Simon Johnson, also known as the "Prairie's Author," was born September 26, 1874, in Øyer, Gudbrandsdalen, Norway. In 1883, his family emigrated, settling in Norway Township, Traill County, near Hillsboro, North Dakota. As the only male child, Johnson remained on the family farm until the death of his mother in 1919. By this point, he had already published four novels as well as several stories. In 1911, he was awarded the Norwegian Literary Award for the piece "Lonea."
Johnson then went to Grand Forks, North Dakota, to edit Normanden, a Norwegian-language newspaper. He resigned in 1924 and later become editor of the Decorah Posten in Decorah, Iowa, in 1929. After 1925, Johnson published no additional major works. Simon Johnson died in July 1970.