Family of Jack Merrell Johnson and Mary Helen Smith

Family of Jack Merrell Johnson and Mary Helen Smith

Husband痴 Notes...
* From 025 Inter-Office Communication, Los Angeles General Office,
October 19, 1961,: Mr. Jack Johnson, Carnation Company - Can Division;
Mount Vernon, Missouri.
Dear Jack:
I have just noticed that you have a very important anniversary.
Congratulations and best wishes on your 25th Anniversary of service with
Carnation company.
It has been may years since I have seen you, however, I did see your
wife about a year ago.
May you have continued good health and long service with Carnation.
Best regards to you and your family.
Sincerely, signed, D. W. Hogue
Original letter. Upper right hand side of form has logo "Buy new 6-
Flavored Friskies Cubes" with a little winking dog.

*Letter: Carnation Company Limited; 44 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto
12, Ontario, September 19, 1961: Mr. Jack Johnson, Carnation Company,
Mt. Vernon, Missouri:
Dear Jack:
I note that on October 22nd, you will celebrate your twenty-fifty {sic}
anniversary with Carnation Company.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on this
accomplishment; and to wish you many more years of health, happiness,
and service with the Company.
I note that Walt Pendleton started to work on the same day as you;
however you can tell Walt that I do not think he has worked as hard as
you have.
Best personal regards, and I will be looking forward to seeing you
sometime during a trip through Mt. Vernon.
Yours very truly, Carnation Company Limited, Signed Nillson, General
Original letter. Upper left hand has Carnation Logo (three carnations)

*Letter: Carnation Company; 132 So. Concord Road, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
53006; October 6, 1966, Mr. Jack Johnson, Mt. Vernon, Missouri:
Dear Jack:
Congratulations on your 30th Anniversary with Carnation Company.
Yours has been a loyal service of which you can be justly proud. I
enjoyed working with you in the past and admired your sincerity in
performing any task to be done, regardless of what it might be. I also
enjoyed the golf games of "way back" and clearly recall the #1 sliced
TEE shots to the hillside and the numerous #9 190 yd TEE shots to the
green with your #4 iron.
My visits to Mt. Vernon are now infrequent, however, I do hope to see
you from time to time and I wish you future good health and happiness.
Sincerely, signed Pep.
Original letter.

CReed note: For Dad's 30 years of service the company {or the union--
jjr} gave him a gold watch with the face of Jimmy Hoffa in the face of
the watch. Dad wore it to work one day and while throwing scrap into a
rail car it flew off his wrist. He had many choice words regarding the
loss. Dad was union steward at some point while working with Carnation.

jjr note: Dad was Teamsters Union Steward for many years. Dianne
related an incident of a woman approaching her and telling her that our
father had helped her raise, feed and clothe her children--by working so
hard to get equal pay for equal work by women at Carnation. As a single
parent, she could not have made it without Dad's efforts.
I also remember Dad telling a story about a Union incident. Teamsters
were striking and the local voted not to support the strike. Many of the
Carnation employees were also farmers who rose early to milk and perform
other chores before driving the raw milk to the plant. Then they put in
an 8-10 hour day, picked up the empty milk cans and drove home to
perform their evening chores. They chose not to support a strike for
"someone who just drives a truck." One day, one of the farmers didn't
show up for work. Dad was notified that several attempts had been made
to reach the man. Dad clocked out and drove to the man's farm where he
found the farmer hiding under a tractor in the field while a union "man"
from Chicago held him pinned down with occasional gun fire. Dad calmly
walked up the thug, took his gun and pistol-whipped him. He and the
farmer left the man lying in the road, returned to work and clocked in.

Dianne related a story about Jimmy Hoffa (Sr.) showing up at the house
while Dad was at work. He held candy out the car window for Dianne and
the other children. Dad arrived, the candy was refused and Hoffa was
妬nstructed to go to the plant and wait for Dad to get there and to
never approach Dad痴 home or family again. He didn稚.

Walt Pendleton says he remembers one strike at Carnation while Dad was
steward--but management and Dad were the only ones who knew about it.
Whatever the demands were, they were refused--so Dad said, "I'm off the
clock until the demands are met" and sat down in the office. Walt said
Dad "turned a deaf ear." After much deliberation, an agreement was
reached. Management knew that if word spread that Dad was on sitdown--
he would be completely supported. Stubbornness is a Johnson trait.

Advertisement in newspaper: Announcing my candidacy for Mayor of Mt.
Vernon. I feel my eight years of service and experience on the City
Council -- including four as Council Chairman -- have thoroughly
familiarized me with the problems and needs of our community...
From unidentified clipping.

*unidentified clipping: Jack Johnson of Mt. Vernon is retiring after
more than 32 years as a machine tool operator with Carnation Company Can
Division. Active in community affaris, Johnson has served on the Mt.
Vernon City Council and is now Mayor of Mt. Vernon. For retirement he
is reportly planning a "life of ease."

jjr Note -- Dad had passed many kidney stones. On the day his photo was
taken for his 30th anniversary with Carnation, he experience a ruptured
peptic ulcer. He later had kidney surgery and neck surgery for
parathyroid adenomas. He retired early, age 57, from Carnation, but
continued community service and held a variety of offices at the First
Christian Church. Mom and Dad eventually transfered their membership to
the Paris Springs Methodist Church, where Dad had spent much of his
early childhood.

*Biography of a Town Square, Mayor Has to Like His Job, by Hazel
Hillhouse (All Rights Reserved):
Bio of Jack and family, published The Lawrence County Chieftain,
Thursday, June 11, 1970, Page 8. (We still won't tell where Mom's
favorite mushroom hunting grounds were.)

Wife痴 Notes...
Dianne Prevo Note: I think they were married in Rogersville, Webster,

jjr Note: Mom and Dad eloped and we're still looking for the license!!

Mary Helen Smith worked at the Mt. Vernon Telephone Office prior to
1939. Was working at Carnation Condensary in Mt. Vernon, MO weighing
milk by 1939. Dad and her boss, Mr. Mulder, decided she should quit
having enough to do at home. She was pregnant with Mary Ann (4th child)
at the time. CReed note, interview with Dianne Prevo, 1998.
jjr note: Mom left Carnation 1944/1945. Mary Ann b. 1945.

jjr note: Mom was telephone operator beginning in high school and for a
few years afterward. She eventually moved to the front office as pay
clerk. She didn't like to mess with the pennies, so she threw them in a
bucket by her desk. One day the bank sent a couple of people over to
get the pennies because there weren't enough in circulation. Mom had
quite a stash of pennies at the phone company!

SSDI: Mary Johnson; b. 05 Apr 1909; d. Dec 1993; Last residence, 65712,
Mt. Vernon, Lawrence Co., Mo. SSN 487-03-9357

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