Richard S. Brownlee Fund Grants

Portrait of Richard Smith Brownlee, ca. 1979 (click for larger image)
Director, Secretary, and Librarian
1960-1985
The Society’s Finance Committee, 1966 (click for larger image)
The Society’s Finance Committee, 1966
(click for larger image and names)
In the Art Gallery with Richard Wallace, acting MU vice president for Academic Affairs, now Chancellor Emeritus
With Richard Wallace, MU vice
president for Academic Affairs, now
Chancellor Emeritus
With Representative Francis ’Bud' Barnes III at the Society's 1985 Annual Meeting
With Rep. Francis "Bud" Barnes III
With wife, Alice, at retirement reception
With wife, Alice, at retirement reception

Building on the foundation of his predecessors, Richard S. Brownlee II built The State Historical Society of Missouri into a major specialized research library with the largest membership of any state historical society in the country. The Society's holdings of newspapers, reference materials, and manuscripts tripled in size under his tenure.

With Lewis Atherton, MU Professor of History
With Lewis Atherton, MU Professor of
History
Inspecting an exhibit with Society Art Curator, Sidney Larson
Inspecting an exhibit with Society Art
Curator, Sidney Larson
Making a speech, 1966
Making a speech, 1966
With St. Louis Globe-Democrat cartoonist, Victor 'Vic Vac' Vaccavezza,  G. Duncan Baumann and Mildred Plant
With St. Louis Globe-Democrat cartoonist,
Victor "Vic Vac" Vaccavezza, G. Duncan
Baumann, and Mildred Plant
b/w photo; presenting his Senatorial papers to Western Historical Manuscripts Collection. L-r: Price, Albert; Parker, Ralph; Symington, Stuart; Brownlee, Richard.  Used: Review October 1964, p. 105.
U.S. Senator Stuart Symington presenting
his papers to WHMC
l-r: Albert Price, Ralph Parker,
Senator Symington and Brownlee

When Dick Brownlee became director, secretary, and librarian of the Society, he held four degrees from the University of Missouri: the bachelor’s degree in both history and journalism; and, the master's and doctorate degrees in history. His work exhibited the flair of the journalist and the documentation of the historian. He was the author of Gray Ghosts of the Confederacy: Guerrilla Warfare in the West, 1861-l865, a Civil War Book Club selection and bestseller in its field. Today Gray Ghosts is a classic study of guerrilla warfare.

With Sidney Larson, art curator, Dick expanded the Society’s unrivaled collection of Missouri genre paintings, featuring the works of George Caleb Bingham and Thomas Hart Benton; developed a contemporary art collection; expanded the editorial cartoon collection; and, widely loaned the Society's artworks for exhibition. He edited the Missouri Historical Review and numerous historical publications and wrote articles and essays. He also served as director of the The State Historical Society of Missouri, Manuscript Collection.

The Society engaged in cooperative activities with more than 100 local historical and genealogical societies across the state of Missouri, dozens of which Dick helped organize. He served on a host of state commissions and boards responsible for preserving historic sites and state records, celebrating historical events, and expanding historical knowledge. He was a founder of Missouri Museums Association and Friends of the University of Missouri and State Historical Society Libraries and a member of the Missouri Archaeological Society.

A renowned storyteller, Dick Brownlee gave more than 900 lectures and talks to organizations in Missouri and beyond. His wife, Alice Rowley Brownlee, frequently accompanied him on his travels.

Throughout his career, Dick Brownlee cultivated a close relationship with the University of Missouri, one described by President John Weaver as “unique and mutually beneficial.” Dick frequently acknowledged how University president Richard Jesse had encouraged the Missouri Press Association and the Department of History to establish the Society.

His accomplishments earned him membership in the Academy of Missouri Squires, the State's elective organization of citizens who have rendered distinguished service

When Dick Brownlee retired in 1985, Representative Francis “Bud” Barnes III, Society president, called him “the finest public historian the state of Missouri has ever known.” The Society honored him with the Distinguished Service Award and Sidney Larson painted his portrait. The Clifford W. Gaylord Foundation and the Society Board of Trustees established the Richard S. Brownlee Fund, which awards grants to individuals and organizations proposing to publish or otherwise document the history of Missouri and its citizens.

The Brownlee Fund has supported diverse research, documentation, and publication efforts by historians, journalists, local historical societies, and community interest groups. Projects have ranged from the multi-volume History of Missouri, to short articles, formal dissertations, oral history programs, and support for traveling exhibits.

The Society invites gifts to the Brownlee Fund at Donate to the Society. For more information, contact Gary Kremer, Executive Director at 573.882.7083.


"Problems of the present cannot be solved without knowledge of the past. . . ." — Richard S. Brownlee
"Problems of the present cannot be solved without knowledge of the past. . . ." — Richard S. Brownlee