J.M. Johnson was a wool buyer from Mountain Home. He moved to Boise in 1898, the year of construction of the J.M. Johnson House. Among his business activities, Johnson traded in real estate and engaged in ranching. In 1919 he sold the J.M. Johnson House after purchasing a 7000-acre cattle ranch in Alturas.
John E. Tortellotte was a prominent architect, best known for his projects in Idaho. His work in Boise includes the Idaho State Capitol, the Boise City National Bank, the Carnegie Library, Boise High School and numerous other buildings.