My Contribution: I was one of Harrisburg’s and Steelton’s foremost Black educators and a Presbyterian minister. I was a prominent English professor at Howard University.
My Legacy: I impacted Harrisburg, Princeton, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., as a teacher, clergyman, and professor with a relentless commitment to high-quality education. I was a leader in the creation of the Steelton Hygienic School, and my advocacy efforts within Black education still remain relevant today.
About Me: “Dr. Leonard Z. Johnson, Sr., one of the first Negro educators of this area.” — The Evening News, January 22, 1949.
Full Name: Leonard Z. Johnson • Birth Date: June 17, 1870 • Death Date: January 15, 1949 • Place of Birth: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania • Sex: Male • Race: “Mulatto” (1870, 1880, and 1910 Federal Censuses), Black (1900 and 1920 Federal Censuses), and “Negro” (1930 and 1940 Federal Censuses). • Places of Residence: 428 South Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (1880 and 1900); 1615 Druid Hill Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland (1910); Washington D.C.: 918 Westminster Street NW (1920-1930), 1236 Howard Street NW (1935-1949). • Connection to the Old Eighth Ward: Resident until at least age 30. • Family Members: Father: Zachariah Johnson. Mother: Ellen Johnson. Brother: William Johnson. Wife: Louise A. Peebles Johnson, m. October 18, 1904-1942. Children: Louise K. Johnson, Leonard Z. Johnson, Jr., Ellen P. Johnson. • Education: Harrisburg Boys’ High School, 1887 (graduated with honors, delivered graduation oration); Lincoln University, Bachelor’s degree; Princeton University, Master’s degree, 1904 (oration delivered by Woodrow Wilson, then college president); Lincoln University, Doctor of Divinity, 1906. • Occupations: Teacher in Harrisburg and Steelton. Clergyman for Presbyterian churches in Baltimore and Princeton. English Professor, Howard University, 1920-1949. • Church Membership: Presbyterian. • Activism: The Douglass Association. • Connections: Zachariah Johnson (father), Henry Highland Summers.