The Day Coffeyville Bled - The Dalton Johnson Gang


Chapter V - Roy

         Roy Johnson was brought into the world under the most mysterious and the most unbelievable circumstances of the time. Yet, all of those persons who heard the tale accepted it readily. The saga of his birth was handed down from one generation to another, and with each retelling of the event, the acceptance grew and grew. In the end, the actual moment was lost to legend, and that legend had been created by Julia Ann Johnson.
         The story was then expanded with the passing of time and to this day is held in reverence by those who remain closest to the truth. That is not difficult to fathom since the Johnson family contains a long history of protecting its own. This umbrella of protection does not exclude anyone, as demonstrated here from the beginning with the initial tale spread by Julia Ann Johnson and to the present day with its shadowy protecting embrace holding fast.
         The year of Royís birth was in question but was also generally believed to be either 1902 or 1903. During that time period, according to Julia, she and her third husband, Robert Ernest Lewis, were engaged in a variety of enterprises in and around the towns of Bartlesville and Dewey, Oklahoma. The far-reaching business ventures of this couple included, but were not limited to, a horse stable, a livery stable, a saloon, and a boarding house, all of which were nestled snugly in the town of Bartlesville.
         They also were known to be involved with the sale of liquor on the borderline of the Osage Indian Nation, where this kind of activity was strictly prohibited by federal law. Another business operation, which gained little historical documentation, was the management of a carnival ride in or near the town of Romona, Oklahoma. It is through the connection with this horse-drawn carousel that the first mention of Roy Reynolds Johnson is made. Julia Annís tale of the emergence of this male child was so well fabricated that it was almost believable Ö almost. To add to the factual dimension of the story, Julia Ann Lewis herself told the tale. Therefore, without any questioning from locals, the saga became truth. Those persons who dared to question the validity of this instance were threatened with harshness from the hand of Julia. She had been known to accomplish great wonders with the strength of her words alone and had a reputation behind her to prove her intentions were not to be lightly taken.
         According to Julia, Roy R. Johnsonís presence was easily explained. It all took place on a rather calm day at the carnival grounds in Romona. At ...(click here for more chapter previews)


Mark S. Pannill
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