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Leon Julius "Jerry" Johnson scrapbook

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-0002

Content Description

Leon "Jerry" Johnson's homemade scrapbook dates from 1911-1914, and measures .75 linear feet. The scrapbook contains black and white photographs of him and members of the Buena Vista College football team. There are also pictures of him and his friends in several social activities. The scrapbook also includes mementos such as a Buena Vista College songbook, newspaper clippings, and several ticket stubs to nearby theatres.


  • 1911-1914


Biographical / Historical

Leon Julius “Jerry” Johnson was a student at Buena Vista College (now Buena Vista University) from 1911 to 1914. Little is written about his life prior to his attending Buena Vista College, but we know that he was born on the 21st or 22nd of March 1894 in Linn Grove, Iowa. While at Buena Vista College he was active in both academic organizations and sports teams. In the 1913 Buena Vista College yearbook, he is pictured as being a member of the Star Society. He also appears to have been involved in the baseball and football team in the same year. In 1914 he is listed as being the room committee chairman of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), a member of the Alcinian Society, and a member of the football and baseball teams.

In the fall of 1914, Johnson transferred to Morningside College. He became part of their football team and was very successful. According to the Morningside College website, Leon Johnson is the school record holder in touchdowns in a game (6), points scored in a game (43), Division II school season points scored (111), Division II school career points scored (299), and number of PATs in a game (13). Due to these impressive numbers he was a 1917 NCAA Division II All-American.

Somewhere between 1917 and 1918 he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Little is known about his enlistment service, but we know that in September 1918 he attended an officers’ training school located near Chicago. His term of enlistment ended in 1921, and it appears that he had achieved the rank of Ensign in the U.S. Navy. After being discharged he joined the Rock Island Independents in 1921, which was a football team in what today is known as the National Football League (NFL). He played for two seasons with the team. In 1922 he ended his football career with the Racine Legion, which was another NFL team.

Over the next two decades Leon Johnson would be a football coach and a teacher at Luverne, Minnesota, and LaGrange, Illinois. He died in Keokuk, Iowa, either on the 17th or the 21st of October 1947, at the age of fifty-three.


0.75 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Condition Description

Pages are detached from cord binding and placed in polyster L-sleeves.
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Buena Vista University Archives Repository

610 West Fourth Street
Storm Lake IA 50588 United States