Vignettes about Events & People


Dorothy, the wife of the college's first president, Dr. Paul Johnson, was the college's first librarian.

Dorothy Johnson

Dorothy Johnson, the wife of the college’s first president, Dr. Paul Johnson, was the first librarian at the college, a position she held from 1959 to 1961.


Edna Johnson was librarian for Arkansas City High School from 1924-1927. When Galle-Johnson Hall was built, no arrangements had been made for a library in the building. Students still had to cross Fifth Avenue to the high school library, or to the old Carnegie Library, for reference materials when needed. That problem was met by taking parts of rooms designated for other purposes, and the college part of the library was moved to the new building (Galle-Johnson Hall). At first, the library was on the main floor.


Later, it was moved to the second floor. That’s where it remained until Renn Memorial Library was opened in 1974.


Dorothy Johnson was born in St. Joseph, Mo., but moved around a lot with her family. She had lived in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nebraska, and Kansas, states where her father was transferred. He managed Golden Rule Stores, later known as J.C. Penney. She attended Kansas Wesleyan College in Salina two years before transferring to Kansas State Teacher’s College in Emporia.


Dorothy met her future husband on a blind date at Emporia, and three years later, in 1931, she and Paul were married. The couple came to Arkansas City in 1931. Paul taught economics and sociology at Arkansas City High School, and later at ACJC. Paul also served the college as dean from 1963-1967. More than 30 years after her husband’s death, Dorothy died on July 2, 1998, in Arkansas City. She was 92.


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