Sylvanus Johnson


Sylvanus Johnson

Hamden, New Haven County, Connecticut, USA
Death 8 Jan 1902 (aged 88)
Iowa City, Johnson County, Iowa, USA
Burial Iowa City, Johnson County, Iowa, USA
Plot Outlot 3
Memorial ID 90428122 View Source
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Sylvanus Johnson literally helped build pioneer Iowa City as a brick maker.

Johnson was a brick maker, taught by his father in Connecticut. He soon set up shop along Gilbert Street just south of Burlington. His first bricks were made on April 15, 1840 and went into boot store building on Iowa Avenue just west of Dubuque. The very first brick house was erected by Mr. Bostwick from Johnson's brickyard. Demand was immediate for chimneys at nearly every building. He built his first local brick home – for himself – on the brickyard site.

Johnson became a prominent pioneer and extensive land owner, which he began purchasing as a source of wood for his brickyard. His 1857 home along Prairie du Chien Road still exists.

Among other important local projects, he supplied material for the Mechanics Academy on Linn Street just north of Iowa Avenue, which housed numerous important local events, including the founding of Mercy and University Hospitals, the first university classes, and first Iowa City public school.

--Bob Hibbs


Born Hamden, Conn 1813-1902

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