TABLE OF CONTENTS
Detailed Description of the Papers
A Guide to the Sutton (William Seneca) Papers, 1894-1928
William Seneca Sutton was born August 12, 1860 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. At eighteen he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts followed by a Masters of Arts in 1880 from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He began his career as a teacher in Arkansas and moved to Texas in 1883 to serve as principal in Ennis, Texas. In 1884 Sutton married Annie Blackman Erwin. He served for a number of years as principal and then superintendant for the Houston public school system in Houston, Texas. In 1897 Sutton took up the position of professor of Pedagogy at the University of Texas in Austin, where, in 1898, he founded and became the dean of the summer sessions that lasted approximately twenty years. In 1905 Sutton was honored with an LL. D. degree from the University of Arkansas. The School of Education at the University of Texas was established in 1905 and Sutton was named its head in 1909. He served a one-year term as President of the University of Texas, in 1923-24; and was named Dean Emeritus in 1927.
During his tenure at the University of Texas, Sutton published numerous papers on education reform, was an instigator at the 1907 state conference on education that resulted in the passing of constitutional amendments favoring Texas public education, and assisted in the establishment of the Texas Academy of Sciences at the University of Texas. His work in education and pedagogy was instrumental to the establishment of the School of Education at the University of Texas as well as to training teachers of public education in Texas. W.S. Sutton died on November 26, 1928. The Education building at the University of Texas was re-named Sutton hall in his honor in 1930.
The William Seneca Sutton papers, 1894-1928, consist of correspondence, speeches, essays, budgets reports, broadsides, bulletins, booklets, clippings, student work, invoices and receipts and primarily document Sutton’s tenure at the School of Education at the University of Texas. The bulk of the papers are correspondence, the papers and inter-department documents relating to the School of Education. The papers are grouped into three main series: personal life, Dean of Education, and Dean of Summer School. Within each series the papers are arranged chronologically by their relative form and function.
The personal series, 1894-1923, primarily consist of speeches, articles, printed materials, newspaper clippings and letters from former students.
The Dean of Education series consists of items related to Sutton’s tenure as Dean of Education and public education in Texas. They include: correspondence between Sutton and F.M. Bralley of the Texas Department of Education, circa 1910-1913; correspondence with University of Texas President Robert Ernest Vinson, 1917-1918; minutes from faculty meetings 1904-1930; committees and petitions, 1901-1922; papers on Sutton’s appointment to the University of Texas presidency, 1923; and papers and research materials on the history of education in Texas. Also included are pamphlets, clippings, printed materials and correspondence relating to subjects on racial ethnicity in education. Many items relate to Sutton’s involvement with Texas public education, including correspondence and ephemera from Teacher’s Association and Education conventions and related meetings, correspondence on educational legislation, 1913-14, and the Committee on the Towner-Sterling Bill, 1921-24. Also included is printed material and a literary production relating to the Governor Ferguson controversy 1916-17.
The Dean of Summer School series primarily consists of: correspondence, 1907-1917; reports 1899,1907, 1915-1916; and receipts, invoices circa 1916-1928.
This collection is open for research use.
These papers are stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.
William Seneca Sutton Papers, 1894-1928, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by archives staff in 1952, 1976.