Biography of Andrew Johnson of Hawley Minnesota

Andrew Johnson, a diligent and ethical businessman, has risen to prominence in Hawley, Minnesota. Originally from Norway, Johnson immigrated to the United States in 1877 and settled in Ettrick, Wisconsin. After working as a carpenter and wagon maker, he moved to Hawley in 1879 and established his own carpenter’s shop. Through hard work and prosperity, Johnson formed a successful partnership with Peter Larson, operating a planing mill and lumber business. Expanding his ventures further, he purchased a store and transformed it into a comprehensive and modern department store. Johnson’s son, Elbert, manages the store, while Andrew himself engages in community affairs and various business endeavors. With his notable achievements and involvement in the community, Johnson is highly regarded in Hawley.

Andrew Johnson, a respected and successful resident of Hawley, Minnesota, has achieved his current position through diligent work and ethical business practices.

He was born in Norway in 1857 and received his education there. At the age of twenty, in the spring of 1877, he immigrated to the United States and settled in Ettrick, Wisconsin. He worked as a carpenter and wagon maker there for approximately two years before relocating to Hawley in 1879, when it was still a small village. The following year, he established his own carpenter’s shop. Mr. Johnson worked hard and prospered, and in 1881, he formed a partnership with Mr. Peter Larson. Together, under the name of Johnson & Larson, they operated a planing mill and lumber business. This partnership lasted until 1886 when they decided to dissolve it. In the subsequent year, Mr. Johnson expanded his business ventures by purchasing the store of Messrs. Veum & Storaasle.

Under Mr. Johnson’s capable leadership, the business grew from its humble beginnings in a small 24×50 feet building into the present-day magnificent department store. He erected a new building measuring 100×75 feet, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, making it the most comprehensive and modern store in Clay County. In addition to a wide range of dry goods, the store offers light hardware, furniture, farming implements, and harnesses. It employs ten experienced staff members and numerous assistants.

Mr. Elbert Johnson, the proprietor’s son, possesses a solid background in business management and currently (in 1909) serves as the store’s manager. His father is involved in various other ventures that demand his attention. Notably, the store specializes in selling automobiles.

Mr. Johnson Sr. is a pragmatic businessman who actively engages in matters concerning the welfare of his community. He currently holds the position of treasurer at The Hawley Lumber Company, serves as a director at the First National Bank, and holds an interest in an elevator with a capacity of twenty thousand bushels.

He constructed the Johnson block, which houses the First National Bank and features a fine market on the first floor. The building also includes a public hall and a temporary music hall on the upper floor. Mr. Johnson is a member of the Masonic Order, having reached the esteemed thirty-second degree.


C.F. Cooper & Company, History of the Red River Valley, Past And Present: Including an Account of the Counties, Cities, Towns And Villages of the Valley From the Time of Their First Settlement And Formation, volumes 1-2; Grand Forks: Herald printing company, 1909.

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