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Johnson Park

History


Ironically, the City of Saint Peter's smallest park (0.14 acre) is named for Governor John A. Johnson (1861 to 1909), the city’s most famous historical citizen. Like Governor Johnson, this park had humble beginnings. It was originally platted as residential lots, then kept as right-of-way for old State Highway 22, and transferred from Minnesota Department of Transportation to the city in 1953.

Governor Johnson


Governor Johnson was a classic American success story: He had little formal education, supported his mother and siblings, worked to become co-owner and editor of the St. Peter Herald, elected to the Minnesota State Senate (1898 to 1903), and finally to three, two-year terms as Governor (1904 to 1909). He ran successfully as a Democrat in a time when the state was a Republican stronghold, and was a very popular Governor. He died from surgical complications in Rochester on September 21, 1909. His statue sits in front of the Nicollet County Courthouse, and also the Minnesota Capitol building.