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hardin county historical museums’ Byroads & Bygones


Mary Lou Johnson


Director, Hardin County

Historical Museum

Mary Lou Johnson, the daughter of Edna D. Sullivan and Burke L. Johnson, was born in 1909. She was born in Kenton and was a resident of Hardin County all of her life.

Mary Lou graduated from Kenton High School in 1926, received her Bachelor’s Degree from Wells College in Aurora, New York in 1930, and her Master’s Degree in social administration from Ohio State University.

Her activities included:

She served as a member and officer of the Hardin County District Library for 21 years. She was the leading force behind the construction of the Library building, which after her death in 1977, was renamed in her honor.

She helped develop the Central Ohio Chapter of the American Heart Association, organized the Hardin County Newcomers Club, was Labor Relations and Administrative Director with the USO during WWII, and served as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kenton National Bank.

She was involved with the Fortnightly Literary Club, the University Club, and the Hardin Memorial Hospital Guild. She donated to the Hardin Memorial Hospital expansion in 1969.

Mary Lou was a gifted athlete. In 1965, she donated a sum of money to build tennis courts at the Kenton Senior High School. She also supervised three college scholarship funds, given by her family.

Mary Lou received the Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of Year” award in 1969 for her outstanding contributions to the community in which she lived until her death in 1977


The Hardin County Historical Museum is open three days a week, Tuesday through Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m. We are located at 223 N. Main St. Kenton, Ohio 43326. Starting June 6, the Heritage Farm Museum on Fairground Road will be open on Mondays from 1 to 4 p.m.

The museum is supported entirely by donations and memberships. Membership forms are available at the museum or call us at 419-673-7147 and we will send you one. Admission is free, donations are accepted. Thank you for your support.

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