Guide to the Ralph S. Gunn Westminster College Treasurer's correspondence

Table of Contents

Collection Overview

Collection Inventory+/-

Biographical Note/Historical Note

Content Description

Collection Use

Administrative Information


Collection Overview +/-

Title: Ralph S. Gunn Westminster College Treasurer's correspondence
Dates: 1947-1962 (inclusive)
Collection Number: ACC-018
Summary: The collection consists of the correspondence of Ralph S. Gunn, Westminster College Treasurer from 1954–1964. It was used for the following three major purposes: to confirm contractual obligations; to document payment requests, equipment orders, and insurance policies; and to provide general information relating to student expenses. Very few, if any, of the correspondence have any personal or biographical significance.
Repository: Westminster College, Giovale Library
1840 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, Utah 84105
Phone: (801) 832-2250

Collection Inventory +/-

box 1, folder 1: Anonymous correspondence
box 1, folder 2: Alkire, Beulah -- Arthur, Chester B.
box 1, folder 3: Bader, A. K. -- Buckley, Viola
box 1, folder 4: Carey, Bob -- Cisco, Barbara P.
box 1, folder 5: Clyde, Geroge D. -- Curry, Karen S.
box 1, folder 6: Dagnone -- Duddy, Frank E.
box 1, folder 7: Eberly, Lawrence E. -- Eversoul, M. W.
box 1, folder 8: Farley, Jim -- Fruend, Roger
box 1, folder 9: Galanis, Emmanuel -- Graham, Kathryn
box 2, folder 1: Hacking, Milton -- Herres, Otto
box 2, folder 2: Hester, W. H. -- Hultquist, Arnold
box 2, folder 3: IBM -- Iowa Wesleyan College
box 2, folder 4: Jacobsen, Leo –- Justesen, Don R.

One oversized item moved to Box 4, Folder 1.

box 2, folder 5: Kalvesmaki, Walter -- Keyless Lock Co.
box 2, folder 6: Khadjavi, Arsalon -- Kravich, Angie
box 2, folder 7: Lamus, Bruce B. -- Long, Joe G.
box 2, folder 8: Mace, Wayne -- Melgaard, Ross
box 2, folder 9: Mettz, Sidney R. -- Mutual of Omaha
box 2, folder 10: Nason, Raymond E. -- Notaries Public
box 2, folder 11: Okamura, Joseph -- Osbourne, Forrest
box 3, folder 1: Pedersen, Jan S. -- Potter Manufacturing Co.

One oversized item moved to Box 4, Folder 2

box 3, folder 2: Ratto, Mike -- Robinson, Frank
box 3, folder 3: Rosselot, George F. -- Rusack, Janice O.
box 3, folder 4: St. Paul's Methodist Church -- Schwab, Steve
box 3, folder 5: Scott, Clyde -- Sturm
box 3, folder 6: Tate, Robert Joseph -- Turner, Sandra
box 3, folder 7: Uddin, Salah -- Utah Woman's Baptist Mission Society

One oversized item moved to Box 4, Folder 3

box 3, folder 8: Vandry, Bertha -- Vieham, Harold H.
box 3, folder 9: Wach, John W. -- Wolfe
box 3, folder 10: Youth Caravan
box 3, folder 11: Zeidan, Frank -- Ziak, Paula
box 4, folder 1: Johnson, Lyndon B.
box 4, folder 2: Priester, May
box 4, folder 3: U.S. Department of Labor
box 5, folder 1: Ortonton, Lynda Ann

Access restricted.

Biographical Note/Historical Note +/-

Ralph S. Gunn was born April 22, 1908 in Smithshire, Illinois. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Banking and Finance and a Master's Degree in Accounting from the University of Illinois. He arrived at Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, Utah, first as a teacher of commercial subjects in 1933, and later became superintendent of the Academy from 1945-1954. From 1954-1964, Gunn was Westminster College Treasurer and Business Manager.

Gunn met his wife, Alice D. Gunn (nee Alice Dix of Ogden, Utah), at Wasatch Academy where she was a member of the staff. The couple had two daughters, Mary Clarice (later Mrs. Blaine Ray Paetsch) and Norine.

The June 8, 1964 issue of the Salt Lake Tribune reported that Ralph S. Gunn, stated clerk of the Presbytery of Utah for the previous 10 years, spoke at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Mt. Olympus Presbyterian Church.

After leaving Westminster College, Gunn was the Business Manager at Chapman College in Orange, California and then retired to Walnut Creek, California, where he was a treasurer at Grace Presbyterian Church and Walnut Creek Fine Arts Association, as well as a Meals On Wheels volunteer. After Alice's death in 1989, Ralph moved to San Luis Obispo, California. He died December 21, 2005 (age 97) in Scottsdale, Arizona while visiting his daughter Clarice.

Sources of this biographical note:

The Treasurer of Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah) was originally an officer of the Board of Trustees. In later years the position is listed as a college administrator. The office of Treasurer has been held by:

  • 1895-1921 Henry V. Van Pelt (under earlier name Sheldon Jackson College and new name Westminster College)
  • 1921-1954 Parke M. Pontz
  • 1954-1964 Ralph S. Gunn
  • 1964-1976 Francis J. (Frank) Cox
  • 1976-1978 Gerrold K. Mukai
  • 1978-1979 Louis (Lou) Benn
  • 1979-1980 William J. (Bill) Clark
  • 1980-1981 Connie Hedenstrom
  • 1981-2008 Stephen R. (Steve) Morgan
  • 2008- Curtis Ryan

Content Description +/-

The collection consists of the correspondence of Ralph S. Gunn, Westminster College Treasurer from 1954–1964. It was used for the following three major purposes: to confirm contractual obligations; to document payment requests, equipment orders, and insurance policies; and to provide general information relating to student expenses. Very few, if any, of the correspondence have any personal or biographical significance.

Student correspondence is the largest part of this collection. The information released by Gunn typically includes account balances, changed addresses, and general remarks about a student's standing with the college. Transcripts and other sensitive pieces of information are not released. In most cases, Gunn does not include a letter to the student when a student's remaining financial obligations have been paid in full. Gunn usually writes "paid" on the first instance of correspondence relating to a particular account.

Gunn addresses each student's case individually and does not use form letters. For instance, in a letter written to Rosanna Denet (14 July 1961), whose three checks written to the college had been returned, Gunn states: "This is to request that you send us a new check for the $50.00 and we will return your three checks, which have been so badly inked over by the banks that the amounts are not legible, for deposit and accounting purposes. Thank you kindly."

The example above is typical of the outgoing correspondence. The incoming correspondence typically inquires about remaining financial obligations, making payments, and explaining why a payment is delayed.

The remaining correspondence consists is letters concerning a myriad of topics: a set of correspondence from 1 August 1961 by the Amsterdam Pen Corporation, requesting an order of portfolios for the college's choir members. A letter from L. R. Pitcher, Business Manager of Arizona State College requests information on the college's dining hall rates for a "study of college food costs."

Previous treasurer Parke M. Pontz, assistant to the president, also appears in this collection. In a letter dated 24 March 1959, Pontz requests that alumnus Lois Ensminger attend the inauguration of Lynn W. Turner of Otterbein College. Alumni were asked to represent the College at events to which the Westminster College president was invited but could not attend.

Records that have been included but are dated prior to Gunn becoming the treasurer of Westminster College were started by Pontz, but finished by Gunn (i.e., sets of correspondence regarding student accounts bridges the transition between Pontz's retirement and Gunn's appointment).

There is one document, dated 1947 (see "Anonymous"), that would have been written and sent to Gunn while he acted as superintendent of Wasatch Academy prior to his employment by Westminster College (1945–1954) . This is an anonymous historical account of the author's experience with early Presbyterian missionaries, and relates to Wasatch Academy (of Mount Pleasant, Utah).

Collection Use +/-

Restrictions on Access:

Open to public research.

Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Twenty-four hours advance notice is encouraged.

Restrictions on Use:

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.

Permission to publish material must be obtained from the director of the Giovale Library.

Preferred Citation:

>Ralph S. Gunn Westminster College Treasurer's correspondence, 1947-1962, ACC-018, Giovale Library Archives, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Administrative Information +/-


The collection is arranged alphabetically by author, addressee, or company name, and thereunder chronologically by date. The original arrangement is largely retained, but the arrangement of correspondence with attachments was modified from the reverse chronological order to straight chronological.

Processing Note:

Processed November 2004 by Josh Ivie. Student transcripts have been removed and sealed. One set of correspondence dated in 1925 to Treasurer Parke M. Pontz has been moved to the Parke M. Pontz records (ACC-017).


Gunn, Ralph S., 1908-2005


Collection materials are in English.


1 linear foot

Language of the Finding Aid:


Author of the Finding Aid:

Finding aid written by Josh Ivie.

EAD Creation Date:

2010 May 11 by Sarah Shaw


Describing Archives : A Content Standard (DACS)



Related Material:

Related collections in Giovale Library Archives:

Subjects +/-

Corporate Names:

Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Presbytery of Utah--Education
United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Presbytery of Utah--Education
Wasatch Academy (Mount Pleasant, Utah)--History
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983)--Finance
Westminister College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983). Treasurer's Office--Archives

Subject Terms:

Corporate treasurers--Archives
Presbyterian universities and colleges--Utah--History--Sources

Form or Genre Terms:


Personal Names:

Gunn, Ralph S., 1908-2005--Archives
Gunn, Ralph S., 1908-2005--Correspondence
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973.
Pontz, Parke M., 1886-1961

Geographical Names:

Salt Lake City (Utah)--History--Sources