JOSEPH M. DIXON, the seventh governor of Montana, was born in Snow Camp, North Carolina on July 31, 1867. His education was attained at Earlham College in Indiana, and at Guilford College in North Carolina, where he graduated in 1889. After moving to Missoula, Montana in 1891, Dixon studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1892. He then established his legal career, serving as the assistant prosecuting attorney from 1893 to 1895, as well as serving as the prosecuting attorney from 1895 to 1897. Dixon first entered politics as a member of the Montana House of Representatives, a position he held in 1900. He also was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1903 to 1907, served as a member of the U.S. Senate from 1907 to 1913, and was chairman of the National Progressive Convention in 1912. Dixon next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in 1920. He was sworn into office on January 1, 1921. During his tenure, a severe drought was dealt with; reform measures were attempted in state government; and corporate tax laws were advanced. After running unsuccessfully for reelection, Dixon returned to his various business interests. In 1929, he secured an appointment to serve as the first assistant secretary of the interior, a position he held until 1933. Governor Joseph M. Dixon passed away on May 22, 1934, and was buried in the Missoula City Cemetery.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
John M. Dixon Papers. Mss 055. Missoula, MT: K. Ross Toole Archives, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana.
Montana Governor's Papers, 1889-1905 (MC 35A). Montana Historical Society.