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Blanche Brown Johnson papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: 00000BJ1

Scope and Contents

Diaries, correspondence, photographs, and related materials of Blanche Johnson.  Includes newspaper clippings and printed material pertaining to items of interest to Blanche Johnson, such as art, bridges, cooking, mysticism, home decorating, poetry, religion, sex, and sewing. Some ephemera, primarily Christmas gift tags and cards collected by Johnson, are included.  A constitution and program for the The Art Club of Lafayette, Indiana, 1912-1915, is included in the collection.


  • 1875-1921


biographical information

Blanche Wallace Brown was born on August 20, ca. 1859, daughter of L.M. and Mary Brown of Lafayette, Indiana. In 1883-1884, Blanche enrolled in special courses at Purdue University, taking wood carving, decorative design, and historical ornament.

She married Oscar D. Johnson in 1886, and they had two sons, Harold Brown Johnson (b. 1890) and Maxwell Oscar Johnson. Johnson appears to have gone to college in 1876 to Auburn, New York. She was interested in art, cooking, interior decorating, and served at least one year as President of the Art Club of Lafayette in 1914-1915.

Blanche’s son Maxwell Oscar Johnson graduated from the School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University with a B.S. in 1913, and later returned to Purdue to attain a degree in Chemical Engineering in 1928. Maxwell became an internationally known scientist for his research on the pineapple. Blanche’s husband, Oscar D. Johnson, appears to have died in 1921.

Blanche Brown Johnson and her family remained supportive of the university and offered several items that had belonged to John Purdue to the university in 1925. She acquired these items from her father who was a colleague and friend of Purdue, and from Purdue himself.


0.50 Cubic Feet

1.00 mss._boxes

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

The Blanche Brown Johnson Papers (1875-1921) are arranged into seven series, contained in one manuscript file box: 1) Correspondence, 1876-1918 and n.d.; 2) Diary, 1875; 3) Art and Architectural Interests, 1912-1915 and n.d.; 4) Photographs, 1912 and n.d.; 5) Financial and Legal Documents, 1886-1921 and n.d.; 6) Notes and Recipes, n.d.; 7) Printed Material, 1910-1916 and n.d., consisting of magazine and newspaper articles and ephemera. The bulk of the papers consist of two file folders of correspondence between Blanche Brown Johnson and her family, primarily with her husband, Oscar Johnson. Correspondence has been arranged chronologically, with undated items placed in the front of the first folder. Financial and legal documents have also been arranged chronologically. Two file folders of newspaper articles and magazine clippings, primarily relating to cooking and interior decorating, are included with the collection.
Blanche Brown Johnson papers
In Progress
Sammie Morris
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States