Henry County, IAGenWeb


Johnson Brothers


  Our friend Warren G. Davenport, son and only child of Mr. and Mrs. ?. M. Davenport, keeps in touch with his old home town through the medium of our paper, and frequently sends us news concerning former residents. Warren is well remembered by our old timers as his ? lived here, his father being a member of the local bar. Warren graduated with Wesleyan's class of 1900, and has been making his home for some years in Los Angeles. He has been suffering from a long-time illness, and is unable to get about much. We might also mention that Warren's father was one of the very early graduates of Wesleyan, the 58th, and of the class of 1864.

Warren wrote us concerning the death of two Johnson brothers, Charles and Frank, who were in active business here a half century or more ago, and many of our old timers will remember them. The first we remember of them was when Charles was a clerk in the drygoods store of H.A. Hoaglin on the east side of North Main. This store occupied a two story frame structure, painted white and standing back from the street twenty five or thirty feet. It was built as a residence. Mr. Hoaglin occupied the second story as the family residence. The store was named by its owner as "The Ark" and the spot where it ran aground is now occupied by the "Smith & Linn building."

The next we remember of the Johnson lads was when they owned a store on the west side of the square known as "The Racket." It was the forerunner of the present "Five and Ten." The boys did very well but sold out and went west to seek fortune and found it. 

Both boys have passed on. Frank died about ten years ago and Charles April 4th inst., at his home in Compton, a community of some 20,000 between Los Angeles and Long Beach. His wife survives him. Warren Davenport writes us concerning the death of Charles Johnson as follows:

"You will remember Charley and Frank Johnson, who ran the "Racket" store on the west side of the Square some fifty odd years ago. Frank died some ten years ago, and very wealthy from shrewd and well placed investments in the Signal Hill oil fields at Long Beach. I understand he left most of his wealth to his brother Charles, who likewise by a good business sense, had also acquired a substantial amount of property."


-- “Bystander’s Notes“ by Charles S. Rogers, Publisher-Editor of  The Free Press [weekly newspaper published in Mt. Pleasant, IA] Monday, May 23, 1949 p. 2

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