Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Arrangement of the Collection

Restrictions

Access Terms

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Biographical Data

Correspondence

Gilbert Floyd Correspondence

Professional Organizations and Material

Notes and Writings by Shuler

SMU Geology Department / Administrative

Rocks and Rivers

Degrees

Southern Methodist University

Ellis W. Shuler papers

A Guide to the Collection



Overview

Creator: Shuler, Ellis W. (Ellis William), b. 1881
Title: Ellis W. Shuler papers
Inclusive Dates: 1900-1955
Abstract: Ellis William Shuler (1881-1954) was one of the original 35 members of the Southern Methodist University (SMU) faculty and taught at SMU from 1915 until 1952. He was the first Geology professor and as such, contributed greatly to the development of the Geology department. His papers consist of biographical data, correspondence, professional material, essays, articles, reports, and manuscripts covering the years between 1900 and 1955, with the bulk of materials from 1912 to 1954. Included is the manuscript of "Rocks and Rivers" and correspondence between Shuler and fellow geologists William Morris Davis, Robert Hill, and Richard Field. There is also a large collection of correspondence between British journalist Gilbert Floyd and many of his friends in Texas around the time of World War II including Dr. Shuler, Henry E. Elrod, Willie-Mabel Taylor Ritter, and Mrs. Tom Smith. Additionally, a large amount of the correspondence deals with Shuler’s role as head of the Geology Department at Southern Methodist University and Dean of the Graduate School.
Accession No: SMU 2005.0357
Extent: 10 boxes, including 1 oversize box (4.5 linear feet)
Language: Material is in English
Repository Southern Methodist University Archives, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

Ellis William Shuler was born on Oct. 15, 1881, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia near the small settlement of Corners Rock. He was the son of Rev. James Alexander Hamilton Shuler and Amanda Harrington Shuler. Ellis W. Shuler’s father entered the Methodist ministry in the Holston Conference of the Southern Methodist Church in 1886 and from then until his death in 1932, Rev. Shuler was active in pulpits and circuits in Southwest Virginia and parts of the contiguous states.

Ellis Shuler became interested in geology as a child after a series of tremors known as the "Giles County Earthquake" that shook the Southwest Virginia region in May 1897. After the earthquake, Shuler’s father made an urgent request of the United States Geological Survey that these phenomena be studied, and Marius R. Campbell was sent to investigate. After completing his field studies, Campbell joined the Shuler family for several days at Mountain Lake on nearby Salt Pond Mountain. Young Shuler became well acquainted with the great geologist and undoubtedly decided to follow in his footsteps.

In 1899, Shuler entered Emory & Henry College at Emory, Virginia. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from there in Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1904, a Master of Arts degree in English from Vanderbilt University in 1907, a Master of Arts degree in geology from Harvard in 1914, and a PhD from Harvard in 1915.

In 1915, he was hired as one of the first members of the faculty at Southern Methodist University as an Associate Professor of Geology. He was given the title of Professor in 1918. He was made Dean of the Graduate School in 1926 and retired in 1952. He was the last of the original 35 professors to leave SMU. He died at the age of 72 in 1954.

Throughout his career, Shuler was a member of many professional organizations including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association of Geographers, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, and the National Parks Association. In 1922, he was made a fellow in the Geological Society of America. He also authored technical bulletins and articles related to his field of study. He was a contributor to a number of scientific publications, as well as religious and secular periodicals. He was one of the early proponents of the Dallas Museum of Natural History and he helped establish SMU’s first two science libraries.

In 1945, Dr. Shuler’s book, Rocks and Rivers, was published. In this volume, Shuler explored the geology of the United States through description, photographs, and diagrams. Other significant works of his include a survey of the geology of Dallas County and many essays on a wide variety of subjects ranging from geology to the history of Southwest Virginia.

Sources:

"Dean Shuler of SMU Dies at Age of 72." Dallas Morning News, Jan. 2, 1954, Page 1, Part I.

Foscue, Edwin J. "Memorial to Ellis William Shuler (1881-1954)." Proceedings Volume of the Geological Society of America Annual Report for 1954 (1955): 133-136.

"Plaque in Memory." Dallas Morning News, May 24, 1962, Page 2, Section 4.

SMU News Digest. Dec. 1953/Jan. 1954.

Thomas, Mary Martha Hosford. Southern Methodist University: Founding and Early Years. Dallas: SMU Press, 1974.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Shuler papers consist of biographical data, correspondence, professional material, essays, articles, reports, manuscripts, and degrees covering the years between 1900 and 1955, with the bulk of materials from 1912 to 1954. The collection illustrates the career of a prominent geologist and professor at Southern Methodist University.

Included is correspondence between Shuler and fellow geologists William Morris Davis, Robert Hill, and Richard Field. There is also a large collection of correspondence between British journalist Gilbert Floyd and many of his friends in Texas around the time of World War II. Additionally, a large amount of the correspondence deals with Shuler’s role as head of the Geology Department at Southern Methodist University and Dean of the Graduate School.

Along with the manuscript of Shuler's book, Rocks and Rivers, there is correspondence with the publisher, advertisements, and corrections.

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Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into eight series:
Series I: Biographical Data
Series II: Correspondence
Series III: Gilbert Floyd Correspondence
Series IV: Professional Organizations and Material
Series V: Notes and Writings by Shuler
Series VI: SMU Geology Department / Administrative
Series VII: Rocks and Rivers Manuscripts and Publication Correspondence
Series VIII: Degrees

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Restrictions

Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

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Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Shuler, Ellis W. (Ellis William), b. 1881
Geologists--Texas.
Southern Methodist University--Faculty.
Southern Methodist University. Dept. of Geology.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Ellis W. Shuler papers, Southern Methodist University Archives, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

Processing Note

The papers of Ellis W. Shuler were sorted into folders by subject, but in no discernable order within each folder. During their processing, the collection was divided into separate, more accessible files depending on subject and date. Folded documents were flattened and paperclips and staples were removed whenever possible. The papers were arranged chronologically, placed in acid-free folders, with acid-free paper dividing relevant documents and stored in acid-free boxes.

Processed and Encoded by

Lara Corazalla, 2005

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Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series I:
Biographical Data
1 folder

This series (one file folder) contains biographical data about Ellis W. Shuler including a bibliography, a memorial, a personal history, notes, and newspaper clippings. The documents are arranged chronologically within the folder. Especially noteworthy are a memorial written by Edwin J. Foscue (an SMU colleague) for the Geological Society of America and an unpublished article about Shuler's work at SMU.
Box Folder
1 1 Biographical Data

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Series II:
Correspondence
1.5 boxes

This series contains correspondence between Shuler and various other people including geologists William Morris Davis of Harvard, Robert Hill "the Dean of Texas Geology" of Cornell University and Richard Field of Princeton. It also contains correspondence related to an Electrolysis Patent filed by Shuler in 1929. In 1933, Shuler was named as one of the Honorary Scientific Staff for the Byrd Antarctic Expedition II, and a folder of information about this is included in this series. In addition, this series contains personal correspondence and correspondence with colleagues at Southern Methodist University. The documents are arranged into folders by person or subject and then arranged chronologically.
Box Folder
1 2 Personal Correspondence, 1913-1942
3 William Morris Davis Correspondence, 1915-1933
4 Coral reefs, 1916-1921
5 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1919-1935
6 Misc. Correspondence and Clippings, 1920s
7 Robert Hill Correspondence, 1920-1924
8 Jack Frost Lease Assignment to Shuler 1922; 1944-1953
9 Correspondence, writings on Texas oil, gas and coal, 1923
10 Water and wells around the SMU campus, 1924
11 Richard Field Correspondence, 1928-1930
12 Emory & Henry College - programs, correspondence, clippings, etc., 1943-1949
13 Electrolysis Patent Correspondence, 1929
14 Trinity River, 1932-1935
15 Byrd Antarctic Expedition II, 1933-1934
16 Misc. Correspondence on Dinosaur Fossils, 1933-1947
17 Justina Hill Correspondence, 1941-1947
Box Folder
2 1 Misc. Correspondence, 1943
2 John Kay Correspondence, 1943-1945
3 Letters from friends about "The Spirit of the Wilderness Road," 1944-1945
4 Shuler’s Book Collection, 1948
5 Correspondence with SMU people, 1950-1952

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Series III:
Gilbert Floyd Correspondence
3 boxes

Shuler called this series the "Gilbert Floyd Collection of American and English Letters." This series contains correspondence between Gilbert Floyd and several of his friends including Dr. Shuler, Henry E. Elrod, Willie-Mabel Taylor Ritter, and Mrs. Tom Smith.
All of the material was compiled after Gilbert Floyd’s death in 1935 when many of his Texas friends sent their letters to Shuler for safekeeping and for a possible exhibition/library acquisition.
Gilbert Floyd was a prominent journalist and editor living in England. He was a London correspondent for the Dallas Morning News for several years prior to his death. The documents are arranged into folders by person and then arranged chronologically.
Box Folder
2 6 Gilbert Floyd correspondence with Henry E. Elrod, 1930
7 Gilbert Floyd correspondence with Henry E. Elrod, 1931
8 Gilbert Floyd correspondence with Henry E. Elrod, 1932-1933
9 Gilbert Floyd correspondence with Henry E. Elrod, 1934-1935
10 Gilbert Floyd correspondence with Willie-Mabel Taylor Ritter, 1932-1933
11 Gilbert Floyd correspondence with Willie-Mabel Taylor Ritter, 1933-1935
Box Folder
3 1 Gilbert Floyd misc. letters, clippings, pamphlets, 1933-1934
2 Gilbert Floyd misc. letters, clippings, pamphlets, 1934-1935
3 Gilbert Floyd correspondence with Dr. Shuler, 1933-1934
4 Gilbert Floyd correspondence with Dr. Shuler, 1934-1935
5 Gilbert Floyd correspondence with Mrs. Tom Smith, 1934-1935
6 Gilbert Floyd correspondence with Mrs. Tom Smith, folder 1 of 2, 1935
Box Folder
4 1 Gilbert Floyd correspondence with Mrs. Tom Smith, folder 2 of 2, 1935
2 Correspondence with members of the "Gilbert Floyd Friends Club" about collecting Gilbert Floyd’s letters after his death 1935; 1940-1941
3 Gilbert Floyd Obituary and Photographs
4 Gilbert Floyd Collection of Books sent to Shuler

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Series IV:
Professional Organizations and Material
1 box

This series contains correspondence and documents related to Shuler’s memberships in professional organizations including the Geological Society of America, the National Parks Association (and its predecessor the National Parks Education Committee), the Texas Mineralogical Society, the Dallas Petroleum Geologists and others. This series also contains information illustrating Shuler’s role in the development of the Dallas Museum of Natural History. The documents are arranged into folders by subject and then arranged chronologically.
Box Folder
4 5 National Parks Literature, 1918-1922
6 Southwestern Geological Society (forerunner to Dallas Petroleum Geologists) 1919-1924; 1944
7 Geologists in Dallas, 1928-1934
8 Dallas Petroleum Geologists and Dallas Geological Society, 1930-1948
9 Texas Mineralogical Society, 1943-1947
10 Dallas Museum of Natural History
11 Texas Academy of Sciences, folder 1 of 2
12 Texas Academy of Sciences, folder 2 of 2
13 Geological Society of America

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Series V:
Notes and Writings by Shuler
3 boxes

This series contains essays and articles written by Shuler and his related research notes. Shuler wrote about geology as well as education, history and religion.
Significant works in this series include a survey of the geology of Dallas County, a report on Ellis County, Shuler’s Harvard thesis, "Walker’s Mountain," and a commencement address given by Shuler at Emory & Henry College titled "The Spirit of the Wilderness Road."
There are also a variety of book reviews written by Shuler. The documents are arranged into folders by subject and then arranged chronologically.
Box Folder
5 1 Field Notes, 1910-1911
2 Yellowstone Park Notes, 1911
3 "Spanish Peaks" - summer field trip with Professor William Morris Davis, 1911
4 Harvard paper, 1914, "A Preliminary Report on the Proofs of Elevation Along the North Shore," June 12, 1914
5 1915 Harvard University Thesis "Walker’s Mountain"
6 "Walker’s Mountain" and correspondence, 1916-1925
7 Dallas County Survey, folder 1 of 2, 1917
8 Dallas County Survey, folder 2 of 2, 1917
9 Ellis County Report, 1919
10 Prospects for Oil in Dallas County, 1919
11 Reprints of articles by Dr. Shuler, 1900-1923
Box Folder
6 1 Reprints of articles by Dr. Shuler, 1929-1950
2 "Windgaps in the Appalachian Ridges," 1931
3 Divining Rods and the Doodle-bug case, 1936
4 “The Spirit of the Wilderness Road” manuscripts and notes/drafts
5 "Professor Judd & the Science of Geology"
6 Various papers by Shuler and others
"Recent Fossil Find Around Dallas"
"A Seven Foot Rise Down Limpia"
Reunion - brief synopsis/summary and county park proposal
"La Reunion" an essay by SMU student Miss Eloise Santerre, great-grand-daughter of Francois Santerre, an original member of the French colony, La Reunion (1855-1857), which was located on the south bank of the Trinity River in central Dallas County, Jan. 12, 1933
"The Southern Ute Indians at Boulder’s Semi-Centennial" by Eben G. Fine, Boulder, CO
"The Mesa Verde National Park" by Eben G. Fine, Boulder, CO
"The Tennessee Valley Authority"
"Regional Physiography: a review of The Physiographic Provinces of North America by Wallace W. Atwood" by Shuler, 1940
"The Contribution of Physics to Modern Civilization" by Shuler
"Group Research within a University"
Advertisement for lecture by Shuler
"Christian Education" report to Dr. Selecman from Shuler, 1932
Box Folder
6 7 Notes on Thomas Jefferson
8 Book Review: Our Mobile Earth R. A. Daly
9 "Williamsburg’s Contribution to Monticello" by Shuler
10 Shuler’s notes for review of Regional Physiography by Wallace Atwood
11 Articles on fossils
12 Davis Mountains
Box Folder
7 1 Elephant fossils Texas
2 Texas Landscape
3 American Highways
4 Soil: geological notes, writings and correspondence

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Series VI:
SMU Geology Department / Administrative
1 box

This series contains correspondence, documentation and reports related to the operation of the Geology Department at Southern Methodist University from 1916 to 1952. It includes correspondence with members of the faculty and presidents of SMU Umphrey Lee and Charles Selecman. The documents are arranged into folders by person or subject and then arranged chronologically.
Box Folder
7 5 Directory of Graduates, 1916-1952
6 Survey of Science Graduates, 1919-1945
7 Selecman Correspondence, 1923-1932
8 Letter to Dr. Selecman and Board of Trustees on need for science Labs, 1927
9 Field Course in Geology, 1928
10 Geology Department gifts, 1940-1946
11 Correspondence about cabinets given to the Geology Department, 1941
12 Department of Geology Alumni and Labs, 1931-1942
13 Memorial Gift, E. F. Blakemore, Jr., 1942
14 Geology newsletters, 1942-1943
15 Need for scientific instruction, 1942-1946
16 Umphrey Lee Correspondence, 1942-1949
17 Department of Geology Budgets, 1943-1946
18 "On the State of Graduate Education in the South"
19 "Undergraduate Preparation for the Geologist"
20 Shuler’s Contribution to the Geology library
21 Geology Department student help and faculty

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Series VII:
Rocks and Rivers Manuscripts and Publication Correspondence
2 boxes

These records contain manuscripts of Shuler’s book, Rocks and Rivers, published in 1945. They also include correspondence with publishers about the book leading up to its publication as well as book reviews, readers’ comments, corrections and criticism after the book was published. This series also contains an early draft of the manuscript with the title The Sculptured Lands which was later changed to Rocks and Rivers. In this work, Shuler describes the geological landscape for the general reader. The documents are arranged into folders by person or subject and then arranged chronologically. The manuscripts are divided as needed into folders and arranged in page number order.
Box Folder
8 1 Correspondence with publishers
2 Rocks and Rivers mailing list
3 Rocks and Rivers publicity clippings
4 Correspondence with Jaques Cattel Press about Rocks and Rivers, folder 1 of 2
5 Correspondence with Jaques Cattel Press about Rocks and Rivers, folder 2 of 2
6 Rocks and Rivers Corrections and Criticisms
7 Readers' comments about Rocks and Rivers 1941; 1945-1949
8 Book Reviews and Correspondence about Rocks and Rivers, 1945-1952
9 Correspondence with John Rosser, 1946-1947
10 The Sculptured Lands manuscript, folder 1 of 2
11 The Sculptured Lands manuscript, folder 2 of 2
12 Legends of pictures for Rocks and Rivers
Box Folder
9 1 Manuscripts and Rough Drafts of Rocks and Rivers, folder 1 of 5
2 Manuscripts and Rough Drafts of Rocks and Rivers, folder 2 of 5
3 Manuscripts and Rough Drafts of Rocks and Rivers, folder 3 of 5
4 Manuscripts and Rough Drafts of Rocks and Rivers, folder 4 of 5
5 Manuscripts and Rough Drafts of Rocks and Rivers, folder 5 of 5
6 Key

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Series VIII:
Degrees
1 oversize box

This series contains degrees and certificates awarded to Shuler and his son, Ellis William Shuler, Jr.
Box
Oversize Degrees and certificates received by Shuler :
Emory & Henry - Bachelor of Arts
Vanderbilt - Master of Arts
Harvard - Master of Arts
Harvard PhD
Membership in the Texas Academy of Sciences
Fellow of the Texas Academy of Science
Emory & Henry - honorary Doctor of Laws
Box
Oversize Degrees and certificates received by Shuler's son, Ellis William Shuler, Jr. :
Cradle Roll Certificate of the Polytechnic Methodist Bible School
Southern Methodist University - Bachelor of Science

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