Atkinson, Holt County, Nebraska
May 1, 1942
HEART ATTACK FATAL TO JOHN B. JONAS, 72
Pioneer, Former Postmaster and Storekeeper at Tonawanda, Stricken Suddenly
John B. JONAS, 72, a pioneer settler of this community who was serving his third term as police magistrate of the City
of Atkinson, died suddenly of a heart attack Friday evening, April 24 at the home of his son, Lester, in Burwell.
Mr. JONAS had been in ill health for more than a year, and had suffered minor heart attacks during that period, but
always had recovered and improved in health after them. He had been feeling so much better in recent weeks that he
believed he would soon be well enough to go back to his work. His sudden death, therefore, was a great shock to his
relatives and great number of friends in this community. He passed away quietly while sitting in a rocking chair just
before the Friday evening meal. His local doctor had warned him that he might suffer a fatal heart attack at any time.
Funeral services were held at the Seger Funeral Home in Atkinson, Monday afternoon Burial was in St Joseph's Cemetery beside
his wife who preceded him in death on June 5,1932.
Mr. JONAS was born at Howells, Nebr, June 21,1869. He came to Holt County with his parents in 1881 and they settled west
of Atkinson on the farm now owned by James A. MacLACHLAN.
On Jan. 25,1898, he was married to Barbara C. MLINAR, and to this union three sons were born, William and Lawrence, both of
Atkinson, and Lester of Burwell. These, together with 9 grandchildren, mourn his death.
He was the eldest of a family of 15 children, 4 of whom died in infancy. One sister, Mrs. Amy BAKER was burned to death at
her home in Norfolk many years ago. 4 brothers and 5 sisters survive. They are; James of Long Beach, Cal.; Frank of
Spencer; Stephen of Omaha; Clarence of San Francisco, Cal.; Mary KOPP, Rose Scott, Ella WESTPALL, Libey OFTENCAMP and
Florence, all residing in California; His death is also mourned by a number of nieces and nephews, other relatives, and
a great many friends.
Before he was married, Mr. JONAS homesteaded the place now owned by Charley JONAS, about 6 miles southwest of Atkinson.
To this home he took his bride in 1898. Later they sold the place and moved to Atkinson where he ran a livery stable for
a few years.
In 1906 he took another homestead, this time about 21 miles southwest of Atkinson. There he served 16 years as postmaster
of the Tonawanda post office, and for many years operated a grocery store in connection with the office. When the
Tonawanda post office was discontinued in 1928, he and his family moved to Atkinson.
For the past 12 years, except for recent months when he was forced to retire on account of continued ill health, hew as
employed by Chace's Market in this city. Always an industrious, active individual, Mr. JONAS was reluctant to retire from
his work at the market and from his service as Police Magistrate of the city. He always took an active part in the
affairs of the community welfare and was ready with a helping hand to everyone he knew to be in need.
As a pioneer community builder, merchant, farmer, and public servant, he served his community well and made innumerable
friends and acquaintances held him in high regard.
Frank, of Spencer, was the only one of his 9 brothers and sisters able to attend the funeral. The 2 brothers and 5
sisters who reside in California could not get here, and another brother, Stephen, of Omaha, is in ill health and was
unable to come.
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, June of 2010
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