Mrs. R. P. Johnson was born Helen Crittenden in St. Paul, Minnesota, December 14, 1891. When Helen was three, the family moved to Cresco, Iowa, and when she was fourteen, to Rapid City, South Dakota. Helen was graduated from Rapid City high school and later from the local business college. Until her marriage to Raymond P. Johnson, May 26, 1915, she worked as bookkeeper and cashier.
The young Johnsons went into partnership with Mr. Johnson’s parents on the old Johnson ranch in Rapid Valley, South Dakota, three miles southeast of the city. This has since been their home. The old house built in 1907, with its additions and remodeling, is now as modern as any city home.
All of the three Johnson children are graduates of the neighborhood rural school, Rapid City high school, and State College. All of the children were active in 4-H club work.
Mrs. Johnson is probably best known for her cottage cheese, of which she says, “I have made tons.” Although beef cattle are the main business of the ranch, the Johnsons keep five or six good Holsteins for her cheese making and family use. About twenty years ago when the Farm Bureau women maintained a market in Rapid City, she began making cottage cheese for sale in the market.
Among Mrs. Johnson’s prized possessions is a Queen Anne chair, made in about 1790 in Vermont where the family came from originally. It has served five generations of Johnsons.
Twenty-six years ago, a community club was organized in her home. This club six years later was the foundation for the organization of the Good Cheer Extension club which is still active. Mrs. Johnson has held every office in this club and is now the only remaining charter member.
Mrs. Johnson has been a member of the Congregational Church in Rapid City since coming to the community, and has been very active in the Pilgrim Guild.
In Extension work, Mrs. Johnson has served in many capacities. She has been a member and secretary-treasurer of the Pennington County Extension board. In the Federation of Home Demonstration clubs, she has served as county chairman, district chairman, historian, vice chairman, and as state chairman.