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John Edward Erickson

Gov. John Edward Erickson

  • January 4, 1925 - March 13, 1933
  • Democratic
  • March 14, 1863
  • May 25, 1946
  • Wisconsin
  • Washburn College
  • Married Grace Vance; three children
  • Resigned
  • Senator


JOHN E. ERICKSON, the eighth governor of Montana, was born in Stoughton, Wisconsin on March 14, 1863. His education was attained at Washburn College in Kansas, where he graduated in 1890. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1891 (began practicing in Kansas in 1892), and moved to Choteau, Montana in 1893. Erickson first entered public service in 1897, serving as county attorney of Teton County, a position he held until 1905. He also served on the bench of the Eleventh Judicial District of Montana from 1905 to 1915, and was chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee from 1920 to 1924. Erickson next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 4, 1924. He was reelected to a second term in 1928, and to a third term in 1932. During his tenure, a new banking law was authorized; a license tax was initiated on mining profits; a new state income tax was sanctioned; an equalization fund was established for financially impoverished rural schools; and a gasoline tax was implemented. Erickson resigned from the governor’s office following his March 13, 1933 appointment to the U.S. Senate. He then served in his senatorial seat until November 6, 1934. Governor John E. Erickson passed away on May 25, 1946, and was buried in the Conrad Memorial Cemetery in Kalispell, Montana.


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.

Malone, Michael P; Roeder, Richard B. Montana : A History of Two Centuries. Seattle : University of Washington Press, 1976.

News Article (March 18, 1933). Montana Record Herald.

Progressive Men of the State of Montana. Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., [19--?]

John M. Dixon Papers. MC 149. 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.

Grave Vance Papers, 1863-1958 (MC 286). Montana Historical Society.


Montana State Capitol Complex


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