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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


J. HERBERT JOHNSON is a thorough Californian, though he claims only sixteen years of residence in the state. He was one of the technical experts in the telephone industry for a number of years, but finally his abilities as a salesman brought him opportunities that he has employed in building up a very successful real estate and insurance business at Riverside.

Mr. Johnson was born at Camden, New Jersey, March 21, 1884, son of George W. and Mary W. (Ellis) Johnson. His parents were of English ancestry and of old American and Revolutionary stock. His father was born in Pennsylvania and his mother in New Jersey, but is now living at Riverside with her son J. Herbert. George W. Johnson was an old-time printer, followed that business in Philadelphia, later in Los Angeles, and after retiring lived at Riverside until his death in 1920.

J. Herbert Johnson acquired a grammar and high school education in New Jersey. After graduating from high school in 1901 he went to work in the technical and operating side of the telephone industry in the East. That was his occupation for four years, and in 1905, when he came to California, he took up the same line of work in different parts of the state. For a time he was wire chief for the telephone company in Santa Barbara, and for six years was wire chief in Riverside for the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company.

Resigning from the telephone company September 1, 1920, Mr. Johnson became a salesman for the Riverside Realty Company and later was associated with the Metropolitan Insurance Company. September 1, 1921, he formed a co-partnership with Walter W. Johnson under the name Johnson Realty Company, and opened offices in the Nevada Block, where they handle a very successful general real estate and insurance business.

While a young man, Mr. Johnson is one of the energetic boosters of the city and is always ready and eager to give his efforts to anything that will promote the common welfare. Though born on the Atlantic Coast, he says he is wholly Californian, since it requires but a short residence in this state for any intelligent person to understand that it is the most delightful part of the globe and commands the love and loyalty of all who come under its benign influence. Mr. Johnson is a republican, a member of the Woodmen of the World, and he and his wife belong to the First Methodist Episcopal Church.

September 24, 1905, he married Miss Stella F. Kelly. She is a native daughter of the Golden West, born in the Carpinteria Valley of Ventura County. Her father, William D. Kelly, is a landscape gardener now living at San Diego. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have two children : Frances M., in high school, and Marion G., attending grammar school.


History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011