Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bunk Research

9. Bunk registered for the World War I Draft in Calcasieu Parish, in the western part of Louisiana, on 12th September 1918. At the time, he was working as a musician for Paul Jones (a local band leader born 25th February 1879), and he gave his address as 140 Bank Street, City (presumably Lake Charles). His birthdate was recorded as 27th December 1882, making it the sixth different birthdate for Bunk on the public record. (Information about World War I Draft Registration Card for Willie Johnson, Calcasieu Parish Draft Board, Louisiana, courtesy of Bo Lindström and Dan Vernhettes)

10. No positive entries could be found for Bunk in the 1920 U.S. Census, but we were able to locate the entry for him in the 1930 census. At the date of the census (1st April 1930), he was working as a janitor for a funeral home in Electra, Texas. He was recorded as William G. Johnson, aged 50 years, which evidences a birth date of 27th December 1879. (U.S. Census 1930, Texas, Wichita County, Electra City, SD3 ED243-51, Sheet 1A, Line 25)

11. Bunk applied for a Social Security Number on 7th June 1937 when he was living in New Iberia, Louisiana. The application was filled out by someone else (probably from the office of his employer at the time) but signed by Bunk. The application gave his date of birth as 27th December 1889. The Social Security Number issued to Bunk was 438-07-6206.

12. On 15th February 1949, shortly before his death, Bunk applied for a license in New Iberia to marry Maude Balque with whom he had co-habited since 1929. Bunk gave his age as sixty-nine at the date of the application while Maude gave her age as forty. The marriage ceremony was performed on 23rd February 1949.

13. Willie Geary (Bunk) Johnson died in New Iberia, Louisiana on 7th July 1949. To add a further complication, Maude Johnson, the informant on the death certificate issued in Iberia Parish, gave Bunk’s date of birth as 27th December 1880. The certificate was issued in the name of Willie “Bunk” Johnson. (Louisiana Death Records, Iberia Parish, Volume 8, Certificate 398)

Blaine's note-This research proves Bunk's existence in Lake Charles in the 1920's and his address on Bank St. More to come.