HENRY ALBERT JOHNSON
Ventura is fortunate in having for its fire chief a man of the type of Henry Albert Johnson, who has been at the head of the department for eighteen years, and is also serving as building inspector. He was born in Marshall, Lyon County, Minnesota, December 17, 1881, and at the age of six years was brought to California by his parents, George E. and Lorena (Fletcher) Johnson, who established their home in Ventura. The father, a carpenter contractor, contributed materially toward the upbuilding and improvement of this locality and stood high as a businessman and as a citizen. He has passed away and the mother is also deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Johnson were born three sons: Henry Albert; George W., who lives on a productive ranch situated five miles from Ventura; and Walter E., who had charge of the Ventura branch of the Southern Pacific Milling Company for thirty years, and was known and esteemed, throughout the county. He met an accidental death July 5, 1932, while on a hunting trip, leaving a widow and two children.
After obtaining a high school education Henry A. Johnson learned the plumbing trade, which he followed for twenty-three years, eventually becoming a member of the Ventura Plumbing and Hardware Company. He successfully managed the plumbing department of the company until 1915, when he was appointed chief of the fire department, and no higher testimonial to the worth of his services could be given than the fact that he has been retained in this capacity to the present time. During his tenure of office the department has been systematized and greatly improved and due to his untiring efforts Ventura has a modern fire station, complete in all of its appointments, while all of the equipment has been motorized. Since 1926 he has also served as building inspector and his direction of these departments of municipal government has been marked by a soundness of judgment and devotion to duty that have gained for him the unqualified commendation of his fellow citizens and placed him with the leading men of his community.
Mr. Johnson was united in marriage to Miss Katherine Sanchez, a daughter of J. Z. Sanchez and also a member of an honored pioneer family of Ventura. They reside at 958 East Main Street, occupying an attractive home which is a center of the social life of the city. Fraternally Mr. Johnson is identified with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is a past president of the Ventura Rotary Club, exemplifying in his daily life its motto of “Service before self.” Modest and retiring by nature, he has never sought public acclaim but is esteemed and respected for his high standards and for what he has accomplished.
Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: California of the South Vol. IV, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 225-226, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis. 1933.
© 2012 V. Gerald Iaquinta.