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Niel M. and Verna Gail Applegate Johnson papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS 82
The Niel M. and Verna Applegate Johnson papers, 1910-2008, contains documents relating to the Johnsons' affiliation with Augustana College and specific groups on campus including the Augustana Choir, Rho Nu Delta, and the Augustana Observer. Niel Johnson continued to collect items pertaining to the college after he graduated, including letters to alumni of the college, letters to alumni of the various groups to which he belonged, choir programs, homecoming programs, newspaper clippings, and photographs.

Original order of the collection has been maintained. It is generally in chronological order with folders demarcating separate subjects and/or time periods. The papers relate to different aspects of Augustana College and have been arranged into four series: Academics, Extracurricular Activities, General, and Photographs.

The Academics series (1949-1953) contains items relating to Johnson's academic career at Augustana including class schedules, assignments, and exams.

The Extracurricular Activities series includes items relating to the groups that Niel and Verna Johnson belonged to while at Augustana. This series contains papers from their time at Augustana, but also demonstrates Niel's ties to these groups after leaving the college. This series represents a large portion of the collection and contains information on Neil's interests: sports, choir, the Observer, and Rho Nu Delta. Included among these files are newspaper clippings, programs, scrapbooks, letters, newsletters and reunion information. Verna's scrapbook is also included in this series. Verna's scrapbook contains newspaper clippings of campus events and wedding announcements, choir programs, and welcome cards from sororities.

The General series contains files created by Niel Johnson that contain a variety of types of information about Augustana arranged by time period. These files contain Augustana directories, newspaper clippings, programs, promotional materials, publications, newsletters, reports, among other items. The files that cover the period from 1967-1969 include items pertaining to Johnson's tiem as an instructor in the department of history at Augustana. These particular papers give a glimpse of curriculum issues being discussed at this time as well as the scholarship that faculty members were involved in. The later files are composed of items relating to Johnson's position as an alumnus of the college and demonstrate his interest in the development of the school by way of clippings, programs, and newsletters that he sought out and saved.

The Photographs series contains images documenting Augustana College for a period of nearly 100 years, including the dedication of the Thomas Tredway Library in 1990.

Dates

  • 1910-2008

Creator

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.

Extent

3 Linear Feet (/ 5 boxes)

Overview

Niel M. Johnson graduated with a B. A. from Augustana College in 1953. While in college, Johnson was active in the Rho Nu Delta fraternity, the Augustana choir, and was a reporter for the Observer, the college newspaper. Verna Gail Applegate attended Augustana College from 1949 to 1953. She was a member of the Chi Delta sorority, and her junior year she sang in the chapel choir. Niel and Verna met at Augustana and were married 1 May 1952, between their junior and senior years. The Niel M. and Verna Applegate Johnson papers, 1910-2008, contains documents relating to the Johnsons' affiliation with Augustana College and specific groups on campus, including the Augustana Choir, Rho Nu Delta, and the Augustana Observer. Niel continued to collect items pertaining to the college after he graduated, including letters to alumni of the college, letters to alumni of the various groups to which he belonged, choir programs, homecoming programs, newspaper clippings, and photographs.

Historical Note

Niel M. Johnson graduated with a B. A. from Augustana College in 1953. While in college, Johnson was active in the Rho Nu Delta fraternity, the Augustana choir, and was a reporter for the Augustana Observer, the college newspaper. He also served as campus correspondent for two local newspapers: the Davenport Times and the Morning Democrat. Following his time at Augustana, Johnson taught 8th grade for several years, served as historian at the Rock Island Arsenal, received an M.A. in history at University of Iowa (1965), was a history instructor at Augustana College (1967-1969), taught at Dana College in Nebraska (1969-1974), received a Ph.D. in history at University of Iowa (1971), and was visiting assistant professor at University of Nebraska in Omaha (1975-1977). In 1977, the Johnson family moved to Missouri where Niel began a new career as an archivist and oral historian at the Harry S Truman Library and Museum. He retired from this post in 1992 but has remained an active Truman re-enactor who performs at public events.

Verna Gail Applegate attended Augustana College from 1949 to 1953. She was a member of the Chi Delta sorority and her junior year she sang in the chapel choir. Niel and Verna met at Augustana and were married 1 May 1952, between their junior and senior years. They have two children.

Arrangement

Chronological

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from Niel Johnson, September 2003, August 2007, May 2008, August 2011, and May 2013.

Processing Information

Processed by Emily Hughes Dominick, 2007. Updated by Julia G.Westblade, 2011, 2013. Revised by Atticus Garrison, June 2016.
Title
Niel M. and Verna Gail Applegate Johnson papers, 1910-2008.
Status
completed
Author
Atticus Garrison
Date
June 2016
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Augustana College Special Collections Repository

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