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RG2665.AM:  Albert Litle Johnson, 1864-1948

Papers:  1881-1940

Crete, Saline County, Nebraska:  Mill owner

Size:  1.5 cu.ft.; 3 boxes


Born in Albany, Wisconsin, on June 19, 1864, Albert Litle Johnson was the youngest son of Andrew and Mary Ann Litle Johnson.  The Johnson family came to Nebraska Territory in 1865 and settled on Oak Creek near Valparaiso, Nebraska.  Albert attended York Academy and the University of Nebraska.  He later completed a course at Elliot Business College in Burlington, Iowa.  In 1883 Johnson worked for a few months at the Crete Mills in Crete, Nebraska, but soon he returned to Valparaiso where he served as cashier and bookkeeper in his brother’s bank.  On January 1, 1888, he returned to Crete where he was engaged in the milling business for the rest of his life.  In 1895 he became general manager of the mill, which was owned by his brother-in-law C.C. White.  Johnson became president when the business was incorporated as the Crete Mills in 1901.  On January 1, 1948, after sixty years of continuous service, he retired as president and was elected chairman of the board.

In 1904 Johnson moved to University Place so that his children could attend Nebraska Wesleyan University.  He returned to Crete in 1922.  He was deeply interested in education and was a prominent layman in the Methodist Church.  A generous benefactor of Nebraska Wesleyan University, he was a member of its Board of Trustees for over fifty years and president of the board for over thirty.  He also served on the National Board of Education of the Methodist Church, the State Executive Committee of the Young Men’s Christian Association, and the State Executive Committee of the American Sunday School Union.  Johnson was a member of the Nebraska State Historical Society, the Sons of the American Revolution, the Masons and the Omaha Grain Exchange.

Johnson married Elizabeth Patmore of Valparaiso, Nebraska, in 1895.  She died in 1947.  Albert Litle Johnson died on May 5, 1948.  He was survived by one daughter, Ruth J. Stancliff of Los Angeles, California, and three sons, Benjamin L. Johnson of Crete, Nebraska, Port A. Johnson of Miami Beach, Florida, and Dr. Rodney K. Johnson of Friend, Nebraska.  Albert is buried in Riverside Cemetery at Crete, Nebraska.


This collection consists of three boxes of papers relating to the life and career of Albert Litle Johnson.  The collection is arranged into six series: 1) Correspondence, 1888-1920; 2) Financial and legal records, 1881-1920; 3) Nebraska Wesleyan University materials, 1903-1920; 4) Young Men’s Christian Association materials, 1903-1920; 5) American Sunday School Union materials, 1901-1910; and 6) Miscellany, 1903-1940. 

Series 1 consists of the personal correspondence of Johnson including letters concerning the financial affairs of his sister, Mrs. Olive A. White.  Among the frequent correspondents are two missionaries in the Nebraska sandhills, E.E. Dillon and W.C. Howland, who were supported by the American Sunday School Union.  Series 2 includes several folders of bills, receipts, deeds and other legal and financial documents.  Series 3 contains reports on the financial condition of Nebraska Wesleyan University which were collected by Johnson as a member of the Board of Trustees.

Series 4 consists of one folder containing reports and programs of the Nebraska YMCA.  Series 5 is composed of one folder of reports and pamphlets describing the work of the American Sunday School Union, especially in Saline County, Nebraska.  One folder of miscellany comprises Series 6.  Included are programs from a dinner honoring Johnson for his fiftieth year working at Crete Mills, as well as various inspirational tracts.

Note:  See the photo component [RG2665.PH] for related images.  See the library for Albert L. Johnson’s Fifty Years with Crete Mills: 74th Birthday Celebration, June 19, 1937 [921 J63].  The archives holds other related manuscript collections, including: Crete Mills [RG3596]; Young Men’s Christian Association [RG4370] and American Sunday School Union [RG3419].


Series 1 – Correspondence, 1888-1935, undated

Box 1


  1. 1888-1900

  2. 1901

  3. 1902, Jan.-June

  4. 1902, July-Dec.

  5. 1903, Jan.-June

  6. 1903, July-Dec.

  7. 1904, Jan.-June

  8. 1904, July-Dec.

  9. 1905

  10. 1906

  11. 1907

Box 2


  1. 1908

  2. 1909

  3. 1910

  4. 1911

  5. 1912

  6. 1913

  7. 1914

  8. 1915

  9. 1916-1918

  10. 1919, Jan.-June

  11. 1919, July-Dec.

  12. 1920

  13. 1935

  14. Undated

Series 2 – Financial and legal records, 1881-1920, undated

  1. Bills and receipts, 1881-1903

  2. Bills and receipts, 1904-1918

  3. Bills and receipts, 1919-1920, undated

Box 3


  1. Deeds, insurance policies and court records, 1886-1904

Series 3 – Nebraska Wesleyan University, 1893-1918, undated

  1. Financial reports, etc., 1893-1901

  2. Financial reports, etc., 1902

  3. Financial reports, etc., 1903

  4. Financial reports, etc., 1904

  5. Financial reports, etc., 1905

  6. Financial reports, etc., 1906

  7. Financial reports, etc., 1907

  8. Financial reports, etc., 1908

  9. Financial reports, etc., 1909

  10. Financial reports, etc., 1910

  11. Financial reports, etc., 1911

  12. Financial reports, etc., 1912

  13. Financial reports, etc., 1913

  14. Financial reports, etc., 1914

  15. Financial reports, etc., 1915

  16. Financial reports, etc., 1916

  17. Financial reports, etc., 1917

  18. Financial reports, etc., 1918

  19. Financial reports, etc., undated

Series 4 – Young Men’s Christian Association, 1903-1920, undated

  1. Reports, programs and printed matter, 1903-1920, undated

Series 5 – American Sunday School Union, 1901-1910, undated

  1. Reports and printed matter, 1901-1910, undated

Series 6 – Miscellany, 1881-1940, undated

  1. Miscellaneous programs, pamphlets, religious tracts, etc., 1881-1940, undated


Subject headings:

American Sunday School Union

Crete Mills (Crete, Nebraska)

Johnson, Albert Litle, 1864-1948

Nebraska — Religion

Nebraska Wesleyan University (Lincoln, Nebraska)

Young Men’s Christian Association (Nebraska)


LW/JS                12-11-1964

Revised APD     03-11-1975

Revised TMM    12-18-2018