Virginia K. Johnson Home and Training School – Oak Cliff


Virginia K. Johnson Home and Training School 1911 thru 1941

Virginia K. Johnson was a topic of this year’s Dallas History Conference. She operated a house of refuge for unmarried women in late 1800 – early 1900 Dallas. Her organization, Sheltering Arms, outgrew it’s facility around 1911, when Ms. Johnson raised money to buy 18 acres in Oak Cliff to build a home and training school to accommodate 200 women and teach skills.  Virginia K. Johnson Home and Training School operated successfully until 1941, when it was forced to close after laws changed. The buildings were destroyed and the 18-acre tract of land at 901 S. Madison Avenue was divided and sold. A large portion was purchased by Catholic Diocese of Dallas to create Conference and Formation Center facilities, operating at this address today.

Virginia continued her work with the community until her passing in 1934. Her projects included assisting with fundraising efforts for SMU to build her namesake building, Virginia K Johnson Hall. She also is responsible for a dormitory at Texas College for Women (currently TWU) in Denton.



7 thoughts on “Virginia K. Johnson Home and Training School – Oak Cliff

  1. This home became St Joseph’s home for Girls and was not destroyed till mid1970. There seems to be no records or photo’s of it’s existence. I have been researching for years. I was there from 1962 to 1971, which community houses took the place of the buildings. I would like any information that is available.

      • I don’t know what to say. I am so surprised to find any info at all on St Joseph’s. My younger brother lived at a home for boys. I believe it was called Dunne Memorial. Wow!

  2. The Virginia K Johnson Home and School for Girls closed in 1941. The property was purchased in 1941 by Dallas Bishop Lynch and reopened in 1942 as the St. Joseph’s home for Girls. It operated a this campus for many years. But I don’t know when St. Joseph’s closed or when the old building was razed.

  3. Pingback: The St. Joseph Orphanage — 1891 | Flashback : Dallas

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