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No. 3 MARCH, 2002

ALICE E. JOHNSON, ONE OF OHIO'S FIRST WOMEN ARCHITECTS




Alice Johnson, 1862 - 1936
This image was produced
from the Hayes Center's
Grob Collection.

Allie and Addie Johnson, 1895

Trinity United Methodist Church

Wayne and Court Streets
Fremont, Ohio

Born in 1862, Alice E. Johnson was the youngest daughter of nationally known architect John Carlton Johnson of Fremont, Ohio. Known to friends and family as "Allie," Miss Johnson became one of Ohio's first women architects. Allie apprenticed at her father's firm located in the Jackson-Tschumy building, a structure the senior Johnson had designed on Fremont's South Front street. The prominent Victorian architect had designed dozens of infirmaries, schools, jails, churches, city halls, and at least four county courthouses in the Midwest. Although public buildings dominated his work, Johnson had drafted plans for many homes in Fremont and Northwest Ohio.

As early as 1889, Allie was listed as an architect in the Fremont city directory. One of her commissions was the new Trinity United Methodist Church to be built at the corner of Wayne and Court streets in 1895. The Gothic-style structure was featured in Art Work of Seneca and Sandusky Counties that same year. In 1903, Ohio Architect and Engineer reported that Ms. Johnson was designing a frame home for David B. Love and brick and stone home for W. B. Kridler, both of Fremont.

When J. C. Johnson died suddenly in 1901, Allie continued the work her father had so successfully developed. She went on to design other homes and businesses throughout Northwest Ohio and in neighboring states. Ms. Johnson continued to live in Fremont with her sister Addie, a professional seamstress, until her death in 1936. The Fremont News-Messenger praised her "skill and talent as an architect and business woman," noting that Allie "was one of the very few women in the United States to win recognition in a field dominated almost exclusively be men."


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