Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Harris Masterson, Jr. Papers, 1894-1920, bulk 1898-1902 MS 469

Title: Harris Masterson, Jr. Papers
Dates: 1894-1920
Abstract: These papers cover Houston born chaplain and educator Harris Masterson, Jr.'s life from his schooling through his career with the YMCA. Highlights include correspondence with family members, photographs, school materials and his career.
Identification: MS 469
Quantity: 3.0 linear ft.(9 boxes)
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas

Biographical Note

Harris Masterson, Jr., born June 22, 1881, Brazoria, TX, was the son of Judge Harris Masterson and Sallie Stewart Turner. A graduate of the University of the South in Sewanee, TN (1904) and the Episcopal Theological School of Cambridge [Harvard] (1907), Masterson began his career as chaplain of All Saint's, Austin, TX, 1908-11. He worked with the YMCA in China (Hankow and Wuchang, 1911-16) and the US (1916-17), and became a Red Cross chaplain in 1918. He came to Houston in 1919 to become the organizer, director and chaplain of a community house for Rice Institute students, later known as Autry House. Masterson was active in civic and educational affairs and served in various positions including chairman of the Building Committee of the Houston Public Library Board and as a Trustee for the University of the South. In 1925 he married Elizabeth Simpkins who shared his work with Rice students. The Mastersons moved to France to work with American students in Paris and returned to Austin, TX in 1926 for Masterson to become Rector of All Saint's Chapel. He resigned in Oct. 1935 and died in Austin in Nov. 1935.

Scope and Contents

The collection, totaling nine document boxes, covers Harris Masterson, Jr.'s life from his schooling through his career with the YMCA. Highlights include correspondence with family members, photographs, school materials and his career.



The Harris Masterson, Jr. Papers are arranged in four series:
Series I: Correspondence, 1898-1920. Arranged in two sub-series, the General sub-series includes business correspondence from 1898 to 1914; the Family sub-series includes correspondence from various family members from 1898-1920.
Series II: Personal, 1894-1920. This series includes materials from HMJr.'s schooling, essays, published works, bank records and genealogical records.
Series III: YMCA, 1908-1917. Arranged in two sub-series, China-International YMCA and Army YMCA, the materials include administrative records, correspondence and published YMCA materials.
Series IV: Visuals, n.d. This series includes postcards and photographs of the locations HMJr. visited and served during his career with the YMCA and his personal life.


Access Restrictions

No access restrictions; this material is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Harris Masterson, Jr. Papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.

Index Terms

Subjects (Organizations)
Autry House (Houston, Tex.).
Episcopal Church. Clergy. Correspondence.
YMCA Army Educational Commission.
Young Men's Christian Associations of China.
Young Men's Christian Associations of North America. International Committee.
Family Names
Masterson family

Related Material

Judge Harris Masterson Papers MS#468

Harris Masterson, III Papers MS#470

James Lockhart Autry Papers addenda MS#412

Autry House; Carroll and Harris Masterson, III; Neill T. Masterson and Libbie J. Masterson information/vertical files, Woodson Research Center.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Harris Masterson, Jr. Papers, 1894-1920, MS 469, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University

Acquisition Information

The papers originally were part of the deposit of the Masterson Family Collection given by Harris Masterson, III (HMJr.'s nephew) in 1966. They were separated from the original deposit in May, 1998.

Processing Information

The collection originally was placed in Hollinger boxes without any preservation or organizational efforts. Some of the collection had been wet and mildewed; concerns have been addressed. Since the papers were subdivided from a much larger collection, the Masterson Family Collection, information about the Masterson family and business, cultural and social life of Houston may also be found in complementary collections of the Judge Harris Masterson Papers MS#468 and Harris Masterson, III Papers MS#470.


Fish, G. Stowe (ed.). Stowe's Clerical Directory of the American Church, 1932-33. Northfield: G. Stowe Fish, c. 1932. Masterson and Allied Families. A Genealogical Study with Biographical Notes. New York: The American Historical Company, Inc., 1965. Sewanee Alumni Directory, 1868-1909. Sewanee: The University Press at the University of the South, 1913. The Thresher. Houston, TX: Rice Institute, March 13, 1925.Ibid. Nov. 15, 1935

Detailed Description of the Collection

1-2 Series I: Correspondence 1898-1920
Box Folder
1 1-7 Subseries A: General, 1898-1917
1 Houston Transfer and Carriage Company, 1907-14
2 Houston Transfer and Carriage Company
3 Esther H. Sharp to HMJr., 1900-03
4 J.P. Murdoch to HMJr., 1898-1902
5 Nora Macclean to HMJr., 1898-1900, n.d.
6 Wm. Alexander Percy, 1900-04
7 HMJr. letters, misc., 1898-1917
Box Folder
2 1-10 Subseries B: Family, 1898-1920
1 "Sis" [Roene Masterson Cage] to HMJr., 1898-1902
2 Chaille Margaret Jones [cousin?] to HMJr., 1900
3 Annie Masterson [aunt] to HMJr., 1900
4 Christiana Masterson [grandmother] to HMJr., 1898, n.d.
5 Mary Masterson [cousin] to HMJr., 1898-1900
6 LJM [step-mother] to HMJr., 1898-1903
7 Elliott Cage [brother-in-law] to HMJr., 1899-1903
8 Leigh C. Masterson [cousin] to HMJr., 1989-1903
9 Neill T. Masterson [brother] to HMJr., 1898-1900, n.d.
10 Harris Masterson [father] to HMJr., 1898-1920

3-4 Series II: Personal 1894-1920
Box Folder
3 1 Diary, "My Thoughts," 1894-c. 1899
2 Logic notebook, n.d.
3 Notes, 1902-04
4 The Parochial Register, or Rector's Private Record, c.1909
5 HMJr. published work, An Adamite, 1912
6 Essays, c. 1901-10
7 University of the South, Sewanee, TN, receipts/corresp., 1899-1904
8 Episcopal Theological School at Harvard, 1904-06
9 Sermons, religious materials, 1900-1915
Box Folder
4 1 Misc. vouchers, receipts, checks, 1900-20
2 Bank records, c. 1898-1921
3 Masterson and related families genealogical materials
4 Misc. materials
5 Misc. correspondence envelopes

5-8 Series III: YMCA 1908-1917
5-6 Subseries A: China, International YMCA
Box Folder
5 1-6 Sub-subseries 1. General
1 Reports, statements, financial, c. 1910-14
2 Reports, statements, financial, c. 1911-15
3 Sermons, notes, prayers, n.d.
4 Published materials, newsclips, c. 1911-16
5 Receipts, 1910-14
6 Personal, c. 1912-14
5-6 Sub-subseries 2.: Correspondence
Box Folder
5 7 General
8 Fletcher S. Brockman to HMJr., 1912-15, n.d.
9 Edward Fitzgerald to HMJr., 1906-08
10 A.S. Lloyd to HMJr., 1915-16, n.d.
11 Hugh A. Moran to HMJr., 1911-14, n.d.
12 J.R. Mott to HMJr., 1913-15
13 L.H. Roots to HMJr., 1908-15, n.d.
14 Archie T.L. Tsen to HMJr., 1914-15
15 James H. Wallace to HMJr., 1914, n.d.
16 Ling Wei to HMJr., 1914-15, 1917, n.d.
17 H.A. Wilbur to HMJr., 1914-15
18 Misc. correspondence envelopes
6 Pamphlets/booklets/flyers related to China YMCA and missionary work
7-8 Subseries B: ARMY YMCA
Box Folder
7 1 Administration, c. 1916-17
2 Correspondence, 1915-17
3 Course work/lectures
4 Financial, 1917
5 Newsclips, publications
6 Rosters, subscriptions, 1916-17
7 Misc.
8 Pamphlets/booklets/flyers related to YMCA and Army

Box Folder
9 1-18 Series IV: Visuals n.d.
1-11 Subseries A: Postcards
1 California
2 Cambridge, Massachusetts
3 East Northfield, Massachusetts
4 North Carolina
5 Texas
6 Mount Vernon and Alexandria, Virginia
7 China
8 Europe
9 Great Britain
10 Japan
11 US Army and YMCA, World War I
12-18 Subseries B: Photographs
12 YMCA and Army
13 School
14 Places
15 Individuals
16 Groups
17 Individuals and groups-see information
18 Negatives with prints made by AFM [Andrew Forest Muir], 1957