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- M.P. Johnson Papers
M.P. Johnson Papers, 1905-2004
Myron P. Johnson was born July 20, 1873, in Spencer, Iowa. He was the first son of Peter Johnson and Marie Christine Rasmussen from Denmark. In 1899, he filed for a homestead in Ivanhoe Township, later Renville County, North Dakota, where he was an active participant in political and cooperative organizations. Johnson served seven years as president of the North Dakota unit of the American Society of Equity. The Society of Equity was organized to support local farmers and merchants to keep their goods and prices locally controlled rather than nationally controlled. He sponsored the Nonpartisan League, Independent Voters Association, Farmers Livestock Association, and the Republican Party. In June 1916, he served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Illinois.
While serving on a national committee with Herbert Hoover to feed Europe during World War I, Johnson was also elected North Dakota's Railroad Commissioner. He did not run for reelection in an effort to avoid a breach in ranks of the American Society of Equity and resigned from the Nonpartisan League when he disapproved of its involvement in activities he considered unethical and "against the principles of Equity." Johnson died in 1937 while still heading an effort to get the government to bring surplus products to drought areas. Johnson married Ida C. Gjerness in Minot, North Dakota, on September 6, 1909. They had five children: Mae Gertrude, Frances Ida, Marian Luella, Neoma Louise, and Myron, Junior.