When I visited Johnson Transportation in Youngsville to welcome them as the Warren County Visitors Bureau’s newest member, I expected a friendly conversation and brief introduction. Little did I know that I would get an absolutely fascinating ride (see what I did there?) through Warren County history.
Mid-conversation, co-owner Connie Johnson casually mentioned that Johnson Transportation has been in business for 98 years.
I interrupted her to ask how in the world a school bus company could possibly be 98 years old.
The answer transported me (there I go again!) back in time.
In 1924, a man named Axel would hitch his horse up to his buggy, light a small stove in the buckboard if the morning were cold enough, drive up Brown Hill, stop along the way for children to climb aboard, and deliver them safely to the school in Youngsville.
Axel was Axel Johnson, Connie’s great grandfather.
Year after year, Axel was a reliable fixture in the Youngsville area known to safely transport children to and from school, no matter the weather. After some time, Axel handed the reins over to his son Robert and Robert’s wife Lois Johnson. Time marched on, and buggies turned into buses. Eventually, the keys were given to the next generation, John and Caroline Johnson, who, in time, passed them down to Connie Johnson who now co-owns Johnson Transportation with her son, Cody.
If you’re counting, that’s 5 generations. If you (or your parents, or your grandparents, or your great grandparents) attended school in the area in the last century, odds are decent that you owe your safe arrival and educational opportunities at least in part to the Johnson family.
Thank you, Connie, Cody, John, Caroline, Robert, Lois, Olga, Axel, and the countless drivers employed over the years for caring for our most valuable assets- our children and our future.