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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • E.A. Johnson: A civic minded businessman

  • Another personality profile of a prominent Redwood Falls resident who left an impact on the town, in honor of the town's upcoming 150th birthday.
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  • Edwin Albert Johnson was born Oct. 25, 1902 in Wanda, to Joseph Albert and Margaret (Larson) John-son. The father, Joseph Albert Johnson, was born in Renville County Nov. 27, 1874 to J. B. and Louise Johnson. Joseph spent his entire life in Renville and Redwood counties, attended the Redwood Falls schools and married Margaret Larson in town Dec. 14, 1897. They lived at Wabasso and Wanda before moving to Redwood Falls to make their home. J. Albert Johnson was county treasurer from 1902-08 and was employed by the State of Minnesota conservation department and the Forster Furniture company. J. Albert Johnson was a lover of the outdoors and interested in the protection of all forms of wild life. He was an enthusiastic member and former secretary of the Redwood Falls Sportsmen’s club. He was also a prominent member and organizer of the Knights of Phythias lodge during its activity in Redwood Falls and was equally interested in the Masonic lodge affairs. Joseph Albert Johnson died Sept. 14, 1945 at his home 206 East Broadway in Redwood Falls. Masonic committal services were conducted at the city cemetery east of town, and pallbearers were J. L. Parsons, M. O. Hanson, W. A. Hauck, Dr. C. L. Lynn, William Charlton and L. W. “Perk” Hassinger. Ed A. Johnson moved to Redwood Falls in 1920, briefly living in Olivia and Illinois. He graduated from Redwood Falls High School in 1920 and then attended Macalester College in St. Paul and the University of Chicago where he majored in sociology. On July 8, 1937 he married Evelyn Shank in Morgan. Ed and Evelyn Johnson moved to Redwood Falls in 1938.
    The Johnsons made their home here. Ed Johnson worked for the Redwood Falls Amusement Company, managing the motion picture theater for 25 years, and then he was employed at Redwood Falls Savings and Loan for 28 years. While at the Savings and Loan, he served as chief executive officer from 1960-74, as chairman of the board from Jan. 14, 1975 until January 1985, as director from October 1960 until January 1985 and as director emeritus from January 1985 until December 1991. He retired from the Redwood Falls Savings and Loan May 31, 1988. Johnson was very active in his community. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, the Redwood Falls Commandery, Royal Arch Masons, Blue Lodge and area Shrine Club. He served as Chamber of Commerce director and served as president, was very active for many years in scouting, was a member of North Central Allied National Association of The-aters, was a charter member of the United Way, was active in the Republican political party and helped organize the Rotary and Lions clubs in Redwood Falls. Ed. A. Johnson served on the Red-wood Falls City Council for four years and as mayor for six years. He was a member of the centennial planning committee, Committee for Hospital Special Gifts, Robert Milton home advisory committee, morning prayer group for 18-20 years, Redwood Area Devel-opment Corporation and both member and past president of the Redwood Falls Golf Club. On Oct. 18, 1971, “Johnson Park” was named for his service to the Redwood Falls community. He was the first inductee into the Redwood Falls Hall of Fame in 1980. Ed and Evelyn (Shank) Johnson were the parents of two children: Jeffery Johnson, Class of 1960 and Linda Johnson. Edward Albert John-son died Dec. 17, 1991 at the Redwood Falls Hospital and burial was in the Redwood Falls Cemetery. The funeral was conducted by Pastor LeRoy Haynes at the First Presbyter-ian Church, and the honorary pallbearers were Donald Peterson, Donald Tiffany, Donald Orth, Paul Pryor, Jim Tersteeg, Scott Nelson, Ray Schlapkohl and Paul Asleson. Personally, I remember Ed Johnson taking tickets at the Falls Theatre as movie goers entered the theatre and doing it with a big smile on his face.
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