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Siskiyou County












      Charles E. Johnson, one of California’s loyal sons, is accorded a place of prominence in legal circles of Yreka and for seven years has occupied the office of district attorney, establishing an enviable reputation as a public servant.  He was born in Yolo County, December 3, 1872, of the marriage of L. A. and Ruth (Coleman) Johnson, whose family numbered four children, three of whom are now living.  The father, who was a native of Sweden, left that country in his youth, having determined to seek the countless opportunities for advancement offered in the United States, and became well known as an architect.  Early in the ‘70s he settled in California and spent the remainder of his life in the Golden State.

      Reared in his native county, Charles E. Johnson pursued his education in the grammar and high schools of Woodland, afterward following various lines of business.  During this time he devoted his leisure hours to the study of law, later working for various attorneys and thus gaining the knowledge which enabled him to pass the state bar examination in 1910, and he is qualified to practice in the federal courts and also before both the United States and state commerce commissions.  Following his admission to the bar Mr. Johnson located for practice in Yreka but has lived in Siskiyou County since, 1900, when he began work as a barber.  After entering upon his career as an attorney he was called to the office of justice of peace, thus serving from 1910 until 1923, also continuing his law practice during that time.  In 1922 he was the popular choice for district attorney and took office in 1923.  The wisdom of this election soon became apparent to his fellow citizens, who have retained him in the office to the present time, and no better testimonial of his worth could be given than the fact that he was re-elected in 1930 without opposition for another term of four years.  While he practices to some extent, his duties as a county official occupy the major part of his time and in this connection he has capably handled many important cases, displaying an unusual capacity for the work of a public prosecutor but never resorting to methods of persecution for the sake of establishing a record of convictions.  On the contrary, if he believes in the innocence of the person arraigned before the bar of justice, he will dismiss the case, and this probably accounts for his popularity.  In all of his court dealings he is honest, fearless and broad-minded and it is said by his many friends that he conducts all of his cases along ethical lines.  He has never resorted to petty vindictiveness in order to gain personal glory, at all times dealing justly and fairly with his fellowmen, and it is the firm belief of his clients and friends that he will climb to great heights in his profession.

      In 1900 Mr. Johnson was married to Miss Myrtle Gill, a daughter of Dr. B. M. Gill, now deceased, who was a railroad physician at Dunsmuir, California.  Their two children are:  Helen G., a teacher in the public schools of Sacramento, and Waldo L., who was graduated from high school in 1929.  Mr. Johnson gives his political support to the Republican Party.  He belongs to the Lions Club of Yreka, and his fraternal affiliations are with Ashland Lodge, No. 944, B. P. O. E., Yreka Lodge, K. P., and Yreka Aerie, F. O. E.  For recreation he turns to outdoor sports, enjoying golf, hunting and fishing, but never neglects his work.  He has a high conception of duty and honor and throughout his legal career has followed a course which reflects credit upon his profession.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: Wooldridge, J. W. Major,  History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 2 Pages 298-301. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co.  Chicago 1931.

 © 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.





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