William H. Johnsen, who follows farming in San Joaquin county, his home being near Tracy, belongs to the German-American element in California's citizenship. Much of the civilization of the world has come from the Tentonic race, and the sons of Germany have been a valued factor in promoting the development and progress of the new world. Mr. Johnsen was born in Holstein on the 6th of October, 1853, his parents being William A. and Catherine (Voss) Johnsen. The father still resides in Germany, but the mother has passed away.

In the land of his nativity William H. Johnsen was reared and his education was acquired in the public schools there. In his twentieth year he entered the German navy, spending eight months in the service of the carpenter's department. He had previously learned the carpenter's trade and he became a good workman in that line. In 1874 he bade adieu to the fatherland and sailed for America, shipping as a seaman on the American vessel Franklin, at Hamburg. From there he went to Cardiff, England, where he subsequently sailed as a carpenter and seaman on the ship, Glenn, and by way of Havana he made his way to New Orleans. In 1877 he was employed as a seaman on the coasting trade on the Pacific, sailing from San Francisco to California ports. He arrived in the Golden state in that year and continued upon the sea until 1883, when he removed to San Joaquin county, where he has since made his home. Here he owns one hundred and sixty acres of land under a good state of cultivation and his farm is well developed, constituting a valuable property of the community.

On the 27th of April, 1883, Mr. Johnsen was united in marriage to Mrs. jeannette Scott, the widow of Mungo Scott, of San Joaquin county, California, and a native of Nova Scotia. By this marriage there are two daughters, Annette M. and Marguerite C.

Mr. Johnsen is now serving as a trustee of the Jefferson school district and the cause of education finds in him a warm friend desirous of advancing the interests of the schools, for he realizes that they are the bulwarks of the nation and constitute the strength of American citizenship. He belongs to Sumner Lodge No. 177, I. O. O. F., of Tracy and also has membership relations with Tracy Encampment. His life has been a busy and useful one and starting out upon his own resources at an early age he has gradually worked his way upward to a comfortable financial positon.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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