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Record Group: 1 C
Record Sub-Group: 22
Records Title: UMC; Administration; Records of University of Missouri Presidents Prior to 1963
Dates: 1841-1970
Volume: 1 and 5/6 cubic feet, 2.29 linear feet

Scope and Content Note

This Sub-Group contains records pertaining to careers and personal lives of University of Missouri Presidents. Included in the Sub-Group are correspondence, inaugural addresses, testimonials, photographs, biographical materials, academic robes, portraits, newspaper clippings, handbills, scrapbooks, and memorabilia.

Historical Note:

The chief executive officer of the University of Missouri-Columbia was the president from 1841 until 1963. In 1963 when the University of Missouri System was created, consisting of the University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Missouri-Rolla, University of Missouri-St. Louis, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the president became the administrative head of the UM System and the chief executive officer of each campus of the system became the chancellor.

Series Descriptions:

Series 1. - C:1/7/1
This Series contains records pertaining to the life and career of Dr. Samuel Spahr Laws, especially his tenure as University of Missouri President, 1876-1889. Included in the Series are photographs of Dr. and Mrs. Laws, copies of Laws' July 5, 1876, inaugural address, and of his September 30, 1884, address delivered before the St Louis, Missouri, Mechanics Exchange. Also included in this Series are testimonials by students and alumni and records of the controversy surrounding loss through negligence of the University's stuffed elephant, "Emperor." Additionally, this Series holds a copy of Testimony Taken Before the University Investigating Committee: 35th General Assembly, 1889. These latter records relate to the inquiry into President Laws' conduct in office.
(1/6 c.f., Ellis)
Note to Researcher: For more on the "Emperor the Elephant" controversy, see
Record Group 0 C, Sub-Group 12, Series 5 and Record Group 1 UW, Sub-Group 1, Series 4.

Series 2. - C:1/8/1 (A76-46; Special Collections Vertical File)
This Series contains records of University of Missouri President, Richard Henry Jesse (1891-1908). Included in the Series are copies of Addresses Delivered at the Inauguration of R.H. Jesse, LL.D., as President... June 3, 1891, and a file of 1895 correspondence pertaining to the requirements for admission to the MU Schools of Law and Medicine. Also part of this Series are printed circulars of information, bulletins, and memoranda issued by Jesse or the President's Office and addressed to a variety of audiences, including the faculty, parents or guardians of students, and members of government. Topics addressed by Jesse in these communications range widely and include, by way of example, compulsory religious exercises, room assignments in Academic Hall, lecture announcements, course announcements, student behavior, and reduction of railroad rates. The Series also includes a letter (dated 12 April 1898) from President Jesse to Principal George M. Laughlin, New London MO, regarding a complaint about the standards of admission to the University, as well as donor correspondence related to the letter.
(1/6 c.f., UMLD1)
Note to Researchers: For a photograph of President Jesse receiving his LLD degree, see
Record Group 6 C, Sub-Group 29, Series 3.

Series 3. - C:1/8/2 (A86-16)
This Series contains photocopies of correspondence authored by MU President, Richard Henry Jesse. The correspondence in this Series, (1902-1904), is all outgoing to Andrew S. Draper, the President of the University of Illinois, and deals with subjects such as exchanging financial managers with other universities, chapel services on the campus, President Jesse's illnesses, applicants for department chair and teaching positions, appointment of a Dean of Women, MU's new women's dormitory (Read Hall), obtaining laboratory equipment, and accepting "troubled" students.
(1 Env., Small Holdings Box 4)

Series 4. - C:1/8/4 (A95-134)
This Series contains memorabilia of MU President Richard Henry Jesse. Included in the Series are three of President Jesse's walking sticks (ca. 1880-1902).
(1 OSP, Ellis)

Series 5. - C:1/9/1 (A81-9)
This Series contains records of the tenure of MU President Albert Ross Hill (1908-1921). Included in the Series are photocopies of correspondence, a photograph of President Hill, a photocopy of his inaugural address, a copy of the program for his inauguration, a copy of a 1915 address he delivered before the Missouri State Teachers' Association, and press clippings concerning his inauguration and resignation.
(1/3 c.f., UMLD1)
Note to Researcher: For additional photographs of President Hill, see
Record Group 6 C, Sub-Group 25, Series 3, and Record Group 6 C, Sub-Group 32, Series 1. For a biography of Mrs. A. R. Hill, see Record Group 0 C, Sub-Group 13, Series 3.

Series 6. - C:1/13/2 (A75-50; A75-51)
This Series contains memorabilia of MU President Frederick A. Middlebush (1935-1954). Included are two academic robes President Middlebush wore on ceremonial occasions, as well as four academic hoods awarded to Middlebush when he received honorary degrees from the University of Michigan, Hope College, Washington University, and Knox College.
(2 OSB, Ellis)

Series 7. - C:1/13/3 (A91-73)
This Series contains correspondence generated by MU Presidents Stratton Brooks, Walter Williams, and Frederick Middlebush (1926-1952). The topics of this correspondence are the MU student newspaper, The Missouri Student and general issues arising during the presidency of Frederick Middlebush. Also included in the Series are a constitution for the The Missouri Student organization, four issues of the newspaper, a petition concerning the length of Christmas break, special supplements, and a printed handbill pertaining to a prospective editor whose application was rejected by the council of Deans in 1928.
(1 Env., Small Holdings Box 5)
Note to Researcher: For more information about The Missouri Student, see
Record Group 22 C, Sub-Group 7, Series 7.

Series 8. - C:1/13/4
This Series contains correspondence of MU President Frederick A. Middlebush (1934-1949). The correspondence in this Series is largely with administrators of other universities and discusses a variety of university policies. Some of the topics include honorary degrees, faculty ranks, tenure, faculty appointments, and membership in various organizations. In addition, this Series also contains excerpts from the Executive Board meetings and notes regarding the policies discussed in those meetings, as well as a typescript of an October 23, 1869 letter from Ezra Cornell to President Daniel Read.
(1/6 c.f., UMLD1)

Series 9. - C:1/8/5 (A14-21)
This Series contains personal correspondence and other material of the family of Richard Henry Jesse, (1905-1970). The records consist of mostly incoming correspondence of Jesse's children, including Adeline Jesse, Mary Polk Jesse, William Polk Jesse, Henry Bredelle Jesse, and Caroline Elizabeth Jesse. The Series also includes some incoming correspondence of Richard Henry Jesse and his wife Addie Henry Polk. In addition, the Series contains a variety of newspaper clippings regarding the Jesse family, the University of Missouri, and Columbia, Missouri, as well as a number of personal documents of Adeline Jesse. The Series also includes photographic prints and negatives of the Jesse family.
(1 c.f., 040086)
Note to Researcher: Richard Henry Jesse married Addie Henry Polk on July 13, 1882. They had the following children: Richard Henry Jesse, born January 4, 1884, Mary Polk Jesse, born October 22, 1885, Caroline Elizabeth Jesse, born August 12, 1887, William Polk Jesse, born March 14, 1891, Adeline Jesse, born August 23, 1892, and Henry Bredelle Jesse, born October 14, 1894.
The material in Series 9 was donated by Helen B. Miller in December 2013.
Note to Archivist: The box list for this Series is available online. It can be accessed by
following this link.

Restrictions Note: The Archives of the University of Missouri-Columbia is required by law and Board of Curator's policy to restrict access to some files and information. Student records are held as confidential under the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and by University policy. Faculty promotion and tenure records and Academic Personnel files are restricted for 75 years, or the lifetime of the individual. All grievance, disciplinary, and medical records are treated as confidential files. Consultations with legal counsel, both in-house and external, are protected by the attorney/client privilege and will not be released.

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Originally Prepared by Carl Lingle, et al: June 1999
Revised: 29 June 2015

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