55 YEARS OF NEWSPAPER PRINTING
Colonel John Woolsey Wharton Johnson, age 65, died at his Georgetown home ,
Sunday, February 24, 1924 of a cancer he attributed to a head injury received in a railroad excursion accident at Harrington, fifteen years ago, where he had gone to hear William Jennings Bryan speak at a political meeting. Johnson was born July 30, 1858 at Doe Bridge Mill, near Millsboro, to Benjamin B and Hannah Kollock Johnson. On October 14, 1883, at age 25, he married Ella S Simpler, age 18, in Sussex County. They had a daughter Julia born in 1884.
Johnson had for fifty five years, starting at age eight at the Sussex Journal as a 'printers devil' , been in the newspaper printing business in lower Delaware until 1922 when he was 'placed on pension' at the Sussex Printing and Publishing Company in Georgetown. At the Sussex Journal he worked with Colonel W. Fisk Townsend, who left, as a legacy, the title Colonel to Johnson.
After his employment with Townsend he went to work with the Delaware Inquirer of Robert T. Hart and William Pride, then returned to the Sussex Journal of David Marvel and McKendree Downham. He was with the Milford Chronicle, the Breakwater Light at Lewes, edited by Issac Knowles, which later became Delaware Pilot. Back to Georgetown with the Delaware Democrat, the owner Lawyer Edwin Paynter of Sussex County.
1906, the Delaware Democrat and Sussex Journal merged , the Lewes Delaware Pilot, moved it's printing plant to Georgetown and the Sussex Printing and Publishing Company was formed. Throughout all the mergers, buying and selling , of lower Delaware newspapers, Colonel Johnson, retained his affiliation with printing newspapers. The Sussex Printing & Publishing Company owners in 1921 were Willard Saulsbury and Andrew Lynch who pensioned John Woolsey Wharton Johnson for keeps.
SOURCE: Wilmington Evening Journal 25 February 1924