Bernard did not always go on these Saturday jaunts. On one particular Saturday, Chub recalls walking down the sidewalk on main street, only about a two block walk as Leonardtown is not that large, and seeing three black men approaching from the other direction. Now remember this would have been in the mid to late 1920's. With a boy in each hand, Julius walked in the middle of the sidewalk. As the three men neared, Chub stepped off the edge of the curb. Well! Zachariah stopped and gave him a dressing down right then and there saying loudly that he was never to alter his path for people of color, although his remarks were vastly more colorful that that. His remarks were also quite demeaning to the three men who were well within hearing range. Although the incident passed with nothing more said than a "Good day, sir," by one of the men; Chub's feeling was one of complete embarrassment and a wish to disappear into the cracks of the sidewalk. It was a sign of the times and not at all remarkable; those were the common feelings and racial opinions of that corn and tobacco growing part of the country.
Chub has made it clear that Zachariah was quite a horseman, not only in his own skill, but also in his love and compassion for his horses. Zachariah rode around his farm on a large horse, wearing a big black hat, with a 20' whip coiled around the saddle horn. Having just purchased a new, metal-wheeled wagon for hauling hay, corn or tobacco from the field to the barns, Zachariah had the wagon hitched to two horses and sent two young men off to load it. The job was done; the wagon was piled high with corn and the two men started back to the barn when the wagon wheels became embedded in some soft turf. The men were seen by another farmhand to be whipping the horses to pull the wagon free. When that farmhand saw Zachariah, the mishap was reported and Zachariah flew off on his horse to the scene. Had not the other farmhand followed, it is likely that Zachariah would have beaten the two men to their death for whipping the horses. As it was, Zachariah was drawn off from the fray, and went to attend to the horses while the farmhand unloaded the wagon, brought in two other horses to pull the now lightened load wagon, and then loaded the unconscious men aboard to take them off. It was a remarkable scene, one that made a lasting impression in the mind of a growing boy from Baltimore.
One other incident made a lasting impression of the stern, driven man who successfully managed his acres of tobacco. Upon the occasion of having purchased a new horse to work on the farm, Zachariah, with Chub and Leonard in attendance, awaited the horse's arrival, which was to be in conjunction with pulling a wagon, in the charge a man presenting himself as a potential worker on the farm. The horse and man arrived as expected on a beautiful day. The steed was huge, muscular and spirited. Zachariah asked if the man thought he could handle the horse as a rider and received a most confident and positive response. With only a bridle, Zachariah gave an unexpected slap on the flank, and horse and rider took off down the lane and across a field. The rider hung on and did in fact manage the horse well, returning to the start point uneventfully. Zachariah looked the rider right in the eyes and said that, yes, he held his own nicely, but that he was too controlling of the horse and would not be welcomed for employment on the farm! What a wonder to the boys who had seen nothing more amazing than a man who without benefit of a saddle, managed to stay astride a huge animal who was provoked to take off unexpectedly.
Chub was present years later when Zachariah was laid to rest. Zachariah was well known in the area and since this was an era before the use of funeral homes for the deceased, Zachariah was laid out in him home where friends and neighbors came to pay their respects. A horse and wagon took Zachariah from the homestead to the cemetery, some five miles distant. A most remarkable sight met Chub's eyes, as at every point along the way, there were men and women, farmers and farm hands, black and white, standing along the road with hats in hand, and heads bowed. A remarkable tribute to a pillar of the community.
Note: Zachariah Johnson, son of Uriah & Clarissa Shercliffe (Sherkley) Johnson
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