IOWA WOMEN’S ARCHIVES
UNIVERSITY OF IOWA LIBRARIES
IOWA CITY, IOWA
RUTH ASHTON JOHNSON (1933- )
10 linear inches
The papers (donor no. 234) were donated by Ruth Ashton Johnson in 1994.
The papers are open for research.
In box 2.
15 cassettes in audiocassette collection (AC277-AC291).
Copyright has been transferred to the University of Iowa.
Rachel Bohlmann, 1996. [Word 7 JohnsonRA.doc]
Ruth Ashton Johnson, coach, teacher, women's and girls athletics advocate, was born in Clinton, Iowa, on September 20, 1933 to Ned Ashton and Gladys Brooker Ashton. Both her parents were collegiate athletes, and her mother was a member of the physical education department at the University of Iowa. With parental encouragement, Ruth Ashton became proficient in a number of sports, including swimming, tennis, and rifle. While a college student at the University of Iowa, Ashton majored in physical education and continued her athletics, adding field hockey to her repertoire. She married Ron Johnson after college and they moved to Davenport, Iowa, where they raised three sons.
Johnson began teaching physical education in the public school system, and became director of the Davenport Park Board swimming program in 1956. She taught at St. Katherine's part-time from 1957 until 1967, when she began a full-time position at West High School.
While at West, Johnson's activism on behalf of young women's competitive opportunities led her to be elected chair of the Iowa Division for Girls' and Women's Sports Committee. In 1971 Johnson was sent to the National DGWS Conference where she was instrumental in formulating resolutions for women's athletic competition that resulted in the 1972 Title IX legislation. The National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) organized the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) in 1971-1972 in part to implement the new federal legislation.
During her long career at West (she retired in 1990) Johnson coached girls' field hockey, swimming, and gymnastics at different times, and she remained a leader in the local community of girls' competitive athletics. Since retirement, Johnson has remained involved in teaching swimming, leading girl scout trips to the boundary waters, and organizing senior swim meets.
Scope and Content Note
The Ruth Ashton Johnson papers date from 1971 to 1994 and measure 10 linear inches. The papers are arranged in three series: Biographical, AIAW, and Artifacts. The papers document Johnson's interest and professional involvement in promoting equal opportunity for female athletes within schools at all levels.
Box no. Description
Personal reminiscences and newspaper article 1982, 1991
President's report, 1977
Policy guidelines and membership lists, 1977-1978 and undated
Federal sex discrimination policy, 1973-1978 and undated [oversize chart in map case drawer 5]
Title IX, 1978
Pamphlets and sample budget, 1977-1978 and undated [oversize newsletter in map case: drawer 5]
Organization of Girls' and Women's Sports state and district chairpersons, 1977-1978
Fifteen audiocassettes of NWISC and AIAW meetings, 1975-1976 and undated [shelved in audiocassette collection: AC277-AC291]
Governing council membership lists, 1971-1977
Memos and reports, 1971-1976
Minutes and reports of governing council, 1971-1977
Policies, constitution, and bylaws, 1971-1975 and undated
Governing council reports to AIAW, 1971-1973 and undated
Correspondence and memos, 1973-1976 and undated
State newsletters and reports, 1974
Northwest College Women's Sports Association policy handbooks, 1972-1975
Policy and procedure manuals, 1973-1975
Basketball championships, 1972-1975
Small college basketball tournament, 1975-1976
Field hockey tournament, 1975-1976
Gymnastics championships, 1972-1975
Swimming meet survey, 1974 and undated
Tennis, 1974-1975 and undated
Track and field championships, 1975 and undated
Ribbons from the AIAW Region VI First Annual Championship