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Willard Johnson family papers

Call Number: RH MS 672


Native Kansan Willard Johnson, Sr, was born near Leavenworth, Kansas and became a leading bacteriologist. His son, Willard Johnson, Jr., became a professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The collection includes records and manuscripts of several Johnson family members.


  • Creation: 1920 - 1999


Conditions Governing Access

Issue photocopy of manuscript, Patriarchs of the Prairie; original is not to be issued due to fragile condition.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of the Willard Johnson Family

Willard R. Johnson, Sr., was born near Leavenworth, Kansas, ca. 1900, and was a graduate of the University of Kansas. Johnson served as a bacteriologist with the U.S. Public Health Service, and became the head of the Biology Department at the Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State College. In 1933, Johnson moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he served as the first African American member of the local Veterans Hospital. In the 1940s he moved to Pasadena, California, where he established his own medical technician laboratory, working there until his retirement in 1965. Johnson married Dorothy N. Stovall Johnson, together they had four children: Richard, Willard Jr., Roberta and Alberta. Willard Johnson, Jr., founded the Kansas Institute of African American and Native American Family History (KIAANAFH) in 1991.


1.25 Linear Feet (4 boxes + 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The Willard Johnson Family collection is divided into four series, the first of which is an original manuscript, Patriarchs of the Prairie. The second series, the Nellie Bibbe papers, includes the records of her business, Nell's Hosiery, as well as her writing interest and her involvement with Walter Mondale's presidential campaign. The third series, Family papers, includes the papers of Willard Johnson, Sr, and Jr, and Ethel Cherry. The Photographs series includes family photographs, 1920-1959.

Physical Location

RH MS 672

Physical Location

RH MS-P 672

Physical Location

RH MS Q140

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Willard R. Johnson, 2001

Related Materials

The papers of the Stovall family are located at RH MS 673.

Guide to the Willard Johnson Family Collection
Willard Johnson family papers
Finding aid prepared by bkm,2006; revised by, cl 2010; revised by skt, 2010; Finding aid encoded by bkm, 2006; revised by skt, 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in <language encodinganalog="language">English</language>
Support for the processing of this Collection was provided by the Dana and Sue Anderson African American Collecting Program Endowment Fund.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Willard Johnson Family Collection, Kansas Collection, RH MS 672, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States