Aug. 28, 2006

Two special historical exhibits at Red Rooster Days

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

The life of former US Senator Magnus Johnson of Dassel will be on display at the Dassel Area Historical Society during Red Rooster Days.

The exhibit will feature photographs and his personal items from his time in office.

“Since it’s Meeker County’s 150th anniversary, we thought it would be appropriate to have an exhibit recognizing the only US Senator from Meeker County,” said Amy Wilde assistant museum director.

Johnson was a Swedish immigrant who farmed in the Kingston Township and served on the Kingston Township board and the Kingston school board.

He later served in the Minnesota legislature and the US Congress between 1915 and 1935.

It was common for Swedish immigrants to be Republican since Republicans passed the Homestead Act opening the West to immigration for farming.

Johnson had represented the Meeker County district at the Republican National Convention in 1916 before becoming an early “standard bearer” of the Non-Partisan League, which started as a farmers’ movement in North Dakota.

His ideas for bank savings insurance became the foundation for the FDIC, according to the DAHS.

Johnson was a populist in that he appealed to the common man, similar to the late Paul Wellstone, according to Wilde.

He became a part of the Farmer-Labor Party that swept the 1932 elections and were attributed to President Roosevelt’s “New Deal” policies alleviating the Great Depression, according to the DAHS.

Johnson’s life and political efforts and successes will be on display at the DAHS in the Universal Laboratories Building in Dassel beginning Saturday, Sept. 2 at 9 a.m. and free to the public.

Exhibit to honor Universal Laboratories

The Universal Laboratories Building has been named one of Minnesota’s most significant historic preservation projects in the state.

“Minnesota Saved,” is a traveling exhibit that highlights the 25 preserved projects including Grain Belt Brewhouse in Minneapolis, Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis, and the Northern Pacific Depot in Little Falls.

The exhibit will be featured free to the public at the Dassel Area Historical Society/Universal Laboratories Building in Dassel from Monday, Aug. 28 to Wednesday, Sept. 13.

DAHS hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information on either exhibits or the DAHS itself call (320) 275-3077.

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