11 February, 2009

Tom Loftin Johnson

Tom Loftin Johnson was an American politician of the Democratic Party from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He headed relief efforts after the Johnstown, Pennsylvania floods of 1889, was a U.S. Representative from 1891–1895 and the 35th mayor of Cleveland, Ohio between 1901 and 1909. In 1903, he was the Democratic nominee for Governor of Ohio.

Johnson was born in Georgetown, Kentucky. His brother, Albert, was the financial backer and organizer of the Players League, a one-year experimental major baseball league which sought to treat players as partners, rather than laborers.

Tom Johnson invented a pay-box for trolleys and became wealthy from licensing the patent. He began investing in street railways in Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Detroit. Johnson then became principal owner and president of the Detroit City Railways after leaving Congress in 1895. Later he sold his stake in DCR in 1899 and moved to Cleveland to reenter politics. Johnson was an advocate of Henry George's single tax.

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