Records-Johnston Family Foundation

W.R. "Ross" Johnston

Born in Shawnee in 1896, W.R. "Ross" Johnston was a successful businessman who was considered the dean of Oklahoma mortgage bankers. His father, Willard Johnston, settled near Pink, Oklahoma, during the 1891 Land Run and later moved to Shawnee, where he established the town's first commercial bank.

After serving in the U.S. Navy in World War I and attending the University of Oklahoma, Ross joined his father in the banking business. In 1939, Ross moved to Oklahoma City where he established both an insurance company and the state's first FHA-approved mortgage company. He would later sell his mortgage company only to purchase the Midland Mortgage Company in 1954 where he served as chairman of the board until his death in 1976. The company is known today as The Midland Group and Ross' grandson Jeff Records currently serves as chairman of the board.

Ross originally established the Willard Johnston Family Foundation at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in honor of his father, Willard. His son-in-law George Records continues the family's philanthropy through the fund, which became the Records-Johnston Family Foundation, supporting Casady School and other educational and scholarship funds.

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