Skip to main content

Louis A. Johnson Papers

 Collection
Collection Number: A&M.4311

Scope and Contents

Papers of Louis Arthur Johnson, (1891-1966), Clarksburg lawyer, and Washington, D.C. politician who co-founded the law office of Steptoe & Johnson. Johnson studied law at the University of Virginia and upon graduation immediately took up residence in the booming oil and gas town of Clarksburg, W. Va. and began the firm with Philip P. Steptoe. He served in France and Germany during and immediately after the First World War, and upon his return married Ruth Maxwell from Clarksburg. From 1937-1940 Johnson was the Assistant Secretary of War under President Roosevelt and later served as the second United States Secretary of Defense under President Truman from March 1949 to September 1950. Asked to resign by President Truman, Johnson returned to his law practice in Clarksburg until his death in 1966. This collection is minimally processed.

The collection includes correspondence, photographs, publications, news clippings, artifacts, etc. regarding Johnson’s service in World War I, his political career, his social network, and his family life, among other topics. The collection also includes material related to other family members, especially his wife Ruth Maxwell Johnson, the Maxwell family, and Johnson’s daughters, Lillian and Ruth Katherine (Kay) Johnson.

Series 1. Biographical Information; boxes 13-15, 31, 45, 52, 54-55; ca. 1910-2005.
Series 2. Diaries; boxes 19 and 23; 1916-1964.
Series 3. World War I Letters; boxes 1-4; 1917-1918.
Series 4. Correspondence; boxes 5a-7, 14, 21; 1917-1966.
Series 5. Scrapbooks; boxes 35, 40, 47, and 57; ca. 1920-1950.
Series 6. Publications; boxes 7, 9-12b, 15-18, 53, 57; 1913-1983.
Series 7. Miscellaneous Papers; boxes 8, 12a-12b, 14, 18-20, 23; 1917-1966, undated.
Series 8. News Clippings; boxes 12a-12b, 14, 18, 21-22, 53; 1913-1966.
Series 9. Photo Albums; boxes 29-32, 38, 41, 50; ca. 1910-1970.
Series 10. Photographs; boxes 3, 7, 12b-14, 18-21, 23-28, 31, 33-34, 36-41, 42-49, 51-52, 54, 58-60, 62, 69; ca. 1870-1970.
Series 11. Artifacts; boxes 16, 50-51, 53-54, 56a-56b, 60-61, 63-68, 84; 1917-1960, undated.
Series 12. Oversize; boxes 70-84, map cabinet 10, unboxed; ca. 1915-2013, undated.

Dates

  • ca. 1890-1980

Language of Materials

English

Conditions Governing Access

No special access restriction applies.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. For more information, please contact the West Virginia and Regional History Center.

Extent

52.6 Linear Feet (52 ft. 7 in. (15 document cases, 5 in. each); (4 document cases, 2 1/2 in. each); (21 record cartons, 15 in. each); (5 record cartons, 17 in. each); (4 small flat storage boxes, 1 1/2 in. each); (7 small flat storage boxes, 3 1/2 in. each); (2 small flat storage boxes, 4 in. each); (3 large flat storage boxes, 1 1/2 in. each); (12 large flat storage boxes, 3 in. each); (12 large flat storage boxes, 3 1/2 in. each); (1 large flat storage box, 5 in.); (1 card file box, 6 in.); (1 card file box, 3 in.); (2 artifact trays, 1 in. each); (1 roll storage box, 4 in.); (1 roll storage box, 5 in.); 1 oversize folder, 2 flag stands, 1 submarine model, 1 wooden box, 1 trunk)

5.47 Gigabytes (51 digital files)

Physical Location

West Virginia and Regional History Center / West Virginia University / 1549 University Avenue / P.O. Box 6069 / Morgantown, WV 26506-6069 / Phone: 304-293-3536 / Fax: 304-293-3981 / URL: https://wvrhc.lib.wvu.edu/

Separated Materials

Group photo signed by Harry Truman moved to A&M 435, Rare Signatures.
Title
Louis A. Johnson Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the West Virginia and Regional History Center Repository

Contact:
1549 University Ave.
P.O. Box 6069
Morgantown WV 26506-6069 US
304-293-3536