Obituary Details

Harleigh L. Johnson

(10/02/1896 - 05/22/1953)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 05/28/1953

Harleigh Johnson Dies of Heart Ailment

Harleigh L. Johnson, 56, a native of Lusk, died at the Spencer Hospital Friday morning, May 22 at 6:30 from the effects of a heart condition with which he had been afflicted for several years.

He was the only son of Lawrence and Edith Hancock Johnson and was born Oct. 2, 1896 at Lusk. He attended the county and Lusk schools and spent a short time at the Kearney Military School at Kearney, Nebr.

Much of his boyhood was spent on the Johnson Brothers J-A-6 ranch and later on his parent's ranch the Cross A.

As a young man he attended the Sweeney Automotive School of Kansas City where he completed an auto mechanics course. He then went to California where he followed this trade for a time. Going to Daytona Beach, Florida he was among the first drivers of racing automobiles.

During World War I he was a member of the air corps, became an instructor in flying and after the war went to California where he engaged in exhibition flying and also did some dare-devil flying for the silent movies.


Returning to Wyoming it is thought he had the first airplane in this section of the state and flew with Everette Hogan of Jay Em over the first air mail route in the state.

After returning to Wyoming he engaged in ranching and stock-raising with his father until 1936 when he became owner and operator of the Natural Products Company which business he was managing at the time of his death. Mr. Johnson has also been interested in the oil operations of the state and was well known in the oil circles.

He was a charter member of the B.P.O. Elks Lodge of Lusk and of Wieten-Dupes Post No. 4 of the American Legion.

In 1918 he married Laura Grammer. Then in 1922 he was married to Miss Venta Tracy and in 1928 to Mrs. Annie Scott who died in 1943. The following year he was married in Rapid City, S. Dak., to Edna Veronica Panola of Denver.


Funeral services were conducted from the Peet Chapel Sunday afternoon by the Rev. Raymond P. Hoffman, Jr., pastor of St. George's Episcopal Church. The songs "Now The Day Is Over" and "The Lord Is My Shepherd" were sung by a quartet composed of Mrs. H. J. Templeton, Mrs. A. F. DeCastro, Rex Yocum and 0. E. Maxfield with Mrs. Henry Wasserburger presiding at the organ.

The active bearers were Jack Melugin, Venus Kilmer, Leonard McCullough, Henry McGinnis, Joe Currey and Vic Senters and the honorary ones were Abel Madrid, John Lorenzen, Alfred Baca, Charles Vaughan, A. F. DeCastro and Beecher Strube.

Interment was made in the Lusk cemetery where graveside services were conducted by Jack Melugin, exalted ruler of the Elks Lodge, assisted by other members of the organization. The flag which had draped the coffin was then presented to his widow by Charles Vaughan.

Survivors include his wife, Edna and sons, George and Yoy, and a step-son Robert Scott, his father Lawrence Johnson and two sisters, Mrs. Ihla Anderson and Avaley Johnson all of Lusk.

Out of town relatives and friends here for the services included Dr. and Mrs. M.N. Shidler of Edgerton, Wyo., Mrs. Larry Hamblin of Belle Fourches, S.Dak., Mr. and Mrs. Glen I. Wilson of Cheyenne, Mrs. E. H. Mayes of Jay Em, Mr. and Mrs. Jess O'Neil, Mr. and Mrs. Ardath Bullock and Miss Ruth Johnson, all of Casper.

Images & Attachments



Gravestone photos courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

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