It didn't take long for Johnson Tire Service Inc. to become a family-centered business.
Three months after C. Edwin Johnson bought the business in 1924, his son Edwin J. Johnson was born. With both the business and Mr. Johnson celebrating their 80th year this year, the tire dealership has come to include his wife Beth Johnson, their daughter Jennie Gay and grandsons Riley Johnson and Jeff Jackson.
All this in a family where regular trips to the summer house include 40 to 50 people at a time. By May, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson will have 18 great grandchildren under age 9 from their 13 grandkids.
But this closeness among a large family doesn't faze Mr. Johnson. His own parents worked side by side at the shop, like he and his wife have done for most of their 57 years of marriage.
``We just enjoy being together as a family,'' he said. ``We've not had any conflict.''
Passing a business down in this family also has gone smoothly, he said. Two of his 13 grandchildren pursued teaching careers while Riley Johnson and Mr. Jackson stayed with the shop. Riley Johnson is general manager, and Mr. Jackson's title is service manager.
``There was no argument about it, just like when I took over from my father,'' Edwin J. Johnson said.
Now Riley Johnson and Mr. Jackson have their own young sons who seem to be on the same path at just 3 and 2 years old.
``It's in their blood, they like to come to work,'' said Mrs. Johnson.
C. Edwin Johnson started the business after he recovered from wounds in World War I. As a youngster, Edwin J. Johnson worked at the shop.
He went into the infantry in the Pacific Theater of World War II in 1943 and, by the time he was back in 1945, his father was building a new shop in the center of Springville. He bought the business from his father in 1964 and built the present location in 1969.
In 1987, Mr. Johnson and his wife turned the business over to their son, Mike Johnson. But he was later diagnosed with lung cancer and died in 1991. His parents then came out of retirement until Riley Johnson was old enough to manage the shop with Mr. Jackson in 1998. The two are now partners with Mr. and Mrs. Johnson coming in in the mornings to help out.
Over its 80 years, the business has covered nearly all aspects of the tire business, Mr. Johnson said.
The dealership used to retread passenger tires until that business dried up. Two-thirds of its business also used to be in retreaded snow tires-with fancy treads containing things like sawdust particles. The shop also once dabbled in the commercial tire business.
The business also had a wholesale end. The dealership started with Miller tires and, in 1931, took on Goodyear, with Michelin and most other brands to follow.
``I've tried about everything,'' Mr. Johnson joked.
Retail is now the name of the game, and the shop eagerly leverages its long tenure in the community.
``In this small town we're in, people are probably your best advertising,'' he said. ``If they like you, why, they'll recommend you.''
While he said the tire business has taken care of his family, Mr. Johnson said a strong connection also kept the large family together.
``I think family, you've got to be together and like each other,'' he said. ``I know a lot of (families) can't get along with each other, but our family's been really great that way. (We) support each other in everything they do.''