M.P. Johnson Papers, 1905-1937
Primary Creator: Johnson, M.P. (Myron) (1873-1937)
Extent: 0.25 Linear Feet
Date Acquired: 04/00/2007
Myron P. Johnson was born July 20, 1873, in Spencer, Iowa. He was the first son of Peter Johnson and Marie Christine Rasnussen 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.
Access Restrictions: Open for inspection under the rules and regulations of the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections.
Acquisition Source: Mae Johnson VanSickel, Parkville, Maryland
Acquisition Method: Donation; Acc.#2007-2885
Preferred Citation: (Description of Item). M.P. Johnson Papers. OGLMC 1517, Box #, Folder #. Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections, Chester Fritz Library, University of North Dakota.
Finding Aid Revision History: Finding aid migrated to Archon in December 2013.
Browse by Box:
- Box 1
- Folder 1
- Folder one consists of a biographical sketch of M.P Johnson as well as a letter from his daughter Mae Johnson VanSickel stating her purpose for donating her father's "valise papers".
- Folder 2
- Folder two contains newspaper clippings and correspondence pertaining to Johnson and the Society of Equity. There is a brief history of the Society not included in the original collection, but added for research purposes.
- Folder 3
- Folder three contains materials pertaining to Johnson's election to Railroad Commissioner of North Dakota in 1916.
- Folder 4
- Folder four contains correspondence and newspaper clippings pertaining to Johnson's activities in the Nonpartisan League. There are brief references to other members and colleagues, as well as interviews about how the League began, how it changed, and why Johnson eventually disapproved.
- Folder 5
- Folder five contains an edition of The Organized Farmer, a newspaper distributed to farmers, particularly in the Midwest.
- Folder 6
- Folder six contains two editions of The Equity News, a newspaper distributed to farmers, particularly in the Midwest. This paper was also used as a voice on behalf of the Society of Equity.
- Folder 7
- Folder seven has materials on members of the Johnson family. It includes obituaries and newspaper articles pertaining to the death of his son Myron Junior as well as his wife Ida.
- Folder 8
- Folder eight pertains to M.W "Bill" Thatcher. Thatcher was a nationally known farm leader and co-op builder. He advised a number of political leaders, such as Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson on farm policy and equity. Thatcher and M.P Johnson shared common goals and interests within the Society of Equity and the Nonpartisan League. While working together they also developed a friendship.
- Folder 9
- Folder nine consists of correspondence from M.P Johnson to Theodore Saloutos. Saloutos was researching Equity history and turned to Johnson for information. Also included is the article produced from that research which was obtained from The Mississippi Valley Historical Review (1947).
- Box 2