Biography of Tom L. Johnson
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

TOM LOFTIN JOHNSON, one of the most picturesque figures in business and public life in America, gave to Cleveland a greater measure of loyal and public spirited service than can be outlined in any one review of his life and achievement. He was a millionaire when he assumed the office of mayor of Cleveland, and so closely and earnestly did he devote his time and thought to the interests of the city that his private business suffered, with the result that he was a comparatively poor man at the time of his death, in 1911. His published work, "My Story," is to be found in all important libraries, and may be referred to by those who wish to study the life history of this really great and noble citizen.

Mr. Johnson was born at Georgetown, Kentucky, July 18, 1854, and was reared and educated in Indiana. He invented several street railway devices, and eventually acquired large street railway interests in Indianapolis, Cleveland, Detroit and Brooklyn, besides having become an iron manufacturer in Cleveland. He was a democrat, was a member of Congress in 1891-95, and served four terms as mayor of Cleveland, 1901-10, his death having occurred April 10, 1911.

Tom L. Johnson was an idealist and a practical worker for the advancement of human kind. He was a leader in thought and action, and in Cleveland he did a great and noble service in kindling the fires of civic righteousness and common justice. As mayor of Cleveland he did more than any other man to bring about an equitable system of taxation, and his fight to obtain for the city a three cent fare on street railways has become a part of national history. His life was marked by devotion to the common people. He worked that justice might prevail between the poor and the rich. He was a humanitarian of the highest type, and his name and memory shall be held in enduring honor in the Ohio metropolis, to the interests of which he devoted himself with bravery, ability, determination and utter self sacrifice.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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