Bio: Johnson, William R. (1876 – 19??)
Surnames: Johnson, Eckels,
---Source: History of Marathon County Wisconsin and Representative Citizens, by Louis Marchetti, 1913.
Johnson, William R. (5 August 1876 – 19??)
WILLIAM R. JOHNSON, president of Johnson's Electric Shop at Wausau, contractors and electric supply dealers, is a well known citizen here, where he has lived since he was fourteen years of age. He was born at La Crosse, Wisconsin, August 5, 1876, and is a son of Jeremiah F. Johnson, who is a retired railroad man, having continued as an engineer until he was sixty-five years of age, being then retired, some five years since.
Until prepared for the eighth grade, William R. Johnson was a student at La Crosse, and after accompanying his father to Wausau he entered this grade in the public schools and in 1895 graduated from the Wausau High School, after which he entered Lawrence University and spent three years in that institution. Mr. Johnson then became principal of the schools of Hermansville, Mich., and one year later was called from there to Wausau to become principal of the Lincoln School. At that time there were but six rooms in the building, but, largely through Mr. Johnson's influence, the taxpayers enlarged the school facilities and made it a 14-room building, four years later. He then suggested a manual training course, the first equipments for which he purchased. The enthusiasm of the students, both boys and girls was so great that they willingly worked after regular school hours and so impressed the visiting members of the school board with the advantages that would accrue through a thorough training along this line, that they advised Mr. Johnson to take a summer course at Lewis Institute, Chicago, for better preparing him to take up this work and encouraged him to visit many of the leading centers of Industrial Education, at Indianapolis, Dayton, Oak Park, and Minneapolis. The following year the Domestic Science and Manual Training equipments were installed in the high school building. Mr. Johnson then fitted up a room appropriately and in the following fall became principal and director of Manual Training in the Lincoln School, and interest in the work increased. He left this school in 1909, to enter into the electrical business, after a continuous period of ten years.
Johnson's Electric shop was incorporated in April, 1912, and constant employment is given to from six to eight men. The company contracts and does wiring of all kinds, both in and outside the city, and handles electric fixtures and supplies.
Mr. Johnson was married in August, 1904, to Miss Minerva Eckels, of Buena Vista, Wisconsin, who, before marriage, was a teacher in the Lincoln School. They have three sons: Raymond, Charles and Harold. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he is a steward. Formerly he had charge of a mission school on the West side, the average attendance being seventy-five. He has been active in the Y. M. C. A. since its organization, and belongs to the Masonic fraternity.
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