Johnston's Later Life and Legacy

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The Oberlin Villiage Improvement Society

During the last ten years of her life, Johnston continued to give lectures and publish essays concerning the welfare of the college and community, signing them as Madame Johnston. One of her major contributions to the town of Oberlin was her role in organizing the Oberlin Village Improvement Society, as is fully documented by Barbara Christen in City Beautiful In a Small Town, in collaboration with Oberlin College trustee Charles Martin Hall. The objective of the Society, for which she served as president, was to make the city a place "worthy of the college" by cleaning Plum Creek, creating a park system, improving sanitary conditions and beautifying the town in general.  The Oberlin Village Improvement Society later merged with the Oberlin Historical Society to form the present day Oberlin Historical and Improvement Organization (O.H.I.O.) which runs the Oberlin Heritage Center.

Adelia A.F. Johnston Fellowship

Adelia A.F. Johnston served Oberlin College as the Dean of Women until 1900 and as a professor of Medieval history until 1907. She died on July 22, 1910, from a cerebral hemorrhage that she had suffered five weeks earlier. Her beloved students and colleagues established the Adelia A.F. Johnston Fellowship in her honor.


The Woman Who Started It All

Early Life

The Struggle for a College Education

A Brilliant Speaker and a Passion for Art

Her Friends Became the Friends of Oberlin

Later Life and Legacy




Last updated:
February 28, 2018