JOHN A. JOHNSON, the sixteenth governor of Minnesota, was born in St. Peter, Minnesota on July 28, 1861. His education was limited and attained in the common schools of his native state. When he was thirteen, he left school to work in various odd jobs. He eventually became the co-owner and editor of the St. Peter Herald, a Democratic newspaper. Johnson entered politics in 1898, serving as a member of the Minnesota State Senate, a position he held until 1903. He next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 8, 1904. He was reelected to a second term in 1906, and to a third term in 1908. During his tenure, a state insurance code was sanctioned; a tax commission was formed; a 1907 mining strike was dealt with; railway passenger and freight rates were reduced; and a state-banking department was founded. While still in office, Governor John A. Johnson became ill and passed away on September 21, 1909. He was buried in the Greenhill Cemetery in St. Peter, Minnesota.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.