Franklin County Manuscript Collections

Franklin County was organized in 1818. The county seat is Union. These collections deal in some manner with Franklin County, Missouri. This list is not comprehensive, so be sure to browse Manuscript Collections by subject.

*Collections marked with DIGITIZED MATERIALS have additional digitized items available.

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Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service Aerial Photographs, (P0335)
107.5 linear feet
Missouri county aerial photographs produced by the Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service.

American Revolution Bicentennial, Missouri Committee for Agriculture, Papers, 1974-1976 (C4276)
1.2 cubic feet (42 folders), 1 audio tape
The papers of the committee contain correspondence, newsletters, reports, updates, events awards programs, lists of elected members, historical information on "Centennial Farms," and "Liberty Trees," meeting minutes, announcements, newspaper clippings, and audio-visual material for a slide presentation entitled "The Spirit of 76."

Andrae, R. Dean, Photographs, (P0584)
6 photographs
Photos of the Edgewater Mansion, built 1834-1839 as the home of Dr. Elizah McLean. The mansion is located at W. Main & Jefferson in Washington, MO.

Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company, Record Book, 1876-1877, (R1288)
1 volume, oversize
This Atlantic and Pacific Railroad volume is a register of warranty and quitclaim deeds by the for lands sold by the company in Barry, Franklin, Gasconade, Greene, Lawrence, McDonald, Newton, Phelps, Pulaski, Stone, and Webster counties in Missouri.


Baltzer Photograph Collection (S1223)
0.25 cubic feet
The Baltzer Photograph Collection contains approximately 450 photographs and negatives chronicling the lives of two brothers who were born in St. Louis, Victor and Arwed Baltzer.

Beinke, Franz R., Photograph Collection, (P0585)
12 photographs
Photos of Washington, MO, including the Washington Cave Club, mills, and stereographic street scenes, ca. 1870s-1900s

Bek, William G., Photograph Collection, (P0586)
40 photographs
Photos of and relating to German immigrants in Missouri, including the Frederick Steines home and family, St. Albans, MO, the Muench family, the Goebel family, Bethel Colony, Charles Wulfing, and assorted followers of Duden.


Catholic Union of Missouri, 17th State Convention, HISTORICAL SOUVENIR, 1909, (C2137)
1 folder
Ralph Gregory's translation from German of excerpts from the HISTORICAL SOUVENIR of the 17th State Convention of the Catholic Union of Missouri. Arrival and names of the first German Catholics in Washington, MO, 1833. The church, mission and school of St. Francis Borgia Parish.

Champion City United Methodist Church, Champion City, Missouri, Diamond Jubilee Papers, 1970, (C3186)
1 folder
The collection contains a historical compendium of the church published for its Diamond Jubilee celebration on 31 May 1970, a bulletin for the Jubilee Service of Song and Sermon, and the Covenant Service. A short history of the church, its pastors, long-time members, and building improvements are included.


Dicus, Martha Ann Veach, 1842-1930, Scrapbooks, 1896-1930, (R1290)
4 volumes, oversize
This collection consists of four scrapbooks of newspaper clippings compiled by Martha Ann Veach Dicus of Steelville, Missouri. The scrapbooks include wedding notices, birth announcements, death notices, obituaries, and items of local interest in Crawford, Franklin and Washington counties and the communities of Cuba, Palmer, Steelville, and Sullivan.

Dressel, Waldemar M. Papers, (R1490)
0.5 cubic feet (19 folders)
he papers of Waldemar M. Dressel contain publications, photographs, and maps from his years working for the U.S. Geological Survey based in Rolla, Missouri.

Dyson, Bell, and Sans Souci Families Papers, (S0016)
0.2 cubic foot (21 folders, 1 roll of microfilm)
The papers contain 83 letters written by or to Absalom Roby Dyson (1832-1864) and his wife, Louisa Johnson Dyson (1833-1898), between 1850 and 1880 regarding their life in Steelville and Franklin County, Missouri, before the Civil War and Absalom Dyson’s service as a Confederate soldier. Also included are various teaching contracts, business and employment records, and other documents related to Absalom Dyson’s work as a farmer, postmaster, and teacher.


Elgin, Robert L., Research Collection, 1960-1993, (R1261)
65 folders
These are the research files of a civil engineer, surveyor, and historian from St. James in Phelps County, Missouri. The collection includes reports, scale sketches, and photographs concerning the restoration of various historic sites in Missouri, charcoal iron furnace sites in Missouri, and prehistoric petroglyph and pictograph sites in the Missouri Ozarks.

Essman Family, Papers, 1896-1928, 1987, (C4336)
0.4 cubic feet (5 folders)
The papers contain Our Essman Heritage, a genealogical story of the Essman family, written by John H. Essman, Jr., and four merchandise, account and school assignment ledger books belonging to John H. Essman Sr. The cash books describe family credits and debits for their personal household.


Farrar-Caldwell Family, Papers, 1823-1859, (C2093)
4 folders
Correspondence and receipts of a Franklin County, MO, family. The majority of the correspondence is between Josiah Harrison Farrar in the California gold fields and his wife, Lucretia Jane, at home, 1852-1853. Also included are letters from other Farrar-Caldwell relatives in the gold fields. The letters describe California's climate, the crops grown, and contain news of Franklin County neighbors also in California.

Fike, Henry C., (1832-1919), Diaries, 1851-1919, (C2215)
0.1 linear feet, 43 volumes
Diaries written by Fike while a student in McKendree College, IL; while a soldier in the Civil War; and about his migration to and life in Warrensburg, MO, and his work in Kansas City, MO, and various cities in the West.

Franke, Fred E., Papers, n.d., (C3505)
2 folders
English translation by William Wilke of Franke's "Ein Verfehltes Leben." News story on Franke's death copied from the Washington, MO, CITIZEN.

Franklin County, Missouri, Postcards, ca. 1910, (R0628)
1 folder
These are two postcard views of scenes along Indian Creek near Saint Clair in Franklin County, Missouri. One shows an iron truss bridge over the creek, the other is a view of the farm of W. E. May.

Franklin County Tax List, 1819, 1820, 1824, (C2597)
1 folder
Tax lists from Franklin County.


Goebel, Gert (1816-1896), Longer Than a Lifetime in Missouri, (C1854)
0.8 linear feet
Elsa Nagel's 1971 English translation of Gert Goebel's Länger Als Ein Menschenleben in Missouri for the State Historical Society of Missouri. The manuscript details Goebel's impressions and experiences while living in Franklin County, Missouri, and includes extensive information on German settlement and early Missouri history.

Gregory, Ralph, Photographs, (P0604)
0.125 linear feet
Photos of Franklin and Warren counties, ca. 1959, especially historic homes and churches. Photographs of the Hearst family. Postcards of Mark Twain Shrine

Guitar, Sarah (1892-1963), Collection, n.d., (C3391)
1.5 cubic feet, 5 card boxes
Card file compiled by Sarah Guitar, reference librarian of the State Historical Society of Missouri, as a guide to county boundaries of Missouri, 1812-1929; Missouri congressional district boundaries, 1845-1933; Missouri senatorial districts, 1820-1931; and Missouri judicial circuits, 1815-1915.

Guitar, Sarah (1892-1963), Papers, 1931-1944, (C3563)
1.2 linear feet
Correspondence and miscellaneous information on Missouri compiled by Guitar during her employment, under the direction of Floyd C. Shoemaker, as Reference Librarian for the State Historical Society of Missouri. Includes one card box of reference notes.


How, Russell A. (1906-1996) and Bernadine M. (1910-2001), Collection, 1927-1989, (C4023)
5 linear feet, 4 card files
The Russell and Bernadine How collection contains photographs, maps, printed materials, and notes on grist mills in the Ozarks region of Missouri and Arkansas. The collection also includes materials related to Missouri tourism.


James, David A. (1937- ) Papers, 1790-2008, (C4126)
5 cubic feet
The research material of a hotel management instructor whose work resulted in the publication Historic Hotels of Missouri: Hotels, Inns, and Taverns of 19th Century Missouri.


Lee, Richard L. (1925-2011), County Courthouse Photographs, ca. 1955, (P0003)
210 photographs
The collection includes photographs of county courthouses for the state of Missouri, taken in the mid-twentieth century by Richard L. Lee.


Maston, George A. Papers, (CA6509)
0.1 cubic feet, 1 roll of microfilm
Diaries and scrapbooks of a teacher and minister from Union, Missouri, and Lincoln, Nebraska.

McCormack Family Papers, 1777-1873, (C2338)
10 folders
Letters from John Burgoyne to Horatio Gates about treatment of wounded and noncombatants during the Revolutionary War, 1777. Correspondence about immigration to Texas from Missouri, 1842-1844, economic conditions, politics, J. Cox estate in Jefferson County, MO. 1841-1852 business accounts, weather and farm labor journal, marriage and death records, and diary of James McCormack.

Missouri Forestry, Records, 1929-1994, (R1341)
2.25 cubic feet (53 folders)
The records of Missouri Forestry contain materials from the administration of directors George O. White (1938-1960), Osal B. Capps (1960-1977), and Jerry Presley (1977-1986). This includes materials related to Smokey Bear, fire safety, and the promotion of science, practice, and standards of forestry.

Missouri German Heritage Corridor Oral History Project (C4354)
0.4 cubic feet (6 folders, 9 CDs)
The collection consists of interviews with Missourians who have lived in the German Heritage Corridor and have worked to promote and preserve its cultural institutions. The collection includes digitally recorded interviews and transcripts of the interviews.

Missouri Photographs, (SP0031)
0.1 cubic foot (1 folder, 6 photographs)
The collection consists of various photographs from the state of Missouri as well as several postcards for attractions around the state. Also included is an address book kept in 1954.

Missouri Rural Area Development Committee, Records, 1957-1967, (C2583)
1.8 linear feet
The records of the Missouri Rural Area Development Committee are organized into four sections: organization, policy, projects, and progress reports. The Missouri Rural Area Development Committee, directed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was designed to coordinate efforts to revitalize agricultural and natural resources in the rural areas.

Missouri Veterans History Project, Oral History Records, 2010- (C4052)
6.0 cubic feet
The records of the Missouri Veterans History Project contain the local copy of veteran oral history interviews recorded for the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress. The records include audio, video, interview logs, and some transcripts. The former Western Historical Manuscript Collection, a joint collection with the State Historical Society of Missouri, was a founding partner of the Veterans History Project in 2001.

Morrow, Lynn, Papers, (R1000)
21 cubic feet (964 folders, 4 oversize)
The papers of Lynn Morrow contain correspondence and research papers, with an additional significant collection of late twentieth-century promotional and advertising items. The papers reflect major areas of Morrow’s research on the southwest Missouri region; Iron, Shannon, and Washington counties; Theodore Pease Russell and his writings; and the writings of Silas C. Turnbo. The collection also includes a large selection of promotional publications and ephemera associated with late 20th century tourism in Missouri and Arkansas.


National Park Service, Missouri Historic Sites, Photographs, (P0214)
0.16 linear feet
Photos of historic sites and properties in Missouri, especially St. Joseph.

Naumann, Henry, Account Book, 1869-1892, (C3340)
1 folder
Account book of H. Naumann of Gray's Summit, of general merchandise sold each year. Also included are records of oats and wheat thrashed by Ernest Walters.


Presbytery of Missouri, Minutes, 1920-1943, (C1353)
0.2 linear feet
The records contain official copies of minutes of the Presbytery of Missouri. Minutes for 1920-1939 are bound; others are in pamphlet form.

Presbytery of Missouri Records, 1817-1920, (C1354)
1.4 linear feet, 6 oversize volumes
The records of the Presbytery of Missouri contain minutes, reports, and other records of an organization composed of ministers and representative elders of Presbyterian churches in Missouri. Volumes 1-6 have been microfilmed. Volume 7 is available onsite. See also collection C1353.

Project Cavern Report Records (R1437)
0.2 cubic foot (2 folders)
The Project Cavern Report Records contains the evaluation and survey of voids within a fifty-mile radius of Rolla, Missouri, for use as a jet propulsion laboratory or industrial and civilian defense use.


Ramsay Place Names File 1928-1945, (C2366)
12 cubic feet
Card file of origins of Missouri place names, compiled by students of Robert L. Ramsay, University of Missouri professor of English.

Ramsay, Robert L. (1880-1953), Papers, 1918-1953, (C3230)
2.5 linear feet
The Robert Ramsay Papers includes correspondence, 1918-1953; notes, rough drafts, revisions, and proof sheets for the Place Name series, with emphasis upon the Missouri Place Names; newspaper clippings about Ramsay and newspaper clippings of the Place Name articles. Small volumes of notes and a variety of prints pertaining to his academic classes are included as well as sample themes and bibliographies submitted by his students.


Sheals, Deb, Photographs, (P0222)
106 photographs
Images of St. Albans Barn, Franklin Co.

Smith, C.E., Letter, 1882, (C1860)
1 folder
The collection contains a letter to G.O. Hardeman, Gray's Summit, MO, from Pattonville, MO, Mar. 24, 1882. The letter discusses the whereabouts of a letter written by Thomas Hart Benton to Smith's father, containing an account of Benton's duel with Charles Lucas. Smith acknowledges a large collection of Benton letters in his possession.

Smith, Nathan Lipscomb, Letters, 1838-1869, (C3823)
1 folder
The papers contain photocopies of personal letters from Franklin County, Missouri, farmer Nathan L. Smith to his brother William D. Smith in Todd County, Kentucky. Includes Smith family genealogy to 1858, a list of census and church references to Nathan Smith, and one letter from John and Mary Frances (Smith) Fox to William D. Smith and his sister Caroline.

Smith, Russell E., Photographs, (P0465)
39 photographs
Photos of Missouri scenes, primarily small Missouri river towns and rural scenery, ca. 1957

Soren, Noelle Louise, Papers, (K0525)
3.84 cubic feet (260 folders, 4 rolled items)
The papers contain research notes, photographs, correspondence, architectural drawings, and other materials related to Noelle Soren's research into the theater building careers of Carl and Robert Boller, known as the Boller Brothers. The results of her research culminated into her two-volume book, Windows to Wonderland: The Cinespace Creations of the Boller Brothers, Architects.

St. Louis Regional Library Network Records (S0975)
2 cubic feet (2 boxes, 58 folders)
The State of Missouri incorporated the St. Louis Regional Library Network (SLRLN) in 1977, as a not-for-profit dedicated to providing access to educational opportunities and shared resources for libraries and librarians in the greater St. Louis area, including St. Louis City and County, St. Charles, Franklin, Warren and Lincoln counties. The records contain correspondence, meeting minutes, reports, and workshop materials related to SLRLN's administration, finances and networking activities from 1978 to 1987.

State of Missouri Collection, (P0018)
486 photographs
Over 400 original photos created for the 1904 publication on Missouri at the time of the World's Fair by Walter Williams; shows all aspects and counties in Missouri.

Stumpe Family Collection, (CA6545)
0.2 cubic feet
The collection contains genealogies compiled by Ruth Stumpe Brent Tofle on the Stumpe family of Franklin County, Missouri, and related Horstick and Wagner families. Includes Dale Carnegie course material; information on Myrtle Wagner, Ruth Tofle, and Lester Stumpe; and miscellaneous material, 1908-2019.


The Missouri Collection (C3982)
17.9 cubic feet, 9 audio cassettes, 3 audio discs, 9 CDs, 1 computer disc, 1 film, 6 film strips, 3 DVDs, 2 video cassettes (791 folders, 21 oversize ite
The Missouri Collection is an artificial collection combining miscellaneous small acquisitions related to Missouri places, individuals, organizations, and events.

Tibbe-Cuthbertson Family, Papers, 1849-1975, (C3711)
0.7 linear feet
The papers of a Washington, Missouri, family whose patriarch, Henry Tibbe, and his son, Anton, founded the Missouri Meerschaum Company, include family and business correspondence, genealogy, property deeds, an early history of the Missouri Meerschaum Company, material on a patent infringement dispute, pipe catalogs, clippings, and photographs.

Tibbe-Cuthbertson Family Papers, (CA2591)
0.4 linear feet
Addition. Photographs, genealogical materials, correspondence, clippings, ephemera, and miscellany.

Tibbe-Cuthbertson Family Papers, (CA2705)
0.8 linear feet
Addition. Autograph book (in German) of Auguste Roehm Cuthbertson, c. 1851, photographs, ephemera, Louis Mullgardt art work, and an oversize photograph of Arno Tibbe.

Tolson, Fannie Marie (1911-2005), Papers, 1890s-2005, (C1704)
2.3 linear feet, 3 audio cassettes, 2 video cassettes, 1 dvd
Fannie Marie Tolson was the first African-American educator to teach in the desegregated schools of Fayette, Missouri. Her papers include family correspondence and photographs, memorabilia from Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri, teaching aids, documents concerning St. Paul's Methodist Church in Fayette, and recordings of two interviews conducted with Tolson.

Trefts, Charles, Photographs, (P0034)
3126 photographs
This collection contains images from 1900 to 1963 depicting St. Louis City and County people, public buildings, riverfront scenes, bridges, churches, catastrophes, houses and parks. Trefts photographed many historic events such as the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition; the 1934 World Series; and aviation in St. Louis including the Wright brothers at Kinloch Field in 1908 and Charles Lindbergh's return from Paris in 1927. A number of images focus on Crawford and Iron Counties and the Lake of the Ozarks region in the early 1930s.


U.S. Selective Service System, Missouri, Records, 1917-1918, (C2681)
445 folders negative Photostats, 8.7 cubic feet
Lists of persons by county and district selective service boards whose cards were held by those boards. Arranged alphabetically by county.

U.S. Work Projects Administration, "Church Bibliography, Baptist Bodies of Missouri, Associational Minutes," 1941, (C1312)
1 volume
The collection contains a list of the various Baptist associations in Missouri and the dates for which their records are in existence.

U.S. Work Projects Administration, Historical Records Survey, Missouri, 1935-1942, (C3551)
302 linear feet; also available on 817 rolls of microfilm
Correspondence, records, and working files. Originally designed to survey and inventory all county government records, the survey finally included inventories of church records, manuscript collections, vital statistics, American imprints, and federal archives. Incorporates records of the Federal Writers Project for Missouri.

United States Bureau of Mines, Rolla Research Center Records (R1321)
17 cubic feet (372 folders, 4 maps, 3,238 photographs, 68 negatives, 936 slides, 3 volumes) 
The United States Bureau of Mines, Rolla Research Center Records contain the records of the Bureau of Mines office and research facility established in Rolla, Missouri, in 1915. The records include correspondence, operational reports, project reports, photographs, newspaper articles, program materials, and maps.


van Ravenswaay, Charles (1911-1990), Papers, 1841-1990, (C3873)
21.8 linear feet, 1 audio cassette
Correspondence, research notes, photographs, and literary manuscripts of historian and author Charles van Ravenswaay, former director of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis; Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, Massachusetts; and the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum and Gardens, Wilmington, Delaware.


Washington Savings and Loan Association, Records, 1871-1925, (C3663)
1 folder, 3 volumes
Records of a German savings and loan association in Washington, Missouri, organized in 1871 and rechartered twice before it received a permanent charter and took its present name in 1908. Includes charter, bylaws, minutes of board meetings, and lists of stockholders. Minutes were kept in German until September 4, 1918.

Wilke, William, "Remembrances of a Franklin County Farmer," 1935, (C1293)
1 volume
Memoirs of boyhood spent in vicinity of Washington, MO.

Williams, Mr. and Mrs. Walter, Photograph Collection, (P0535)
45 photographs
Copy photo of Presbyterian Church, ca. 1871, Boonville. Photos of Phelps, Franklin, Carter, Greene, and Crawford counties, focusing particularly on caves and other natural features.

Wilson, James, Papers, 1864-1951, (C1994)
1 folder
The papers of James Wilson contain documents pertaining to the death of Major Wilson, U.S. Army, who was shot by Confederate forces near Union, MO, in 1864.

World War I Collection, 1917-1921, (C3223)
1.4 cubic feet
Clippings largely from Kansas City and St. Louis, MO, newspapers regarding World War I soldiers from Missouri; the 35th, 89th, and Rainbow Divisions; and the Red Cross and hospital work. Also includes political cartoons, war statistics, and county casualty lists.