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Amel Johnson and Small Son Drown When Car Overturns

Man With Large Family Dies Slow Death With 5 Year Old Son, When Car Overturns In Small Mud Puddle

The entire community was greatly shocked and appalled Tuesday p.m. when they learned of the horrible accident which took the life of Amel Johnson and his small son. The victims were pinned beneath the car when it overturned in a puddle of mud and water only a few inches deep. It is thought that the accident occured about 9:30 Tuesday morning and they were not found until 4: o’clock in the afternoon.

Mr. Johnson, a farmer who resided about six miles southwest of town, and his son Nevin left home Tuesday morning about 9: o’clock and were going to a neighbors. Instead of going the main road they took a shortcut across the canyons, and the accident occured just as they were rounding a curve after going down one hill and started up the other side. A slippery sidling place, at the curve was thought by those who found them to be the cause of the accident, as it had rained the night before and Mr. Johnson had evidently lost control of the car here, as it was found directly below in a puddle of mud. The accident occured just a short distance east of the Charles Kestler home, and the car was found by Lloyd Berger, who was going to the Keslter home.

As we understand the incident, Mr. Berger did not think of any one being under the car, so went on up to the Kestler home and told them about it and all drove down to look it over. And not until they had been there for several minutes did they finally discover the terrible plight which they were facing. They perhaps would have returned home without ever discovering father and son, had not Mrs. Kestler walked around the car where she noticed Mr. Johnson’s hair protruding from under the edge of the car in the mud and water.

The car was lifted from them and it was found that Mr. Johnson had his right arm circled around the little lad, evidently in an effort to save him, and the car pinned them down in such a position that the boy was lying under his father. Nothing more than skin bruises were found on either body, and they were found in water and mud only about 8 or 10 inches deep, so drowning was pronounced the immediate cause of death.

The Farnam Echo, Thursday, August 12, 1926.


We wish to correct an error which occured in last week’s issue of The Echo, in the write up about Mr. Johnson and son drowning.

We felt that we had gathered the correct particulars, as far as they were known, but somehow misunderstood about the depth of the water. We wish to apologize to our readers and state that the water was between 4 and 5 feet deep, instead of 8 or 10 inches as we stated. It was only a small mudhole about 12 or 15 feet in diameter, so we are told, the car skidding off the road into the hole, turning over as it did so.

The Farnam Echo, Thursday, August 19, 1926.

Emil F.H. Johnson and son

Emil F.H. Johnson and his five year old son were drowned Tuesday when their auto overturned into a puddle of water, the car pinning them down and preventing their escape.

The accident occurred on a little used road, east of the Charles Kestler farm and a little way east of the Farnam-Stockville road. The road was quite slippery, following Monday night’s rain and it appeared that the car had slipped over the ridge and turned bottom side up in the pool of water which was about three feet deep. Mr. Johnson and the boy were pinned underneath the car.

The Johnsons left home about nine o’clock and the bodies were not discovered until about four o’clock in the afternoon.

Mr. Johnson was about 42 years of age. He leaves his wife and ten children. Funeral services were held today at Farnam and internment made in the Farnam Cemetery. [Note: The burials are located in Sandstrom cemetery, Phelps county, Nebraska.]

The Faber. Stockville, Nebraska. August 12, 1926.

The Farnam Echo 40:1, Thursday, 12 August 1926


Published: 8/16/2022 -
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