Voices of Minnesota

Oral History Interview with Andy and Hannah Johnson

DATE: September 1968


Andy Johnson was a miner and a farmer. A native of Finland and a Communist, his family pioneered in northern Minnesota. Mr. Johnson was born in 1899 and came to Minnesota with his parents in 1907. As a young adult he became a Communist Party member and remained a dedicated advocate of communist principles, and a party activist for the rest of his life.

Hannah Johnson, wife of Andy, was the daughter of a Slovanian miner from northern Minnesota.

Arne Johnson was the brother of Andy.

Subjects discussed include: pioneer experiences in northern Minnesota; miners' and farmers' struggles; efforts of radicals and Communists regarding court cases, discrimination, etc.; and Finnish culture.

These interviews were done over a three day period at the Johnson home. Comments from neighbors and others are included from time to time. The editor of the transcript, Irene Paull, has inserted some editorial notes in the text of the narration. Several articles are mentioned at the end of the interview. These articles and personal papers of Andy Johnson are housed in the manuscript collection of the Minnesota Historical Society. The last tape of the series contains an interview with Arne Johnson, Andy's brother.

LENGTH OF INTERVIEW: 5 hours 31 minutes

TRANSCRIPT: 17 pages