Texas Archival Resources Online


TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Arrangement of the Papers/Records

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Correspondence

Writings by Blayney

Programs and Articles

Photographs and Miscellaneous

Petitions, Affidavits, Interviews (Oversize records)

News Clippings

Texas Woman's University, the Woman's Collection

Lindsey Blayney Papers

An Inventory to the Collection



Overview

Creator: Blayney, Lindsey, 1874-1971
Title: Lindsey Blayney Papers
Date: 1924-1929
Abstract: Educator with a distinguished military career in the U.S. Army during World War I. A native of Kentucky, educated at Centre College, Danville, Kentucky, and the University of Heidelberg, and taught at Rice University, 1912-1925, Dr. Blayney served as President of the College of Industrial Arts in Denton, Texas, 1925-1926. He later served as Dean of the College and Chairman of the Department of German at Carleton College in Minnesota. The bulk of the collection is comprised of nation wide newspaper clippings pertaining to Blayney’s short and tumultuous appointment in 1925 as President of the College of Industrial Arts (now Texas Woman's University). The collection also includes a small group of letters, papers, invitations, publicity materials about the college and published works by Blayney promoting the college. Appointed by Governor Miriam Ferguson, Blayney was caught in a Texas political power struggle in which he was asked to resign.
Location: Mss. 832
Size: 2 linear feet
Repository Texas Woman's University, the Woman's Collection

Biographical Note

The unexpected death of President Bralley led to the first interim appointment for leadership of the college in 1924. Dean Edward Valentine White served as acting president for several months as the Regents sought a new leader for the college. On September 27, 1924, the Board announced their unanimous choice for the fourth president of CIA. The Board selected Lindsey Blayney, Professor of German at Rice Institute. Blayney began his service on January 1, 1925, and was inaugurated on January 11 of that year. At his inaugural ceremonies, Blayney pledged “the best that is within me.”

Lindsey Blayney was born in 1874 in Kentucky. He spent his youth in Europe and learned French and Italian. In 1894, Blayney graduated from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. He then began graduate study in Europe. He studied philology and comparative literature in Germany, Spain, and Italy. He earned the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees at the University of Heidelberg. Dr. Blayney was appointed to the founding faculty of Rice Institute (now Rice University) in 1912, where he served until his appointment as President of CIA.

Dr. Blayney had a distinguished military career. He volunteered to serve in World War I even though he was over draft age. He attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was decorated by the governments of France, Serbia, Greece, Italy, and the United States. Blayney was an accomplished and erudite person. He was honored as a soldier, humanitarian, educator, and public servant. He was an outspoken critic of the Ku Klux Klan. Blayney’s courage and abilities were recognized throughout the nation, and he was awarded honorary doctoral degrees by Notre Dame, Loyola University, Southwestern University at Georgetown, and Austin College.

The impressive credentials and documented accomplishments of Lindsey Blayney led the Board of Regents to entrust the presidency of CIA to him. Despite his distinguished earlier career, the administration of Lindsey Blayney at CIA was short and tumultuous. Caught in a political power struggle between advocates and opponents of Governor Miriam Ferguson.

Blayney was forced to work in an environment that defeated many of his plans for the advancement of the college. The management style of Blayney was also a key factor in his inability to lead the college. Blayney’s method of dealing with faculty and students in a military style was not accepted in an academic community. Lyndsey Blayney opposed graduate work at the college. He wrote in the college bulletin of March 1, 1925, “The administration refuses to be tempted by the allurements and consequent dangers of graduate training and of highly specialized scholarship.”

Students, faculty, and regents all questioned Blayney’s qualifications and fitness for continuing as President. By the fall of 1925, the Board of Regents, following a bitter meeting, called upon Blayney to resign, effective June 1, 1926.

Despite the controversy of the brief Blayney administration, the college advanced on several major goals. Funding for a library, sought for several years, was won by Blayney from the Legislature as an appropriation of $150,000 was authorized. The library was later named for Blayney’s predecessor, F. E. Bralley. Blayney also gained $40,000 to pave Bell Avenue. He initiated a plan for campus landscaping. Blayney reorganized the structure of the college into five schools – Liberal Arts, Industrial Arts and Sciences, Home Economics, Fine Arts, and Education. He also established the Department of Journalism and approved the four-year program that led to a degree in Journalism.

Lindsey Blayney, despite internal strife on campus, praised the purpose and spirit of CIA. He lauded the college for its originality, dedication to the ideals of the American home, and its effort to combine intellectual and cultural education with practical and vocational training.

After his stormy yet progressive year at CIA, Lindsey Blayney went to Carleton College in Minnesota, where he served as Dean of the College and Chairman of the Department of German. Highly regarded at Carleton College, Dr. Blayney remained there until his retirement in 1946.

Source: Dr. Phyllis Bridges, Marking a Trail: The Quest Continues, A Centennial History of the Texas Woman’s University. Denton: Texas Woman’s University, 2001, page 22.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

These records appear to be the personal copies of significant documents collected by Lindsey Blayney during his controversial tenure as President of the College of Industrial Arts, 1925-1926. Many of the letters show his handwritten notations in the margins.

The bulk of the collection consists primarily of newspapers and news clippings. The records also include letters of support and opposition, congratulations upon his installation as president and others. Possibly the most interesting records consist of Series 5, which contain legal size transcriptions of letters both for and against, interviews with antagonistic faculty, and petitions to the Governor Miriam Ferguson. There is a group of letters from a member of the CIA Board of Regents at the time Blayney was hired. Judge J. W. Sullivan of Denton became Blayney’s friend. Others intimate that Blayney’s friend may have had ties with the Ku Klux Klan.

It is obvious from the news clippings that the issues drew interest and comment in front page headlines all over the state and from newspapers outside of Texas. Some of the non-Texas newspapers made derisive comments about Texas and the south, making fun of the faculty who were shocked that the President danced with a student and smoked cigars in his office. It is also obvious that more was at stake in Texas politics under the administration of Miriam Ferguson than is apparent from the simple notes in this inventory.

The newspapers with front page headlines are large and are arranged by locale. The clipped new articles are arranged chronologically and placed in mylar sleeves.

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Arrangement of the Papers/Records

Series 1: Correspondence
Series 2: Writings by Blayney
Series 3: Programs
Series 4: Photographs and Miscellaneous
Series 5: Petitions, Affidavits, and Other Records
Series 6: News Clippings

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Restrictions

Access to Collection:

Researchers may access the Leslie Blayney Collection Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm in the Woman's Collection. The Woman's Collection is located on the second floor of the Blagg-Huey Library at Texas Woman’s University. All materials are viewed in the Catherine Merchant Reading Room and photocopies are provided at the discretion of the Woman's Collection.

Publication and Copyright Statements:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the Coordinator for Special Collections.

All responsibility for questions of copyright that may arise in copying, scanning, and use of material shall be assumed by the user.

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Administrative Information

Provenance

Gift of Michael J. Blayney, (great grand nephew), 2007.

Processed by:

Andra Birdsong and Dawn Letson

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Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Correspondence

Box Folder
1 1 George Viereck Publishing Company, Feb. 13th, 1912.
Letter of Recommendation for Dr. Blayney.
2 Blayney to Governor Miriam Ferguson, Temple, Aug. 24, 1924. Copy.
Ferguson was the Democratic Nominee for Governor of Texas. Lindsey Blayney apparently wrote Mrs. Ferguson suggesting that she take a “special interest” in The College of Industrial Arts so that it “takes its legitimate place among the leading institutions. . . .” An interesting letter in that Blayney was not offered the position as president until October 1924.
3 Sullivan, J. W., 1924. Denton Judge and member of CIA Board, 1924-1925.
Letter to Blayney from the CIA Board offering him the position of President at CIA (10-1-1924); a letter from E.V. White, Dean at CIA, to Sullivan and Sullivan’s response regarding memorial service for former president, Dr. F. M. Bralley. 4 items; some copies.
4 Sullivan, J. W., 1925.
Letter, May 9, 1925, warns Blayney, who is in Washington, D.C., that Mr. Cobb, is starting a “crusade against you” sending letters to the Board of Regents. Other correspondents include: Governor Miriam Ferguson; J. W. Degan (CIA Board of Regents); Lee Joseph; J. W. Sullivan (Denton judge). 6 items; carbons.
5 White, E. V. (Dean of the College), Letter to Blayney, May 5, 1925.
Written while Mr. and Mrs. Blayney were in Washington, D.C., he reassures him that the College is “running in a normal way.” White has been “working day and night on the manuscript for the catalogue.”
6 Schroeder, Eric G., (CIA-Journalism Dept.) Letter, May 9, 1925.
A warning to Dr. Blayney who is in Washington, D.C. at the Office Chief of Infantry, that the situation is “tightening.” The board of regents had been approached [by Mr. Cobb]. 1 page; typescript.
7 Loveless, W. M. (Secretary to the President, CIA).
Fragment letter to Blayney, [1925].A warning letter, while Blayney was out of town, “that Mr. Cobb seems to be trying to make himself as obnoxious as possible.” Also discusses various articles by faculty to be published.
8 Tribute to Blayney by Rice Institute, n.d.
Letter from W. D. Sherwood, Jan. 12, 1925, Houston, regarding engraved vase. (photocopies).
9 Letters of Support, 1925 / 6 items.
Correspondents include: H. Hardie Robinson (Oil Operator); Katie Daffan; A. C. “Tex” Bayless; R. L. Bunting (Sam Houston State Teachers College); R. Wright Armstrong (Trinity and Brazos Valley Railway Company).
10 Telegrams and Notes of support, 1925 / 48 items.
11 Supportive Correspondence of Alumnae, 1925 / 10 items, with attachments.
Attached is a newspaper Clipping. Correspondents include: Mrs. Ethel Murry Dawson; Letter to Ex-Students by Cora A. Reynolds (president of Ex-Student Association), and others.
12 Capps, Sallie B. (CIA Board of Regents), 1925 / 2 items.
Letter to Miss Nellie M. Mills regarding the reasoning behind the hiring and removal of Dr. Blayney as president. “Mrs. Joseph had made a strong plea for Miss Blanton…. In a nutshell, Dr. Blayney’s Military Administration in a Democratic College…is a misfit.” Obviously, the letter was forwarded to Dr. Blayney. Also contains letter and petition from Houston Alumnae. "Miss Blenton" is the prominent Annie Webb Blenton, who applied for the position as president of the college.
13 CIA Faculty Club, Invitation the prominent, 1925 / 2 items.
Correspondents includes: Lindsey Blayney (President of CIA). The club wants to hold an open house. Also includes invitation for membership of the Mary Eleanor Brackenridge Literary Club.
14 Armstead, Leon, 1925 / 1 item.
Copy of letter to Hugh Nugent Fitzgerald about CIA incident.
15 Lakeside Browning Club (Dallas), Feb. 9, 1926.
Addressed to Dr. Blayney with copy of letter mailed to Gov. Miriam Ferguson and Attorney general Dan Moody, stating “the cause of education will suffer by [his] dismissal. Signed by all the members. 4 pages.
16 Blayney, Gertrude South (Wife of President Lindsey Blayney)Letter, August 25 1921[1925?][Photocopy]
Letter: “My very dear Mrs. Fiebig”. Handwritten DRAFT from TSCW, Denton, by Mrs. Blayney. Though there are numerous cross-outs, the letter is still readable and contains rich details. She refers to Miriam Ferguson as the “Governess” and to her husband as the “Dictator.” A most interesting letter in which Mrs. Blayney frequently shares some of her husband’s private feelings about freeing this college from “political bosses.” Incomplete Letter, [ca. 1924], apparently from the wife of Judge Sullivan to Mrs. Blayney [photocopy]. Discusses the Blayney’s arrival in Denton, the difficulties of locating a good house, and mentions Dr. Blayney’s future installation. South Family documents.
17 Miriam A. Ferguson
Governor of Texas, Invitation to Inaugural Ball, January 20, 1925.
18 Misc. letter fragments.

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Writings by Blayney

Box Folder
1 19 “That Texans May Know”, n. d. / 6 items.
Excerpts from President Blayney’s Inauguration Address written by Eric G. Schroeder.
20 CIA Short Editorials, 1925.
Editorials from Houston Chronicle, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Wichita Daily Times, Houston Post-Dispatch.,
21 Blayney Notes, n. d. / 1 item.
Drafted notes by E. V. White.
22 Houston articles:
The Houston Chronicle, March 12, 1922. “American Ideals and Traditions,” and “Houston’s Museum and the Fine Arts”, March 14, 1922.
23 “The Liberal Arts College and the New South,” by Thomas Lindsey Blayney, Ph. D. , Central University of Kentucky
Educational Monographs No. 4, Reprinted from south Atlantic Quarlterly, April 1912.
24 “[The Public has a Right to Know]”
No date. Oversize. Hand written in pencil. 3 pages. An impassioned argument for the changes he made on campus.

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Programs and Articles

Box Folder
1 25 CIA Graduates, 1924-1926 / 14 items.
Programs of various services and ceremonies: Armistice Day, banquets, baccalaureate, Fathers and Mothers Association.
26 Blayney: Dallas Open Forum, 1925-1926. / 2 items.
27 Blayney: Address at Dallas Church, n. d. Post card of invitation / 1 item.
28 CIA Published Panoramic.
View of campus.
29 Marquis, Robert Lincoln
Installation of the President at North Texas State Teachers College, Denton, Texas, May 24, 1925.

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Photographs and Miscellaneous

Box Folder
1 30 Photographs / 8 items.
Blayney in group with students; at flag raising in front of the Administration Building, n.d.; portrait of Lindsay Blayney; and postcard of the Auditorium (Music Hall). No dates or captions on any of the photographs.

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Petitions, Affidavits, Interviews (Oversize records)

Box Folder
2 31 [CIA and AAUW membership report], (1925], typescript / 6 pages.
“The Facts About the College of Industrial Arts and the American Association of University Women as Shown in The College of Industrial Arts Records.” Dr. Blayney was probably the author of this report describing CIA’s attempt to become a member of the AAUW recognized list of colleges. An important form of accreditation by a powerful women’s organization. Women faculty could not join AAUW if the college was not on the recognized list. He reports that the college first applied in Feb. 1923 and were refused for not being members of the Association of Colleges and secondary Schools of the Southern States. Next, they were refused acceptance because none of the women faculty held the highest degree. (Three of the men faculty did.) Eventually, CIA was approved in April 8, 1925 during Dr. Blayney’s Administration, a direct result of his push to improve the academic qualifications of the faculty.
32 McNeal, Vere.
Certified transcript of a letter, no date, [1925]. 10 pages, Supposedly written by Vere McNeal to “Ray,” it describes events and character weaknesses in Dr. Blayney. She argues that he ignored the Hook Case; took credit for getting the AAUW recognition, when it was the previous president, Dr. Bralley who completed and submitted all the paperwork; ignored the faculty; and was a pure egotist. This appears to be Dr. Blayney’s copy and contains annotations and angry comments written in pencil.
Faculty mentioned includes: Autrey Nell Wiley; Miss Oliver (Rural Arts); Miss Humprhey; Mrs. Atwell; Ruth West; Dr. Judd (History); Mr. Shroeder; Miss Nind; Mr. Glasscock.
33 W. H. Clark letter, September 23, 1925, 1 page, typescript.
Letter to Blayney calling for him “to desist” from meeting with students regarding the “deplorable situation” at the College of Industrial Arts.
34 [Faculty Grievance], [1925?], typescript numbered list, no date; no title.
Typed half page with handwritten notes, possibly written by Blayney, “Sum total damnable lies!” #1, “That the faculty cannot believe Dr. Blayney.”
35 Faculty Interviews (transcription), [1925], 16 pages, carbon typescript.
Certified Transcription from a hearing with statements by various faculty and staff at CIA, with hand-written annotations probably written by Dr. Blayney. Interviews include: E. V. White (Jesse Humphries (Dean, School of Liberal Arts; Asst. Dean of the College) Dr. W. H. Clark (Dean of the School of Industrial Arts and Sciences) primarily discusses the “Hook Case,” in which staff fraternized with two students, Miss Carlisle (2nd Professor of Latin), Miss Gleason (Dean of School of Home Economics), Mr. Turrentine (Dean of School of Education), Miss Hefly (Dean of Women), Mr. Schroder (Director of Journalism), Mr. Adkinson (Physics), and Dr. Ellison (Dept. of English).
36 “Ex-Students of the College:” Letter, Denton, TX, Sept. 25, 1925. 2 pages.
Authored by Jessie Owsley Boney; Lou Owsley; Branche Williams; Eleanor Fields Hopkins; Fay Alexander Hatley; Jewell Taylor Wright to ex-students. Appears to be Blayney’s copy with penciled annotations in the margins.
37 Affidavit from Ex-Students Association, Oct. 3, 1925.
Describes behavior of several members of the faculty to hold a meeting with students to array them and other faculty against Dr. Blayney. Signed by: Mrs. Virginia Hooper; Mrs. Wanda McNitzky; and Mrs. Ora Blair Wakefield.
38 Blayney letter to Board of Regents, January 21, 1926. 2 pages, typescript.
Apparently, the Board was balking at paying some of the bills presented by the President. This letter is a reminder regarding their promise to pay various household expenses such as telephone and automobile repair. Attached to the letter were two documents:
Certified copy of letter, Oct. 1, 1924, from Judge Sullivan (Board of Regents) defining benefits of the position.
Excerpts from the Board of Regent’s Minutes, on various dates outlining the benefits to the Office of President of the College.
39 CIA student letter to Blayney, Oct. 30, 1925. 8 pages. Handwritten.
Thank you letter: “We want to tell you how much we appreciate all you have done for us.” With student signatures attached.
40 [Blayney Draft Recommendations,] no date. 3 pages. Carbon copy, transcript.
“As retiring president of the college it is both proper and imperative. . . .” Blayney makes recommendations for firing and promoting various faculty members. Those mentioned include: Mr. Turrentine (Education); Estella G. Hefley (Dean of Woemn); W. R. Nabours (Business manager); and Margaret Gleeson (Home Economics.) Dr. Blayney suggests Mr. W. D. Moore be given a leave of absence from modern languages for futher scholarship, “by grounding himself in the fundamentals of French pronunciation and syntax.”
41 Resignation Announcement (news release), January 31, 1926.
Transcript. 2 versions.
42 Petitions and Letters to Gov. Miriam Ferguson, [1926?].
Request to “re-open” subject and make possible the withdrawal of he resignation of Lindsey Blayney.” 4 copies with signatures and typed names of petitioners.
>Letter to the Governor, no date.
Transcript copy of letter by “President of the Father’s and Mothers Association, CIA. Advises the governor to “remove C. U. Connellee (Board of Regents) for hiring an unqualified young lady as Assistant Librarian on his say so only, without proper qualifications.
Ferguson, Eula Turner, (CIA Alumna). Copy of letter to Governor Miriam A. Ferguson.
Petition from Rice Institute students in favor of Dr. Blayney, 1926.
43 CIA statistical information, no date.2 items, typescript.
Members of CIA Board of Regents, with addresses.
Number of Faculty Members Holding Academic Degrees, for 1924 and for the academic year, 1925-1926.

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News Clippings

Box Folder
2 44 Articles on Blayney, 1923, 1925 / 2 items
Who’s Who includes: Frank Aydelotte (President of Swarthmore College); Lindsey Blayney; James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey (candidate of Columbia University); T. H. Harris (state superintendent of Louisiana); John A. Cone (Brunswick); Arthur Wesley Dow (head of the Department of Fine Arts, Columbia University).
45 Press Releases / (11 copies)
Houston Chronicle, June 12, 1925; Editorial in the Houston Chronicle, “ The Penalty of Efficiency,” Feb. 1, 1926.
Box Folder
3 1 Various Newspapers
The Austin American
Dallas Dispatch
The Semi-Weekly Farm News
Daily Times Herald
Dallas Journal
Denton Herald
Fort Worth Record and Record-Telegram
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Box
4 Dallas Morning News
Box
5 Denton- The Lasso
Box
6 Denton- Record Chronicle
Box
7 Various Newspapers cont.
Houston Post-Dispatch
San Antonio Express
Waxahachie Daily Light
Lockhart Post-Register
The Thresher (Houston)
Houston Chronicle
Out of State
Southland Farmer (Houston)
Box
8 Miscellaneous
Box
9 Brief News clippings
Arranged in chronological order Year of 1923- November 1925.
Box
10 Brief News clippings
Arranged in chronological order December 1925- Year of 1929. Also includes unknown years and duplicates.

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