San Bernardino County
EDWARD W. JOHNSTON
Although young in years, Edward W. Johnston has accomplished much along business lines and in the field of public service and Indio is fortunate in securing him as its mayor. Born in Toronto, Canada, June 6, 1896, he is a son of Benjamin W. Johnston, also a native of that city. Prospering as an implement dealer, the father has laid aside the more arduous duties and burdens of business life and since 1914 has made his home in Ontario, San Bernardino county, California. The mother, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Stokes, is now deceased.
Edward W. Johnston, an only child, attended the grammar and high schools of his native city and was there engaged in the hardware business until he left Toronto. Crossing the border in 1914 he enlisted in the United States Army for service in the World war and was assigned to the Engineers Corps. He was at St. Mihiel and on other fronts, spending fourteen months overseas, and was mustered out at the Presidio in San Francisco, July 16, 1919. His previous business experience enabled him to secure a position as traveling salesman for a hardware house of San Francisco and in the interests of the institution he covered southern California, making his territory a profitable field of operation. At Indio he became manager of the large Deglet-Noor Date Growers Association and the Date Corporation of America. When these were consolidated in 1927, he established a large service station in the center of Indio. He had previously furnished and conducted the Potter Hotel, Indio’s leading hostelry, which he sold in 1930. Elected to the office of mayor in 1932, he brought to his new duties the sound judgment of a practical business man, a keen sense of his responsibilities, and a clear understanding of civic needs and problems. His efforts have therefore been productive of beneficial results and have elicited strong commendation.
In 1920 Mr. Johnston was married to Miss Clara Welch of Ontario, California, and they have two children: Roderick, aged two years; and Terry, four months of age. Fraternally Mayor Johnston is a Mason, identified with Coachella Lodge, No. 476, F. & A.M., of which he is junior deacon. He is a past president of the Exchange Club of Indio and is now serving as president of the Indio Chamber of Commerce. Progressive and public-spirited, he belongs to that desirable class of citizens who constitute the strength and the motive power of every community in which they are found, and his salient characteristics are such as inspire confidence and command respect.
Transcribed 6-14-12 Marilyn R. Pankey.
Source: California of the South Vol. II, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 465-466, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis. 1933.
© 2012 Marilyn R. Pankey.