COL H.C. Johnston

Colonel Johnston was the younger son of Colonel T. A. Johnston and was born on the second floor of “B” barracks at the school. He attended Kemper and graduated with the class of 1901. While at Kemper, Johnston’s next-door neighbor was Will Rogers. Johnston came back to Kemper Military School after completing studies at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He held various posts at the school including Athletic Director and Assistant Superintendent, until eventually being named Kemper’s fourth President upon the death of Colonel A M Hitch.

Johnston was instrumental in reconfiguring the school’s internal governing structure and was a gifted administrator in his own right. He served as President of the American Association of Military Colleges and Schools and as Grand Master of the Missouri Masonic Lodge. Many Kemper Old Boys wrote letters to the school through the years and Colonel Johnston made a point of reading and answering each one, a practice which was continued by Colonel John Gould in the form of birthday greetings for years afterward.