It’s more than efficiency in manufacturing, and it’s more than knowing what to do with a deep stack of boards. It’s family roots and a tradition of quality that dictate daily operations at Johnson Brothers.
In 1905, a group of brothers, with the guidance of their father, Carl, began building neighborhood housing in and around Idaho Falls. Eventually they honed their skills, upgraded their tools, and built a reputation good enough to provide millwork to revered building projects such as the Idaho Falls Civic Auditorium, the original Idaho Falls High School, the LDS Temple and other iconic local buildings.
Key to their longevity and success was the purchase of Idaho Falls Planing Mill, a water-wheel-and-shaft-driven plant propelled by the current of the Snake River. Soon the Johnson Brothers were turning rough-sawn lumber delivered by horse-drawn wagons into doors, sashes, windows and casework for their own projects, and other pioneering contractors.
The tight-knit family merged their construction and woodworking talents, first as a way to put food on the table during the early settlement of Idaho Falls, and later as a way to survive the Great Depression. Their efforts built a bedrock business, becoming the cornerstone of specialty construction and millwork materials enterprise, with an eye toward architectural detail. Now known simply as Johnson Brothers, they have operations in Boise and Idaho Falls that provide quality goods throughout Idaho, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon and beyond.
The fourth and fifth generations of the Johnson clan are now at the helm, and the company’s deep sense of tradition remains clearly evident in all facets of Johnson Brothers’ showrooms, office complex, and production facilities. When they moved their Idaho Falls location to their current location, they even brought the retired drive shaft with them. It may not be in public view, but it’s right below the Cliff Street shop floor, like roots beneath their feet.