Clyde Johnson was born in Carthage, Missouri. The family moved to California in 1887 and prospered in the Eaton district of Fresno County, farming and raising cattle.
He was married in 1899 to Minnie Smith. In 1916 they moved to eastern Fresno County where the family accumulated extensive land and cattle holdings. In 1923 "Pop" and his four sons entered into a partnership operating a sizeable cattle ranching enterprise.
In addition to his success as a rancher and cattleman, Clyde actively participated in civic affairs and livestock organizations. He served two terms on the Fresno County Grand Jury - one year as foreman. In 1960 he and Minnie were honored by the Sanger community with a testimonial celebration for contributions to the cattle industry.
Clyde was a member of the Fresno County Cattlemen's Association, the California Cattlemen's Association, and the American National Cattlemen's Association. He was a life member of the Fresno County Sheriff's Posse and belonged to the Fresno Lodge #247 Free and Accepted Masons, Fresno Scottish Rite Masons, and the Tehran Temple of the Shrine.