Marilyn Jones

Edgar Lee Johnson
Charlotte Police Officer
Edgar Lee Johnson, maternal grandfather of Marilyn Jones, was born Oct 5, 1867 in Charlotte NC to James Monroe Johnson and Lidya Elizabeth Wallace. He was one of six children growing up in the Clear Creek area of Mecklenburg County NC – Coria Ada, Genevieve, Wallace, James, Agnes, Ernest “Robie”, and Lillie. They were Presbyterian by faith. His grandparents were James A. and Jane Johnson. Both were born in NC, but the county location has not been verified.
Like his father, Edgar was a stonemason. By 1907 he was also employed by the city as a police officer, holding the positions of patrolman and desk sergeant. His brother, Wallace, was a prison guard in Mint Hill, Mecklenburg County NC. Edgar was also a Mason, belonging to Excelsior Lodge #261.
Historic newspapers contain several stories of Edgar’s days as a city patrolman. Two stories involve his apprehension of a demented man in March 1908 and another on Christmas Eve 1908 when he was struck with a broken bottle while on a domestic dispute call. Still a mystery is why his brother, Wallace, disappeared from his job as a convict guard in 1908. Edgar was called in to search for his brother. Police work in those days was somewhat different than today but could still be dangerous. Salaries for the various police positions was meager. A patrolman’s salary was $100 per month, that of a motorcycle officer or plainclothes man $105, a sergeant $110, and captain $125. Edgar’s salary would be the equivalent of $1,545 in 2018.
Edgar met his wife “Nettie” at Sharon Amity Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, where both of their families were members. Nettie’s mother and maternal grandmother were both charter members of the church. The marriage between Edgar and Mary Aneata “Nettie” Brown took place just across the county line in Union County NC on 29 December 1892. The couple lived in the First Ward and Third Ward areas of Charlotte while raising their family of six daughters and one son - Inez, Mazie, Martha, Edith and Evelyn (twins), Gertrude, Estelle, and Earl.
By 1918, Edgar had become seriously ill and was confined to his home for two months. He died 26 April 1920, leaving his wife and seven children, ages ten through twenty-two. His obituary states “he was a man of sterling worth with a high sense of duty. He was popular not only among his associate officers but in the city as well. He lived a life of quiet but steadfast application to his work and had not a fault to find with any man.” The family burial plot is at Amity Presbyterian Church on Sharon Amity Road in Charlotte NC, where Edgar is buried along with relatives from both sides of the family.