Marion County Manuscript Collections

Marion County was organized in 1826. The county seat is Palmyra. These collections deal in some manner with Marion 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."

American Revolution Bicentennial Commission of Missouri, Papers, 1973-1977, (C4259)
0.4 cubic feet (19 folders)
The papers contain letters, notes, scrapbooks, programs, events and some photographs which focused on the American Bicentennial, which was celebrated by a number of Missouri counties in 1976.

Anti-Horse Thief Association, Missouri Division, Papers, 1882-1925, (C1915)
1 folder
Minutes of meetings; memoir of John J. Suter, former president; and correspondence of W.W. Graves.

Armstrong, C.J., Who Is Becky Thatcher?, (C2091)
1 folder
The papers contain an article submitted to the Missouri Historical Review. Armstrong concluded that Laura Hawkins Frazer was Mark Twain's original Becky Thatcher.


Barrett, J.W., Papers, 1855-1950, (C1896)
1 folder
The papers of J.W. Barrett contain a receipt to J.W. Barrett for $500 from John T. Robinson, April 3, 1855; a letter from Barrett to George W. McClellan, Second Assistant Postmaster-General, regarding mail service from Palmyra to Keokuk, March 1, 1864; a proof of publication for tax suit, 1879; miscellaneous membership cards and passes; and a letter from Jesse W. Barrett to F.C. Shoemaker explaining the material.

Becky Thatcher Bookshop Postcards, (P0754)
1 folder
Photo postcards of Hannibal area taken and published by John Winkler and the Becky Thatcher Bookshop.

Belle Johnson Studio Photographs, (P0912)
17 photographs
Photographs taken by photographer Belle Johnson of Monroe City, MO."

Bird Family, Papers, 1829-1841, (C1802)
1 folder
The papers of the Bird Family contain data on the Bird family and their property in Hannibal, MO.

Breckenridge, William Clark (1862-1927), Papers, 1752-1927, (C1036)
4.75 linear feet, 21 volumes, 3 rolls of microfilm
The papers of the St. Louis businessman, writer, and historian contain correspondence, scrapbooks, book sale announcements, and miscellaneous materials, with an emphasis on St. Louis and Missouri history.

Brown, Robert C., Photograph Collection, (P0004)
51 photographs
Photographs of Missouri railroad depots, primarily for the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railroad. Photographs relating to A.F. Schliecker of Kansas City, Missouri.

Bryan Family Papers, 1840-1911, (C4160)
0.1 cubic feet
The papers of the Bryan family contain numerous deeds and personal financial records pertaining to land in Marion County, Missouri.


Civil War Documents, 1861-1865, (C4274)
0.2 cubic feet (2 folders)
Photocopies of miscellaneous papers including discharges, enlistments, Confederate bills and notes, stamps, insignia, orders, mustering out papers of soldiers, including officers, mostly from Missouri.

Croll, John, Photograph Collection, (P0753)
4 photographs
Copy photos of Wabash Hospital (Moberly), N. Missouri R.R. Locomotive, Hannibal railroad yards and depot.


Deatherage, John G., Memoir, 1916, (C3268)
1 folder
Civil War reminiscences of a Union soldier who went with men from his neighborhood at Talbert Ferry on White River to Salem, AR, to fight with Colonel Marshall of the 1st Illinois Cavalry.

Denslow, William R., (1916-1993), Collection, 1841-1929, (C0822)
0.4 linear feet
The collection contains materials collected by William R. Denslow, including his father's memoirs, articles on local history, letters (1859-1861), written by a young boy working on a whaling ship, and a typescript copy of an 1898 diary describing the Yukon gold fields.

Draper-McClurg Family, Papers, 1838-2009, (C3069)
3.9 linear feet; folders 1-134 also available on 5 rolls of microfilm
The Draper-McClurg family papers are comprised of correspondence, photographs, Civil War diaries and records, and other personal papers of the families of Philander Draper and Joseph W. McClurg. The papers document the families' involvement in politics, farming and orchards, lead mining and smelting, the Civil War, and frontier life in Missouri, the Dakota Territory, and several western states.

Drescher-Weatherly Memoirs, 1933-1954 (C0151)
4 folders
Memoirs of a mother, Bennie Howell Drescher, and a daughter, Rose Drescher Weatherly. The Drescher memoir briefly recounts Civil War events in Paris, MO. The Weatherly memoir is the longer and describes growing up in Hannibal, MO, around the turn of the twentieth century.


Feaster Family, Papers, 1840-1852, (C2139)
1 folder
The Feaster Family papers contain two letters to William H. Feaster, Palmyra, Marion County, MO, from his brothers, Daniel F. and Jonathan and sister Ann L., Jefferson, Frederick County, MD. The letter from 1852 announces the death of sister Martha in childbirth. Both letters contain news of family members, weather, and crop prices in Maryland.

Fraser, Laura Hawkins, Photograph, (P0252)
1 photograph
Original photo by H. Tomlinson, identified as "Becky Thatcher serving tea in Mark Twain's Home, Nov. 30, 1915." Photo is of Laura Hawkins Frazer, childhood sweetheart of Mark Twain who Thatcher character is supposedly taken from.


Griffen, Mrs. Walter, Scrapbooks, n.d., (C1402)
4 volumes
Newspaper and magazine clippings of pictures and articles of Missouri scenes, the Ozarks, and Hannibal. Volume 4 contains souvenir postcards.

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.


Hagood, J. Hurley and Roberta Roland, Papers, (CA6049)
12.1 cubic feet, 77 audio cassettes
Subject files documenting the history of Hannibal, Missouri. Also oral history interviews with several prominent residents.

Hannibal Savings Bank, Hannibal, Missouri, Records, 1869-1890, (C1243)
2 volumes
Volume 1: Articles of association and minutes, 1869-1890; "Life of Constantine," part 2, by John L. Robards. Volume 2: Account book of Hannibal Savings Bank, 1872-1878; "Life of Constantine" part 1, by John L. Robards, secretary of the bank.

Hannibal, Missouri, Stereographs, (P0756)
6 photographs
Stereoscopic views of Hannibal, MO, ca. 1885

Heck, Earl Leon, The Rise of Higher Education in the Missouri Valley, 1818-1900, 1965., (C2914)
1 folder
Histories of academics, colleges, and universities in the Missouri Valley.

Hereford, Lizzie M. Powell (1840-1877), Papers (1817-1880), (C4152)
1.3 cubic feet
The papers of Lizzie M. Powell Hereford, a Confederate sympathizer from Northeast Missouri, who was imprisoned during the Civil War, include her prison diary and correspondence along with transcriptions. Also included are family photographs, miniature portraiture, jewelry, miscellaneous artifacts, family genealogy, and the papers of her daughter, Stella.

Hinde Family, Papers, (CA6420)
0.2 cubic feet
Correspondence, receipts, financial documents, and miscellaneous material of a family from Hannibal, Missouri, including Bessie Nelson Hinde and Mary Hinde, 1880s-1970s. Includes notes on elocution lessons and children's paper cut-outs.

Hoester, Robert Papers, (C4363)
0.6 cubic feet (14 folders)
Correspondence and manuscript material used in writing the book, Judicial Tyranny, the Palmyra Incident and the Mary Susan Goodwin case. Manuscript material includes revision material, editing, and handwritten notes.


Ingham, W. Smith, Letters, 1859-1866, (C2368)
1 folder
Three letters to William Titus, Moravia, NY, from Hannibal, MO. Concern shipping and prices of hides, crops, politics, and personal news.


J.J. Cruikshank Lumber Company Books, 1885-1893, (C2322)
2 volumes
Records of a Hannibal, MO, lumber company.

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.


Keyes, Willard, (1792-1861), Journal, 1817-1855, (C2748)
3 folders
Travel to Wisconsin and Illinois from Newfane, Windham County, VT, 1817-1820; occupations and experiences on frontier; description of Indians, wilderness, logging operations on Mississippi and Black Rivers; travel from Quincy, IL, to New England by stage, boat, and train with itemized account of expenses, 1852.

Krause, Henrietta Park Collection, (P0171)
0.38 linear feet, 1 volume
A series of photographs from the daughter of Governor Guy B. Park, this collection includes numerous photographs of Gov. Park, a 1933 Century of Progress photo album featuring views of the Missouri Commission exhibit, a series of images on the Huckleberry Finn Streamliner dedication in Hannibal, National Governor's Conventions, the Missouri State Fair, Camp Clark in Nevada, MO, Church Prison Farm near Jefferson City, Governor Forrest Smith's Inaugeration, Mark Twain Memorial Bridge dedication, notable Missourians, elected officials, and state government staff.

Kutzner, Edwin A., Special Order, 1863. To Captain John D. Meredith, Mexico, Missouri, from Headquarters, Second Provisional Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia, Hannibal, [Missouri] August 30, 1863, (C1508)
1 folder
Special Order No. 42 to discharge William O. Bartrum, a private in Company A, 2nd Provisional Regiment, E.M.M., by order of Col. Kutzner, Commander.


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.


Mahan, James F., Authorizations, 1851, (C1594)
1 folder
Mahan authorized B.B. King to receive payment for an abstract of lands sold at the Palmyra, MO, land office, from March 1845 to February 1846. Allen M. Richardson, register, certified he received abstract of lands. Receipt to auditor of public accounts to B.B. King.

Mahon, George A., Photograph Collection, (P0755)
16 photographs
Photographs of Hannibal, MO, ca. 1930s, with a focus on the Mississippi River Bridge and locations related to Mark Twain.

Marion City Company, Account Book, 1836, (C3031)
1 roll of microfilm
The account book of the Marion City Company contains statements of the amount of work done by woodcutters and laborers in 1836. The Marion City Company appears to be a building contractor.

Massie, Gerald R. (1911-1989), Photographs, (P0016)
0.83 linear feet
Photographs of scenes across Missouri, many taken as part of Massie's work as Missouri's state photographer. Events highlighted include Winston Churchill's visit to Fulton, Governor Hearnes' inaugural celebrations in 1965 and 1969, and the Battle of Pilot Knob Centennial commemoration in 1964. The collection includes extensive coverage of the Missouri State Capitol building. Geographically, the collection covers much of Missouri, with particular focus on tourist destinations: St. Louis, Kansas City, Hannibal, Ste. Genevieve, and the Ozarks.

Missouri Extension Homemakers Association, Inc., "Sacred Stones and Stained Glass Windows," Project, 1977-1980, (C3723)
7.1 cubic feet
Statewide documentation of local churches by county. Includes cultural arts reports, church histories, floor plans, architectural details, clippings, slides, photographs, and miscellany.

Missouri. General Assembly, 23rd, House Bill 720, 1865, (C3380)
1 folder
Act amendatory to an act entitled "An Act to Incorporate the Alexandria, Canton, Lagrange, and West Quincy Railroad," approved 18 February 1865.

Missouri, Hannibal, Order of Provost Marshal, 1864, (C2819)
1 folder
Order of the Office of Provost Marshal, 18 January 1864, legitimizing citizens arrests and seizure of bushwhackers and horse thieves.

Missouri, Marion County, Citizens' Resolutions, 1834, (C2821)
1 folder
Resolutions by citizens of Marion County upon the occasion of the death of Lafayette.

Missouri, Marion County, Scrapbook, n.d., (C1413)
1 volume
The Marion County, Missouri scrapbook contains clippings on history of Palmyra and Marion County, Missouri, mounted on The 20th Century Atlas Map of Marion County, Missouri by H.C. Sheetz.

Missouri, Marion County. Tax Lists, 1827-1828, (C3018)
3 oversize volumes
Resident tax lists listing taxable property and valuation.

Missouri. Militia, 2nd Regiment, Provisional Enrolled Mo. Militia, Co. A, Muster-In Roll, 1863, (C1496)
1 folder
The collection contains a muster-in roll of Captain John D. Meredith's company.

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.

Moss, Mary Jane "Mollie," Memory Books, 1852-1853, (CA6449)
0.2 cubic feet
Memory books belonging to a resident of Hannibal, Missouri, contain autographs, poetry, and notes from friends and family.

Murphy, Andrew Lopp, Diary, 1849, (C2723)
2 folders
Detailed diary of overland trip to California from Missouri during the Gold Rush. Describes scenery, weather, and gives number of miles traveled each day.


National Air Mail Week Papers, 1938, (C1742)
1 folder
The papers contain six envelopes and two letters commemorating National Air Mail Week, 15-21 May 1938. First day covers from Missouri towns: Chillicothe, Columbia, Grant City, Palmyra, and Ste. Genevieve. Letters from Paris and Ste. Genevieve.


Palmyra, Missouri, Merchant's Day Book, 1855-1858, (C2333)
1 volume
The collection contains day book from a general store of Palmyra, Marion County, MO.

Papineau, Quintin, Photographs, (CG0034)
0.01 cubic foot (1 folder)
Thirty-five photographs of agricultural machinery harvesting cotton, rice, and potatoes. Also included in this collection are photographs of natural springs, steamboats, ferry, and buildings in southeast Missouri, Oregon County and Marion County, Missouri.

Peak, Bettie, (1838-1858), Papers, 1857-c.1925, (C4294)
0.2 cubic feet (3 folders)
Two scrapbooks, one with assorted newspaper clippings dealing with local news, humor, marriages, and obituaries. The clippings include some genealogical material, including John L. Peak, former United States minister to Switzerland, prosecuting attorney of Jackson County, and deacon of Calvary Baptist Church, and Mattie Lee Peak, who was John L. Peak's niece and adopted daughter. The other scrapbook contains assorted handwritten poetry. In addition, there are nine images, which consist of cartes-de-visite, and tintypes of unidentified men, women, and a child, along with a photograph of downtown Palmyra, Missouri.

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.

Presbytery of Palmyra, Minutes, 1905-1927, (C1359)
0.2 linear feet
The records of the Presbytery of Palmyra contain official printed copies of minutes for 1905, 1906, 1913, 1919-1921, and 1923-1927.


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.

Riley, J., Ledger, 1856-1860, (C2331)
1 volume
The collection contains a Hannibal, MO, merchant's ledger containing transactions of his print shop, lumber business and general store.

RoBards, John Lewis (1838-1925), Papers, 1832-1922, (C3609)
0.2 linear feet
Papers and genealogy of a prominent lawyer, writer and orator of Hannibal, MO. Includes incomplete journal of overland trip to California in 1849.

Robards, John Lewis, Scrapbooks, n.d., (C1437)
3 volumes
Materials collected primarily by RoBards on family members, his childhood friend Mark Twain, and Hannibal, MO. Includes newspaper clippings, correspondence, articles, programs, speeches, and miscellaneous items. See also Collection 3609.

Rogers-Banks Family, Papers, 1820-1878, (C2339)
3 folders
Papers of the Banks and Rogers families of Marion County, Missouri. Record book of Dr. Lynn Stanton Banks, physician and surgeon. Collection includes business and legal papers, Baptist church minutes, and physician records, 1854-1864.

Roland, Laura Effie (1867-1957), Diary, 1883-1889, (C4102)
0.2 cubic feet
The papers of Laura E. Roland contain small excerpts of her diary, not always in complete sentences, from the age of sixteen in 1883 up to and including her marriage at the age of twenty-two in 1889, all of which took place in or around Hannibal, Missouri, in Ralls County.


Sidner, Noah, Letter, 1862, (C1895)
1 folder
The collection contains a Photostat of a farewell letter to relatives in Paris, MO, from Palmyra, MO, Oct. 18 and 19, 1862, written from the federal military prison in Palmyra on the eve and morning of the day he was to be executed.

Smith, Nancy K., Postcard Collection, (P0029)
268 postcards
Postcards, all views of hospitals and clinics and some sanitariums across Missouri.

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.

Spencer, George A. (1906-1997), Papers, 1931-1963, (C2466)
4.6 cubic feet
Correspondence, publicity, and legislative papers of a Boone County, MO, Democrat. Spencer's election campaigns and positions as city attorney, prosecuting attorney, and state representative and senator, and candidacy for Democratic nomination for attorney general. Activities of the Columbia, MO, Chamber of Commerce.

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.


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.


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.


Wadsworth, Henry, Papers, 1849-1864, (C1916)
1 folder
Letters from relatives in Maryland and Illinois regarding collection of debts, scarcity of money, politics and war.

Ward, D.K., Check, 1871, (C1507)
1 folder
Ward's check for $400 to C.O. Godfrey, on the First National Bank of Hannibal, MO, April 3, 1871.

Waters, George, Record Book, 1829-1840, (C1285)
1 folder
Accounts, 1829; marriages performed, 1831-1840, in Marion, Ralls, and Pike Counties, MO; and list of subscribers to school of William Hatch, Ralls County, 1865.

Williams, Mrs. Edgar A., Photograph Collection, (P0757)
4 photographs
Photos of homes relating to the Williams family of Withers Mills, and Providence Baptist Church (Withers Mills).

Wilson, Clarence, Photographs, (P0407)
19 photographs
Photographs of Hannibal and Kirskville, Missouri, by Clarence Wilson. Also, images of the Lake of the Ozarks, a Daniel Boone Marker, and Warren County.

Winchell, Homer H., Letters, 1868-1869, (C1922)
1 folder
Two letters from the clerk of the Marion County circuit court regarding the gift of a portrait of Judge Nathaniel B. Tucker to be hung in the circuit courtroom.

Withers, Ethel Massie, Scrapbook, ca. 1916, (C1440)
0.3 linear feet
The Ethel Massie Withers Scrapbook is an album of photographic copies of lantern slides used to illustrate the Missouri Daughters of the American Revolution lecture, Pioneering in Missouri, 1916. The scrapbook also includes a copy of the lecture, written by Ethel Massie Withers, with explanations of the photographs. The lantern slides are located in the Editorial Department of the State Historical Society of Missouri.