Carl Johnson was born on a horse farm outside of Athens, Ohio August 29, 1884. While there he drove wagons, buggies, or whatever for A.L. Johnson Transfer and Storage. In 1900, at the age of 16 he came to Wyoming. The first few years in Wyoming he ranched north of the town of Powder River where he ran wild horses in the Rattlesnake and Seminole Mountains. During this time, he carried mail by horseback between Waltman and Barnum, Wyoming. This was during the 10 years following the Johnson County Cattle War. During this time everyone carried a six shooter. When delivering mail or just riding up to someone’s house you never got off your horse unless invited.
In 1913, Carl headed to Sheridan and found himself as “corral dog” with Eaton’s Ranch. Duties included working with pack and trail trips, driving luggage wagons 10 miles from the ranch to the train depot in Ranchester and back home to the ranch. Before leaving Eaton’s he also drove the stagecoach to the depot bringing the dudes into the ranch.
In 1920, he was hired by Senator John B Kendrick as foreman on the E-U Ranch. He worked at the E-U Ranch for 26 years, during that time he raised and sold Belgian draft horses to the government. As a man who knew his job he began to work on ideas to make his tasks easier.
He worked on several projects. One he developed was a loading chute that would adjust to various heights to load livestock into either a pick-up or semi. Another was a wire stretcher versatile enough to be carried on the saddle along with the required wire pliers. For this, in 1930, he applied and received a patent (Patent #1760918). In 1937 he invented and patented the Johnson Squeeze Gate for doctoring and handling large livestock (Patent # 2084255). The Johnson Calf Table was a follow-up. It was used to first secure the calf, then one side would tip and form a table for branding or doctoring. The prototype was then taken to various area ranches at branding time to demonstrate just how it worked. The comments that followed was “either leave it or build me one.” These were manufactured by the Sheridan Iron ’Works.
Carl was an honest man and was known to all as a country gentleman.