Swedish Immigrant Builds Adolph Johnson & Son Co.

MINERAL RIDGE – Circa 1900, the diminished demand for farm labor along with stories of opportunity in the United States prompted many Swedes to emigrate to America. Gustav Adolph Johnson was one of them.

The coal mines of Anita, Pa., provided a job for young Adolph but he did not see his future there. He moved to the booming town of Youngstown and taught himself the carpentry trade while working for the Home Finance Co. building houses.

In 1919, Johnson and another Swedish carpenter, Andrew Carlson, started the Johnson-Carlson Co. and built a reputation as a builder of quality homes in the fashionable neighborhoods of Youngstown’s Northside and Forest Glen Estates in Boardman.

After Carlson’s death, Johnson expanded into commercial work and building houses of worship. His daughter, Charlotte, and son, Paul, joined the business along with other employees who built the family business, which was incorporated as Adolph Johnson & Son Co. in 1947.

Johnson often visited Sweden but as a proud American who was grateful for the opportunities and successes the United States afforded him through hard work and perseverance.

Particularly satisfying for him were the many houses of worship his company built over his career, thereby providing the facilities for the people of his community to gather and practice their beliefs.

Today, Paul Johnson Jr. is the third-generation operator of the company.

“The core values and philosophies of my grandfather are the root of our continued success,” he says. “Delivering value to our customers through knowledge, hard work and integrity is instilled in all who work at Adolph Johnson & Son.”

Pictured: Gustav Adolph Johnson and Paul Johnson Jr.