Skip to main content

A.W. Johnson Company

Identifier: RH-A-3603

Scope and Contents

This collection is composed of 10 or so documents detailing the process of A.W. Johnson retail company becoming a privately held corporation. Additionally, there are documents detailing the by-laws of A.W. Johnson Co. and the minutes from the first shareholders meeting, the first directors meeting, and from a special directors meeting called by the president.


  • Creation: 1914-1958


Biographical / Historical

A.W. Johnson retail store was opened on August 29, 1914 on 110 W. Main St. by Alfred Woodworth Johnson and Vernon McFee. On February 13, 1915 Alfred Woodworth bought out his partner Vernon McFee, making Alfred the president and sole owner of the company. Lawrence Barnes joined the company as a salesman in 1919 where he would work for Alfred Woodworth until Alfred’s retirement in 1958. Alfred would spend his remaining years as a Christian Science Practitioner until his death on July 16, 1961. However, starting in early 1958 Lawrence Barnes had taken the role of President of the A.W. Johnson Company. His first order of business was making the company a privately held corporation. He successfully applied for Incorporation, leading to the company having 3,500 common shares worth $10 each in 1958. The shares were split up 1785 going to Lawrence Barnes, 280 going to his wife Lillian Barnes, and 1435 going to Robert J. Barnes who resided in San Marino, California.

According to a Certificate from the American National Bank and Trust Co. of Kalamazoo, Lawrence served as president; Marvin J. Schaberg was the vice-president, and Lawrence’s wife, Lillian Barnes, served as both the secretary and the treasurer.


1 folders

Language of Materials


Physical Description

This collection amounts to .05 cubic feet and is comprised of multiple documents detailing the process of become a privately held corporation. There is an official document from the state of Michigan’s Corporation and Securities Commission certifying their Articles of Incorporation. Also included is the Articles of Incorporation for A.W. Johnson Co., a Certificate from the American National Bank and Trust Co. of Kalamazoo, a Resolution of Board of Directors, a Certificate for 280 shares owned by Lillian Barnes, 12 page (loose) documenting the By-Laws of A.W. Johnson Co., and finally the minutes from the first Shareholders meeting, the first meeting of the Directors, and the minutes from a special meeting of the Board of Directors called by the President.

A.W. Johnson Company Finding Aid
Matthew Kerr
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490