Tillman Davis Johnson

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Tillman Davis Johnson (January 8, 1858 – November 1, 1953) was a United States federal judge.

Born in Rutherford County, Tennessee, Johnson attended Cumberland University and read law to enter the bar. He was a teacher in Tennessee from 1880 to 1885, and was principal of the Government Indian School in Fort Bennett, South Dakota from 1886 to 1887, and of the Government Indian School in Fort Hall, Idaho from 1888 to 1889. He was in private practice in Ogden, Utah from 1889 to 1915. He was a member of the Utah House of Representatives from 1898 to 1899. in 1912, he ran for Congress as a Democrat.[1]

On November 2, 1915, Johnson received a recess appointment from Woodrow Wilson to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Utah vacated by John A. Marshall. Formally nominated on January 7, 1916, Johnson was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 18, 1916, and received his commission the same day.

On September 30, 1927 Johnson was shot three times while mounting the bench in Salt Lake City, Utah. The assailant, Eliza Simmons was angry at Johnson for ruling against her in a case decided in 1924 involving the death of her husband in a 1910 mining accident.[2] Convicted of attempted murder in November, 1927, Simmons was sentenced to seven years in prison.[3]

He assumed senior status on May 28, 1949, serving in that capacity until his death, in 1953, in Ogden.


  1. ^ James A. Howell (1949). "Judge Tillman D. Johnson". Utah Law Review. 1 (7): 7–12.   – via HeinOnline (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Woman Shoots District Judge". Cornell Daily Sun. October 1, 1927. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "7 Uear Sentence Given to Woman Who Shot Judge". Reading Times. November 3, 1927. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 


Legal offices
Preceded by
John Augustine Marshall
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Utah
Succeeded by
Willis William Ritter