Manuscript Collection

Lafayette County Collection Descriptions

Lafayette County was organized in 1820 as Lillard County. The name was changed to Lafayette in 1825. The county seat is Lexington. The collections listed below deal in some manner with Lafayette County. This list is not comprehensive, so be sure to browse collection descriptions by subject.

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Anderson House, Lexington, Missouri, Architectural Drawings, n.d., (C0818)
1 folder
Map showing location, plot plan, and portion of Civil War Battle of Lexington State Park; basement and floor plans; interior and exterior details; north, south, east, and west elevations; sections; and profiles. Documentation was undertaken as part of Historic American Buildings Survey under direction of U.S. National Park Service, Branch of Plans and Design, with Kenneth E. Coombs, architect.


Baker, J.H.P. ( -1913), Civil War Diary, 1864-1865, (C1449)
1 volume
The diary of J.H.P. Baker, dated October 16, 1864-June 17, 1865, discusses the war in Missouri, Price's retreat, the Southern cause, Lee, Johnston, Beauregard, Price, Shelby, Sherman, guerrillas, Lee's surrender, Lincoln's assassination, and Johnson's inauguration. Baker, a doctor with General Shelby, was in charge of a Texas Confederate hospital.

Bell, Leslie H., Photographs, (P0723)
9 photographs
Photos of Lexington, MO, historic buildings, ca. 1959.

Bingham, Loretta, Photograph Collection, (P1003)
2 photographs
Photographs of students from Odessa High School and students from Starr School with their prize winning patriotic float

Blue River Baptist Association Record Book, 1834-1850, (C1303)
1 volume
Records of the Blue River Baptist Association of Jackson, Johnson, and Lafayette Counties, MO, with abstract of principles, form of government, rules of decorum, and minutes of meetings of the association, including statistical records of members, evangelists' reports, and executive committee minutes.

Boulware, W.C. Letter, 1861, (C1959)
1 folder
To Family from Lexington, MO, Sept. 28, 1861. Letter describing the battle of Lexington, in which the author participated, and its aftermath.

Bowring, Charles M., Papers, 1819-1922, (C3547)
2 folder(s)
Events in Wellington, MO, from 1819 through 1898, as recorded in a diary by Charles M. Bowring, and poems which he wrote on many subjects.

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.

Brouster, George Washington, (1830-1887), Letters, 1850-1851, (C1832)
1 folder
Letters written by Brouster to his family in St. Louis County, MO, while on an overland trip to the California gold fields in 1850 and while mining for gold in various parts of California.


Civil War Scrapbook, Missouri, 1823-1868, (C1379)
1 folder
The papers contain a collection of newspaper clippings on Missouri, 1823-1868, from New York and Boston newspapers, primarily the New York Daily Tribune. Most of the items pertain to the Civil War in Missouri, 1861-1862, and include maps and diagrams of the war in the west.

Copus, Phyllis Miller, Collection, (CA6286)
4 cubic feet
Genealogy and other family history materials, both printed and video, from the Howell, Holden, Shutt, and Sandifer families, of Dallas, Jackson, Cass, and Lafayette County, Missouri. The collection also includes the Margie Ellis Howell Papers, a collection acquired by Copus after Howell’s death. These papers include information on the Ellis, Howell, Parkes, Perry, and Hammonds families of Missouri.

Corder-Thomas Family, Papers, 1867-1961, (C3697)
56 volumes and 9 folders on 11 rolls of microfilm, 1 oversize folder
The Corder-Thomas Family Papers consist of diaries of Leslie Walker Corder, a Waver-ly, Missouri, farmer and civic leader; his wife Nellie Perry Buck Corder; and her aunt Susan Buck Cooper Thomas. The papers also include family letters, newsclippings, and miscellaneous items.


Davis, H.K., Statement, 1864, (C1816)
1 folder
Bill for printing election notice in the LEXINGTON WEEKLY UNION, September 10 through November 5, 1864, and stating that it had been done.


Fike, Henry C., (1832-1919), Diaries, 1851-1919, (C2215)
0.1 linear feet, 43 volumes
Diaries written by Fike while a student in McKendree College, IL; while a soldier in the Civil War; and about his migration to and life in Warrensburg, MO, and his work in Kansas City, MO, and various cities in the West.


Guitar, Sarah (1892-1963), Collection, n.d., (C3391)
1.5 linear feet
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.


Hamilton, Mrs. Henry W., Collection, 1838-1924, (C1840)
4 folders
Checks, deeds, promissory notes, and invoices, primarily of residents of Lafayette County, MO. Lafayette County election returns, 1844 and 1860.


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.


Maxwell, A.L., Papers, n.d., (C0745)
1 folder
Pamphlets dealing with the siege and battle of Lexington, MO, and a horse, Lady Wonder, who answers questions. Picture postcard of Seybold Tavern, Excelsior Springs, MO.

McCoy, Joseph, Papers, 1815-1908, (C2144)
2 folders
Eight land deeds (3 to land in St. Louis, 1815-1820; 5 to land in Clark County, 1856-1866). Power of attorney and land purchase receipt, 1844. Daybook of McCoy's business transactions in Waterloo, MO, 1841-1842.

Missouri Ex-POWs Oral History Project, Records, 2000-, (C3975)
Interviews with ex-prisoners of war (POWs). The records include audio cassettes and transcripts.

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

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.

Missouri, Lafayette County, Sheriff's Reward Poster, 1851, (C1775)
1 folder
The collection contains a photostat of a poster announcing a fifty-dollar reward for the capture of John Harbaugh and M. M'Ghee, escaped prisoners.

Morrow, Lynn, Collection, 1982-ca. 2010, (R1000)
296 folders, 7 cubic feet
These are the correspondence and research files of a Missouri historian. Topics include history, personages, architecture, culture, and folklore, particularly of the Ozarks region of Missouri, but also areas in the central and northern parts of the state. The papers include wide-ranging correspondence concerning research into and publication of the 19th century historical writings of Theodore P. Russell of Iron County and Silas C. Turnbo of southwest Missouri. The collection also includes a large selection of promotional publications and ephemera associated with late 20th century tourism in Missouri and Arkansas.

Motte, J.M., "[History of Waverly, Missouri]," n.d., (C0777)
1 folder
A short history of Waverly, Lafayette County, MO.


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.

Rehkop, Leonard D. and Marie H., Collection of Algert T. Peterson Glass Plate Negatives, 1860s-1930s, (C3888)
8670 glass plate negatives and 95 plastic negatives on 18 rolls of microfilm; 63 photographs
The Rehkop/Peterson Collection consists of studio portraits of groups, families, and individuals; and scenes of the Higginsville and Concordia areas in western Missouri. The negatives date from the 1860s to the 1930s.

Rice, Herbert Francis (1901-1963), Papers, 1944-1963, (C2903)
5 folder(s)
Personal correspondence with friends and business associates, largely concerning the Civil War in Missouri; manuscripts of articles by Rice on various Missouri history subjects; newspaper clippings from the KANSAS CITY TIMES; Rice's obituary; and miscellaneous handbills and programs.


Sawyer, Samuel, Letter, 1822, (C1497)
1 folder
The collection contains a letter to Oliver Parker, Lexington, MO, from New York, NY, Jan. 20, 1822, regarding collection and payment of accounts.

Sawyer, Samuel L. Letters, 1838-1849, (C1833)
1 folder
Letters of a young lawyer from New Hampshire who settled in Missouri. Describes traveling to Missouri, establishing himself, working the court circuits and growth of his family. Also a letter from his father-in-law about the family.

State Historical Society of Missouri, Audio Cassette Collection, 1976-2000, (C3963)
0.3 linear feet, 34 audio cassettes
The State Historical Society of Missouri Audio Cassette Collection is a collection of miscellaneous interviews, lectures, and speeches collected over the years.


The Missouri Collection, (C3982)
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.

University of Missouri, Agricultural Extension Service, Records, 1908-1963, (C2513)
1.5 linear feet
The records of the University of Missouri Agricultural Extension Service contain histories, letters, reports, memoranda, speeches, maps, publications, newspaper articles, and pictures concerning Missouri Agricultural Extension Service and U.S. Department of Agriculture policies; agricultural, home economics, and 4-H extension work; and the College of Agriculture.


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.


West Freedom Telephone Company, Concordia, Missouri, Records, (CA5324)
0.4 linear feet
Constitution, bylaws, minutes, financial records, incorporation papers, and stock certificates of the company. The materials date from 1904 and end about 1960.

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.

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