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Margaret Afflis Johnston collection

Identifier: L555

Scope and Contents

This collection includes personal and political correspondence and papers, photographs, notebooks, publications and other materials from Margaret Afflis Johnston in Delphi, Carroll County and Indianapolis, Indiana ranging from 1916 to 1967, regarding her political career, public service, the Democratic Party in Indiana, the Indiana Women's Prison and the state correctional system, community engagement, and personal life. Campaign materials and periodicals for various democratic candidates and organizations from the local to the national level are scattered throughout the political correspondence and papers.The collection also includes correspondence, photographs and materials from a scrapbook related to Johnston's son, William "Dick the Bruiser" Afflis. Correspondents including John F. Kennedy, Andrew Jacobs, and Matthew E. Welsh.

Oversize items include Johnston's certificates of appointment (1949-1961); a certificate certifying Johnston's passing of the state probation examinations (1944); a citation for meritorious service for devoted service to Indiana (1956); an anti-communist China broadside (1960); a campaign broadside for Johnston's unsuccessful bid for Congress in 1946; an issue of the Indiana Democrat newspaper (April 15, 1954) and of The County Paper Hit Parade: Supplement to the Starke County Democrat (November 24, 1960); and a team photograph of a juvenile football team which includes William F. Afflis (OBC132). The photographs concern Johnston's personal, social, and political life, ranging from circa 1920 to 1967 (P063). There are also portrait photographs.


  • circa 1916-1967


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Margaret Atkinson Afflis Johnston was born to Frank and Harriet (White) Atkinson on June 11, 1898. She was active in community projects and known nationally in Democratic circles for her lifelong work with the party. Johnston’s political career included the following positions: the Deer Creek Township trustee, Delphi, Carroll County (1930-1934); Carroll County Democratic Party vice-chairman (1930-1938); Second Congressional District vice-chairman (1932-1941); Democratic candidate for Congress opposing Representative Charles Halleck (1946); State Probation Director (1941-1945, 1949-1953); Indiana Women’s Prison Parole Board member (1954-1967); Indiana Democratic National committeewoman (1960-1964); president of the Indiana Women’s Democratic Club (1965-1967). She was the first woman to manage a license branch in Carroll County and organized the Psi Iota Xi Sorority in Delphi.

Johnston was twice married, first to Delphi businessman William W. Afflis (1897-1945) and then with Leroy Orlin Johnston, Jr. (married 1951) of Indianapolis. She died on April 17, 1967 from a heart attack at the age of 68.

Johnston's son from her first marriage, William (Dick) Franklin [Fritz] Afflis (1929-1991), was a professional athlete, who played football as a left tackle for the Green Bay Packers during the early 1950s. Afflis was known as "Dick the Bruiser" during his career as a professional wrestler, which began in 1955. He attended Purdue University in Indiana and the University of Nevada.


Items in the collection. "Margaret Atkinson Afflis." Find A Grave Index. Accessed June 17, 2017.

"Margaret A. Johnston." Obiturary. Hoosier Democrat (Flora, IN), April 20, 1967.

"William W. Afflis." Obituary. Delphi Citizen, December 20, 1945.


3.66 Cubic Feet (11 manuscript boxes, 1 large oversize folder)

Language of Materials



Arranged in the following series:

Series 1: Political papers and materials, 1933-1967

Series 2: Personal and family materials, 1916-1966

Series 3: Photographs, circa 1929-circa 1960

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Leroy O. Johnston in 1969.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2009 May by Brent Abercrombie. Collection reprocessed 2017-06-23 by Brittany Kropf. EAD finding aid created 2009 May by Brent Abercrombie. EAD finding aid revised 2017/06/23; 2021/08/06 by Brittany Kropf; 2021/10/28 by Lauren Patton.
Margaret Afflis Johnston collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.