Cl. :■ (■ *]b c
2d Session I
I No. 657
Martin N. Johnson
(Late a Senator from North Dakota)
SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
April 2, 1910
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
April 24, 1910
Compiled under the direction of the Joint Committee on Printing
WASHINGTON : : GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE : : I«I0
CCT 13 1910
19. ttf &
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Proceedings in the Senate 5
Address of Mr. Purcell, of North Dakota 9
Address of Mr. Carter, of Montana 14
Address of Mr. Nelson, of Minnesota 16
Address of Mr. Dolliver, of Iowa 21
Address of Mr. McCumber, of North Dakota 27
Proceedings in the House 34
Address of Mr. Hanna, of North Dakota 37
Address of Mr. Martin, of South Dakota 45
Address of Mr. Sulzer, of New York 48
Address of Mr. Ellis, of Oregon
Address of Mr. Calderhead, of Kansas 56
Address of Mr. Steenerson, of Minnesota 59
Address of Mr. Gronna, of North Dakota ''4
Death of Hon. Martin N. Johnson
PROCEEDINGS IN THE SENATE
Monday, December 6, igog.
The Chaplain, Rev. Ulysses G. B. Pierce, D. D., offered the
Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, who hast given us grace
at this time with one accord to make our common supplication
unto Thee, we thank Thee for Thy providence which thus
brings together from the North and the South and from the
East and the West Thy servants to accomplish Thy purposes.
We remember with tender and reverent heart him whom
Thou hast called from our midst to Thy higher service, and
humbly yield ourselves to the mystery of Thy holy will, which
can do us no harm.
As thus we commit ourselves to the new task, we pray, our
Father, that we may evermore be guided bv Thy spirit, and
that we may be upheld by the right hand of Thy power, thai
Thy kingdom may come and that Thy holy will may be done
by us, now and forever more. Amen.
Mr. McCuMBER. Mr. President, it is my sorrowful duty to
announce to the Senate the death of Senator JOHNSON, of North
6 Proi i i dings in the Si note
Dakota, who died in the city of Fargo on the 21st day of Octo
ber of this year.
At scum- future date convenienl to the Senate I shall ask
thai an hour be set aside- that proper tribute may be paid to
Mr. President, 1 ask thai the resolutions which I scud to tin
desk may be adopted.
The Vice-President. The Secretary will read the resolu-
tions submitted by the Senator from North Dakota
The resolutions (S. Res. 82) were read and unanimously
ed to, as follows:
, lli.it the Senate has heard with profound sorrow <>f the death
ol the I!"" Martin Nelson Johnson, late a Senator from the St; t< I
K, wived, That the Secretary communicate a copy of these resolutions
ti> the House of Representatives.
Mr. McCumber. Mr. President, as a further tribute of respect
to the memorj of Senator Johnson, I move that the Senate
do now adjourn.
The motion was unanimousl) agreed to; and (at 12 o'clock
and 12 minutes p. m 1 the Sena iurned until to-morrow,
Tuesday, December 7, 1909, al 12 o'clock meridian.
Tuesday, March 7, iqio.
Mr. Mc< 1 11 1 Mr. President at this time I wish to ask
unanimous consent that Saturday, the 2d day of April next,
immediatelj after the conclusion of the morning business, ma\
be set aside in cider that thi may pay just tribute to the
memory of Hon. Martin N. Johnson, late Senator from the
State of North Dakota.
The Vice-President. Is there objection to the request of
the Senator from North Dakota? The Chair hears none, and
that order is made.
Proceedings in the Senate 7
Saturday, April 2, iqio.
The Chaplain, Rev. Ulysses G. B. Pierce, D. D., offered the
Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, who hast loved us with
an everlasting love and hast called us to this day of tender and
reverent memory; hear us, we pray Thee, as we lift to Thee our
prayer of grateful adoration.
We remember before Thee Thy servants who have labored by
our side, and who, having borne the burden and the heat of the
day, have now gone to their reward. We thank Thee, our
Father, for these, who were leaders of the people, bv their coun-
sels and by their wisdom meet to be rulers. Though their
bodies are buried in peace, yet shall not their names be for-
gotten. We rejoice that the memorial of virtue is immortal;
seeing that when it is present men take example of it, and when
it is gone they earnestly desire it. With their strength we are
strong, and their faithfulness makes us faithful. Unite us,
we pray Thee, with the faithful and true, there and here, and
join our hearts with theirs in one fellowship of the Spirit, one
beauty of holiness, and one repose on Thee. Amen.
Mr. McCumbER. Mr. President, I offer the resolutions I send
to the desk and ask for their adoption.
The Vice-President. The resolutions will be read by the
The resolutions (S. Res. 206) were read as follows:
Resolved, That the Semite has heard with profound sorrow of the death
of the Hon. Martin N. Johnson, late a Senator from the State of North
A', wived, That as a mark of respect to the memory of the deceased
Senator, the business of tin- Senate lie now suspended to enable his as-
sociates to pay proper tribute to his high character aiu\ distinguished
8 Proceedings in tht St naU
Resolved, That the Secretary communicate a copy "f these resolutions
to the H i Representatives and transmit a copy there-, .f to the family
of tlit deceased Senator.
The Vice President. The question is cm agreeing to the
The resolutions wefe unanimously agreed to.
Address of Mr. Purcell, of North Dakota
Address of Mr. Purcell, of North Dakota
Mr. President: On March i last the Senate, by unanimous
consent, set apart to-day to pay its final tribute of respect to
one of its members, Hon. Martin Nelson Johnson, United
States Senator from North Dakota, who died October 21,
1909, at Fargo, N. Dak.
My appearance here as a Senator from North Dakota is
due primarily to the death of Senator Johnson, with whom
I had a personal acquaintance extending over a period of
more than twenty years.
Therefore, in accordance with a time-honored custom of
this body and at the request of the family, it becomes my
duty to speak briefly in commemoration of his life and
Martin Nelson Johnson was born March 3, 1850, in
Racine County, Wis., and during that same year his parents
moved to the State of Iowa. He was graduated from the
Iowa State University in 1873, and subsequently taught for
two vears in the California Military Academy, at Oakland, Cal.
He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1876,
having been elected a member of the Iowa legislature from
Winneshiek County during the previous year.
He was made presidential elector for the State of Iowa in
1876, and helped to elect President Hayes He was elected
a state senator in 1877, but in 1882 removed to the Territory
of Dakota, where he located in Nelson County and took up
a homestead under the land laws of the United States, adjoin-
io Memorial Addresses: Martin N. Johnson
ing what is now the town of Petersburg. He served inur
■ • trs as district attorney of Nelson County, Dak. T., from
and in June, [889, was elected a member of the consti
tutional convention of the State of North Dakota.
In this body he took a very prominent part in framing
the constitution of the new State. Ik- was chairman of the
committee on corporations other than municipal, which, next
to the judiciary committee, was the most important com
mittee of all. and he served on several other committees.
In 1SS0 he was defeated for United States Senator, but the
following year was elected a Member of tin- House of Repre-
sentatives, serving as a Member in the Fifty-second, Fifty-third,
Fifty-fourth, and Fifty-fifth Congresses, during the last two
of which he was a member of the Ways and Means Committee.
In [898 he voluntarily retired from the House of Repre-
sentatives to become a candidate for United States Senator, hut
igain defeated in the legislature. For the next eighl years
In took no part in politics, giving his time to farming and
the -rain trade and living on the homestead which he entered
A primary-election law having been passed in North Dakota
in 1907, In again became a candidate for the United £
Senate. In the firsl of the two primar) elections luld thai \ear
he was one of two who received the largesl numbei of \"ics.
and at the second primary received the highest number, thereby
becoming the candidate of the Republican party for United
Senatoi On January jo. 1909, he was elected by the
itun of North Dakota for a term of six years, receiving
every Republican vote in both houses
itoi JOHNSON was married on Jime id. 1879, to Miss Stella
White, who survives him. Foui children were born to them
girls and oik bo\ all of whom ate now married, with the
exception of one daughter.
Address of Mr. Purcell, of North Dakota n
I became acquainted with the deceased on July 4, 1889, at
Bismarck, Dak. T., where the members elected to the consti-
tutional convention met to organize and frame a constitution
for the new State of North Dakota. In that convention I
served with Senator JOHNSON on the committee on corporations
other than municipal, and we became very well acquainted.
We often differed on political matters, but I can truthfully say
that during our long acquaintance we cherished for each other
the highest personal regard.
About the middle of October last, in apparent good health, he
submitted to an operation on his nose for the purpose of remov-
ing a minor difficulty. Neither he nor any member of his
family knew that he was afflicted with any serious disease.
There was nothing in his appearance, bearing, or manner to
indicate that he was in other than the best of health. After
the operation that insidious malady, Blight's disease, showed
itself in an acute form, and further showed that it had for some
time been doing its deadly work. All that human power could
do to ward off the fatal end was done, but without avail, and
on October 21, 1909, about 7 o'clock in the evening, he passed
to his reward.
Martin N. Johnson was a descendant of Scandinavian
parentage, that race which to-day predominates in the States of
Minnesota and North Dakota, and which has settled in large
numbers in other Northwestern States. Sir, to that race,
together w r ith the sturdy German and the ever-plodding Bohe-
mian, is due much of the credit for the wonderful development
of the resources of the Northwestern States. These people,
together with energetic young Americans, were the pioneers
in this section, and by their labor, industry, and thrift have
converted a region, a large part of which was at one time styled
the Great American Desert, into one of tlu- garden spots of our
12 Memorial Addresses: MartinN. Johnson
In this development the deceased was always a prominent
factor. He possessed a passionate fondness for farm life, was
a practical agriculturist, and yet at the same time kept up the
practice of liis chosen profession. lie was a thorough student,
and his well-trained mind enabled him to grasp quickly and
clearly elucidate the underlying principles of any subject to
which he gave his attention. To his acquaintances he was uni-
formly affable and courteous. So tender of heart was he that
in injure i he feelings of anyone gave him the greatest pain.
He was so solicitous of the welfare of others that he often
deprived himself of necessarj conveniences.
As a public speaker In- was the possessor of a style of delivery
and expression which was both clear and convincing. His
judgment was sound, and lie was able to view a situation with a
breadth of vision that is given to but few.
lie loved his country with genuine patriotism, served it unsel-
fishly, was ever attentive to his duties, and no one was ever more
considerate of the wishes and well-being of his constituents.
He met every duty fearlesslj and ever followed where conscience
led. It was because of these noble traits that he was so implic-
itly trusted and so highly esteemed and honored by his constit-
uents, lb loved l he common people, and his outstretched hand
was extended to the laborer in overalls as graciouls) as it was to
the capitalist in broadcloth, lie was a constant and devoted
member of the Methodist Church, and was entirel) devoid of
hypocrisv and cant. He led an ideal Chirstiau life, rever-
< ncing always the things that are pure ami noble and good; ever
mplary in habits, conduct, and deportment. He has left to
the grief-stricken wife and bereaved children a heritage better
than wealth and to the world a splendid example of a life well
lived. He was a kind and loving husband and father, ever
mind ml of the happiness of his loving wife and children. Their
comforl was his lust and last thought.
Address of Mr. Purcell, of North Dakota 13
As I stood with many hundreds of others beside his open
grave in the little cemetery near the farm whereon he had
spent the last twenty-seven years of an eventful life and saw
the sorrowful faces and tear-bedimmed eyes of his many friends,
I thought, as many others have thought on similar occasions,
that "surely this man has not lived in vain." His life was
beautiful in its simplicity; his faith in the mercy of Almighty
14 Memorial Addresses: Martin X. Johnson
Address of Mr. Carter, of Montana
Mr. President: Hon Martin N. Johnson, late a Senatoi
from the State of North Dakota, told the story of his life in
simple and unaffected style in the Congressional Directory. He
was born in Wisconsin in 1850, graduated from the Iowa State
University in 1873, taught school for a time in California,
studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1876, served one
term in each branch of the Iowa legislature, was a presidential
rhetor in 1876, and from his settlement in North Dakota, in
[882, until the time of his death was engaged in farming opera-
tions. His services as a member of the constitutional conven-
tion of his adopted State and in the National House of Repre-
sentatives, and even his period of service in tin- Senate, were
events which merely kept him apart for a time from his chosen
occupation. He was a farmer of superior intelligence; and
while he was known to be a lawyer of ability and a skillful leg-
islator, he always regarded the farm as his home and farming
as his litVs work. Digressions into polities and the holding of
public office he did not permit to absorb nor to deflect his life.
As a good citizen, deeply impressed with the obligations of
citizenship, he attended public meetings, conventions, and gath-
erings of all sorts having to do with the betterment of the soda!
and political life of which he was a part. Like most of the
members of the sturdy race from which be sprung, our lamented
colleague was of .1 conservative disposition. He was little af-
fected by temporary excitement or the passions of the passing
houi : he directed the forces of his keen, calculating mind to the
studv of every question, so thai when he reached a conclusion
it was safe to assume that his position was based upon what he
deemed correct fundamental principles
Address of Mr. Carter, of Montana 15
The political career of our deceased colleague furnishes a
strong additional illustration of the unlimited possibilities open
to every worthy young man in this free country of ours. With-
out influential connections, Martin N. Johnson forged his way
from obscurity to prominence and from poverty to affluence
by employing only such means as are at the disposal of every
voung man possessed of good health, fair intelligence, and solid
integritv. The lesson will be of but little avail to those who
pretend to believe that there is a royal road to eminence. That
dream must always lead to an awakening in the midst of failure
and disappointment. Johnson was, to begin with, an honest,
square man; he was of the dependable sort. To use a phrase
coined by one of his neighbors, " He would stand out in a storm
without hitching." He was reliable because he was a man of
conviction, and not given to taking positions in a frivolous way,
but only as the result of sober thought.
As a member of the Ways and Means Committee of the House
of Representatives he ranked high as a student of economic
questions and a fearless advocate of any cause he thought
proper to espouse. Some ten years later he appeared in the
Senate, and in this forum very soon became known as a staunch,
reliable, clear-headed man, possessed of deep and abiding con-
victions. In all relations he met life's duties and difficulties
fearlessly, and bequeathed to his family and his friends the
imperishable heritage of an untarnished name. The perpetuitv
of our institutions and the well-being of our great eountrv will
always be assured as long as avenues to the highest positions
in the councils of state are open to men of the sterling charac-
ter of him whose death we note in sorrow to-day.
16 Memorial Ac Martin X. Johnson
Address of Mr. Nelson, of Minnesota
Mi President: Ii is not so much because 1 was an ;i«>-
ciate as a Senator in this body that 1 feel impelled ii> paj a
brief tribute to his memorj as because of the fact that in a
certain sense and to a large extent Senator Johnson and my-
self have been associated as pioneers in the work of building
up and developing the great Northwest. I recall the fact that
when I was a schoolboj years ago in Wisconsin what now
constitutes the great St a lis of Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota,
and North Dakota was marked on the map as "the Great
American Desert." That country is no longei a desert; it has
been settled and is occupied by a class of energetic, industrious,
and progressive pioneers, who have carved and created in that
reat States of the Union. Senator Johnson was
born in Wisconsin in 1850. the same year I came to the State
from Illinois. Shortly after his birth he moved with his l'.mhh
i.. northeastern Iowa.
My first recollection of Senator Johnson was in the middle
fifties -1 think in [856 01 [857. His father was 1 Methodist
minister, and for one or two \ears two years, I think
ned as ;i minister in charge of a congregation in the little
village near where I lived. Senator JOHNSON was then a <> 01
7 year old boy, and 1 about seven years his senior. 1 saw him
several times with his parents at church, and recall him as a
ill, and sedate lad. who seemed even then to take a
serious view of life, lie Kit Wisconsin with his fathei in 1-
and went back to Iowa, then former home, and I did not meet
him again until I met him in North Dakota in the earl) eighties,
when he had become one of the pioneers of that Mate
Address of Mr. Nelson, of Minnesota 17.
I came into the northern middle part of Minnesota in 1871,
when it was a sparsely settled and frontier country. Senator
Johnson came into North Dakota somewhere about 1S81 or
1882. North Dakota was then a virgin prairie, with but f ew
settlers. He was one of the leading pioneers of that State, one
of the men who helped to build it up and make it one of the
great Commonwealths in the Mississippi Valley. I met him
occasionally in those early years. As pioneers of adjoining
States, there was a bond of sympathy and fellow-feeling be-
tween us. In Iowa, before coming to North Dakota, Senator
Johnson had secured a collegiate education, been admitted
to the bar, been active in politics, and had served one or two
terms in the state senate and had held other positions of trust.
All this I knew of him, but it was as a pioneer of North Da-
kota I first got really acquainted with him and first really
learned to know him and became acquainted with his noble
character and true worth. As I came to know him more inti-
mately, I found how just, how conscientious, and how candid
he was on all occasions and under all circumstances, and these
traits did not at all times make him popular with a certain
class of politicians.
There was one trait in Senator Johnson's character that
endeared him to the people of North Dakota and the North-
west, and that was, Mr. President, that the people believed,
and justly so, thai he was honest, and always trustworthy and
reliable; and while some criticised him and said that he was
possessed of a little undue vanity and all that, yef everybody,
even his political enemies and those who were opposed to him,
always conceded that In- was n conscientious and honest man.
Mr. President, he was not only conscientious ami honest, but
lie was progressive and possessed of the true spirit of reform.
While not an extreme radical, he, nevertheless, belonged to
50560 — S. 1 >'" 657, " i - -' 2
Mt menial Martin N. Johnson
that nobli the world owes so much —
who believe that then much to cure, much to mend,
and much struct in the social fabric. When a wn
men always seek to find a remedy.
Whi •■ Johnson had the confidence and good will of
the masses of the | i State, he was not always in .
with the active and controlling politicians. By
he was regarded as rather untractable and as a little too inde-
His political career in the State illu his. Twi
is finally elected Senator he came near I The
line, in a caucus ived a
total 'id. although his party had
a large maioritv in t! ture, yet he failed of election.
The next time a fair majority of the legislature
under tin > or implied promi .port him foi
he and his f H- and yet this time,
he failed of election. It was not till North Dakota had
adopted a primary law thai \' finally came to
his own. for then tin te rather than the
politicians liar portunity to express their opinion in his
behalf I the peculiar primary law prevailing in that
State he twice ran the gantlet of the primary and was indorsed
and finally elected, and came to this ; ;" its men
His career in ti. brief and limited, but in the
where he served for a numb
rominent place and served on the Com
s when the Dingley law v.
- can hope to make
in th( when tl high.
ker, and tudenl
of public affail ; i with the ebb and How of the
• much to court •
Address of Mr. Nelson, of Minnesota 19
larity as to gauge the conscience of the public. He aimed to
faithfully represent rather than control the apirations and hopes
of the people, and he was thoroughly conversant with their
wants and needs.
I can not recall any public man in that State who was more
in touch with the rank and file of the people during his life-
time than was he. North Dakota has had a great many able
and progressive men, but he was in the front rank of those men.
In the course of the development and upbuilding of our newer
and younger States the flower of the youth of our older States
have borne an active and leading part. We of the Northwest
owe much to these men. In the State that I have the honor in
part to represent we have had much help from this class of
men. They were among our pioneers and state builders, great
nun who have built up our State and made it what it is to-dav.
The flower of the youth of New Kngland and of the Middle
States have come out to our great western country, and they
have not only aided us in the settlement and development of
our country but in Americanizing our large foreign-born popu-
lation and infusing into them American energy and enterprise
and the spirit of loyalty to the institutions of this country.
Thus in the great State of North Dakota, while their immigra-
tion has been extensive, especially from the countries of north-
ern Europe, they have also had among their immigrants the
flower of the people of the older States, who came there and
helped to make it the mighty Commonwealth which it is to-day.
I think it can be truly said of the people who have settled
there, whether they are native or foreign born, that they arc-
all infused with a spirit of devoted loyalty to and profound
faith in the institutions of this country.
Mr. President, Senator Johnson, if liis life had been spared.
would not have figured as a great orator in this body, but he
would haye proved himself a good debater and a mosl thorough,
20 Memorial Addn m< ?: Martin N, Johnson
faithful, and energetic worker in committees, in formulating
and preparing legislation. In short, he would have proved
himself one of those faithful nun who perform the drudgery
of legislation, and who are more essential to legislativi
than tin.- mere speechmakers. For some years he had been
imbued with the laudable ambition to become a Member of
the Senate, and when success finally crowned his efforts and
he was chosen for a full term of six years death came upon
him in the firs! year of his term after a single session. And
thus ii came to pass that in the midst of that life to which he
had looked forward to with so much hope eternity claimed
him as its own. To us who still linger lure, with our eyes
and thoughts fixed on mundane affairs, his death at the time
and under the circumstances seems pathetic. Bui let us
remember that that Miss which we here seek for in vain is only
found in the realms of immortality.
Address of Mr. Dolliver, oj Iowa 21
Address of Mr. Dolliver, of Iowa
Mr. President: It is a very melancholy duty which we per-
form to-day, in memory of one of our number who at the very
beginning of his career in the Senate was summoned to the larger
activities which lie beyond the life which we live in this world.
I had an opportunity for a great many years to be associated
with our departed friend and to know him with some degree of
intimacy. He was not born in Iowa, but his people were among
the earlv settlers of that State. They came from Wisconsin
when Senator Johnson was only a youth, so that his whole life
and education was among my constituents.
From his bovhood he was a student and a man of ambition
and enthusiasm in all the work which he undertook. He had
the struggles which nearly everybody has had with the narrow
surroundings of life in a new country, But these did not prevent
him from securing a broad and liberal education. He began
his 'studies in one of our little Iowa colleges near his home,
the Upper Iowa University, and in 1873, with a very remarkable
record for diligence as a student, lie graduated from our state
From his early manhood he was a power in the community
in which he lived, both by reason of his character and also by
reason of his unusual equipment for the labors and responsi-
bilities of public life. He served with distinction as a member
of the senate in the general assembly of Iowa when he was a
young man. He was a partisan, I reckon as well settled in his
convictions, and even in his prejudices, as any man whom 1
have ever known; but that did not prevent him from being
popular with all parties in every better sense of that won! He
22 Memorial Addt XIartinN.)
was more than onci sentative of his party, while
he remained in Iowa, in the conventions, local and national,
which determined its polic) and presented its candidates; and
his departure from cur State to a new and, as he thought, a
field left behind him a multitude of friends whom no man
lie was one of the advance guard that went from Iowa into
the Northwest. In. this country we an mgely nomadic
people. I think the most startling peculiarity of our population
is the facl thai hardly anybody has felt bound to live per-
manently where he first located.
The old sense of the homestead which once dominated life in
States like Virginia and Massachusetts, one of the traits of our
inheritance, has practically disappeared, and there are State
which have poured out the wealth of their citizenship, their
young men, and their able men, to lav the foundatii »ns < if si >cict y
in unsettled communities afar off, which present the glamor of
opportunity to the imaginations of the strong
The State of Iowa in the last (uent\ years has contributed
probably more than any one settled community in the United
to the -low th of the newer States lying toward the
West and toward the Northwest. He was a pioneer of that
peculiarly American movement, because while Senator Johnson
andinavian ancestry In was American, as his people
were iii even true sense- of that word. IK- was a pioneer in the
emigration which took so many to the prairies of North Dakota
when that section of the United States was practically a wilder-
• I vilderness in tin old sense of the word, for there
la\ that boundless meadow waiting only for the industry and
skill ■ us men and women to develop r< tically
II. became a farmer in the actual sense of that word We
ha 1 mam Meml - ingress who h
Address of Mr. Dolliver, of Iowa 23
mended themselves to our favorable attention as farmers.
Onlv a very few of them, however, have lived on their land
within recent years. Senator Johns* in was a man whose home
was his North Dakota farm and whose life work outside of his
public service was that most ancient and most honorable occu-
pation of man.
I remember a few years ago when I was traveling across the
State of North Dakota — I think it was in the presidential cam-
paign of 1904 — with a very distinguished party, including the
former Vice-President of the United States, then a candidate"
for that office, the train passed the homestead of Martin N.
Johnson, and we enjoyed the sight, at 60 miles an hour, of
seeing our old friend out in front of his barn, waving an imple-
ment of husbandry, as a sort of passing welcome, to the travel-
ers through his domain.
Notwithstanding the fact that his labors were engrossed with
the cultivation of this North Dakota farm, he never altogether
li isl his taste for the public service. My first intimate acquaint-
ance with him was when we came, near the same time, to Con-
gress; and I will say, in passing, that men who served together
their first terms in Congress, when this familiar machinery of
government seemed new and strange, have had an experience
which, whatever may be the vicissitudes of life, is never likely
to be reproduced in any exigency of their service.
Young men who came for the first time to the Capitol as Rep-
resentatives and fell into the storms which used to rage in the
Hall of the House of Representatives week after week received
impressions which made fast friends of those who enjoyed the
I remember that I came here with very definite ideals and a
very high notion of the dignity and of the solemnity of Con-
gress. I recall that once while the storm of insurrection against
tin- newly elected Speaker, Mr. Reed, was at its height I lost
24 Memorial Addresses: Martin N. Johnson
faith in free institutions. I said t<> myself, this howling mul-
titude can not be the Government of the United States. I came
over to the Senab as .1 sorl of relief to excited feelings. I
came in here timidly, having jusl learned of my pried,
this Boor, and our venerable friend, the late Senator Morgan,
was making a speech on the Nicaraguan canal. Everything
seemed to he quiet. His speech moved like the steady stream
that you find in a book — no inflections, no efforts at eloquent
outbursts, hardly any punctuation, a flowing river of the most
perfect English speech that I have ever heard spoken on this
1 noticed, however, thai everybody seemed to 1 ike il foi
granted that Senat in knew exactly whal he was about
and needed very little assistance from his audience in order to
secure the necessary enthusiasm to proceed with his remarks.
I said to myself, How can it be possible that the Government
of the United States can be conducted by a mob in one end of
the Capitol and a deserted Senate in the other?
I went into the chamber of the Supreme Court, and th<
found a man reading a brief to the court in a patent ease; and
that spot alone filled the ideal that was in my mind of the
dignity, the solemnity, and the safety of our institutions.
Senatoi Johnson and I shared these feelings together in the
liisi years of our service. We sat near each other, and when
afterwards we were appointed together on the Ways and Means
Committee we formed one with another that bond of sympathy
which always arises between two good people, both of whom
occupy !>aek seats. We sat on the committee during the Ion-
winter of 1896 07. when the Republican members were pre-
paring the tariff law which has just disappeared under trying
circumstances from our statute books. Johnson was one of
the hardest workers upon the committa
Address of Mr. Dolliver, of Iowa
No detail of the business escaped him. He was never absent.
He was never late. He always wanted to know. He tired
some of the members of the committee — I may say all of them —
by this zeal to know, and the absolute determination which was
in his mind that nothing should be done without being fully
explained. It was a hard winter. Every man who worked on
the committee that winter was bound to every other man in the
ties of a friendship which has been broken only as one after
another has gone to his reward.
When he came to the Senate it was only the natural fruition
of a career of unwearied devotion to the people he was called
to represent. He stood for them in every sense of the word.
He had borne with them the burdens of pioneer life. He had
shared with them the labors of breaking up the tough sod. He
had fought with them the good fight of the frontier and had
come into the possession with them of the rewards of prosperity
He was a man of inflexible conscience; a man who feared
God and kept His commandments; a student of public ques-
tions, with mind and heart open to the problems of the times;
a man faithful always in the discharge even of the humblest
duties; and I felt with all of you a sincere sense of sorrow when,
without notice even that he was sick, I heard that, in the very
prime of his life, in the midst of public labors which promised
new trophies of honor and distinction, he was stricken down.
We do well in the Senate and in the countrv to pay tribute
to the memory of such a man. He had not a wide celebrity in
any of the work which he had done. He was a modest man-
a man who overestimated in no way either his talents or the
importance of his service. He did good work with scant adver-
tisement. But when he came here, in common witli everybody
who had ever known him, I made the prediction and indulged
the constant belief that if his service was continued for any
26 Memorial Add\ Martin N. Johnson
h of time he would not only impress his personality upon
this greal assembly, but that he would have recognition among
all his countrymen for g 1 work well d<
Such a man is entitled in more ill sing word on such
an occasion. We can not do anything to add to his reputation.
We can not do anything to light rief of his peo]
diction of those who were mar and dear to him.
But we only discharge a dut) -nol a formal duty, but a duty
which ought never to be neglected— by setting aside this hour
! this peculiarly American career and for a tribute
to this peculiarly useful public servant.
Address of Mr. McCumber, oj North Dakota
Address of Mr. McCumber, of North Dakota
Mr. President: In the strength of his manhood, in the
noonday of his vigor, and in the fullness of his intellectual
power, when seemingly 'best prepared by learning and experi-
ence to serve his country and his State in that high official
position to which he had been so recently elevated by the
voice of a people, death has removed Senator Johnson from
the field of this world's labors. He died in the city of Fargo
on the 21st of October last, after a very brief illness.
Senator Martin Nelson Johnson was born in Racine
County, Wis., on the 3d day of March, 1850. He was married
to Miss Stella White on June 16, 1879, and is survived by her
and by his daughter Edith (Mrs. S. G. Skulason), his daughter
Nellie (Mrs. S. M. Hydle), his daughter Florence, and his son
Senator Johnson's father and mother were both natives of
Norway, the former emigrating to this countrv in 1839. In
the year of his birth his family moved to the State of Iowa,
where he was reared to manhood. After attending the Upper
Iowa University, at Fayette, he entered the State University of
Iowa and graduated therefrom in the year 1873. Then fol-
lowed two years as instructor in the California Military Acad-
emy, at Oakland. In 1875 he returned to the Stale of Iowa.
The same year he was elected to the slate legislature. This
was his first entry into political life. Since that time he has
held the following official positions: In the year 1876 he was
presidential elector on the Republican ticket. From 1877 to
[881 he was a member of the state senate of Iowa. From (886
to [890 lie was district attorney in North Dakota. In 1889 ' u
28 Memorial Address* s: Martin N. Johnson
was a member of the constitutional convention which framed
the constitution of the Stab of North Dakota. From [890 to
1898 he was Congressman ai lar^i- from the State of North
Dakota. At the primary election of 1908 he received the
nomination foi United States Senatoi and was elected by the
legislature on the 20th day of January, 1009, and held
that position from March 3, 1909, to October 21, the day of
His public services to the State of North Dakota were most
important. A firm believer in the cause of temperance, he was
the strongest advocate for, and the most potent four in secur-
ing, constitutional prohibition against the manufacture and
sak- of intoxicating liquors in the State. Later, when an
attempt was made to transfer the Louisiana Lottery to the Statl
of North Dakota, Mr. Johnson was the leading figure and
power in the battle against that attempt.
In polities he was a Republican, a firm believer in the pro-
tective policy of that party and an earnest advocate of its
sound-money principles. In the Fift) fourth and Fift) fifth
Congresses he was a member of the Ways and Means Com
mittee of the House, and was an influential and an important
factor in framing the Dingle) tariff law. As a Membei of ( on
gress he introduced as an amendment to the military appro
priation bill a provision for abolishing the canteen in the United
States Army, and thus planted the seed of a sentiment which
grew until it became a law upon our statute books.
During the campaign of 1896 he made man) addresses m
favoi ol the gold standard, and his presentation of the subject
had much to do with lining up his own State in favor of that
policy. Although for nearly nine years he held no public
position, he nevertheless took a leading part in every political
campaign in his Stati
Address of Mr. McCumber, of North Dakota 29
His previous experience in tariff legislation was a valuable
asset, and had its influence upon his actions and votes in the
last Congress, where, after securing what he considered the
best bill that could be passed, he supported bv his vote on all
occasions the report of the Committee on Finance, and gave his
hearty adherence to the present administration.
Thus his public career has been ever one of high ideals and
unflinching fidelity to principle. But, Mr. President, T doubt
very much if the public career of any man, however great, is
ever so potent in its influence for good upon future generations
as is a private life well and honorablv lived:
Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things in
which smiles, kindness, and small obligations given habitually are what
preserve the heart and secure comfort.
The political life of President McKinley is one that challenges
the admiration of every citizen in the land. His fortitude, his
wisdom, his zeal, and his patience give special luster to his
political actions. But, after all, that element of his character
which will live longest and sink deepest into the hearts of the
American people is the grandeur of his private life, its fidelity,
its sympathy and tenderness, and the serenitv of its close, when
forgotten were the duties of state and his whole life's work
found expression in his last words, "Nearer, my God, to Thee."
President Lincoln faced a mightier public calamity and was
confronted by greater and more complex political problems than
have ever been faced by any other American official. He met
them all with a wisdom and skill and with a courage and faith
unsurpassed and unequaled in the world's long history. But
that which will make the life of Abraham Lincoln immortal,
not only in the history of his own country, but throughout all
countries, are his homely virtues, his great heart, his sympath)
and tenderness, his mercy and forgiveness.
30 Memorial A ddr i VI ar tin N. Johnson
Mr. President, the firmament of the world's history is
alread} studded with stars of the first magnitude, each with
a brilliancy reflecting its own special virtues, each with its
ray touching into activity some noble emotion or ambition.
: i portraying our ideal of the soldier, the statesman, the
philanthropist, the poet, the scientist, tin- inventor, the gn
and good of all ages. Their numbers are sufficient to fill the
world with inspiration and engender laudable ambition in
every heart susceptible to their influence. But the influence of
a mighty name of some past age upon the individual is slight
when compared with that of the living presence, the com-
radeship of the great and wise and good of oui own day.
Each distant star may be a sun that warms a hundred worlds.
Inn it is tlie fire of our own hearths whose glow must ever
warm into being those nobler impulses that shall give strength
and charactei to each succeeding generation.
To have made the life of one woman a jo) and a comfort,
to have raised a family of boys and girls upon whose character
he has left the impress of his own integrity and courage and
honor and lofty purposes qualities that die not with the
in, but ate transmitted through generation after geiii
tion sureh this is the apex of all true greatness.
Measured by that standard the private life of Senator
Johnson eclipses even the fait record of his public services.
His home life was ideal. He was husband, father, instructor,
and companion. Those who knew him well tell me that no
matter how dark tin- clouds might gather around him, lie
brought nothing but sunshine into his own home surround
ings. Hi^ heart was ever kind and generous. Neither
rudeness nor ungraciousness ever found a place in his nature.
Conscious of the uprightness of his motives, his mind was
evei serenit) itself. In political defeat or private misfortune
Address of Mr. McCumber, of North Dakota 31
he was ever in a happy frame of mind. Bright and quick in
repartee, his wit was that "which loved to play, not wound."
He had few enemies, because he would be no man's enemy.
He forgave without the asking. His heart was big enough to
house the world in its good will, but in it was no room to
harbor the memory of a wrong.
As an advocate of a principle, his addresses were always
clear and logical. He talked to the people and with them.
In all his debates no one ever heard a word of bitterness
against an opponent.
Senator Johnson was a member of the Methodist Episcopal
Church — not an idle, but an active, member of that body. As
a coworker in that church, his foremost thought was ever
concerning the young, the coming generation. Many a church
assembly has' heard him plead for childhood's rights:
Start the children right; surround their younger days with helpful and
healthful environments; engender in their nature fidelity to principle
and courage to battle for it; teach them patriotism and temperance in
These were the principles he advocated; and that which he
advised others he also carried out by example.
To most of the Senators he was a comparative stranger.
Their acquaintance with him was confined to the single special
session which closed August 5; and yet, though a new man in
their midst, though self-repressed by a natural sense of mod-
esty and that unwritten rule which expects but little participa-
tion in debates by a Senator during the first session in which
he serves, Senator Johnson was rapidly winning the esteem
and confidence of his fellow-Members and was already impress-
ing the Senate with the sturdiness of his character. Those who
had previous service with him in the House knew that he would
in the Senate maintain his excellent political record.
32 Memorial Addn w< r. - Martin N. Johnson
Mr. President, in these days when the spirit of commercialism
dominates a larger portion of our press than ever before, when
ationalism is rampant over all the land, when false issues,
shamelessl) arrayed in words never intended for ignoble use, are
manufactured for selfish ends, when temptation to ride into
places of trust on some tidal wave of popular error created for
that purposi and which may be as transient and ephemeral as
the mist , is so prevalent, we need not so much past ideals to
guide and strengthen us as men <>f to-day with courage invin-
cible for truth, living examples that it is better to be right at all
times than to be popular some of the time. Senator JOHNSON
had that courage, that fidelity that would deem defeat a victory
if in the right cause. That is the record not Only of his public
rain i . but as well of his private life
His desire was to benefit humanity. It was his ambition foi
twentv years to become a Member of the United States Senate,
to carry that desire into effective legislation; and when that
ambition was a t last realized, no man was happier than he 01
more ready to take upon his shoulders all the burdens and
duties of that high office.
Upon the trestle board of hope he had long before traced the
design of his own life's edifice a structure which should be
useful, and fair, and true, and lofty. Patiently and faithfully
had he builded along those lines until its fair proportions fore-
shadowed its future grandeur. And when it had reached that
I completion from whence he could clearly discern the
culmination of his endeavors, the fruition of his ambition, and
his heart's fairest hopes, the stroke of death fell upon him.
uid noble resolutions and loft) purposes were as a dream that
We are unable, Mr President, to comprehend that edict of
Providence which cut short a promising career at a time that
Address of Mr. McCumber, of North Dakota 33
seemed to him and to those who knew him to be so propitious
Yet through all we know that this tangled skein is in the hands of One
who sees the end from the beginning He shall yet unravel all.
In a little mound overlooking his own home, the scenes of his
labors and joys for more than twenty years, he sleeps to-day,
dead, but living still in the influence of his past life, living in
the lives of friends and neighbors, living in the lives of his own
children, and to live again in lives that are vet to be.
For, as a fountain disappi ir
To gush again in future years
So hidden blood may find a day,
When centuries have rolled away,
And fresher lives betray at last
The lineage of a far-i iff p
50560 — S. Doc. f>57. 61-2 3
34 Proceedings in the House
PROCEEDINGS IN THE HOUSE
Thursday, Man h .■ <. i<>io.
The I [i mse mel at \ 2 o'clock m.
The following prayer was offered by the Chaplain, Rev.
Henry X. Couden, D. D.:
( >ur Father in heaven, we bless Thee for the goodl) heritage
which lias come down to us oul of the past, enriching our lives,
making the world a better dwelling place for mankind. Help
us in realize thai it is not what a mat oul of the world,
bul what he puts into it. thai counts in the dispensation of Thy
Providence. May we be inspired to use the talents which Thou
hast bestowed upon us to enrich mankind and leave the world
a little better than we found it, in the Spirit of the Lord, Christ.
Mr. Hanna. Mr. Speaker. 1 desire to offer th< following
The Speaker. The gentleman from North Dakota asks unani-
mous consenl to offer the following resolution.
The Clerk read as follows:
in ..1" the House on Sunday, the 24tl
( ,f April ipirt for addresses on the life, chai
and public services of the late M irti . \ Johnson, late .1 Senator from
te ol \ T orth Dal
The question was taken, and the order was agreed to.
Sunday, 1 j-> il 2
The I louse- mi 1 lock m.
The Chaplain. Rev. Henry \. Couden, D. 1' . delivered the
() Thou Great Spirit, Father Soul, ever present in the soul of
man to inspire and encourage to nobler life. We thank fhee
Proceedings in the House 35
with all our mind and heart and soul that the spirit of the
Christian religion is surely coming into the hearts of Thy chil-
dren; that the creeds and dogmas which enthralled are passing
away; that the Christian religion is no longer regarded as a
riddle to be solved, but a life to be lived for the good of human-
ity. We are assembled here to-day in memory of one who lived
for his home, which he loved with all his heart, the purity of
which he regarded as the bulwark of civilization; for his coun-
trv, which he held sacred and worthy of noblest effort and per-
sonal sacrifice. He recognized behind all we perceive with our
physical senses a supreme intelligence, a moral order, and
spiritual realm, and lived and died a consistent member of his
His fellow-countrymen were quick to recognize the qualities of
mind and heart which marked him a superior and called him to
public service. Wherever he was placed he satisfied their
expectations in a service of industry, courage, honestv, and
efficiency. Long may his memory live in the hearts of those
who knew him, and to inspire coming generations. And now,
O Father, comfort those who knew and loved him, especially be
very near to the faithful wife, who was ever an inspiration and
a solace in victory or defeat; to the children whom she bore
him; may the blessed hope of immortality encourage them to
look forward to the bright beyond with perfect faith, where Thy
children shall be gathered in the bonds of love forever. And
pa-ans of praise we will ever give to Thee through Jesus Christ
our Lord. Amen.
The Speaker pro tempore (Mr. Hanna). The Clerk will read
the order of the dav.
The clerk read as follows :
( hdered, That there be a session of the House on Sunday, the 24th day
of April, at 1 1 o'clock, to be set apart for addresses on the life, character,
and public services of Hon. Martin N. Johnson, late a Senator from the
State of North Dakota
Proceedings in the Ho
The Speaker pro tempore. The Chair would ask the gentle-
man from North Dakota [Mr. Gronna] to kindly take the chair.
Mr. Gronna assumed the chair as Speaker pro tempore.
Mr. Hanna. Mr. Speaker, I respectfulh offer the folio
resolution, and ask t hut it be read.
The Speaker pro tempore. The gentleman from North Da-
kota offers a resolution, which the- Clerk will rep
The Clerk read as follows:
thofHon Martin \ Joh nator of the Uni
the House be
tor Martin \
'flu' Speaker pro tempore. The question
The quest :en, and the resolution was unanimously
Address of Mr. Hanna, of Notth Dakota 37
Address of Mr. Hanna, of North Dakota
Mr. Speaker: On March 24 last, by unanimous consent, to-
day, Sunday, April 24, 1910, was set apart by this House for
addresses on the life, character, and public service of Hon.
Martin - N. [ohnson, late a Senator from the State of North
Senator Johnson was born March 3, 1850, in Racine County,
Wis. He died October 21, 1909, at Fargo, Cass County, N.
Dak. His father was the Rev. Nelson Johnson, who came to
this country in 1839 and who was a Methodist Episcopal clergy-
man for more than twenty-live years. The Senator's father
was also a farmer and kept close to the soil.
The family moved to Iowa in 1850, and it was in that State
that Senator Johnsi in was reared to manhood and educated for
his life's work. He prepared for college and entered the Upper
University of Iowa at Fayette. From there he went to the
state university and took the full classical course and was
graduated in 1873.
After his graduation he became a teacher and taught in the
California Military Academy at Oakland, Cal.
In 1875 he returned to Iowa, studied law, and was admitted
in the bar. He entered politics at the age of 25 years and was
elected a member of the legislature. A Near after his election
to the legislature he was a presidential elector on the Repub-
lican ticket and helped to elect Rutherford B, Hayes President
of the United States.
38 Memorial Addn ■>■ r; Martin N, Johnson
In 1877 he was elected state senator in the state legislature
and served four years in that capacity. In 1882 he came to
what was then the Territor) of Dakota and settled a shorl dis
tance west of the cit) of Grand Forks, near what is now the
village of Petersburg, in Nelson County.
Senator Johnson for the first four years after his arrival in
the Territory of Dakota devoted all of his attention to farming.
In [886 he was elected district attorney of his county and again
in [888, serving four years in that capacity. In [889 the
Dakotas, with other Territories, were admitted as States, and
Senatoi [ohnson was sent as one of the delegates to the con-
stitutional convention held at Bismarck, the state capital, and
there, as a member of that convention, he was one of the hard-
working and faithful members of that important body, He
was chairman of the committee on corporations other than
municipal, and he had largely to do with the shaping of legis-
lation on prohibition and education.
In that year, when the legislature of the new State met, la-
was a candidate foi the United States Senate, and it is believed
by many of his friends that he should have been one of the first
Senators from the State of North Dakota.
In 1890 he was elected a Member of the National House of
Representatives and was three times thereafter renominated
by acclamation and elected a Member of Congress and so served
hi Mats in this body, with credit to himself and honor to
the people of the State which he represented. He served on
1 ral of the most important committees in this House, among
them being the Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures
and the Committee on Ways and Means and was a member of
the Committee on Ways and Means at the time the so called
tariff law was enacted
He married Miss Stella White, who survives him. in 1879.
She was the daughter of Amos White, and her ancestors have
Address of Air. Haniia, of North Dakota 39
lived in America for more than two and one-half centuries.
Senator Johnson and his wife were the parents of four chil-
dren — three daughters and one son — all of whom are now living.
The eldest daughter, Edith, is the wife of S. G. Skulason, a
prominent young attorney of the second judicial district. Mr.
vSkulason served as private secretary during Senator Johnson's
service in the United States Senate. Mr. Skulason and his
wife are the parents of two children.
The second daughter, Nellie, is the wife of Mr. S. M. Hydle,
of Williston, N. Dak., who is in the banking business in that
city. They have one child.
The third daughter, Florence, is a young lady about 17 vears
of age and is at home with her mother.
The only son, Ralph, is married, in business and doing well
at Bronson, Minn.
In the summer of 1907, Senator Johnson announced himself
as a candidate for the United States Senate and at the state-
wide primary election in June, 1908, he received the second
highest vote for the Senatorship in a field of four candidates.
Under the law in the State of North Dakota, where no candi-
date receives the majority of all the votes cast for Senator, or
at least 40 per cent, it is necessary for the two highest candi-
dates to run again at the regular election in November; and at
the second primary election Senator Johnson received the
highest vote, and when the legislature met in January, 1909, he
was elected by a large majority of that legislature as United
States Senator from the State of North Dakota
I personally knew Senator Johnson for a little over twenty
years, and in looking back over his life can not help but feel
that it is one which must appeal to everyone who is interested
in tin- possibilities that lie before a man who has the stead
fastness of purpose, (he resolve to accomplish, tin- good judg-
40 Memorial Addt Martin N. Johnson
ment, ilu- high integrity, and the confidence of the people in I
measure which Senatoi Johnson had.
In the constitutional convention he was one of its best mem-
bers, always standing for that which was right, sound, and
conservative, and he had largely to do with the fact thai North
Dakota has prohibition against the sale of liquor stamped into
the constitution of th<' State.
When he was first defeated for United States Senator, in
i 889, many men in his place would, perhaps, have felt aggrieved,
as he certainly had a right to feel, and would, perhaps, have
halted in their loyalty and in their work for the party; but
not so with him. lie was an optimist, always looking to the
future, and while he may have hit that he had not been treated
rightly, \et he never halted in his allegiance to the party of
which he was a member and which he believed represented that
which was best for his Stale and Nation.
In 1890 he was nominated and elected to Congress and served
continuously for eight years. These were the years when the
whole countr) was under a very serious state of depression;
hard times, panics, and the prices of everything, ami especiall)
those products which the farmer produces, were at the very
lowest point. Senator JOHNSON was a member of the \\
and Means Committee here in this House in 1896. He made a
stud) of the tariff question. He believed that protection was
nee. make this country a -teat manufacturing nation
a home market to the farmers for their produi
IK- '.vent befon the peopli of North Dakota upon this ;
tion and upon the question of ,1 sound currency, and the)
turned him as Representative in Congress as long as he w
In 1898 he again became a candidate for the United States
.ate, but was defeated in the legislature the following winter.
although In.- was the leading candidate in a field of a number
Address of Mr. Hanna, of North Dakota 41
of candidates for the position. He went back to his farm cheer-
fully, optimistically, and just as good a Republican as he had
ever been. In the campaigns in the years that followed he was
always ready to go to any place in the State and to speak for
the ticket, and did so; and finally, after all the years and after
a long struggle in the primaries, in the winter of 1909 he was
made the unanimous choice of the Republicans of the state
legislature of his State and was elected to the position which
he had long and honorably sought — that of United States
He came to Washington and here met many of his oldc om-
rades, with whom he had served in the old davs when he was
a Member of this body. He was here during the special ses-
sion of this, the Sixty-first, Congress, while the tariff bill was
under discussion, and by reason of his long service in this
House and his sen-ice on the Ways and Means Committee at
the time of the passage of the Dingley tariff law he was con-
sulted by the leaders in the Senate many times upon the sched-
ules that went to make up the new tariff law. He voted for
the law, and was prepared, as I have heard him state, to go
out before the people of his State and to defend his position
Senator Johnson was always a man who was never afraid
to do that which he believed was the right thing to do, regard-
less of the effect that it might have upon his own personal
political fortunes or ambitions. The question that was always
uppermost in his mind was whether a proposition was right or
not, and if he believed it was right he never hesitated or fal-
tered in his course.
When the money qu« stiorj came up in 1896 it looked as though
the State of North Dakota would espouse the cause of free
silver. Senator Johnson- believed in sound money. It did not
seem to be a popular thing for him to do, but lie went out over
42 Merhorial Addresses: Martin N. Johnson
the State, regardless of his own political fortunes, and stood
solidly, tl mil \ , and true for sound money and a sound currency,
and time has proven that he was right.
I heard him express himself many times last summer, and
again last fall, while he was in Fargo, just before his death,
stating that he was looking forward ti> the time when he could
go upon the stump in his State and take up the question of
the new tariff law with his constituents, as he believed that he
could convince the people of North Dakota that he had voted
righl and in their interest upon that question.
He was a man of the very highesl character, and had a very
strong hold upon a large majority of the people of his State.
The reason for this, I believe, was the fact that everyone,
whether they were with him or against him. believed that he
ibsolutely honesl in his views and convictions; and think-
ing of him to-day, remembering him as I knew him. it seenis
to me that no higher tribute could he paid to him, that I could
say nothing better 01 stronger in his favor, as [ speak to you
now, than to sav that the rank and tile of the people of the State
of North Dakota believed absolutely in the honesty, in the
sincerity, and in the integrity of Senator JOHNSON.
He was a Christian man and lived the life of a Christian in
its fullest sense. He had been a member and an active member
of the Methodist Church his whole life. lie was always ready
to lend a helping hand to every need and to (.-very good enter-
prise and was one of the most kindly and approachable men
that I have ever known.
He died in my home city. 1 saw him only a day or two be-
fore his death, and he had no thought, and 1 had none, that the
end was so near. He wis sure he would be out again within a
! two and would be all ri^ht and as Strong and as well as
ever, and I can not describe to you th hock that the
Address of Mr. Hanna, of North Dakota 43
news of his death was to me. Death is always sudden at the
His funeral was held in the little village where he had lived
and been its foremost citizen for so many years. It had been
storming for some days previously; the roads were bad, and the
day was bleak and cold. The leading men of the State were
present to attend the funeral — the governor, United States Sena-
tor, Congressmen, members of the legislature, and men of promi-
nence in every walk and avenue of life; but of all those who
were present that which appealed to me most was to see gath-
ered there such a large number of his old friends and neigh-
bors who had come from miles around, the men and women
who had gone into that part of the State as he had In the early-
days, who were, like him, pioneers, and who had seen and suf-
fered with him the hardships and the trials of the early years,
those hardships and trials so incident to the opening up of a new
country, when crops were bad, when frost and hot winds and
drought had ruined many times the expectations of their efforts
and of their labors, and when sometimes it had perhaps seemed
as though the struggle was too hard and could not be kept up;
and then, with that "Hope that ever springs eternal from the
human heart," they and he had struggled again and again,
until at last God in His infinite mercy had crowned and re-
warded their efforts with success. It mattered not to these old
friends, who came driving in from far and near, how raw and cold
the day or how rough and muddy the roads were. They had
come to tender to him who was dead the tribute of their respect
and of their love.
The little church could not half accommodate the people, but
those who could not get inside patiently waited outside, that
after the service they might follow the remains to their last
resting place. An eloquent and touching sermon was preached
44 Memorial I Martin N. Johnson
by tin- presiding elder of the Methodisl Church of thai district,
an old friend of i he Senator.
The coffin was covered with flowers, and I could nol help but
wish that those flowers, with their petaled lips, might have had
ih« pow< i in speak and, whispering, tell to him the story of the
nd respect which his friends and neighbors had for him.
It is hard to understand in this life why men struggle lor
power all their lives and at last, perhaps, reach the very height
of their ambition, and then death comes and cuts the brittle
l of life and launches them into eternity. We can not
understand these things. We can only say that One who is
greater than we decides the question of life or death for us.
His laws are immutable, and we can not and we must not
question. T is said that —
All tlie world's a stage, and all the men and women merely pi
Phej hav< their exits and their en t ranees, and one man in liis time plays
Senator foHNSON had his part, and he played it nobly. He
has Ki't behind him an unsullied name, a splendid record, and
while we may wish that he might have lived on and continued
to serve his Stale and Nation, yet the example which he has set
ii young men and young women, his exemplary life, as
we look back over it to-day, is a splendid heritage for his wife
and children and for his children's children in the years to come.
To me he was not only a political associate; he was more; he
;v friend; and I am -lad to stand here to-day and I
mv testimony with others to the memory of this upright and
Friend after friend departs.
Who has not lost a friend ?
There is no union here of hearts
that finds not here an end.
Address of Mr. Martin, of South Dakota 45
Address of Mr. Martin, of South Dakota
Mr. Speaker: My personal acquaintance with Senator
Johnson was of short duration, but it was long enough to at
once recognize the type and quality of the man. He was
friendly, companionable, public spirited' and full of zeal in the
performance of the labors of every day.
His service in the House of Representatives terminated two
years before mine began. My opportunity to know him person-
allv was confined to the special session of the present Congress,
when he came again to Washington as Senator from a sister
State. He was a frequent visitor upon the floor of the House.
He seemed to have a fondness for the old arena of legislative
debate where he was a participant in the earlier years of his
congressional service — a sentiment quite common among Sena-
tors who began their national careers in this, the people's legis-
While having but a short personal acquaintance with our
departed friend, I have entire familiarity with the region and
conditions in which he lived his honorable and useful life. His
youth was spent in Iowa. He moved to Dakota Territory in
1882. The organic act creating two States in 1889 out of the
Territory of Dakota left him in the northern State. There is
much in common between these two young Commonwealths.
Vasl stretches of virgin prairie attract the ambitious home
builder. Mineral wealth slumbers beneath the surface, to be
awakened by the touch of development. A northern latitude,
high altitude, and a bracing climate are proofs against ennui
and inaction. Nature is new and undeveloped and potential,
and fairly urges to labor and conquest. It is a poor man's
4<> Memorial Addresses: Martin A". Johnson
country, with certain reward for industrious, frugal toil. Con-
ditions like these have always attracted a hardy, honest, depend-
able citizenship. Ii was in this region of enterprise and oppor-
tunity that Martin V JOHNSON found a congenial field for the
growth and fruition of his strong, courageous, and kindly man-
hood Here he lived and wrought successfully, a man among
Senator [OHNSON was a product of the new West. His
parents before him, and he in his turn, met obstacles only to
overcome them. The daily hardships of the frontier life only
di vi loped skill for other conflicts and added fiber and quality
of character to the manhood and womanhood of the frontier.
Che pioneers are the real heroes of American progress. From
the time that our Puritan fathers landed at Plymouth and
began the conquest of a continent, we have been a nation of
pioneers. Difficulties, dangers, and obstacles have been
encountered on every hand. But they have been met and
vanquished, and the national character has grown strong in
the conflict. This has been our national experience as settle-
ment has pushed on over the Alleghanies, across the valleys of
the Ohio, the Mississippi and the Missouri, sealed the Rocky
Mountains, and touched upon the Pacific coast. The pioneer
conditions that contributed strength and independence of
character to our colonial forefathers are still a factor in tin- new
life of the intermountaiu and Pacific Wist. But our virgin
territory is fast disappearing. Soon, like Alexander, we will
have no more worlds to conquer. Wealth and luxury will he
our portion, with all tin- insidious temptations to idleness and
Will the nation be Strong and brave and honest in affluence
as it has been in privation and hardship? And what nati
experience may we hope will supply the loss of the discipline
and educational qualit) of the frontier 5
Address of Mr. Martin, of South Dakota 47
The death of a typical, able, successful man of the West sug-
gests the observations which I have made.
Senator Johnson belonged to the common people, of whom
Abraham Lincoln said that "God must love the common people
or He would not have made so many of them."
In the death of such a man the nation sustains an inevitable
loss. But his memory will abide — a bright and undying legacy
to his family and friends.
Memorial Addresses: Martin N. Johnson
Address of Mr. Sulzer, of New York.
Mr. Speaker: The countrj lost an able and a fearless and
faithful public servant in the sad and sudden death of Senator
Johnson. He was a man of the people and lor the people.
He had an inherent n or justice; the courage of his con-
victions; a fine sense of honor; a rugged, sunshiny nature; a
gem irgiving disposition; the respect and admiration of
all who knew him; and an intense love of our fret.' institutions
and devotion to country thai was patriotism personified.
When I can ongress, nearh sixteen years ago, Mr.
Johnson was one of the stalwart leaders in this House from
the great Northwest and a useful and prominent member of
the Ways and Means Committee. He took a leading part in
the legislative work that culminated in the enactment of the
Din-lev tariff law, and the Record shows that he was alert
and active in framing and shaping many good laws for the
benefit of all the people. He had an attractive personality
and manifested fraternal interest in the welfare of a new
Member. At all events, it was so in my case, and in the very
inning of thi ited first session of the Fifty-fourth
Congress, in 1895, we became fast friends; and that friendship
wing stronger am U the time, and ripened by
the years that have come and -one, lasted until the untimely
summon- of death called Senator Johnson to the great beyond
and checked in the midst of his busy life, at the summit
of his career, and on the threshold of his opportunities
Lrtbly endeavors for his State and his country
and his fellow num.
The story of the life of Martin N. I 1- illustrative
of the Republic, aw\ accentuates what has
Address of Mr. Sulzer, of New York 49
frequently been said about so many great men who have
achieved eternal fame in our legislative history. He was
eminently a self-made man — the architect of his own career.
He was born on a farm in Racine County, Wis., on the 3d day of
March, 1850. The same year his parents removed to a farm in
the State of Iowa. He attended the district school, did the
usual farm work, and lived the life of a country boy on the
frontier. Being of a studious disposition, he was sent to the
Iowa State University, from which institution he graduated
with high honors in 1873. He then went to California and
taught for two years in the California Military Academy at
Oakland. He studied law there and was admitted to the bar
in 1876. Then he returned to the State of Iowa and served a
term in each branch of the state legislature. He was a Haves
elector from the Dubuque district and voted for Hayes in the
electoral college of 1876. He moved to Dakota in 1882 and
took up a home on government land, on which he resided up to
the time of his death. He was elected district attorney in
Dakota in 1886 and reelected in 1888; was a member of the
constitutional convention of North Dakota in 1889; and chair-
man of the first Republican state convention the same year.
He was elected to the Ffty-second, the Ffty-third, the Fifty-
fourth, and the Fifty-fifth Congresses, and served on the Ways
and Means Committee in the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth Con-
gresses while Nelson Dingley, of Maine, was the distinguished
chairman. Thomas B. Reed was the Speaker, and Dingley
and Reed and Johnson were great friends.
He came very near getting the nomination for United States
vSenator in 1889. He retired from Congress that year after
his defeat for the United States Senate, and for the next eight
sears devoted his time almost exclusively to his farm. He
did not, however, lose interest in matters of public moment.
50560 — S. Doc. 657, 61-2— 4
5<D Memorial Addresses: Martin N. Johnson
He was a great advocate of the election of United States Sen
ators by the people. He was a believer in the efficacy of
direct primaries. He had faith in the people, believed thai
they could be trusted, and thai they had suffii pacity
foi self-government. He- did much to write upon the statute
of the State of North Dakota the direct primary law,
and, through its agency, when the people at the pulls could
express their preference, he was nominated and elected a
tor in the Congress of the United States without substan-
ipposition. The people believed in his integrity, in his
ability, and in his devotion to their best interest. He took his
scat in the United States Senate on the 4th of Match, [909, and
his term of office would have expired on March 3, [915. His
service in the Senate was brief. He died at Fargi
21, 1909. During the extraordinary session of the Con
last \ear 1 saw much of Senator JOHNSON, and we renewed
old friendship, talked over old times, and his sudden death, s,>
p cted, was a grievous Mow t.> us all and a national loss
to the people of the countiN generally.
Life is but a day, at most .
Sprung from night, in darkness 1' 1
To-day, on this sad occasion, when we meet to pay tribute
to the virtues and to recount the good deeds of our departed
friend. I come with others friends and admirers of this good
and true man l" place on record my tribute to the enduring
memory of my congressional associate for many years — the
Hon. Martin X. Johnson. Words al best ate feeble at a time
like this; lmt how I wish they could he potent enough to call
him hack to his stricken and bereaved family; to his innumer-
able and sorrowing friends; to tin- plain people of tin- country
faithful servant he always was, in Congress and out of
ress hut, ala-' u can not he— no words can bring him
Address of Mr. Sulzer, of New York 51
back to those he loved and to those who loved him; no earthly
power can now call back this fearless friend of the oppressed—
this champion of the right — to finish the work here he had
planned and had so much at heart.
Martin X. p >n\s< in was a believer in the good of humanity —
he was the friend of the distressed and of the cause that lacked
assistance. He stood for the eternal right, for fair play, for
equality before the law, for exact justice, and for charity to
all. He was liberal in his views; broad in his ideas. He trusted
the people, and he believed the world was growing better. He
was an optimist and not a pessimist. He hated cant and
despised hvpocrisv. He was a plain, honest, modest man, who
loved his fellow-man. He was true to eternal principles, and
always dared to do the right as he saw it, regardless of conse-
quences. He was the friend of the poor and the oppressed,
and struggled all his life to lift humanity to a higher plane and
push it forward a step in the grand march of progress and of
civilization. He was a loving husband, an indulgent father, a
sincere friend, a believer in the greatness and the destiny of
the Republic — proud of the land of his birth — and he gloried in
the grandeur of its flag. He believed in the present and never
faltered in his hope for the future. He was a faithful official,
true to every trust, loyal to every principle, and died in the
service of his country — a distinguished Senator in Congress —
loved and honored and mourned by all who knew him.
sj Memorial Addresses: Martin N. Johnson
Address of Mr. Ellis, of Oregon
Mr. Speaker: I know full well thai there is nothing I can
sa\ to-day that will add to the essential worth or meril of our
departed friend, Senator Johnson. He exemplified perhaps as
much as am man within mv knowledge the possibilities under
our form of government foi promotion and going forward in
1 1 lis. life by those without fortune. His early life and opportu-
nities were not without hardships. He had to meet the adver
sities of life as many others have had to do. He made haste
slowly, going step by step, conquering one obstacle after another,
with his eye ever upon the main object of his life, and as he
went forward honestl) and conscientiously, discharging every
duty, he achieved one success after another until he reached the
crowning ambition of his life.
As lias been well said l>\ the gentleman from New York
[Mr. Sulzer], he was one of those who took a profound interest
in a new Member. When I came as a Member of the Fifty-
third Congress he had preceded me by one term of service, and
naturally I sought those who seemed most inclined to give aid.
comfort, and information to the new Member. As In- and I
came from tin- same school in low a and had both passed our boy-
hood days in that State, and had in our earh manhood moved
on farther west. I sought the company of the then Represent
ative, afterwards Senator, Johnson, and 1 found him always
willing to go out of his way to aid and help me in any of the
which devolved upon me as a new Member of the House.
1 owe much to the adviee that he gave me and the assistance
that he afforded whenever 1 called upon him.
Address of Mr. Ellis, of Oregon 53
Senator Johnson came of that rugged race of Scandinavians
who possess the maximum amount of the desirable qualities of
life and the minimum amount of the undesirable. He was hon-
est, upright, and had a desire on all occasions to do the right
thing, as those of us know full well who came in contact with
him when questions were before this House upon which he
might well have wavered. As has been already referred to by
one who has spoken here to-day, when the great monetary ques-
tion was before Congress-, and the State which he represented
was thought to be leaning strongly toward the policy of free
silver, Senator Johnson took advanced ground in favor of the
gold standard and made one of the strongest arguments that
was made upon this floor in behalf of sustaining the same.
And when it was suggested to him that perhaps he would find
disfavor at home by the course he had adopted here, he said
it mattered not to him; that he had the approval of his own
conscience and believed that he was right, and was willing to
undertake the job of squaring himself before his constituency
upon any question which his own conscience approved. He was
emphatically a man of strong convictions and he had the courage
to maintain them.
Would there were more men to-day in public life who possess
these essential qualifications of strong and sturdy manhood.
I met him again when he returned here as Senator at the begin-
ning of the Sixty-first Congress. We renewed our acquaintance,
recounted many pleasant instances that had transpired in the
six years we had served together in the House, and I found him
the same sturdy, straightforward, loving friend I had left when
we parted in 1899 at the close of the Fifty-fifth Congress.
I was, indeed, shocked when I picked up the morning paper in
October last and found that he had passed away, kittle did I
dream I would not meet him again when I came back to resume
54 Memorial Addresses: Martin N. Johnson
my duties al the second session of the Sixty-firsl Congress.
This only illustrates, however, the uncertaint) of life and cer-
tainty of death. Senator Ji phnson was a man in every sens
the word. He measured up to the full standard of Christian
manhood, acting ou1 in even sens< of the word that which he
professed, and thai trait of his character is what impressed his
personality so strongly upon his friends. There was no kind of
hypocrisy about him. He was a man who, if he believed a thing,
was willing to advocate it.
He was one of the strongest advocates on the lloor of this
House in doing away with the sale of liquor in public buildings,
all over the country, and especially within the Capitol of the
United States. 1 have heard him often speak of it. He
thought that it was something that we as legislators could not
ird i" give our sanction to by allowing n to remain here I
have talked with him after his return and know how gratified
he was to sec that tins had been brought about.
I know there are many things about the life and characti i oi
Senator Johnson that might be recalled here, but I do not feel
myself competent to add anything to what ha- alread) been
said. 1 desire only to say this, I am proud of the fact that he
was my friend. He was a man to whom I could go for counsel
and advice, and when he gave it he gave it in that way that
impressed me with the idea that he was not seeking to assume
the attitude of superiority, hut that what he said came from a
heart overflowing in a desire to do good, lie was a uie.it
believer in the common people, and had little use foi tin so
called houses. He had implicit confidence in the people at
large, and to them he looked for preference and promotion.
In this he was not deceived; when his case was properly
placed before them they responded to his desire. He hail in
his election as Senator reached tin- highest ambition of his life,
Address of Mr. Ellis, of Oregon 55
a seat in the United States Senate, and it is to be regretted
that he could not have lived to till out his term, which no
doubt would have been followed by another and another, by
the will of a grateful people of the State that he represented.
But he was called and answered the summons, and he went
forth, as described by the poet, as one who—
Sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approached his grave
Like one that wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams
56 Memorial Addresses: Martin N. Johnson
Address of Mr. Calderhead, of Kansas
Mr. Speaker: 1 have but a few words to add to the jusl
tributes that have been paid to the memory of Senator John-
son. My acquaintance with him was only during the term of
the Fifty fourth Congress. He had already served two terms,
and at the time I came in he was a member of the great Ways
and Means Committee. During that Fift) fourth Congress 1
served upon other committees, and I came in direct contact with
him only upon the floor of the 1 louse. I found him then just as
he lias been described by those who have spoken, and who had
longer acquaintance and more familiarity with him, a sterling
man, mastei of his passions, and dominant over his own soul,
fearless in the expression of his convictions concerning every-
thing that was done here, kind and generous to those who dif-
fered with him. It was evident from his manner of speech that
he was an example of the great American manhood that grows
up in this Republic. I did not recognize in him the feelings of
ambition for honor. There was in him a sterling devotion to
duty. He did not appear at any time to be conscious of his
great ability or even of his -real capacity for work. He seemed
to be seeking for tin- truth, and when he found it he was without
ten in proclaiming it. It was eas) t" see by his manner of
speech that he was one of the men who had battled with life for
opportunity from his childhood up, and he had upon him the
maiks of that battle.
Somehow 01 othei he seemed to be unconscious of the great
cities and of their population and of their habits and customs.
He hail about him the ail of a man who knew the vast breadth
of tlie countrx and the vast objects of the nation. He was
Address of Mr. Calderhead, of Katisas 57
familiar with the home life of his people, and with the things
that they needed, and it seemed to him that the purpose of this
great Government and all its work was not so much the build-
ing up of a great commerce as it was the building up of a
worthy citizenship and the true development of the individual.
He was one of the men who seemed instinctively to know the
truth of the words of our Savior, when he said, "Whosoever
shall seek to save his life shall lose it, and whosoever shall lose
his life shall preserve it." That seems to be a paradox, a con-
tradiction in terms. The best illustration of its true meaning
is in the life of the great Apostle Paul, who, when he went to
Athens, seemed, even to himself afterwards, to have been seek-
ing honor as much as proclaiming faith. Upon Mars Hill he
stood among the poets and philosophers of that great civiliza-
tion and first introduced himself by showing his familiarity
with the great poets of that people, as if by that display of
learning he would attract the attention of the splendid audience
who had assembled to hear him, but when he came to proclaim
the central truth of his message, the resurrection of the Savior,
the audience broke up in a babble.
And he went away, and the only remaining record of that
visit to Athens is in the words "and he founded no church
there." Then in humiliation he took up his abode in what was
known as the richest and wickedest city among men. For two
whole years he toiled with his own hands for his own support,
and then said that it was with fear and trembling that he did it.
Afterwards he came to the knowledge that it was not his to
seek honor, that it was not his to seek fame, that it was not his
to seek power, but his to lose his life in the great service of pro-
claiming the truth. And so in that wicked city of Corinth the
man who feared no other thing in all his history, except that
he might be seeking self-honor instead of the honor of his Mas-
ter, began our great western civilization. And from his time to
s v .\L worm! Addressi s: Martin N. Johnson
this th( doctrine upon which our civilization has been built has
been the doctrine of self sacrifice.
There are some things that are better than life, and • ese an
love, honor, com elity, and a noble sell
Senator Johnson, while I knew him, appeared to be uncon-
scious of the fact thai he was brave, unconscious of the facl thai
he was able, and unconscious of the facl thai at any time lie
might be sacrificing the honors of men by doing his duty here.
He did his daily work as if h was a duty, an obedience which he
owed, and by it honor came to him.
The words that we say hen- will be more of benefil to us than
they can be to his memory, and more of consolation to the be
reaved famih than they can be to us. The words we sav here
in memorial of him serve also to place us undei a further bond
to maintain the standard of life thai he kept high before him
self and before us. To his wife and children our words beai
witness to our high regard for him and that amongst us he
indeed was worthy.
I can not look upon death and memorial services as the most
unfortunate or sad occurrences. There are many other things
that are worse. In fact, a life of self-sacrifice and death in the
sublime faith which he had, that beyond the grave was the
nobler life and the higher purpose of the Infinite Creator, these
are things we are reminded of l>\ our speeches here to-day.
These things prompl us to a highei accomplishment of the duties
that lie before us. i if the man who in two years endeared him-
self to me by main- kindnesses, as he did to so many other Mem
bers of the House, we call but speak our word in honor and say
fart well till the morning.
Address of Mr. Steenerson, of Minnesota 59
Address of Mr. Steenerson, of Minnesota
Mr. Speaker: The State of North Dakota is not only next-
door neighbor to the State of Minnesota, but its history and
development is so closely related to our own that we feel almost
as deep an interest in her affairs and in her public men and in
the progress of her people as if she were a part of our own
When Minnesota was created a Territory, in 1849, its western
boundary extended to the Missouri River and the White Earth
River, so that the greater part of North Dakota was a part of
Minnesota Territory from 1849 until the latter became a State,
in 1858, with its western boundary fixed along the Red River
of the North.
We are also reminded of the fact that when the great Terri-
tory of Dakota made its protracted fight for admission to the
Union as two States it found a champion in the distinguished
Senator from Minnesota, the great, eloquent Cushman K.
Davis, who took the lead and successfully brought that struggle-
to a close.
The settlement of North Dakota did not really begin until
the advent of railroads, in the early seventies, but since then
her development has been rapid and continuous, until it is
to-day one of the wealthiest and most progressive States in the
The biographer of Senator J< >hns< in tells us that he was born
in the State of Wisconsin in [850, and with his parents moved
to Iowa in that vear, where they settled at Decorah, in Win-
neshiek County; that he graduated from the University of
Iowa, and taught in a military academy in California two years,
in) Memorial Addresses: Martin N. Johnson
when he returned to Iowa and read law and was admitted to
the bar in 1876. He served ;h a presidential elector in that
one term in each branch of the Iowa legislature, and
practiced law in Decorah until he removed to North Dakota,
in 1882, and settled on a homestead in Nelson County. He
was elected and served foui years as prosecuting attorney of
his county, and in [889 he was elected a member of the ion
stitutional convention which framed the constitution for the
new Stai<- of North Dakota. He also tells us that he presided
over tin- Inst Republican state convention held in the State,
and in [890 was elected its Representative in Congress, in
which capacity he served six years, and during his last term
was a membei of the Committee on Ways and Means that
helped to frame the Dingley tariff law. When lie completed
Ins service in Congress he retired to his farm until lie was elei ted
United Slates Senator, in January, [909., by the unanimous
vote of the Republican members of the legislature pursuant to
a mandate of the direct primary vote of the people. He died
October, 1909, at the very beginning of his senatorial career.
Although 1 had known Senator Johnson by reputation ever
since the beginning <<i his public career, my personal acquaint-
ance with him was very slight. We lived in neighboring States
all of our lives, and only a short distance from each other, but
for some reason or other I nut him only twice before the
beginning of tin- present Congress. I met him once during the
campaign of [896 at .1 railroad station while we were both
waiting for a train which was delayed, and 1 had a long and
interesting conversation with him about the early days and
pioni 1 1 hit 1 met him again a few years later on the occasion
of a celebration in Chicago, where we both made addresses. 1 if
the mam young and. ambitious and able men who came to
I'akota ill territorial davs eertainlv few. if any, had a better
Address of Mr. Steenerson, oj Minnesota 61
preparation for the work of founding a new Commonwealth
than he had. That the foundations of the new State were laid
wisely and well is fully evidenced by the unexampled progress
that the State has made and the rapidity with which the
wilderness has been transformed into a rich and prosperous
and progressive Commonwealth.
Bv the constitution of North Dakota her school lands,
embracing one-eighteenth of the whole area, were so carefully
guarded that to-day her school fund is estimated at more than
$60,000,000, by far the largest per capita common school fund
of any State in the Union. It also provides for higher and
special institutions of learning, such as state university, school
of mines, normal schools, agricultural college, school of forestry,
and scientific school. These institutions of learning have so
flourished that they now rank among the highest of their class
in the whole country.
North Dakota's constitution was also one of the first proposed
by a new State that submitted the question of prohibition of the
manufacture or sale of intoxicating liquors to the people. The
fact that this provision was overwhelmingly adopted by a pop-
ular vote showed that public sentiment on this question in the
new State was far in advance of the rest of the country, and it
is probably due to this fact that for more than twenty years
prohibition in North Dakota has not only prohibited, but has
proven a success and a blessing to its people in every way.
1 speak of these things because I regard the share that Sen-
ator Johnson bore in framing the constitution and laws of the
new State and in the formation of the high and lofty ideals and
public sentiment upon which all law must rest as his most
important service to the world and to humanity.
He was honest and frank in all his ways, and the people had
unbounded confidence in him. To his able advocacv of the
Manorial Addrt w< r." Martin .V. Johnson
cause of protection and sound money was largel) due the I
thai his State remained firmly in the Republican column during
the exciting campaigns of [894 and [896. He was always eon-
cuous for his earnest and coui Ivocai of what he
believed to be the right, and the people trusted him implicitly.
Senator Johnson came from good, old Norwegian stock, his
father, Nelson Johnson (Kaasa), being born in Hitterdahl, Up-
per Thelemarken, and his mother in Voss Norway, from whence
Lted and settled in Muskego, Wis., in [839. It will
be seen, therefore, thai his parents wire among the earliesl
Norwegian immigrants. Speaking of Norwegian immigration,
which has played such an important part in the development
of North Dakota, it may be interestii ill the fad that
the Norwegians made no attempt at colonization or organized
immigration to this country during the colonial period, alt In ■
it is known that quite a few immigrants had settled hen- prior
tn the Revolution and that some of them foughl in that war.
Paul Jones, for instance, recruited his ship, the Ranger, in
Mandal, a seaporl in southern Norway, and one of the young
men he 1 was Thomas Johnson, who was his pilot and
who helped him lash the Bon Homme Ricliard to the Serapis,
and to hoisl the firsl American flag that was ever sainted h\
tlte ships of a foreign power. This brave sailor and hero of
many battles came with Jones to America and. died in the
United States Naval Hospital in 1851, at the age of 93.
v. 28, New England Historical and Genealogical Register, p. 17.)
The firsl organized party of Norwegian immigrants came in
the sloop A', ihiurationi n, and were <>_• in number, and settled in
Kendall, Orleans County, X. Y. Another party came a few
years later and settled in Illinois, and still another in [836 and
settled in Wisconsin. The Muskego settlement where Johnson,
senior, settled iii [839 was, therefore, among the earliest N
Address of Mr. Steenerson, of Minnesota 63
wegian settlements in the Northwest. That it required great
courage and fortitude to penetrate the wilderness and brave
the privations of pioneer life and endure the hardships incident
thereto is not fully appreciated in these days, when railroads
precede the pioneer. That the parents of Senator Johnsi in
could give him, under the primitive conditions and circum-
stances of these early days, the excellent education that he
received, showed that they were not only brave and courageous,
but endowed with that energy and self-sacrificing spirit so
characteristic of the early pioneers everywhere.
The career of Senator Johnson was a most honorable one,
and he leaves to posterity the best legacy that any man can
leave — an honored and honorable name. The influence of his
work and of his good example as an upright man and a sincere
Christian will increase as time rolls on. It may be that some
will not concede him greatness in the usual sense of that word,
but he was a man of the people, and his influence for good was
He who through the channels of the state
Conveys the people's wish is great
His name is pure,
His fame is free.
64 Memorial Addresses: Martin N. Johnson
Address of Mr. Gronna, of North Dakota
Mi. Speaker: We arc met here to-day to <1<> honor to the
memory of a late Senator from my State, and a former Membei
of the House, Martin X. Johnson, laic United Stales Senator
from North Dakota.
MARTIN X. JOHNSON was horn in Racine County, Wis.. Match
3, [850. Tlie same yeai his parents moved i<> Iowa, settling on
a farm near DeCOrah Here the future Senator spent his child-
hood and boyhood days, receiving, like so many of our noted
men. his early training on a farm and learning there the need
of earnest effort and the honor residing in honest toil.
Mis early education was received in the public s< fiools in the
vicinity. Later In- attended the Upper Iowa Universitj for a
while, and then entered the State University of Iowa, from
which institution he graduated in 1873 with the A. B. degree
lie now accepted a position as instructor at the California
Military Academy, at Oakland, Cal., where he remained two
years. He again becami a student .it his alma mater, this time
in the law department, lie graduated in 1876 and wis admitted
to the bar the same year.
He now engaged in the practice of law in his home town.
Decorah, white he followed his practice foi six years He early
became interested in politics and the questions of government.
In 1875 he was elected a membei of the house of representatives
of tlii' Iowa legislature, and in [877 he was elected a si
senator. In [876 he was elected a presidential electOI "ii the
Republican ticket and east his vote foi Hayi
Address of Mr. Gronna, of North Dakota 65
In 1879 he was married to Miss Stella White, and to her aid
and inspiration was due in a large measure the success which
he achieved in life.
In 1882 Mr. Johnson moved to what was then the Territory
of Dakota and entered a homestead near Petersburg, Nelson
Countv, where he continued to reside until his death. In 1886
he was elected state's attorney for Nelson County, and was
reelected in 1888.
In 1889 the Territory of Dakota, which had been knocking at
the doors of Congress for a number of years, was admitted as
two States, North and South Dakota. Realizing his fitness, his
neighbors elected Mr. Johnson a member of the constitutional
convention called to frame a constitution for that part of the
Territory that was to become the State of North Dakota. He
took an active part in the deliberations of the convention, and
was influential in shaping the organic law of the new State.
He was a candidate for election as one of the first United
States Senators from the State, but although he was nominated
in the Republican caucus, he was defeated by a combination of
Republicans and Democrats. At the same session of the legis-
lature occurred the memorable lottery fight. Mr. Johnson was
not a member of the legislature, but the people of his county
met in mass meeting and selected him to go to the capital of the
State and oppose the attempt to sell the honor of the State.
In the fall of 1890 Mr. Johnson was elected a Member of
Congress, and was reelected in 1892, 1894, and 1896. During
the latter years of his service in the House he was a member
of the Ways and Means Committee, and as such had a hand in
the shaping of the Dingley tariff law.
In 189S he declined a renomination for the House, and
announced his intention of being a candidate for United States
Senator before the next legislature. He was undoubtedly the
50560 — S. Doe. 657, 61-2 5
66 Memorial Addresses: Martin N. Johnson
strongest candidate, l>ut he was defeated by a combination
among the followers of the other candidates. Accepting his
defeat with his usual cheerfulness, he retired to his farm, where
he spent the next few years.
In 1906 he again became active in state politics, and his name
was presented to tin- Republican state convention as candidate
for governor. He failed of nomination, however. In 1908 he-
was for the third time candidate for United States Senator,
under a state wide primary law providing for an expression
by the people of their choice for Senator. He received the
popular vote, and in January, [909, he was elected bj the legis-
lature. He took his seat in the Senate March 4. 1909, and
served through the extra session.
He died during the recess, < ictober 21, [909, at Fargo, X. Dak.,
where he had gone for a minor operation for throat trouble.
He is survived by his wodow, one son. and three daughters.
It is difficult to form a true estimate of a man's work until
some years have passed since he ceased from his efforts. That
part of his work which is apt to impress us most in a retrospect
is that which he was engaged in last, and our view of his last
work is apt to influence our judgment on his former work.
Further, if a man is personally known to us. we will remember
his personality more than his work, and this will influence our
And, finally, it sometimes takes years before it is possible to
see what the results will be of anyone's efforts, and things
that we approve of may be condemned by the seasoned judg
ment of history. A true estimate of any man's work can be
formed only when the years have mellowed our prejudices and
events have shown the result of his efforts.
It is not for us to pass on the work of the late Senator John-
; we cm only say what his efforts were and what his ideals
Address of Mr. Gronna, o) North Dakota 67
were. I did not always agree with him. I believed that he
sometimes advocated wrong policies and that he at times was
mistaken in his judgment of men and measures, but we can
not all agree; we should not be human if we could! There is
no man whose judgment is not fallible, and sometimes even
history hesitates to judge men and policies. But though men
might question his judgment and disagree with him as to meas-
ures, his integrity and honesty of purpose was never impeached.
Even in the fiercest campaigns the charge was never made that
he had ever, in the slightest degree, been influenced in his
actions by unworthy motives.
As a legislator he was faithful, diligent, and enthusiastic.
His ideals were high and his stand was always for civic honesty
and political righteousness. Of the constitutional convention
that framed the constitution of the State of North Dakota he
was one of the leading members. He was especially active
in securing the adoption of a provision prohibiting the manu-
facture and sale of intoxicating liquors in the new State, thus
adding another star to the galaxy of States that had -had the
courage of their highest ideals in dealing with this question.
He did effective work in defeating the attempt of the Louisiana
Lottery Company to secure a foothold in the State. During
his service in Congress he was instrumental in securing the
passage of the anticanteen measure and prohibiting the sale of
liquor in the Capitol and on the Capitol grounds.
His service in the Senate was too short to allow of any esti-
mate as to what he might have accomplished if his life had been
spared, but it was long enough to convince all with whom he
came into contact of his faithful industry and his loftiness of
As a speaker he was clear and forceful, leaving no doubt in
the hearer's mind that he had given the matter under discus-
68 Memorial Add), wi r: Martin N. Johnson
sion careful consideration and had come to a definite conclusion
ml i" it, and thai he would not forsake his conviction
unless it was proved to his satisfaction that hi- was in the wrong.
As a politician he might be said to be one of the highest type.
He liad unbounded faith in the correctness of the popular judg-
ment, and was never afraid to submit his anions ami conclu-
sions to the public for its approval. He was never defeated in
any popular election, and always maintained, when defeated in
his various attempts to secure election as United States Sena
tor, that if the people had an opportunity to express their pref-
erence, he would be sun of election. Even though it might
appear at linns that his constituents did not approve of his at I i
tude on certain questions, he had supreme confidence that the
sober second thought of the people would vindicate him and the
policies for which he stood. His great ambition was to become
a member of the United States Senate, and it is a noble ambi-
tion when it arises from a desire to serve the people. His
splendid optimism was perhaps his greatest political asset. He
accepted victory and defeat with equal equanimity, and never
sulked in his tent, but was always willing to accept the result,
whatever it might be, and bury personal differences in consid-
eration of the welfare of the party.
1 lis personal character was abo\ c reproach. Even in t hi' heat
of strenuous campaigns there was never any aspersions cast
tending to reflect on his character or integrity. His family life
was most beautiful and was not marred by a single shadow.
He was a member of tin Methodist Episcopal Church, and not
only took an active part in all chinch affairs, but also showed
ith in his life and the work that he did. He had an abid-
ing faith in tin- triumph of goodness, and bt In ved not so much
in the punishment of evil as in its final elimination From human
Address of Mr. Gronna, of North Dakota 69
lives and the realization of the highest and noblest destiny both
of the individual and the human race. He believed that —
Religion is a necessary, an indispensable element in any great human
And held that —
Dim as the borrowed beams of moon and stars
To lonely, weary, wandering travelers,
Is reason to the soul ; and as on high
Those rolling fires discover but the sky,
Not light us here; so reason's glimmering ray
Was lent, not to assure our doubtful way,
But guide us upward to a better day.
And as those mighty tapers disappear
When day's bright lord ascends the hemisphere,
So pale grows reason at religion's sight;
So dies, and so dissolves in supernatural light.
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