Hale Johnson

Deceased Person

1847 – 1902


Who was Hale Johnson?

Attorney Hale Johnson, was an American politician. He was born in Montgomery County, Indiana and was the son of John B. Johnson. According to historian Nathaniel Haynes, "Mr. Johnson's father, Dr. John B. Johnson, served as assistant surgeon during the Civil War. His grandfather was a Baptist minister who was a chaplain in the War of 1812. At the age of seventeen he enlisted in Company D, 135th Indiana Infantry. He, with his father's family, came to Illinois in 1865."

Johnson was a lawyer and became mayor of Newton, Illinois. Johnson left the Republican Party because it did not support an amendment to the United States Constitution mandating national prohibition of alcohol. He then became "one of the most effective, prominent and influential" prohibitionists in the country, according to one biographer. In 1896, he was the Prohibition Party candidate for governor of Illinois. Later that year, he became the party's candidate for vice-president and campaigned in over 30 states.

Johnson was shot to death by a farmer, Harry Harris of Bogota, Illinois, in Newton, in Jasper County, Illinois, while trying to collect a debt that Harris had refused to pay even after being ordered to by a court. Johnson was with a local sheriff when he was shot in the face by a shotgun and killed instantly; Harris was grabbed by the sheriff, but not before he swallowed a fatal dose of poison. Harris died from the poison hours later. Johnson is interred in the Riverside City Cemetery in Newton, Illinois.

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Aug 21, 1847
Nov 4, 1902

on July 23, 2013


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