Martin M. Johnston Papers

1920, 1926-1928, 1937-1939, undated

MSS 367
3 linear inches (1 box, 1 oversize box, and 1 oversize poster)

Name of Creator(s):

Johnston, Martin M.


English, Swedish, German


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Access points:

Augustana College and Theological Seminary (Rock Island, Ill.) Augustana College Band
Augustana College--Students
Music in Universites and Colleges--Illinois--Rock Island

Finding aid prepared by:

Julia G. Westblade, 2013.


Augustana College Special Collections
Thomas Tredway Library
639 38th Street
Rock Island, Illinois 61201

Custodial History
Historical Note
Scope and Content
System of Arrangement
Related Materials
Container List

In March 2013, Kenneth R. Johnston donated materials from his father's time as the Augustana band director and the Augustana European Band Tour of 1928.

Martin M. Johnston was born in DeKalb, Illinois in 1901. He attended the Augustana Music Conservatory and joined the Wennerberg Men's Chorus in 1922. By 1926 he directed the Augustana Male Quartet, the Rock Island High School Band, the Washington Junior Band, the Franklin Junior Band, the Choir of Zion Church in Rock Island, and the Olive Male Chorus as well as the Augustana College Band.

While at Augustana, he also served as the secretary and later president of the Lyceum Board, played football, and was a member of the PUG fraternity. He married his wife Eva Nelson on Decemeber 26, 1925.

In 1928, Johnston lead the Augustana College Band on an international tour from the Mid-Western and Eastern United State through Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, Germany, France, and England.

After he graduated in 1929, Johnston took a job as the director of instrumental music in in the public schools in Marquette, Michigan where he also organized and led the Marquette Municipal band until 1941. In the mid 1940s, Johnston moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan where he took a job as executive secretary of the Grand Rapids Manufacturers' Association where he worked to plan post-war activities of the manufacturers in the city and work out a program of coordination of peacetime industrial production and empoyment.

He joined the Addressograph-Multigraph Corporation in 1946, and remained a member for the rest of his life, serving as branch manager in Saginaw, Michigan; St. Paul, Minnesota; Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Birmingham, Michigan. He directed choirs at Lutheran and other churches in those cities. His final church was Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Bloomfield Hills where his ashes were scattered when he died in December, 1971.



The Martin M. Johnston papers date mostly from 1926-1928 but there are a few items from 1920 and the late 1930s. The collection contains photographs, travel brochures, postcards, and maps from the Augustana College Band and the Augustana College European Band tour of 1928.

The collection also contained several unmarked issues of the Augustana Observer that were removed. These issues were March 10, 1928; April 26, 1928; May 3, 1928; and two copies of May 10, 1928.

The Martin M. Johnston papers are arranged into four series: Augustana College Band, Correspondence, Miscellaneous, and Photographs.

The Augustana College Band series dates from 1926-1928 and contains pamphlets and concert advertisements.
The 1928 Band Tour is a subseries of the Augustana College Band. It contains tourist materials from the European Band Tour of 1928. These materials consist of maps, souvenir images, brochures, city information, and schedules from Canada, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, Germany, France, and England.

The Correspondence series contains three undated postcards and one postcard from 1939.

The Miscellaneous series contains a funeral invitation from 1937, a newspaper clipping from the mid 1940s, and two metal bookmarks.

The Photographs series is divided into two subseries: Augustana College Band and Miscellaneous.
The Augustana College Band suberies contains undated snapshots of the band performing as well as professional photographs. There are also photos of the Augustana Quartet and the blind violin soloist, Iverne Dowie, who accompanied the band on their 1928 European tour.
The Miscellaneous suberies contains two small photographs from 1920 and 1926 as well as an undated photo of Old Main and an undated photo of Johnston from his time after Augustana.



The Martin M. Johnson papers are arranged in chronological order within each series.


MSS 150 - Erland Levi Borg Papers
MSS 235 - Augustana College Band




Augustana College Band, 1926-1928

Promotional Materials, 1926-1928

Swedish Poster, 1928 [located in photo drawer 3 under "Campaign posters"]

Tour Advertisement, 1928 [located in Box 2]

1928 Band Tour, 1928

Canada and the United States, 1928

Sweden, 1928

Denmark, 1928

The Netherlands, 1928

Germany, 1928

Menu, 1928 [located in Box 2]

France, 1928

England, 1928

Westminster Abbey schedule, 1928 [located in Box 2]

Correspondence, 1939, undated

Postcards, 1939, undated

Photographs, 1920, 1926, undated

Augustana College Band, undated

Miscellaneous, 1920, 1926, undated

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