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Biography of Samuel C. Johnson

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One of the most venerable business men of Racine is Samuel C. Johnson, whose career is a notable one. Few men of his years-he is now eighty-three -continue in business and his record should put to shame many a man of less resolute purpose who, grown weary of the struggle of business life, would relegate to others the burdens that he should bear. Old age, however, does not necessarily suggest weakness or want of occupation. There is an old age which grows stronger and brighter mentally and morally as the years passes on and gives out of its rich stores of wisdom and experience for the benefit of others. Such is the record of Mr. Johnson, who in his interests seems yet in his prime, although the snows of eighty-three years rest upon his head. Ohio claims him as a native son, his birth having occurred near Elyria in 1833. With his removal to Wisconsin he located in Kenosha, where he engaged in the retail book business, becoming well known in that connection in the southeastern part of the state. He dates his residence in Racine from 1880 and in the early period of his connection with the city was associated with the old Racine Hardware Company. He afterward established his present factory for the manufacture of hardwood flooring and later developed the wax, which is used as a finish for all floors. The excellence of the product soon won recognition on the market and the trade gradually grew and developed until today Johnson’s Prepared Wax is known in every market of the world, a large foreign trade being enjoyed, while the sale in America is extensive.

It was in Kenosha, in 1861, that S. C. Johnson was united in marriage to Miss Carrie Fisk, of Billerica, Massachusetts, who had also located there in early life. To them were born two children: Jessie, the wife of Frederick P. Lyman, a resident of Kansas City, Missouri, and Herbert F., who is mentioned elsewhere on another page of this work. Forceful and resourceful, Mr. Johnson still lends to his business the benefit of his broad experience and the knowledge derived there from. Moreover, he keeps in touch with questions and interests of the day along various lines and to him may well be applied the words of Victor Hugo: “While the frosts of winter are on his head, the flowers of spring are in his heart.”

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