Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

March 28, 2019
In 1969, shooting in Tooele claims life of woman

The Tooele Transcript Bulletin has published Tooele County news since 1894. Here is a flashback of local front-page news from 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago that occurred during the  fourth week of March.

March 29-31, 1994

The Tooele County Commission voted to loan more than $500,000 to Tooele Valley Medical Center so the hospital could pay vendors and remain in business.

The commissioners also agreed to indefinitely defer payments on all other loans they had extended to the hospital. Including the $500,000, those loans totaled more than $2 million.

Commissioner Teryl Hunsaker said funds earmarked for other projects in the fiscal 1994 budget would be diverted to make the loan.

A front-page story in Thursday’s edition announced the possibility of moving a log cabin, once lived in by Hilda Erickson in the 1800s, from Ibapah to Grantsville.

Historical experts said the cabin was still in good shape and should be preserved.

Don Rosenberg, president of the local chapter of the Utah Sons of Pioneers, said plans to erect a bronze statue of Mrs. Erickson riding a horse, writing her life history and assembling other pioneer memorabilia were moving forward.

March 25-28, 1969

A 23-year-old woman was shot and killed just shortly after noon on a Tuesday on a downtown Tooele street.

Gwendolyn Johnson, 23, of Ophir, a mother of three, was struck three times with bullets as she stopped to talk to occupants of a car parked at the curb. Johnson was a student at Darrel’s College of Beauty, 83 N. Main. She stepped outside the shop just moments before the shooting at 12:14 p.m.

Bystander Buddy L. Holt, who was standing at a window inside the Transcript Bulletin office across the street, was hit in the head by a stray bullet. Hospital officials said his injuries were not serious and his condition was satisfactory.

Later in the week, the front page featured the news of the arrest of Douglas Johnson, 33, Richmond, Kentucky. 

The suspect was charged with first-degree murder before Tooele City Judge M. Earl Marshall.

He was arrested by the Utah Highway Patrol shortly after the shooting incident took the life of Gwendolyn Johnson of Ophir. Authorities indicated Johnson was the estranged husband of the victim.

March 28-31, 1944

Three German prisoners escaped Sunday about 2 a.m. from the Warner Prison Camp and caused considerable stir during the day.

Their freedom was short-lived, however, for in the early afternoon, railroad men at Faust phoned Raymond Russell at St. John Station that three men had been seen along the track acting suspicious.

Guards from the prison camp investigated and found their escaped prisoners.

The prisoners had escaped by cutting a hole in the netting surrounding the prison camp.

Friday’s front page announced that starting April 5, Gillette Theatres would open the TOD Theater in the TOD Park Administration building for picture shows Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

The formal opening of the theatre would be on Sunday at 8:15 p.m. with the showing of “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.”

March 28, 1919

The front page featured information about Lilliard Evans, a soldier who had both legs blown off in action. He was living at Letterman General Hospital at the Presido in San Franciso, and soon would be on his way home.

He was able to dance the foxtrot and one-step because of artificial limbs provided by the United States government.

The government was providing artificial arms, legs and hands to every soldier who lost legs, arms or hands in the war.

Legs, arms and hands were being made in the shop at Letterman.

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