"The Frank, Valentine and Joseph Janson Foundation was formed through the will of Joseph Janson dated February 21, 1925. The Foundation was established to provide assistance to the needy of Holy Trinity, St. Peter’s Parish (also in Columbia), and Columbia residents. So the brothers were philanthropists as well.
In addition to helping the needy, the Janson Foundation provided for the purchase of plot of land located at Sixth and Cherry Streets in Columbia. This land is for perpetual use for the Borough of Columbia. The land is known as Janson Park and is managed by the Janson Foundation.
Since its’ inception, the Park has been host for many recreational events and activities. There were many street fairs/festivals held there for the people of the town and surrounding communities, baseball and softball leagues play there, and a summer playground program for Columbia youth. I remember going to
the Park as a child and playing on the jungle gym, see saws and sliding board. When I would go to the Park for the summer children’s program we could check out board games, jacks, pick-up sticks and other toys to play with the other children. This program ended many years ago but within the last year or
so, the town has restarted a summer program there.
Several years ago the Armstrong Foundation (Armstrong World Industries from nearby Marietta) renovated the playground with the purchase of new playground equipment. Gone are the metal ones of my youth. In place are colorful ones. I would have enjoyed them as a child. At the entrance to the Park is a plaque that bears the inscription
“Janson Park: Perpetuated by FRANK JANSON,
VALENTINE JANSON, and JOSEPH JANSON. “
Janson Steel and Iron Company continued to operate after the death of the Janson brothers. At one time my Great Grandfather William Pieper Weisser (married Mary Catherine Kasel, daughter of Frank P. Kasel and Catherine Janson) was its’ Superintendent. The Company must have run into some challenging times since it sought reorganization under Section 77B of the Bankruptcy Act on February 15, 1938. The business operated until January 11, 1941 when disinterested trustees were appointed by the Court. It is so sad that the Company ran into difficulties. Janson Steel and Iron Company was sold to a company from Indiana.
The last child of Valentine and Catherine Duerk Janson was Martha Mary Janson. She was born on December 15, 1860 in Columbia. She married Joseph John Becker on June 15, 1892. Martha and Joseph had three daughters: Mary, Martha, and Serena Becker".
I think it's pretty cool that we have close relatives in other states, and that we're finding out how they fared in America, too, even at this late date ☺. Thanks again to Colleen! She adds that if any relative wants to contact her, I should give them her email address. Okay!