Mary Elizabeth Johnston
1890 – 1967
“Two qualities marked her life—her unlimited generosity and her devotion to people.”
Miss Mary Johnston was one of Glendale’s greatest philanthropists. Always referred to as “Miss,” she was the niece by marriage of William Cooper Procter, president of the Procter & Gamble Company.
With no children of their own, the Procters treated her like a daughter and taught her the value of giving. As their heir, she ensured their fortune benefitted the Episcopal Church and other causes such as Children’s Hospital, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Art Museum, and Society of the Transfiguration.
Miss Johnston was active in the Episcopal Church at every level, including campaigning for construction of the National Cathedral in Washington. For Christ Church in Glendale, she underwrote an addition with offices, classrooms and a chapel designed by local architect Woodie Garber (demolished).
Besides the church, Miss Johnston’s interests included nursing, education, agriculture and art. She was a missionary in the Philippines, served as a battlefield nurse in World War II, studied under the innovative educator Maria Montessori in Rome, and operated a farm.
Among her greatest gifts was Procter Hall at the UC College of Nursing, also designed by Garber. A talented artist, Miss Johnston gave a collection of 30+ paintings valued at $2 million to the Cincinnati Art Museum.