Wright County Manuscript Collections

Wright County, named for Senator Silas Wright, was organized in 1841. The county seat is Hartville. These collections deal in some manner with Wright 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 Sunday-School Union, Field Workers' Record Books, 1917-1930, (R0565)
6 folders, photocopies
These are records of field work by F. L. Spindler and J. S. Wallace, missionaries for the American Sunday-School Union, in Christian, Douglas, Howell, Ozark, Texas, Webster, and Wright counties in Missouri. The records include a daily log of missionary activities, lists of churches, Sunday schools, and superintendents visited, and accounts of periodicals sold.

American Zinc, Lead & Smelting Company, Records, 1901-1965, (R0010)
154 boxes
The American, Lead and Smelting Company (commonly known as "American Zinc") was a large nonferrous metals firm which mined, processed, smelted, and marketed basic zinc and lead products. It had major mining and milling operations in Missouri, Wisconsin, and Tennessee, smelters in Kansas and Illinois, and interests in ore processing machinery. Founded in 1899, the company became a leader in the zinc industry. By 1965 it controlled the largest zinc ore reserves in the United States, and ranked second in zinc ore production and third in smelting capacity. By that time controlling interest in the firm had passed to Consolidated Gold Fields, Ltd., a mining investment company. James D. Norris's AZn: A History of the American Zinc Company (Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1968), based in large part upon this collection, is an excellent general history of the firm.


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.


Fletcher-Brill Family Papers, (CA6560)
0.2 cubic feet
Genealogical material, photographs, and miscellaneous family material of the Fletcher, Brill and related families of Wright County, Missouri.


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.


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.

Hughes, John Calvin, Papers, 1862-1863, (R0309)
2 folders, photocopies
These are typescripts of the Civil War letters of John C. Hughes, a native of Washington County, Missouri, and member of Co. I, 33rd Missouri Infantry. He wrote to his wife from camps at St. Louis, Rolla, Salem, Houston, and Hartville, Missouri, Columbus, Kentucky, and Helena, Arkansas. Folder 2 contains genealogical data and copies of military service and pension papers from the National Archives.


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.


Kansas City, Fort Scott, and Memphis Railroad Company, Booklet, ca. 1890s, (R1071)
1 folder
This is Snap Shots in South Missouri, a promotional booklet to encourage land sales along the Kansas City, Fort Scott, and Memphis, and Kansas City, Clinton and Springfield railroads in Missouri. The area is presented as ideal for fruit-culture and raising livestock.

Kesler Family, Kesler-Lytle Families, Papers, 1861-1869, (R0448)
2 folders
These are papers of the Kesler and Lytle families of Champaign, Illinois. The collection consists primarily of the Civil War letters of William H. Kesler, written during his service in the 3rd Missouri Cavalry, 13 January 1862 – 12 June 1865. There are also four letters from the papers of Alexander M. Lytle, 10 September 1861 – 10 April 1869. Genealogical information on the Kesler and Lytle families is included.

Kiwanis Club, Mountain Grove, Missouri, Program, 1935, (R1075)
1 folder
This is a program for "Hail, Messiah!," a Christmas cantata by Ira B. Wilson sponsored by the Kiwanis Club and presented at Trinity Methodist Church at Mountain Grove in Wright County, Missouri, on Sunday evening, 22 December 1935.


Langley, Isom P., Campaign Card, n.d., (R1205)
1 folder
This is an undated campaign card for Isom P. Langley, Republican candidate for Missouri's 16th District seat in the United States House of Representatives. Langley was from Mountain Grove in Wright County, Missouri.

Laramore, Edmond, collector, Baptist Associations Minutes, 1912-1980, (R0394)
17 folders
This collection consists largely of printed minutes of annual meetings of United or Missionary Baptist associations in southern Missouri. The minutes include the records of annual sessions, committee reports, and statistical information on the associations and their constituent churches. Also included are a few miscellaneous Baptist publications.

Lawrence County Historical Society, Missouri, Baptist association minutes, 1882-1933, (R0644)
15 folders
These are printed minutes of annual meetings of Primitive Baptist associations in Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, and Oklahoma. The most complete series are for the Center Creek and Ozark associations of Missouri. The minutes include the proceedings of the associations, lists of churches, officers, and representatives, the articles of faith and rules of decorum, and correspondence with other associations.

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.

Lynch, William Henry, Papers, 1859-1905, (R0202)
16 volumes, 8 folders
These are diaries and miscellaneous papers of an educator in southern Missouri. Lynch was a native of Houston in Texas County, Missouri. He served in the 32nd Missouri Infantry during the Civil War, and was principal of schools in Steelville, St. James, Salem, West Plains, and Mountain Grove, Missouri, following the war.


Mansfield Mining and Development Company, Stock Certificate, 1918, (R1122)
1 folder
This is certificate number 31, dated 7 March 1918, for twenty shares of stock in the Mansfield Mining and Development Company of Joplin in Jasper County, Missouri. The firm owned mining leases and contracts near Mansfield in Wright County, Missouri. The shares were sold to L. F. Livingston and the certificate was signed by N. Rosenberg, president, and C. O. Storm, secretary.

Missouri Dept. of Resources, "The White River Country," n.d., (R0324)
1 folder
This is a map of the White River watershed encompassing all or parts of eleven counties in southern Missouri. Topographic features and recreational sites are shown, as are mills, mines, bridges, fords, schools, and churches.

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 Federation of Women's Clubs, Sixth District, Secretary's Record Book, 1932-1943, (R1175)
1 volume
These are the secretary's minutes of the annual meetings of the Sixth District, Missouri Federation of Women's Clubs. The record book includes minutes of the twenty-ninth through fortieth annual meetings, 1932-1943.

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 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.

Mitchell, Ewing Young, Jr. (1873-1954), Papers, 1840-1949 (C1041)
0.4 linear feet
Papers of a Springfield, Missouri, lawyer active in Democratic Party politics, who served as assistant secretary of commerce in Franklin Roosevelt's first administration. Material concerns family affairs, law practice with emphasis on county indebtedness, Ozark land speculation, and Democratic politics on the state and national levels.

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.

Mountain Grove Academy, Mountain Grove, Missouri, Collection, 1889-1896, (R0800)
1 folder
This collection includes programs for literary exercises in 1889 and commencement exercises in 1890, 1891, 1894, and 1896, and an undated advertisement card for the Mountain Grove Academy at Mountain Grove in Wright County, Missouri.

Mountain Grove Choral Society, Program, 1936, (R1074)
1 folder
This is a program for a performance of Handel's The Messiah, presented by the Mountain Grove Choral Society at Mountain Grove in Wright County, Missouri, on Sunday evening, 20 December 1936. Maurice L. Cater was the conductor and Margaret Fuerst was the pianist.

Mountain Grove High School, Mountain Grove, Missouri, Programs, 1936, (R1076)
1 folder
These are programs for a musical entertainment (1 March 1936) and the Senior Class play (30 April 1936) performed by students at Mountain Grove High School at Mountain Grove in Wright County, Missouri. Maurice Cater and Maude Williams were the faculty directors.

Murray, Thomas, Correspondence, 1862-1867, (R0522)
2 folders
These are letters addressed to Thomas Murray of Davenport, Iowa, by relatives serving in the Union army during the Civil War. Included are letters from a brother, William Murray, and a cousin, Thomas Murray, both of whom served in Company C of the 20th Iowa Infantry in Missouri and Arkansas. There are also postwar letters regarding the grave of William Murray, who was killed at Prairie Grove, Arkansas.


Norwood, Missouri, Centennial History, 1981, (R1140)
1 folder
This is Norwood Centennial, 1881-1981, an illustrated booklet compiled to celebrate the centennial of Norwood in Wright County, Missouri.


One-room Schoolhouse Oral History Project, Records, 2008- (C4051)
0.9 cubic feet, 58 CDs
The collection consists of interviews with people who attended or taught at one-room schoolhouses. The collection consists of digitally recorded interviews and transcripts of the interviews, photographs, textbooks, as well as some biographical information on the interviewees.

Orr, William J., Papers, 1899-1940, (R0857)
1 folder
These papers deal mostly with the conviction, appeal, and later death of J. F. Kennedy, a train-robber. William J. Orr was an attorney for the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis and later the St. Louis-San Francisco railways, who prosecuted Kennedy in 1899. Also included is an obituary for Orr from the Springfield (Mo.) News Leader.

Ozark Association of Primitive Baptists, Missouri, Minutes, 1904-1941, (R0995)
1 folder
These are published minutes of annual sessions of the Ozark Association of Primitive Baptists, which consisted of member congregations in Dallas, Greene, Polk, Webster, and Wright counties in Missouri. Minutes are available for meetings in 1904, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, and 1941.

Ozark Summit Exposition, Booklet, 1947, (R0889)
1 folder
This is a booklet for the Ozark Summit Exposition, which was held at Mansfield in Wright County, Missouri, on 30 July – 2 August 1947.


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.

Roberts, Charles C., Photograph Collection, (P0693)
1 folder
Photos of the Frisco House and Wright County Historical Society members.

Robinett, P.M., Photograph Collection, (P0937)
2 photographs
Photos of James Robinett house and Mountain Grove Academy, Wright County.

Robinett, Paul McDonald (1893-1975), "Education in Mountain Grove, Missouri, 1835-1913," n.d., (C2930)
3 folders
The collection contains a history of the town of Mountain Grove, MO, and its academy, 1835-1913, including brief biographies of superintendents and principals.

Rogers, James S., Papers, 1862-1863, (R0249)
2 folders, photocopies
This collection includes a Civil War diary and letters of James S. Rogers, a resident of Corydon, Iowa, and member of Co. M of the 3rd Iowa Cavalry. The diary and letters cover his departure from home, enlistment and training at Davenport, Iowa, and cavalry service in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.

Ryan Family, Papers, 1920s-2000, (CA6428)
0.2 cubic feet
Papers of a family from Wright County, Missouri, include photographs as well as correspondence and educational, military, and political material concerning H. Eugene Ryan, a lawyer from Mountain Grove who later moved to Ohio.


Sechler, E. T. (Earl Truman), Booklet, 1951, (R1159)
1 folder, photocopies
This is Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) History in Webster and Wright Counties of Missouri with Membership as Listed in 1951, describing the historic and then current congregations of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Webster and Wright counties in southwestern Missouri. Included are brief biographical sketches of early and influential pastors.

Shannon & Shannon, Booklet, ca. 1925, (R1134)
1 folder
This is South Central Missouri: "The Land of Opportunity," published by the real estate firm of Shannon & Shannon at Mountain Grove in Wright County, Missouri. The booklet promoted Mountain Grove as the heart of a diversified agricultural area.

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.


Texas County, Missouri, Booklet, 1924, (R1151)
1 folder, photocopies
This is A Message to the Homeseeker, advertising the towns and principal businesses in Texas, Wright, and Webster counties in south-central Missouri. The booklet contains brief descriptions of businesses and illustrations of commercial establishments and public buildings.


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.

Upton, Lucile Morris (1898-1992), Papers, 1855-1986, (C3869)
1 linear foot; 25 rolls of microfilm; 1 video cassette
The personal and professional papers of a Springfield, Missouri, journalist and writer consisting of newspaper clippings, correspondence, research notes, manuscripts, pamphlets, photographs and scrapbooks. The papers are especially strong in the history of Springfield and the Ozarks region, and in Ozark folklore.


Wilder Family Photograph, (P0294)
1 photograph
Copy photo of Laura & Almanzo Wilder.

Wobus, Paul A., Papers, 1918-1989, (R0008)
52 folders, 89 notebooks
The Rev. Paul A. Wobus was born in St. Charles, Missouri, on 14 February 1893. His father, Reinhard Wobus, was pastor of the Evangelical Church there. Paul Wobus died on 11 December 1982 in Concordia, Missouri.

Wright, Clark, Papers, 1861-1863, (R0523)
2 folders
These are the Civil War papers of Clark Wright, a resident of Polk County, Missouri, and a Union cavalry officer. The collection includes an order to Wright from John M. Schofield, letters from St. Louis and Rolla to his wife, Sarah Jane Wright, newspaper clippings, rosters of the field and staff officers of the 6th Missouri Cavalry, and a list of signs and countersigns for the post at Lebanon, Missouri.

Wright County Baptist Association, Annual Sessions, 1931-1948, (R0233)
1 folder
These are printed reports of the annual sessions of the Wright County Baptist Association. The reports include minutes of meetings, statistical information on member churches, and reports on finances, missions, and church-sponsored programs.