Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
RUFUS D. JOHNSON, an enterprising
mining man and manager of the Chelan Railroad & Navigation Company,
resides at Chelan, Chelan county. He is a native of Indiana, born
May 27, 1860.
His father, David, a native of Ohio, was of
Scotch ancestry, and they were pioneer farmers of the state. He died
in Kentucky in 1890. The mother, Elizabeth A. (Riddle) Johnson, was,
also, born in Ohio, and her parents in Pennsylvania, descendants of an
old and distinguished family.
Until the age of thirteen our subject attended
public schools in Northern Indiana, and then began the world for himself.
He first went to Chicago, worked in various employments, and in 1878 went
to Leadville, Colorado, remained one year, and then pushed down into the
southwest portion of the state, and engaged in mining. Before he
was eighteen years old he made his first sale, and he remained in this
business until 1897, making Colorado his headquarters, from which he radiated
into Utah, New Mexico, Nevada and other territory. He came to Spokane
in 1897, remaining until 1901, when he went to Chelan county and bonded
the Holden mine for the Drummers Development Company, a party of commercial
traveling men. He organized the Chelan Transportation & Smelting
Company, of which he was manager until February 1, 1903, when he resigned
in order to attend to the business of the Chelan Railway & Navigation
Company, and his personal affairs. The object of the Chelan Railway
& Navigation Company is to construct an electric railway from the Columbia
river to Lake Chelan, and operate a line of steamers on the lake.
The enterprise is well financed by ample capital.
Mr. Johnson has two brothers, Harry C., and
Charles R., of Fort Wayne, Indiana. March 19, 1900, our subject was
married at San Francisco, to Cora D. Mack, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Her father, Charles D., is engaged in the book and stationery business
in the same city. Her mother was a native of Kentucky. Mrs.
Johnson has one brother Alfred, a school boy in Cincinnati.
Mr. Johnson owns a handsome, two-story brick
residence, of ten rooms, with modern improvements, at Chelan and is at
present erecting a two-story and basement business block on Woodin avenue.
Politically he is a Republican.