Lilian Wcykoff Johnson Collection Edit


Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Western Archivist
Finding Aid Date
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of Description


  • 1897-1991 (Creation)
  • 1904-1956 (Creation)


  • 1.00 Boxes (Whole)
  • 1.00 Boxes (Whole)

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  • Abstract

    Collection of materials related to the life and career of Lilian Wyckoff Johnson educator and third president of Western College, Oxford. Ohio.

  • Arrangement

    Organized and arranged into the following series: Folder 1: Academic Career; Folder 2: Inauguration; Folder 3-4: Annual Reports; Folder 5: Postcards; Folder 6-10: Correspondence; Folder 11: News Articles; Folder 12: Death Notices; Folder 12: Photographs

  • Conditions Governing Access

    Materials do not circulate and are made available in the Western College Memorial Archives, Peabody Hall, Miami University.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Researchers must cite the Western College Memorial Archives in published and research materials.

  • Method of Acquisition

    Acquired from various sources.

  • Preferred Citation

    Lilian Wyckoff Johnson Collection, Western College Memorial Archives, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

  • Other Descriptive Information

  • Biographical or Historical Information

    Lillian Wyckoff Johnson was born on June 19, 1864 in Memphis, Tennessee. Her family was active in education. During her childhood Lilian's parents taught classes to needy children. At age 15, Lillian attended Wellesley and later received her bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan. She returned to Memphis and joined and joined the faculty of Clara Conway Institute. From 1893 until 1897 she taught at Vassar College and then went to Europe where she studied at the Sorbonne and the University of Leipzig. Johnson received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in history from Cornell University and was the first woman in the United States to receive a doctorate from Cornell. Johnson taught history at the University of Tennessee during that time and led a campaign which resulted in the founding of Western State Teachers College for Women at Memphis.

    President Johnson was characterized as one of the south's greatest female pioneers in the educational field. She was the third president of Western College for Women and served from 1904 until 1906. She was inaugurated June 7, 1904 and is credited with leading the celebration of the Golden Jubilee Fund. As the college entered upon it second half-century, in the fall of 1905 with the ever present problems of faculty salaries, changing curriculums and the need for new buildings, a Living Endowment Fund was created. This fund was to increase the amount already received for the Golden Jubilee. The goal was set at $250,000, in hopes for a promised Carnegie gift. Johnson was supported by a strong Board of Trustees and an able faculty. She worked continously to present the cause of Western College. Johnson was in demand as a public speaker and missed no opportunity to address audiences on behalf of the college. She was also credited with originating Senior Day, College Day. In 1906, due to poor health Dr. Johnson became ill and was forced to resign.

    After her departure from Western she returned to Europe to study agricultural practices. Returning to the United States, Johnson was appointed a collaborator with the United States Bureau of Rural Organization and taught at Central High School in Memphis. When the movement began to locate a normal school in Memphis, she was appointed by the Nineteenth Century Club and worked on raising funding for the purchase of land. She traveled and studied at the International Institute of Agriculture, and also studied with Maria Montessori, the noted child educator. In 1913, Johnson initiated an American commission to study European agricultural cooperatives. She lectured for the Department of Agriculture and settled at Summerfield near Monteagle in Grundy County, Tennessee in 1915. While there she assisted in establishing a high school and county health unit.

    In 1932, Johnson gifted her Summerfield home for the establishment of the Highlander Folk School where courses were taught to industrial and agricultural workers. She retired to Bradenton, Florida and while there worked for the Women's Christian Temperance Movement serving as state secretary and organized the Bradenton Community Welfare Council. She died in Bradenton on September 22, 1956.

  • Related Materials

  • Scope and Contents

    This collection consists of materials relating to Lilian Wyckoff Johnson's presidency of Western College. These materials include reports, journals, correspondence, notes and photographs.

    BOX 4: Lilian Wyckoff Johnson, 1904-1906

    Folder 1:

    • “Academic Career of Lilian Wyckoff Johnson” on University of Tennessee, Knoxville Stationary • “Reform moved across generations,” The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Thursday, December 12, 1991

    Folder 2: Inauguration, Lilian W. Johnson, Invitation, Program, Address, Article, Number

    • Copy of Inauguration of President Doctor Lilian Wyckoff Johnson Invitation for June 7, 1904 • Copy of Program for Inauguration of Lilian Wyckoff Johnson as President, June 7, 1904 (two pages) • Address of Miss Evans, President of Lake Erie College at the Inauguration of Dr. Lilian Wyckoff Johnson as president of the Western College for Women • Copy of “Dr. Lilian W. Johnson Inaugurated as President of The Western College,” The Republican-News, Hamilton, Ohio, Tuesday, June 7, 1904 (two pages) • The Western College for Women, Inauguration Number Program (seven pages) • “The Education of Twentieth-century Women,” Harper’s Bazaar (two pages) • Photograph of Lilian Wyckoff Johnson, Ph. D. as President of the Western College for Women, Oxford, Ohio • “Takes Up Cudgel For College Girls: President of Women’s Institution of Learning Resents Dr. Hall’s Statement,” Article • “Chaperoning Students,” Times Star • Transcript of Writing from Scrapbook • “Takes Up The Cudgel For the College Girls: More Students Will Wed When Men Grow More Worthy of Them, Says President of Oxford Seminary,” Columbus Citizen, Thursday, February 2, 1905 • Copy of “50th Anniversary of The Western Most Appropriately Celebrated,” Hamilton Evening Democrat, Saturday, October 8, 1904 (five pages) • “Day of Thanksgiving One-Sided, Says Twain, Author, After Luncheon With Roosevelt, Declares the Deity Has Less Cause Than Mankind to Be Joyous,” Article • “Takes Up Cudgel For College Girls, President of Women’s Institution of Learning Resents Dr. Hall’s Statement…More College Students Will Wed When Men Grow More Worthy of Them,” The World, January 29, 1905 • “Brilliant Was The Gathering At The Open Meeting Of The Current Events Club- Excellent Address By President Johnson, of The Western College,” Hamilton Star, February 15, 1905 • “President Johnson of The Western At The Current Events Club,” Evening Democrat, February 15, 1905 • “Dr. Johnson At The Current Events Club,” Article • “Open Meeting of The Current Events Club,” Hamilton Republican, February 15, 1905 • “Delivers Address, For The First Time Dr. Johnson, of The Western, Appears in Oxford as a Speech-Maker- Delivers An Excellent Address0 The News of Oxford,” The Hamilton Sun, January 23, 1905 • “At Western College,” Article • “Biographical Sketches, Those Prominent in Public Affairs,” The Classmate, September 24, 1904 • “Dr. Johnson Meets Oldest Alumnae of The Western- College News,” Hamilton Evening Democrat, October 20, 1904 • “Reminiscences of Convention Held By Club Women of Ohio: Society Goes to the Opening of Latonia to Witness the Classic Tobacco Stakes-Crane-Sill Wedding at Noon,” The Cincinnati Times Star, October 22, 1904 • “Western College Alumnae Plan Improvements for Alma Mater,” The Commercial Tribune, November 2, 1904 • “Changes in College Curriculum Urged by Women,” Columbus Citizen, December 30, 1904 • “Reform in Education” Continued from Page One • “Prominent Lady Educator Here: President of The Western College of Ohio, Miss Lilian Johnson Spent Sunday Viewing Historic Ground- Is a Tennessee Lady of Much Renown,” The News, Chattanooga, Monday, November 27, 1905 • “The Western College,” Herald and Presbyter, Cincinnati, Ohio, January 24, 1905 • “Education for All,” Article • “For Woman’s Eye,” Enquirer, Cincinnati, Ohio, November 19, 1905 • “The Western College,” Enquirer, Cincinnati, Ohio, January 28, 1906 • “Personal Mention, Dr. Lilian Wyckoff Johnson, of Oxford, Ohio, President of the Western College for Women,” The Atlanta Journal, November 12, 1905 • “Religious News from the World-Wide Field: High Aim For a College for Women,” The New York Observer, July 13, 1905 • “Women Educators of America,” by Stella Reid Crothers, The Pilgrim for September, 1905 (two pages) • Letter for Pres. Hickok from Lilian W. Johnson from Scrapbook • Photograph of Leila S. M’Kee, Ph. D. • The Agora Programme, October 28, 1896 to January 21, 1897 • “Our College” Prize Song by 174 • Telephone Message to Miss McKee from Mrs. C. S. Brice, 1890s • Forward Movement Fund of The Western College for Women Subscription • “To The Western” Prize Song by M. and A. • “Dr. Lilian Wyckoff Johnson Addresses the Woman’s Century Club,” Article (two pages) • Senior Day Information about starting when Dr. Lillian Wyckoff Johnson was the president • Program and Menu for the Business Men’s Club, Cincinnati, Ohio in Honor of the Students, Faculty, and Board of Trustees of The Western College, February 24, 1905

    Folder 4: Lilian W. Johnson, Annual Report, 1905

    • The Western College for Women, Oxford, Ohio, First Annual Report of President Lilian Wyckoff Johnson, June 6, 1905 (twenty-six pages)

    Folder 5: Lilian Wyckoff Johnson, Postcards

    • Transcript of “Eisenach, Wartburg Von Osten,” Postcard to President Johnson from Bertha K. Baker, August 15 • Transcript of “Entrance to The Western, Oxford, O.” Postcard to Dr. Lilian W. Johnson from Alice Worden, June 9 • Transcript of Women in White Postcard to Dr. Lilian W. Johnson from Class of ’05, June 9 • Transcript of Celebration Postcard to Dr. Lilian W. Johnson from Jean M. Good, June 9 • Transcript of “Class of 1912 As Freshmen” Circle Procession Postcard to Dr. Lilian W. Johnson from Gertrude Brown, June 9 • Transcript of Postcard to Mrs. Osborn Peabody Rogers from Martha Herbert (niece) about Dr. Lilian Johnson’s death, September 30, 1956

    Folder 6: Lilian W. Johnson, L. S. McKee Letters (transcripts)

    • Copy of A Plan for establishing a College for Women in the South: submitted by the Women’s Southern Club of Cornell University, February 1902 (four pages) • Letter to Mrs. James B. Welsh, September 13, 1909

    Folder 7: Lilian W. Johnson, W. W. Boyd Letters (transcripts)

    • Copy of Letter to Dr. Lillian W. Johnson from W. W. Boyd, October 21, 1916

    Folder 8: Lilian W. Johnson Letters (transcripts)

    • Letter sent to the Presidents of the Southern Club of Vassar, Wellesley, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, Michigan, Chicago, Etc., February 1902 • Letter to my very dear Sea from Lilian W. Johnson, June 1902 • Letter to Dr. Lilian W. Johnson from M. A. C. Ferguson, July 14, 1904 • Letter to Miss Johnson from Helen Peabody, June 16, 1905 • Letter from Evy, June 9, 1909

    Folder 9: Lilian W. Johnson, Letters (transcripts)

    • Copy of Letter to Folks, Kin, and Friends from Lilian W. Johnson, December 1954 • Letter to Mr. William C. Johnson from Herrick B. Young, October 9, 1956 • Letter to Dr. Johnson from Susan Ballard Richardson, Undated • Letter to Miss Lilian Wyckoff Johnson, Ph.D., Undated

    Folder 10: Lilian W. Johnson, Speeches (transcripts)

    • Chapel Talk, “The Little Foxes have Spoiled the Vines,” Dr. Johnson, March 16, 1906 • Memorial Service for Miss Peabody, Speech by Dr. Johnson • Review of Johnson’s Speech • Review of Johnson’s Speech

    Folder 11: Lilian W. Johnson, Articles

    • Copy of “Co-Educational Colleges: Lilian Wyckoff Johnson Has Something Interesting to Say Relative To the Training of Women,” New York Daily Tribune, Wednesday, September 12, 1900 • “A Pertinent Suggestion: From the Memphis Commercial Appeal of Nov. 19 ’01,” Article • “To Make Them Masters of the Situation Everywhere and to do Women’s Work in God’s World,” New York Observer, July 1905 (seven pages)

    Folder 12: Lilian W. Johnson, Death

    • Copy of “Dr. Lilian Johnson, 92, Educational Leader, Dies,” The Bradenton Herald, Sunday, September 23, 1956 • Transcript of Letter to Dr. Young from Ardis Dechman Coninx, September 23, 1956 • Copy of “The Triumphant Life of Dr. Lilian W. Johnson,” Monday, September 24, 1956 • Copy of Letter to Mrs. Ardis Dechman Coninx from Herrick B. Young, September 26, 1956 • Copy of Letter to Mrs. J. Scott Clark from Herrick B. Young, October 9, 1956 • Copy of Letter to Mrs. Ardis Dechman Coninx from Herrick B. Young, October 9, 1956 • Copy of Letter to Mrs. Willis E. Herbert from Herrick B. Young, October 9, 1956 • Copy of “Dr. Johnson Dies in Florida: Noted Educator of Tennessee,” Article • Memorial Minute for former President Lilian Wyckoff Johnson

    Folder 13: Lilian W. Johnson, Photographs

    • Photograph of Portrait of Lilian Wyckoff Johnson as President • Portrait of Lilian Wyckoff Johnson • Portrait of Lilian Wyckoff Johnson • Circle Portrait of Lilian Wyckoff Johnson • Oval Portrait of President Lilian Wyckoff Johnson • Photograph of Johnson, Lillian Wyckoff • Photograph of Mrs. Lillian W. Johnson, Pres. 1904-06

  • Processing Information

    Collection processed by Archivist, Western College Memorial Archives, Miami University

External Documents


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