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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Walter Axel Johnson

Walter Axel Johnson - Son of Nellie Maish and Edward Johnson

Born: October 12, 1911
Died: May 12, 1949

Blackduck American - May 26, 1949

Walter A. Johnson who was raised in the vicinity of Blackduck and whose lengthy criminal record started in 1929 when he was arrested for theft at the Cross store and sentenced to the St. Cloud reformatory, was shot and killed at a ranch north of Glendive Mont., Saturday morning.

Johnson had escaped the previous Monday from the jail at Fargo, N.D. after slugging the jailer and Bernard P. Quigley, immigration border patrolman, formerly located at Bemidji and well known here. FBI officers were alerted and a hunt conducted that extended over three states. When trailed to the ranch barn, Johnson refused to come out and fired at the officers. He was shot several times and the revolver that he had stolen from the Fargo jailer was found in his hand. Identification was positive through prints. An inquest developed the fact that Johnson had shot himself.

Johnson after his convictions was paroled after serving two years but was again arrested for larceny and given up to five years in Stillwater. Again paroled he was later arrested in North Dakota. He was wanted on numerous charges but was currently being tried in Fargo on a charge of first degree robbery. of the store. The family later moved to Thief River Falls.

Details of the chase have been watched with interest by local residents who were well acquainted with the Johnson family.

Sheriff Cahill was a deputy at the time of Johnson's first arrest and had been active in his arrest in North Dakota

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