Wednesday, August 5

Back in the 1920s - Charlie Johnson nearly lost his life in a mine accident. Although he became a paraplegic he didn't let that stop him from making a living and contributing to the local community. In November 1929 - Charlie started driving a taxi and ended up owning a gas station and car repair shop. In 1943 - he started Johnson's Tire Service and became the Goodyear Tire distributor in Perry County. In 1947 he moved the buisiness into a one story building across from Faulkner's Garage on East Main Street. He continued to live in Hardburley until he added an apartment over his business. He added a recap plant to the firm in the late '40s. When Harry Caudill published his book, "Night Comes to the Cumberlands," he mentioned Charlie Johnson's success. "One disabled miner, who purchased a strategically situated service station in 1939, sold $50,000,00 worth of truck tires in 1947," he wrote. The coal trucks were one of his long term customers. Charlie had a keen mind for business and his tire store and recap plant kept his customers happy. The residents of Hazard knew they could count on him to provide a quality service and product.

Charlie Johnson died in January 1965 of a heart attack. His daughter, Virginia, conducted business at Johnson's Tire Service until 1968. Click on the image for a closer look.

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