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CJ Max | all galleries >> JOHNSTON Family Album 2005 > Robert "Brave Bob" R. Johnston, Jr. - The Courageous Constable (#19)
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Robert Brave Bob R. Johnston, Jr. - The Courageous Constable (#19)
Restored 2005 Cliff. Johnston

Robert "Brave Bob" R. Johnston, Jr. - The Courageous Constable (#19)

Michigan, U. S. A.

Robert R. Johnston,Jr.

Photographer unknown.

From a tintype thought to have been taken ca. 1874-76 in Flint, Michigan, U.S.A..

Robert "Brave Bob" Johnston was the son of Robert "Red Robin" Johnston and Mary "Mae" Frances McQueen.

Robert R. Johnston, Jr.,"Brave Bob", was the area constable in East Tawas, Michigan, back on July 4, 1878. On that day he responded to gunshots in a saloon. The perpetrator, Jack Hayes, had wounded an innocent bystander, Owen McDonald, and moved on to another saloon with one of his partners in crime, Daniel Dunn, one of Michigan's most notorious badmen who mingled with a crowd of ne'r-do-wells. On the way to the second saloon and against a background of threats which reportedly included, "If you take him it will be over my dead body." Bob Johnston without breaking stride went to arrest Jack Hayes. Bob told Jack that he was under arrest. Jack went for his pistol. Bob Johnston outdrew him and put 2 bullets in Jack before Jack's pistol had cleared its holster. Jack died quickly while his partner-in-crime scooted out a side door only to be arrested later that evening. The greatful citizens of East Tawas gave "Brave Bob" a pistol engraved by L.D. Nimschke - a real treasure as Nimschke is recognized today as the foremost engraver of firearms in America in his time. We have lost track of Brave Bob's pistol, but it was passed on to his brother, Christopher Colin Johnston and is reported to be still in the family, somewhere. If anyone knows of its whereabouts, I would appreciate knowing about it. Of course the newspaper spelled Brave Bob's surname incorrectly - dropped the "t" making him a "Johnson".

Daniel Dunn was sent to prison, released after serving his time and went to Seney, known as the "toughest town in Michigan", where he was shot to death on July 26, 1891.

Brave Bob Johnston had no children and retired to a farm in Central Lake Twp., Antrim Co., MI, where he died in 1914. He is said to have spent his last years plagued with dementia.

From an original tintype photograph, ca. 1874-1876, which was scanned, emailed to me, and restored in 2005. The tintype image measures 2-7/16"x4" full exif

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Laura Arnold 28-Jul-2016 01:01
My great great grandfather is Archibald Johnson, brother to Bob Johnston. We have a billy club which we thought was Archibald's, which we believed he was the first Constable of Flint. Perhaps it was his brothers?