Judge Luther Alexander Johnson
of Navarro County, Texas


Biography Index


JOHNSON, LUTHER ALEXANDER (1875-1965). Luther Alexander Johnson, Congressman and judge, was born on October 29, 1875, in Corsicana, Texas, to Ebenezer Wiley and Fannie L. (McMillan) Johnson. He attended Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, where he received a law degree in 1896. Later that year he was admitted to the bar and began his law practice in Corsicana. He was Navarro county attorney from 1898 to 1902 and district attorney for the Thirteenth Judicial District from 1904 to 1910. He had a private practice in Corsicana from 1910 to 1923. He was a delegate to the Democratic national convention in St. Louis in 1916 and chairman of the Democratic state convention in Fort Worth in 1920. He was a member of the Sixty-eighth through the Seventy-ninth congresses, 1923-46, representing the Sixth Texas District. While a congressman, he served on the house foreign relations committee during the administrations of F. D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Truman appointed him a federal tax-court judge in 1946, a position he held until 1956. Johnson married Turner Read on July 19, 1899. They had two children. Johnson was a member of Westminister Presbyterian Church in Corsicana for eighty years and eventually became a ruling elder in the church. He was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and the Lions Club. He died on June 6, 1965, in Corsicana and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Austin American-Statesman, June 7, 1965. Biographical Directory of the American Congress. Dallas Morning News, May 15, 1956. Uvalde Leader-News, June 21, 1956. Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin. Who's Who in the South and Southwest, Vol. 1.

Melanie Watkins

"JOHNSON, LUTHER ALEXANDER." The Handbook of Texas Online. http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/JJ/fjo96.html

Luther Alexander Johnson, Sr.
Oct 29, 1875 - Jun 6, 1965

Retired Solon-Judge L. A. Johnson Dies

Luther Alexander Johnson, Sr., 89, native of Corsicana, attorney prosecutor, congressman and federal tax judge, died Sunday afternoon in Evergreen Convalescent Home following a short illness.

Funeral services will be held from the McCammon Chapel Tuesday at 2 p.m. with burial in Oakwood cemetery. The rites will be conducted by Rev. Eugene Wood, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian church, assisted by Rev. Sam B. Hulsey, Dallas rector, formerly with St. John’s Episcopal church here.

Johnson was born in the house where his funeral rites will be held as the McCammon Chapel is in the E. Wiley Johnson home, corner West Sixth and South Fourteenth street.

Born October 29, 1875, in Corsicana, the son of the late E. Wiley Johnson and Frances Louise McMillan, he attended private school and Corsicana public schools, took a special English course in Lebanon, Tenn., and graduated from Cumberland University School of Law at Lebanon, Tenn. With LLB degree in June, 1896. His Alma Mater conferred the honorary LLD degree in 1937.

Judge Johnson sold apples on the streets of Corsicana for his first job and delivered the Courier-Light newspaper each afternoon through the residential section of Corsicana at $7 per month.

Church Leader
He was the oldest member and elder of Westminster Presbyterian church—joining the Presbyterian church at the age of nine years—giving him a membership of 80 years, uniting with the church in April, 1885. He became a deacon in 1891 and later a ruling elder. He was a member of the choir and played a trombone.

Judge Johnson was married July 19, 1899, to Miss Turner Read, in the First Methodist church in Corsicana, Rev. Sam R. Hay (later Bishop) and Rev. L. C. Kirkes, Presbyterian, performed the ceremony. Mrs. Johnson died here September 3, 1960.

Admitted to the bar before he was 21 years of age, he had his disabilities of minority removed. Judge Rufus Hardy was district judge at the time and later went to Congress where he served for 16 years, retiring in 1923, being succeeded by Congressman Johnson.

During his early career as an attorney, Johnson became an assistant county attorney under the late Lewis T. Carpenter who later moved to Dallas. He became an assistant in January 1897. He was elected county attorney the following year and served four years.

Johnson became district attorney of the Thirteenth judicial district (Navarro, Limestone and Freestone counties) in November 1904, and was re-elected in 1906 and 1908.

He joined the law firm of Knox and Johnson, (Chris L. Knox was the member of the firm, and a brother-in-law of Johnson), after leaving the district attorney’s office and in February, 1914, became a member of the firm of Callicutt and Johnson, joining the late J. S. Callicutt, , remaining in that firm until he went to Washington as congressman where he served the Texas Sixth district until he resigned in 1946 to accept a 12-year appointment from President Truman as a United States Tax Court Judge. He returned to Corsicana in 1958 and retired after his tax court judgeship term expired.

Strong Campaigner
An outstanding orator, Johnson was in demand as a political campaign speaker and made numerous tours for the National Democratic party in doubtful states. He was the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations committee in the House and was regarded as the spokesman for the Roosevelt and Truman Administrations, particularly during World War 11.

Mr. and Mrs. Johnson took their first plane ride with Col. Charles A. Lindbergh in March 1928.

After his retirement and return to Corsicana, he made his home for years in the Navarro hotel, but declined to make public appearances and addresses for which he was famous, although he took a lively interest in politics and the Democratic party and liked to discuss politics with his friends and cronies. He was intensely interested and pleased with the election of the late President John F. Kennedy and also of President Lyndon B. Johnson, native Texan, whom Congressman Johnson as far back as 1937 predicted great things from Johnson City, even before the president went to Congress from the Austin area.

Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. Mary Frances McGee, Fort Worth; a son Luther A. Johnson, Jr., Corsicana; five granddaughters, Mrs. Marylyn Browder and Mrs. Robert W. Goodman, Jr., both of Houston; Mrs. Leonard Fuller, Corsicana; Mrs. Sam B. Hulsey, Dallas, and Mrs. A. Chris Slonaker, Winchester, Va.; 10 great-grandchildren; a brother Ernest N. Johnson, Dallas; a sister Miss Minnie Johnson, Corsicana and other relatives.

Pallbearers will be J. C. Roe, Dr. Leslie E. Kelton, W. A. Lang, J. W. McCammon, Wiley Johnson, A. R. McElwrath, Albert Berry, Clay Berry, Ted Nelson, R. B. Bowles, R. W. Goodman, Jr.; District Judge Sam Johnson, Hillsboro.



Oakwood Cemetery
Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas

Navarro County TXGenWeb
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Edward L. Williams