The first I heard of Charles Johnson's family was a few years ago when I read in Nellie Gifford's
Hopedale Reminiscences article, "I well remember the shock to the Community caused by the death,
in a railroad accident, of Dr. Butler Wilmarth, and not long after, the drowning, in a pool in front of the
Samuel Walker estate, of a son of Aunty Johnson, a colored woman whom many will remember."
Later I heard that another son of Aunty Johnson, Charles, was killed in the Civil War. Recently I
learned that John Butcher has made an extensive search into the story of the Johnson family. All the
material on this page was sent by John. Here's what he said about his interest in the story.
"It always bothered me that Charles had died in 1863 and was a veteran of the Civil War. I figured
he must have been killed in the war, but his name was never entered on the veterans' memorial.
When I started looking into it, I found he had entered the service from Warren, MA and as I
remember the names on the memorial were of men who had died in service but had resided in
Hopedale when they enlisted.
"From what I found, Jane "Aunty" Johnson was a servant and living in the George Draper home.
Since her husband James and son, James, Jr., were deceased I assume Charles went back to
Warren to live where he had relatives. (?) Jane died in Warren, so she still had family living there.
"It is my guess that the stone, which is a very nice marble stone, and would have been costly, was
probably placed on the lot by the Draper family. The inscription, 'Colored People,' also makes me
think that it was placed by other than Jane's family. I have read somewhere that Jane Johnson was a
well-liked woman in Hopedale. Kind of a sad story, her husband and sons died very young."
resident Davis G. Knights & Georgine Biggins.
Massachusetts 54th Regiment monument - Boston
Charles Johnson's name is on two memorials in Warren,
Massachusetts. Thanks to Jamie Valois of the Warren
Library who went out and took the pictures below, a couple
of minutes after I called to ask about Johnson.