The Day Coffeyville Bled - The Dalton Johnson Gang

Chapter III - Julia

         Julia Ann Johnson created more than simply another addition to the family for Westley Marion and Martha M. (Sparks) Johnson on March 5, 1870. Her birth in the state of Kentucky was to begin a series of events that would touch upon the lives of countless persons around her as she grew up in a family of four brothers and one sister.
         Sibling rivalry was the catalyst that was sparked by her coincidental birth being on the same day as that of her father. Because of this happenstance of nature, she was to be reared in a situation where she was probably viewed as the “favorite” child. This impression was held not only by herself but also by her sister, Lucy Ann, as well.
         Lucy Ann Johnson was two years older than Julia, and during the childhood years of their lives, the teasing that went along with having the same birthday as a parent was harmless. However, as the girls grew into their teenage years, the simple taunting from Lucy Ann grew into a more sophisticated game. On the outside, there was little to demonstrate how deeply the streams of resentment were actually running. The exact moment when this adolescent dislike became a mild hatred is not to be found in written historical documents, but it took place as surely as the sun rises and sets each day.
         The nomadic farming style of the Johnson family took them to parts of Missouri, on to Kansas, and from there into the Oklahoma Territory. Eventually, they migrated to Grayson County, Texas, only to return from there to the land of the Red Man. They settled in Washington County, near the town of Dewey in the Indian Territory. Westley purchased land on Brush Creek, which lay between Dewey and Copan. A year or so later, he moved his family to the banks of Mission Creek, which is just west of Dewey. There, his parcel of land lined up with the many others that graced the countryside.
         Stories tell of an adventure while the family was on its way to Texas in the mid-1880s. According to the information, Julia was accompanying her father by wagon to the Grayson County area of Texas when suddenly the small party was attacked by hostile Indians. This is recorded as taking place in 1885, when Julia was only fifteen years of age. Upon seeing the Indians on the warpath, the leader of the Johnson clan handed a rifle to his daughter, and together, they fended off the foe. That moment was the first mention of Julia’s capability with a rifle and her accuracy as a dead shot. Together, the two were holding their own for the most part. A second ...(click here for more chapter previews)

Mark S. Pannill
P. O. Box 372
Waxahachie, Texas 75168

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