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Conservation Warden Wall of Honor

Einar P. Johnson

Einar P. Johnson

Researched by Judith Borke,
Wisconsin Conservation Warden Museum

Einar P. Johnson was serving as conservation warden at Ladysmith, Rusk County, when he was shot by a game law violator on May 16, 1929. According to newspaper accounts, Johnson and his deputy, Allen Hanson, had stopped along a rural road north of town to check an empty car whose owners had been under suspicion for some time for trade of illegally-caught beaver hides. As the deputy was bringing a heavy sack he found out of the woods, the assailant stepped out of the woods and exchanged gun shots with Einar Johnson. The assailant's accomplice fled the scene. Johnson received abdominal wounds and died the next day. The assailant, from Finland, MN, was shot in the right lung and recovered. The assailant denied shooting first, but admitted that reaching for his gun precipitated the gunfire. Einar served as a conservation warden for two and a half years, and was 33 at the time of his death.

Einar grew up in Eau Claire, and after high school graduation entered World War I military service. He served in the tank corps, was commissioned in the regular Army, and was discharged as a first lieutenant. He and his wife, Evelyn, moved to Ladysmith when he became a warden. He was buried with military honors at Lake View Cemetery. Einar was survived by his widow, daughters Patricia and Dolores, his mother and three siblings.

In May, 1989, a memorial to Einar Johnson was dedicated at the Rusk County Law Enforcement Center in Ladysmith. The memorial is a black granite plaque that includes his picture, his years of service and the circumstances of his death. Einar's wife had since died, but his daughters came for the dedication on Law Enforcement Memorial Day. His name is engraved on the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial on the State Capitol grounds in Madison.

(Sources: Ladysmith News, May 17, 1929, p.1, and May 24, 1929; warden memorial reporting forms at Conservation Warden Museum at Poynette. Photos are also available at the museum.)

Last revised: Wednesday March 28 2012