Skip to main content

Martin M. Johnston papers

Identifier: MSS 367

Scope and Contents

The Martin M. Johnston papers, 1920-1939 and undated, contains photographs, travel brochures, postcards, and maps from the Augustana College Band and the Augustana College European Band tour of 1928. The collection is arranged into four series: Augustana College Band, Correspondence, Miscellaneous, and Photographs.


  • Creation: 1920-1939 and undated.


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from Augustana College Special Collections and the copyright holder.

Historical Note

Martin M. Johnston was born in DeKalb, Illinois in 1901. He attended the Augustana Music Conservatory and joined the Wennerberg Men's Chorus in 1922. By 1926 he had directed the Augustana Male Quartet, the Rock Island High School Band, the Washington Junior Band, the Franklin Junior Band, the Choir of Zion Church in Rock Island, the Olive Male Chorus, and the Augustana College Band.

While at Augustana, Johnston served as the secretary and later president of the Lyceum Board, played football, and was a member of the Pi Upsilon Gamma (PUG) fraternity. He married his wife Eva Nelson 26 December 1925.

In 1928, Johnston lead the Augustana College Band on an international tour from the Mid-Western and Eastern United States through Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, Germany, France, and England. After he graduated in 1929, Johnston took a job as the director of instrumental music in in the public schools in Marquette, Michigan where he also organized and led the Marquette Municipal band until 1941. In the mid 1940s, Johnston moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, and took a job as executive secretary of the Grand Rapids Manufacturers' Association where he worked to plan post-war activities of manufacturers in the city and coordinate peacetime industrial production and employment.

He joined the Addressograph-Multigraph Corporation in 1946, and remained a member for the rest of his life, serving as branch manager in Saginaw, Michigan; St. Paul, Minnesota; Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Birmingham, Michigan. He directed choirs at Lutheran and other churches in those cities. His final church was Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Bloomfield Hills where his ashes were scattered when he died in December 1971.


0.9 Cubic Feet (/ 2 boxes and 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



The Martin M. Johnston papers, 1920-1939 and undated, contains photographs, travel brochures, postcards, and maps, primarily related to the Augustana College Band's European tour of 1928. Martin M. Johnston was a music director and graduate of the Augustana Music Conservatory who led the band on this tour.


The Martin M. Johnson papers are arranged in chronological order within each series.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from Kenneth R. Johnston, March 2013.

Related Materials

MSS 150 Erland Levi Borg papers MSS 235 Augustana College Band records

Processing Information

Processed by Julia Westblade, 2013. Revised by Atticus Garrison, August 2015.

Martin M. Johnston papers,1920-1939 and undated.
In Progress
Atticus Garrison
August 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Augustana College Special Collections Repository

639 38th Street
Thomas Tredway Library
Rock Island Illinois 61201 United States