President Donald Trump’s October visit is believed to be the first official visit to Johnson County by a sitting president with one possible exception. State Rep.
DeWayne Burns, R-Cleburne, said he believes that President Franklin Roosevelt may have stopped in Grandview for a stump speech while traveling by train en route to Fort Worth.
“If that’s true, I’m not sure if that happened when he was first running for president or after he already was president,” Burns said.
The recent opening of Louis Vuitton’s Rochambeau Ranch location near Keene drew Trump to Johnson County. Trump’s visit stirred interest aplenty from those able to snag invitations as well as several dozen local Republicans who gathered on John and Carolyn McNaughton’s nearby property hoisting pro-Trump signs while scanning the sky for a glimpse of the helicopter delivering the president to the 260-acre facility. A short distance away, several Democrats rallied in opposition to Trump and his policies.
Louis Vuitton Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault in introducing Trump said the president’s visit represented both Louis Vuitton’s commitment to the American market and Trump’s commitment to U.S. workers.
The Johnson County site, crafted to complement and sustain the area’s natural environment, will bring 1,000 new jobs within five years, Arnault said.
Trump spoke of a booming economy, the revival of American manufacturing and the long standing partnership between America and France.
“And we proudly celebrate the opening of the new Louis Vuitton workshop right here in Johnson County, Texas,” Trump said. “Louis Vuitton is a name I know very well. It’s cost me a lot of money over the years.”
Louis Vuitton considered several states and other Texas cities before choosing Johnson County, Johnson County Economic Development Director Diana Miller said in 2017. The company, which operates in about 50 countries and manufactures high-end leather goods and other products, invested more than $20 million in the Johnson County facility.
— Matt Smith