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George W. Johnson collection on Joseph Gaston Willson

Identifier: S6137

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of one loose leaf notebook containing correspondence, photographs, Johnson's notes, and newspaper clippings from the years 1950 to 1956 compiled by George W. Johnson concerning Johnson's search for information about Joseph Gaston Willson.


  • 1950-1956
  • Majority of material found in 1950-1956


Biographical / Historical

George W. Johnson (1894 December 22 - 1974 June 20) was mayor of the city of Duluth from 1945 to 1953. He served as a state representative from the 59th District from 1925 through 1937 and was speaker of the House for the 1935-37 state legislative sessions. After his mayoral term he entered the real estate business and also served as a St. Louis County property assessor. Johnson was a life-long Duluth resident and a member and president of the West End Business and Civic Club.

Joseph Gaston Willson (1812 March 15 - 1886 January 24). a Presbyterian minister, was residing in Superior, Wisconsin in 1856. Willson ostensibly suggested the name Du Luth for the city of Duluth, Minnesota in response to a proposition by George E. Nettleton that would award Willson with two lots in the new town if he came up with an appropriate name.


2.00 Linear Inches

Language of Materials


Physical Location

This collection is located at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives. For more information about this collection or to make an appointment, contact us at or 218-726-8526.
Guide to the George W. Johnson collection on Joseph Gaston Willson
Finding Aid Authors: M. David.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University of Minnesota Duluth Archives and Special Collections Collecting Area

Kathryn A. Martin Library
University of Minnesota Duluth
416 Library Drive
Duluth MN 55812-3001
(218) 726-8526