Ralls County Manuscript Collections

Ralls County was organized in 1820. The county seat is New London. These collections deal in some manner with Ralls 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.

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.

Army Corps of Engineers, Photographs, (P0098)
0.2 linear feet
Photographs of historic sites and construction sites, 1956 and 1978-1979. Includes images of bridges, dams, roadways, churches, businesses, and other buildings.

Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. Records, (R1406)
0.01 cubic foot (1 folder)
The Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. Records contain the book Win-Win: A Information History of Associated Electric Cooperative Inc., written by Russ Holt and published in 1997.


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


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.


Dodd, Maria, Papers, 1863-1866, (C1900)
1 folder
The Maria Dodd papers contain two internal revenue licenses permitting Maria Dodd to operate a hotel in Ralls County; as well as an account sheet.

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.


Edom, Cliffton C., Photographs, (P0313)
4 photographs
Exterior view of Ralls County Courthouse, New London, Ralls County, photographs of Chinese stone lions at the University of Missouri.


Gammon, William J., Photographs, (P0039)
1 folder
Photos of Ralls County historic properties by Gammon, a resident of Perry, MO, and postcards of various Missouri views.

Glascock, Stephen (1779-1855), Letter, 1823, (C2088)
1 folder
The papers contain one letter to French Glascock, Upperville, Loudoun County, Virginia, from New London, Ralls County, Missouri, August 10, 1823. The letter mentions the duel fought between Thomas C. Rector, brother of William V. Rector, and Joshua Barton, brother of David Barton, U.S. senator from Missouri. Letter also describes an epidemic of typhus that occurred in New London that summer.

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.

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.

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.

Howard, Goldena, Collection, (P0489)
0.21 linear feet
Photos of Ralls County ca. 1957. Images of Valentine Tapley. Various postcards of Missouri.


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.

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.

Lick Creek Presbyterian Church, Ralls County, Missouri, Records, 1854-1881, (C1352)
2 volumes
The records contain minutes of session meetings and a membership list. The church voted to join with the Mount Prairie Church and be reconstituted as the Perry Presbyterian Church in 1880.


Megown, Benton Barnes (1876-1941), Essays, n.d., (C0770)
1 folder
The collection contains typescript essays on places and events of interest in Ralls County, Missouri, including the New London Christian Church and early settlements.

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, 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, Ralls County, Poll Book, 1868, (C2402)
1 folder
Election held at post office in Sidney, Saline Township, 3 November 1868. Book contains names of qualified voters and rejected voters and abstract of votes.

Missouri, Ralls County. Supervisor of Registration, Ledger, 1866, (C2060)
1 folder
Volume kept by Samuel Megown, supervisor of registration, listing names of citizens who either refused to take the oath of loyalty after the Civil War or had been loyal to the Confederacy and were thus disenfranchised. Also includes names of citizens considered loyal who were permitted to vote. Birth and death dates for some Megown family members are included at the end. Some pages are missing.

Mount Prairie Presbyterian Church, Ralls County, Missouri, Record Books, 1831-1881, (C1357)
2 volumes
The records of the Mount Prairie Presbyterian Church contain the church organization, 1831; covenant and confession of faith; session minutes beginning in 1833; roll of members; finances; and baptismal records.

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.


Perry Presbyterian Church, Perry, Missouri, Records, 1881-1899, (C1360)
1 volume
The records of the Perry Presbyterian Church contain minutes of sessions; registers of pastors, elders, and deacons; roll of communicants; records of baptisms; and deaths. The church was organized when the Lick Creek and Mount Prairie churches voted in 1880 to unite.

Politics in Missouri Oral History Project, Records, 1996-, (C3929)
2.2 linear feet
Interviews with Missouri legislators, politicians, aides, and other participants in Missouri politics. The records include audio cassettes, compact discs, and transcripts of the interviews.

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.


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.

Rhea, William A., Jr., "Dairy Improvement Program of Ralls County, Missouri, 1925-1931," 1931, (C2679)
1 volume
The collection contains Rhea's entry in the National Dairy Improvement Contest, 1931. Includes photographs, pamphlets, and correspondence as well as text.

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.

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.


Spalding, Douglas P, Diary, 1864, (C3428)
1 volume
The diary gives day to day temperature reading, January 30-December 31, in Ralls County, Missouri, and one line telling how he spent each day, at school, home, or attending to farm chores.

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 Historical Society of Missouri, Typescript Collection, (C0995)
774 items on 14 rolls of microfilm
The State Historical Society of Missouri Typescript Collection consists of typescripts of articles and manuscripts donated over the years to the Historical Society.

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.


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.


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.


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.

Welshmeyer, Brother Joe, Photograph Collection, (P0471)
4 photographs
Photos of Ukrainian churches in St. Francois, St. Joseph, and Ilasco.