Table of Contents
Collection Overview +/-
Collection Inventory +/-
box 1, folder 1: Draft document, History of Westminster College by R. Douglas Brackenridge (1997 May)
box 1, folder 2: Images for Chapter one. Missions to Mormons
box 1, folder 3: Images for Chapter two. Prof. Coyner's new school
box 1, folder 4: Images for Chapter three. Old Collegiate
box 1, folder 5: Images for Chapter four. Pro Christi et Liberati
box 1, folder 6: Images for Chapter seven. Headed in the right direction
box 1, folder 7: Letter from R. Douglas Brackenridge to Dana Tumpowsky (1997 October 22)
box 1, folder 8: Speeches delivered by R. Douglas Brackenridge (1999-2007)
Biographical Note/Historical Note +/-
Robert Douglas Brackenridge was born August 6, 1932, in Youngstown, Ohio, the second child of John "Scotty" Brackenridge and Azile (Townson) Brackenridge. John and Azile were married April 7, 1925 in Motherwell, Scotland and immigrated to the United States in the 1920's where John found work in the steel mills and as a bricklayer in Youngstown, Ohio. Their first child, John Bruce, was born in 1927; Robert Douglas was born 5 years later; their third child, Ida Mae (married name Ida Giles) was born in 1934.
Douglas Brackenridge and his first wife, Lois E. Rice (Muskingum College, Class of 1954), have five children: John Douglas Brackenridge (1955-2007), Liz Walker, Julie B. Hayes (d. 2008), Laurel Brackenridge, and Stuart Brackenridge.
He received his B.A. degree from Muskingum College in 1954 and M.Div. in 1957. He was ordained as a Presbyterian minister and received his Th.M. degree (1959) is from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. From 1957-1960 he was pastor at the Cross Roads University Presbyterian Church in Washington, Pennsylvania. After receiving his Ph.D. in ecclesiastical history from the University of Glasgow in 1962, Brackenridge was hired later that year as an assistant professor in the Department of Religion at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, teaching biblical studies, American religious history, and the Christian tradition. He was named a full professor in 1974. Retiring in May, 2000 from classroom teaching after 38 years, he was named a Professor Emeritus at Trinity University. Brackenridge's second wife, Diane G. Saphire (Ph.D.), is Associate V.P. for Information Resources and Director of Institutional Research at Trinity University.
Brackenridge has written numerous books and articles on the history of the Presbyterian church in the United States and the Church of Scotland. Many of his publications focus on women, Mexican-Americans, and African-Americans in the Presbyterian church, the history of Presbyterians in Texas and Utah, and relationships between Presbyterians and Mormons. Having published his history of Westminster College in 1998, Brackenridge went on to write Trinity University: A Tale Of Three Cities, published in 2004 by Trinity University Press.
Sources of the biographical note:
The Salt Lake Collegiate Institute (1875-1910): The Salt Lake Collegiate Institute was founded by the Presbyterian Church in 1875 and opened April 12 of that year in the basement of First Presbyterian Church of Salt Lake City. In 1896 the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions assumed ownership and administrative control of the institute, and maintained operations until 1910, when it transferred the property to the Board of Trustees of Westminster College. By the 1902-1903 school year the Institute had already become the "Preparatory Department" of Westminster College.
The May 1884 meeting minutes of the Board of Trustees of the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute includes the following names: Eli B. Kelsey, Chairman, Henry W. Lawrence, Trustee, Benjamin G. Ray, Trustee, and Thomas Armstrong, Secretary.
Robert G. McNiece, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church and chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Collegiate Institute, asked George Beaty Sweazey to consider becoming principal so that the Collegiate Institute and Westminster College might be "closer to being one."
Sheldon Jackson College, Salt Lake City, Utah (1895-1901): In late March, 1892, the Presbytery of Utah, in planning for a possible college in Utah, elected a Board of Trustees for the proposed college, consisting of five ministers (Rev. S.E. Wishard of Ogden, Rev. G.W. Martin of Manti, Rev. Josiah McClain of Nephi, Rev. C.M. Shepherd of Springville, and Rev. R.G. McNiece of Salt Lake City) and four laymen (Col. W.M. Ferry of Park City, F.E. Gregg and Frank E. Pierce of Salt Lake City, and W.I. Brown of Nephi). Robert G. McNiece was named President (Chairman) of the Board, Rev. McClain, Secretary, and Gill S. Peyton was appointed Treasurer. A committee was formed to begin drafting by-laws and a constitution for the proposed college.
In August, 1892 the Board proposed the name "Salt Lake College". The Board examined four locations proposed for the campus during April and May 1893; Ogden was considered especially attractive, but further study returned the Board to its original resolution to locate in Salt Lake City, and this was confirmed. The new college was chartered in 1895.
By August 1896, with support from Sheldon Jackson (a prominent Protestant missionary and educator in the West), the new college was named "Sheldon Jackson College" and the Board of Trustees under this name held its first meeting in Salt Lake City. The first order of business was to elect a President, and General John Eaton of Washington City was chosen. Sheldon Jackson College opened 1897 on the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute campus in Salt Lake City, Utah. In a letter dated May 1898 to Mrs. Jeanette H. Ferry, Robert G. McNiece mentions the plan to consolidate Sheldon Jackson College and the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute and informs Ferry that both Dr. Eaton and Dr. Jackson have given their approval. The one and only Sheldon Jackson College commencement was held on June 4, 1901. The Board of Trustees approved a name change to "Westminster College" on Feb. 6, 1902. Sheldon Jackson and his wife signed an agreement to the name change on April 25, 1902. This same year William Montague Ferry (1824-1905), a trustee of Sheldon Jackson College/Westminster College, would step in and provide the college with the funding it desperately needed, buying the property that the campus currently occupies in the Sugar House area of Salt Lake City.
Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah (1901- ): Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah came into official existence as an educational institution when the Board of Trustees approved a name change on Feb. 6, 1902 from the earlier name, Sheldon Jackson College. For a few years, the letterhead on Westminster College stationery included the notation "formerly Sheldon Jackson College". The college moved from downtown to the present campus in 1911, granting high school diplomas and junior college associate degrees. College classes were suspended 1909-1913 but resumed in 1914. By the mid-1940s a four-year baccaulaureate program was in place. Ties with the Presbyterian Church were officially ended in 1974, as was also true at many other Presbyterian church-related colleges across the United States at the time. Without financial backing from the Church, Westminster's stability was in jeopardy and in 1983, in order to save the school, Westminster College was closed, opening then next day as a new institution named Westminster College of Salt Lake City. In 1998, the name was changed back to "Westminster College".
Westminster College is the only private, independent college in Utah, making it unique in the state's higher educational system.
Content Description +/-
This collection consists of R. Douglas Brackenridge's May 1997 typescript draft (223 pages, text only) of his book Westminster College of Salt Lake City published in 1998, photocopies of images proposed for several chapters of the book, correspondence, and three addresses given by Brackenridge in 1999 and 2006 at Westminster College, and 2007 at the Mormon History Association Conference.
Draft document, History of Westminster College by R. Douglas Brackenridge ... May, 1997 (Box 1, Folder 1) is 223 pages in length and includes only text (no images). It has been reproduced from a typed document and is spiral-bound.
Chapter one. Missions to Mormons (Box 1, Folder 2) contains 2 images: First Presbyterian Church, Octagon House; Josiah Welch.
Chapter two. Prof. Coyner's new school (Box 1, Folder 3) contains "a variety of photos from college files": Salt Lake Collegiate Institute, winter of 1880-1881; Mary E. Moore and boarding students in Octagon Bldg., late 1880s; First grad. class SLCI, 1882 (with names); Mary Coyner and John Coyner, ca. 1885.
Chapter three. Old Collegiate (Box 1, Folder 4) contains 1 image: [Salt Lake] Collegiate Institute faculty, 1909.
Chapter four. Pro Christi et Liberati (Box 1, Folder 5) contains "photos ... available in Nyman photos; also photos of President Eaton": College outing, 1906; College outing, early 20th century; Faculty and students at Westminster College, May, 1904; 1895 Sheldon Jackson College, 1902; same photograph as previous, with names penned in; Collegiate Institute erected 1894 (became Labor Temple); Collegiate Institute baseball team, ca. 1906-1908; Primary Dept. Salt Lake Coll. Institute, 1889, Miss Haines, Teacher; SLCI student body, early 20th century; SLCI graduation class, ca. 1894. No images of President Eaton were in the folder, nor was an image used in the published book.
Chapter seven. Headed in the right direction (Box 1, Folder 6) contains 4 images: School of Nursing, 1952; Converse, Science, Ferry Stadium, 1969; Robert Steele President-Elect, 1939; Robert Steele President 1939-1952 at work in office.
Letter from R. Douglas Brackenridge to Dana Tumpowsky (Public Relations, Westminster College), dated 1997 October 22 (Box 1, Folder 7). Dana Tumpowsky proofread the manuscript and selected photographs for the book. Seventeen photocopied pages of "some miscellaneous photographs and advertisements that might be helpful for the book" are enclosed with the letter. All relate to Westminster College and the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute.
Speeches delivered by R. Douglas Brackenridge, 1999-2007 (Box 1, Folder 8) contains the text of 3 public addresses:
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.
R. Douglas Brackenridge Westminster College of Salt Lake City research collection and speeches, 1997-2007, MSS-025, Giovale Library Archives, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Administrative Information +/-
Arranged by material type.
Processed by Sarah J. Shaw in July 2016.
Brackenridge, R. Douglas
Collection materials are in English.
0.3 linear feet
Language of the Finding Aid:
Author of the Finding Aid:
Finding aid written in August 2016 by Sarah J. Shaw.
EAD Creation Date:
2016 July 26 by Sarah Shaw
Describing Archives : A Content Standard (DACS)
Related books, collections, and photographs in Giovale Library Archives:
Converse Hall (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--Relations--Presbyterian Church
Form or Genre Terms:
Brackenridge, R. Douglas---Archives
Salt Lake City (Utah)