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Abbott L. Johnson papers

Identifier: MSS-027

Scope and Contents

This collection includes manuscripts, photographs, maps, blueprints, line drawings, and an oral history interview recording and transcript from Abbot L. Johnson in Muncie, Indiana ranging from 1941 to 1982 regarding Johnson's work in the field of aviation in Muncie and Delaware County, and his connections with the Indiana Manufacturers' Association and the National Association of Manufactuerers.


  • Creation: 1928-1982

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Biographical Note

Abbott Livingstone Johnson II, manufacturer and Muncie Airport developer, was born in Muncie, Indiana on June 15, 1899 to John Edgar Johnson, Sr. and Winifred Smith Johnson. His grandfather Abbott L. Johnson I was one of the founders of Muncie's Warner Gear Company. Abbott Johnson attended McKinley School and Central High School in Muncie. During the summers of his adolescence, Johnson also attended Culver Naval School where he received the title of first sergeant in the Navy. After graduating from high school Johnson studied engineering administration at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for four years. In 1925 Johnson left MIT and married Elizabeth Gregory Johnson; later that year he completed his degree in engineering administration at Harvard. Johnson moved back to Muncie in 1926, and his daughter, Joanne, was born in 1928.

Upon returning to Muncie, Johnson began working as an assistant general manager at Glascock Brothers until the business closed. From there, he went on to work at Warner Gear, starting out in the engineering department and later moving to the service department. When Warner Gear joined with Borg and Beck to form Borg Warner in 1928, Johnson became one of the directors of the company. After the death of the man in charge of the Warner Electric Company (Dick Stone), the company changed its name to Warner Machine Products and Johnson managed the business from 1948 to 1950. Johnson also ran operations at a business outside of Muncie, the Asbestos Manufacturing Company.

In the late 1920's, when an aviation committee formed in Muncie, Johnson was appointed chairman. Johnson had an avid interest in aviation and was heavily involved in the development of the Muncie Airport, which was named Johnson Field in his honor. Johnson went on to serve as president of Muncie Airport, Inc., the Tri-City Airport Board, and the Delaware County Board of Aviation Commissioners.


5 Cubic Feet (7 boxes, 1 folder, 2 oversize folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged in the following series and subseries:

Series 1: Johnson, Abbott L. aviation files, 1928-1976

...Subseries 1.1: Correspondence files, 1957-1976

...Subseries 1.2: Subject files, 1957-1973

...Subseries 1.3: Publications, 1928-1970

...Subseries 1.4: Newspaper clippings, circa 1958-1973

Series 2: Johnson, Abbott L. Indiana Manufacturers' Association files, 1941-1968

Series 3: Johnson, Abbott L. National Association of Manufacturers files, 1958-1959

Series 4: Johnson, Abbott L. aerial photographs, 1957

Series 5: Johnson, Abbott L. oral history interview recording and transcript, 1982 Oct.

Series 6: Public Airport System of Indiana map, circa 1928-1976

Series 7: Muncie, Indiana plat map, circa 1928-1976

Series 8: Johnson Field and other Indiana airport maps, blueprints, and line drawings, circa 1928-1976

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as gift from Abbott L. Johnson on 1974/12/18. The oral history interview recordings were received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation by Abbott L. Johnson, interviewee, and Tom Sargent, interviewer, on 1982/10/15


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

EAD finding aid created 2012/03/15 by Lisa Barney. EAD finding aid revised 2012/05/17 by Bethany Fiechter.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA