Genealogy of the Woodcock Valley

Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania

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Johnson Brothers Keystone Comedy Company

Posted on February 19, 2011 at 11:22 PM

Back in 1995, a group of people tried to get a Woodcock Valley Historical Society off the ground, but nothing much ever came of it. We met several times and discussed various points of local interest. One of those discussions centered around Oscar Johnson and his Johnson Brothers Keystone Comedy Company.

 

 

The late Clair "Pappy" Hetrick presented information on Oscar Johnson (1874-1955) and his brother, McClellan "Beardy" Johnson.  They were the sons of George Johnson and Louisa Megahan.  The two brothers staged minstrel shows.  Oscar Johnson, who is pictured above, spent his summers in Marklesburg raising berries and navy beans.  He then used the money he raised to go to Orlando in the winter, where he graded and packed oranges.  He traveled by train.

 

Oscar Johnson entertained at fairs and at the Old Town Hall in Marklesburg.  He danced, sang, told Dutch jokes, and played many instruments including the banjo, piccolo, bones, tamborine, harmonica, jews harp, and snare drum. 

 

 

For his shows, Oscar and his brother used a sheet for the back drop.  Oscar wore a green velvet coat.  Clair said the children loved him, but most of the towns folk did not appreciate him at the time.

 

I have other photos of Oscar Johnson too.  If you would like to see them, please e-mail me.  Oscar Johnson was certainly a colorful part of the Woodcock Valley's history!

 

 

Categories: Family Names

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3 Comments

Reply Charles D White Jr
3:32 PM on August 26, 2011 
Oscar and Beardy Johnson were my great Uncles. My brother and I used to spend some of our summers at their cabin, which was behind Union Cemetary. They were quite a trip
Reply Charles White
5:47 PM on February 5, 2013 
Would Love to your pictures of my "Uncle Os" and his brother Beardy.
Reply Deb (Fisher) Riley
8:38 PM on February 5, 2013 
Charles, if you use the contact me button to the left, I would be happy to send you scans of the photos I have.

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