The Margaret Johnson papers date from 1929 to 2001 and measure 2 linear feet. The papers are arranged in five series: Biography, Career, Fine Arts, Organizations and Photographs.
The Biography series begins with a short autobiography Johnson wrote in 2001. Johnson also wrote two short histories regarding her ancestors. The correspondence folder is limited, containing few personal letters. The education folder contains copies of Johnson's various college graduation certificates and certificates from the Institute of Children's Literature. There are also programs and lists for alumni banquets at Moulton High School. The bulk of the Biography series consists of Johnson's journals from 1984-2000. Johnson kept a daily record of the weather, her activities, meals and people she encountered. Newspaper clippings include her husband Kenneth Johnson's obituary and an article regarding his accidental death. There are also clippings regarding Johnson's literary awards, her teaching career and her involvement in various volunteer organizations.
The Career series focuses on Johnson's farming and teaching careers. The farming subseries includes record books Johnson maintained for the family farm from 1959 to 1963. The Farming subseries also contains information about Johnson's 1970 Master Farm Homemaker award, including a scrapbook that contains newspaper articles, photographs and letters of congratulation. The Teaching subseries consists of teaching certificates, evaluation forms, contracts, appreciation certificates and school handouts.
The Fine Arts series encompasses Johnson's talents in quilting, singing and writing. Included are programs from various quilting shows Johnson participated in along with several ribbons she earned for her quilting. The singing folder contains programs from various weddings and funerals where Johnson performed, along with many thank-you notes. There is also a cassette tape of four hymns recorded in the 1990s with Johnson's granddaughter accompanying her on the piano. The bulk of the Fine Arts series consists of Johnson's writings, including drafts of stories, articles and poems; assignments she wrote for the Institute of Children's Literature; and poetry journals in which Johnson was published. Though there are few acceptance letters in the papers, Johnson did maintain a large collection of rejection slips she received.
The Organizations series forms the bulk of Margaret Johnson's collection. Several subseries encompass the scope of Johnson's community involvement. The Church subseries contains several programs Johnson presented through her affiliations with the Methodist Episcopal Church, Monterey Christian Church and Moulton Christian Church. Included in the Moulton Christian Church folder is a 1929 brochure Johnson kept as a member of the Triangle Girls Organization. There are also several certificates Johnson earned through her various church activities including the Prison Fellowship. Johnson sponsored children through the Christian Children's Fund for thirty years. Photographs, biographies and correspondence of some of the children are included in this subseries. The Christian Women's Fellowship (CWF) subseries consists of Bible study booklets from 1989 to 1999 containing Johnson's handwritten notes. Also included are CWF yearbooks dating from 1959-1972 and assorted program brochures.
The Organizations series continues with programs and minutes for the Davis County Farm Bureau Women. There is also a 1975 annual report for the Davis County Hospital Auxiliary. Johnson was an active member of the Davis County Retired Teachers Unit and there are several programs and agendas covering the period 1984 to 1992. Johnson's participation in Delta Kappa Gamma included her membership in two chapters: Alpha Sigma and Beta Rho. The Alpha Sigma chapter papers include program brochures and a small notebook listing members, committees and other information. The Beta Rho chapter papers include a history of the founding of the chapter, programs, rosters and treasurer reports. Also included in the Delta Kappa Gamma subseries are programs from national conferences and conventions. The Iowa Retired Teachers Association subseries consists of several directories spanning the years 1988 to 1992.
The P.E.O. Sisterhood subseries contains the handwritten notes for several presentations Johnson gave and yearbooks spanning the years 1969 to 2000. Also included in the Organizations series is a folder of unidentified and undated notes for various speeches and presentations.
The Photographs series consists of one folder of photographs of Johnson, her children, and her grandchildren. Additional photographs can be found in the Master Farm Homemakers award scrapbook (1970) in Box 2.