R. Ward Harrison, Editor

June 2, 1950

A native and life-long resident of Charlton County, Ben Scott Johnson was born June 21, 1907 at the old Johnson family homestead about five miles west of Folkston where he grew up to young manhood. He attended the county public schools in the days of the one-room, one-teacher schools in which he obtained his education.

Moving into Folkston with his parents about the middle 1920s he has since made his home in this city, although for several years he was away from home much of the time on a business connection that required considerable traveling.

A son of the late Judge J.H. Johnson and Mrs. Annie Gay Johnson of this city, the subject of this sketch is a member of one of the leading pioneer families of this immediate section who have contributed greatly to its progress and development in all phases of responsible citizenship. His grandfather, the late Honorable Erick Johnson fought in the border Indian warfare and was a soldier in the Confederate Army. His father, the late Judge J.H. Johnson, served as judge of the Charlton County Court and for one term as Tax Collector.

Being one of a large family of brothers and sisters, Scott has kept fully abreast of the family record for business success and outstanding citizenship. His first business connection was in 1925 when he entered the sawmill and lumber business as a member of the firm of J.H. Johnson and Sons with his associates being his father and his brother Harry. He continued with this successful enterprise until 1937 when he withdrew from the firm to accept a position with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in the purchasing department. His duties in this position included the inspection and purchase of cross ties, lumber, all kinds of timber products needed by the railroad. His headquarters were in Waycross but his work required travel over all the lines of the ACL system and a wide knowledge of the timber and cross tie business was necessary.

He made an excellent record with the railroad company but in 1945, due to health, he was forced to give up this strenuous work and terminate his connection with the company. The officials urged him to take a leave of absence to recuperate but soon afterwards he formed a business partnership with his brother E.H. Johnson and entered the general mercantile business in this city which he has since continued.

The concern operates under the firm name of Johnson Brothers and has been built up to one of Folkston’s largest business enterprises. Beginning with the purchase of the grocery and feed business from M.G. White, formerly operated by Theo Dinkins, Johnson Brothers later acquired the Banks Café building across the street and expanded their operations to include the hardware, building materials and general mercantile establishment with electrical appliances, fertilizer and a wide range of products. The concern plans the construction of a large two-story business building on the corner, east of the hardware store to take care of its growing business requirements.

In addition to his business activities Mr. Johnson finds time to contribute to all undertakings for the progress and advancement of the city and county. He has been an active worker in civic organizations and can be counted on to carry out in full his obligations as a progressive, forward-looking citizen. A member of the Methodist Church, he has also been active in church work, having served for a member of years as a member of the Board of Stewards and being the present chairman of the board.

In 1935 Mr. Johnson was united in marriage to Miss Gertrude Wildes, member of another of the county’s well-known pioneer families. They have one daughter; Mary Ann. Mrs. Johnson also contributes greatly to activities for the community welfare, serving at the present time as Charlton County Director of Boys Estate near Brunswick. They are held in high esteem among a wide circle of friends.

Charlton  County Archives