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Sidney H. Marsh Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-1

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the activities of Sidney H. Marsh while at Tualatin Academy and later as President of Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon from 1853 until his death in 1879. The majority of the correspondence and documents record his efforts in obtaining monies for the college through subscriptions, the financial records for the school, writings promoting and defending education in Oregon, relationships between business partners, early founders, students, and faculty members.

The writings include sermons as a Congregational Minister, early writings before his move to Oregon including poetry and a play. Notable writings include a history from Sidney H. Marsh and George H. Atkinson, a composition on “Hamlet,” and the play “Schools for Young Ladies.” The subject index for Tualatin Academy and Pacific University consists of financial records, samples of student compositions, papers closing Tabitha Brown’s estate, and some resolutions and meeting minutes. Records from the Congregational Church in Forest Grove section contain two account books created by J. S. Griffin, resolution and meeting minutes, plus the minutes from the inquiry into Harvey Clark in 1854.

A portion of the collection has been acquired through James Wheelock Marsh, Sidney H. Marsh’s son, which includes letters after the death of Sidney H. Marsh, examples of his own writings “Oregon Reports” and notes on the collection. Unless otherwise noted in the series and sub-series descriptions, the arrangement scheme for the collection was imposed during processing in the absence of a usable original order.

Dates

  • 1817-1943

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Pacific University owns the copyright to some, but not all, of the materials housed in its archives. Copyright for materials authored or otherwise produced as official business of Pacific University is retained by Pacific University and requires its permission for publication. Copyright status for other collection materials varies. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical Note

Sidney Harper Marsh was born on August 29, 1825 at Hampden-Sidney College, Virginia. He was the son of James Wheelock Marsh and Lucia Wheelock Marsh. He had a brother, James Wheelock Marsh, and a stepbrother, Joseph Walker Marsh from his father’s second wife, Laura Wheelock Marsh, the sister of Lucia. He lived the early part of his life in Burlington, Vermont.

Mr. S. Marsh graduated from the University of Vermont in 1846, receiving a D.D. degree from the same school in 1862. Some of his classmates that he stayed in contact with from the university were Judge Jameson, of Chicago and Hon. H.O. Houghton, of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mr. Sidney H. Marsh taught for two years at Leesburg Academy in Leesburg, Virginia. As part of the American College and Education Society, he relocated in 1853 to the Oregon territory to become principal of Tualatin Academy in Forest Grove. Shortly after, he became the President of Pacific University in 1854, which he remained president for 25 years. He was ordained as a Congregational clergyman during his early years in Oregon where he gave sermons throughout the Willamette Valley, from Forest Grove to Eugene.

As the President of Pacific University, Mr. Sidney Marsh worked tirelessly to promote education in the West and to gain subscriptions in the East to help fund the school from 1859-1860 and 1875- 1876. During this time, he sent many letters to his wife Eliza and children James Wheelock, Mary and Lucia. Throughout his life, Mr. Sidney Marsh devoted his services to the Pacific University and his ministry to the Congregational church. His devotion to the college and belief in education encompassed his life to the end, as noted in his obituary in the Free Press, “He worked for it to the last, making a journey to Portland, Oregon, on business for it, but ten days before he died, and he gave it almost his last thoughts and breath.”

He died on February 2, 1879 at the age of 81. He was married to Eliza Haskell from Bloomfield, Ohio in 1860 and had eight children, three died young. Surviving children were James Wheelock Marsh, Mary Henrietta Marsh, Lucia Marsh, George Haskell, Winifred Marsh.

Extent

5 Cubic Feet (5 record boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Summary

This collection documents the activities of Sidney H. Marsh while at Tualatin Academy and later as President of Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon from 1853 until his death in 1879. The majority of the correspondence and documents record his efforts in obtaining monies for the college through subscriptions, the financial records for the school, writings promoting and defending education in Oregon, relationships between business partners, early founders, students, and faculty members.

Arrangement

Organized into 5 series: 1. Correspondence, 2. Writings, 3. Subject Index, 4. Personal Papers, 5. Memorabilia and Personal Effects

Other Finding Aids

Alphabetical card index of correspondents for a select author found in series 1; transcriptions for some materials available in reference notebook; and biographical information on persons in the collection available in the vertical files.

Custodial History

The materials were part of Marsh family collections that were gifted or acquired from the members or various sellers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection acquired through gifts from circa 1953 and 1978 from James Wheelock Marsh, son; copies from Theodore Whittelsey, Jr., grandson; and materials from Emily Peterson, grand-daughter of Joseph W. Marsh.

Accruals

No accruals are expected.

Related Archival Materials

Books owned by Sidney H. Marsh can be found in the Rare Books, Sidney H. Marsh Collection. Related materials to George Atkinson can be found in the George Atkinson Papers collection.

Separated Materials

Books were separated from the collection and cataloged in the Rare Books collection and some are storage.
Title
Guide to the Sidney H. Marsh Papers
Status
Completed
Author
Elvira Sanchez-Kisser
Date
2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English
Sponsor
Sponsored by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission

Repository Details

Part of the Pacific University Archives Repository

Contact:
2043 College Way
Forest Grove OR 97116 United States