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Philanthropist Grace Phillips Johnson - New Castle PA

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Clarinda Grace Phillips (1877-1972) was the daughter of Thomas W. Phillips (1835-1912), a wealthy oil man, Christian religious leader, and U.S. Congressman. In 1903 she married MIT graduate and successful businessman Charles H. Johnson, the son of wealthy limestone baron George W. Johnson. Together they had five children before Charles died in late 1918. (c1900)

Grace Phillips Johnson, shown here with son Charles H. Johnson Jr., became a beloved philanthropist and collector of valuable art and historical/religious artifacts. She was also a longtime parishioner and supporter of the First Christian Church in New Castle. (1904)

Grace, at the age of ninety-four, passed away in Orlando, Florida, in April 1972. She was buried in the family plot at Oak Park Cemetery. She is remembered as one of New Castle’s wealthiest woman – but also one of it’s most caring. (c1930)

Grace grew up in this North Hill mansion (T. W. Phillips home) located at the northwest intersection of Highland and Moody Avenues. In 1913 the neighboring mansion at #221 Moody Avenue (shown on left) was built for her and her husband Charles H. Johnson. Grace spent most of the rest of her life in that newer mansion. She sold the T. W. Phillips property in early 1964 to the Italian Assembly Christian Church, who razed the house and built a new church at the site. Grace’s adjacent home is still standing, and was on the market for $1.2 million in 2013. (1915) Full Size


  1. Sometime about 1929, Grace added a library to the new mansion. There were 36 painted and colored glass windows in the new library. They were copies of old English bookmarks. Is there any information available regarding these windows?

  2. I’m pretty sure this is the mansion that moved – it wasn’t razed, it was moved to Sharon. Disassembled and reassembled piece by piece, 20”+ thick limestone block and all. It still stands abandoned at 109 N Irvine Ave, Sharon, PA 16146. Was sold on ebay years ago and the seller had a very cool site about the “mansion that moved” but was taken down after the sale

  3. (EDITOR’S NOTE) Ben, the Phillips mansion shown above was torn down. The “moved” mansion you are referring to was the Stevenson Mansion, once located on East Lincoln Avenue and built in 1892. John Stevenson, a local steel baron, grew disillusioned with his partners and decided to relocate to Sharon in 1900. In an unusual step he had his mansion disassembled and took it with him. I believe he sold his “house-less” property on East Lincoln Avenue to businessman William Stritmater in 1913. Jeff

  4. I took a tour of the Johnson mansion at 221 east moody ave. when Dr.Hoffman owned it. A beautiful home!

  5. I have long been curious as to exactly where the Stevenson Mansion was located when it was in New Castle. Would it have been in the general area of the old High School, or was it further west near the Stritmater residence? The old accounts of the move don’t indicate. Thank you! Ernie Copper


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