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Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation


Last profile update: 12/18/2016
Last grant data update: 12/30/2017

At A Glance

Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation

1700 Broadway, Ste 1100

Denver, CO United States 80290-2301

Telephone: (303) 861-4127


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor






Incorporated in 1948 in CO - Arthur E. Johnson (1892-1977) began his oil career with the Franco Petroleum Company (later Midwest Refining Company) which, along with Midwest Oil Company, was established by the Colorado Springs oil pioneers. He advanced within the company and was appointed purchasing agent for Midwest Oil. Two years later Vice President T.A. Dines asked Johnson to become his assistant in Denver. Dines had also employed a young lady, Helen Kenney (1895-1978), whom Arthur married in 1918 prior to leaving for France, where he served as a first lieutenant in the First Battalion, 355th Infantry, and in the occupation of Germany following the war. Midwest Oil Company expanded its operations and became so big that, in fact, the associated decided in 1921 to sell a controlling interest to Standard Oil Company (Indiana). Dines was elevated to president of Midwest Oil and Johnson remained as his assistant. That same year Midwest organized the Argo Oil Company to undertake oil production. In 1932 Johnson bought from the Standard Oil Company (Indiana) the controlling interest of Argo Oil Corporation, and became its president. Under his leadership Argo Oil Corporation became one of the country's top independent oil companies, expanding its operations into Kansas and New Mexico. In 1948 the Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation was established At the close 2009, the fair market value of the foundation's assets totaled $137.6 million, a 21 percent increase over the fiscal 2008 value ($114 million)

Purpose and Activities

The Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation directs its philanthropic resources primarily to tax-exempt Colorado organizations that relieve suffering, meet basic human needs, enrich the quality of life, and promote self-sufficiency.