Walter Stemmons Papers
Scope and Content
The papers consist of materials gathered by Walter Stemmons in his capacity as editor for the Agricultural Extension Service and director of University Publications. The papers consist, in large part, of research files for Connecticut Agricultural College: A History, the published manuscript, the research files for the unpublished history of Connecticut, Volume II, speeches made by Stemmons, professional correspondence, and personal papers.
- undated, 1882-1964
The collection is open and available for research.
Restrictions on Use
Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from the owner(s) of the copyright.
Walter Stemmons (1884-1965) became Agricultural Editor at the Connecticut Agricultural College in 1918. The scope of his official responsibilities expanded rapidly as the college grew into a state university. He was director of the Division of Publications and University Editor until he retired in 1954.
Mr. Stemmons came to Storrs from the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College where he had occupied a similar post. His formal education and professional background were acquired chiefly in Missouri and he was one of the first graduates of the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri.
As Agricultural Editor, Stemmons was responsible for editing the college catalog, Experiment Station Bulletins, and the numerous pamphlets and other material of the Agricultural Extension Service. In addition, Stemmons gradually acquired chief responsibility for writing and arranging publication of news releases from the college.
Walter Stemmons came to Connecticut when the then Connecticut Agricultural College had an enrollment of two hundred students. In addition to his editorial duties over the years, he was a faculty advisor to many student organizations, including the Connecticut Campus, the Nutmeg, the Mediator, and the Husky Network.
For thirty years, Stemmons taught a course on news writing at the University and a number of his students entered the field of journalism as a direct result of his teaching.
When instructed by the Board of Trustees to write a history of the college, Stemmons accepted the task and, after several years of intensive effort, turned out Connecticut Agricultural College - A History.
Towards the close of his career at Storrs, Stemmons worked on the preparation of a second volume dealing with the history of the institution, and wrote several chapters which described developments of the college during the 1930s and 1940s, but left this material in incomplete form.
For additional information on Walter Stemmons, see Six Speeches of Walter Stemmons, College and University Editor, 1918-1954, selected and edited by James H. Barnett, University of CT Publications Series, 1971.
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Language of Materials
Walter Stemmons became Agricultural Editor at the Connecticut Agricultural College in 1918. The scope of his official responsibilities expanded rapidly as the college grew into a state university. He was director of the Division of Publications and University Editor until he retired in 1954.
Series I: History (undated, 1882-1954) contains research materials for the publication of Connecticut Agricultural College: A History and unpublished chapters of University of Connecticut, Volume II. Both are arranged chronologically.
Series II: Speeches (undated, 1917-1953) contains numerous off-campus speeches made by Stemmons for various civic organizations throughout the state. One such speech, “The Higher Science of Trout Fishing,” delivered in 1942, was reprinted in several state and local newspapers, as were many of Stemmon's speeches. The popular speaker was the toastmaster at the Connecticut Campus annual banquets as well as at UConn retirement receptions. These speeches have been included in the series along with his radio broadcasts and are arranged chronologically.
Series III: Professional Papers (1914-1964) consists of Walter Stemmons' professional papers, his College of Agriculture publications, and correspondence. The series also contains annual reports, and the Freckleton Memorial correspondence. Harold R. Freckleton, a Connecticut Campus editor and the first UConn graduate to die in World War II, was highly esteemed by Stemmons and his classmates. Stemmons was instrumental in establishing the Freckleton Memorial and annual award. Also included is Stemmons' professional correspondence for 1914-1964, which concerns, principally in his early years, the workings of the Agricultural College and clearly shows the relations of the college and extension services to the state's agriculture. Stemmons' correspondence for 1955-1964 shows his close connection with Provost Albert Waugh and R. W. Stallman of the English Department. This series is arranged alphabetically by subject.
Series IV: Personal Papers (1903-1952) contains personal memorabilia of Walter Stemmons, which includes his high school and college yearbooks. A scrapbook with newspaper clippings, dating from 1908-1911, early publications and oversized newspaper clippings complete the series, which is arranged alphabetically.
The papers were donated to the University by Lora Davis Stemmons, the widow of Walter Stemmons.
- College teachers Subject Source: Fast
- Connecticut (state) Subject Source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- Correspondence Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
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- Notes Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
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- Speeches (documents) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Storrs (inhabited place) Subject Source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- Universities and colleges Subject Source: Fast
- manuscripts (document genre) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Walter Stemmons Papers
- Under Revision
- Archives & Special Collections staff
- 1997 February
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