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Winthrop E. Stone papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 49

Scope and Contents

The Winthrop E. Stone papers (1880s-1990s; 20.75 cubic feet) documents the life of Winthrop E. Stone, his family, and his administration as the fifth president of Purdue University.  They feature Stone’s academic career as a chemist and agriculturalist as well as his various policies and endeavors while President at Purdue.  They also document his interest in mountaineering.  Extensive records of communication and reporting on Stone’s accidental death while mount climbing is also included. Types of materials include: correspondence, diaries, personal journals, negatives, speeches, scrapbooks, academic journals, black-and-white photographs, and artifacts.


  • 1870s-1920s
  • Other: Date acquired: 12/05/1985


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Access Information

Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Some material in this collection are in the public domain, while other material copyrights are held by Purdue University. Consult with Purdue University Archives and Special Collections prior to reproduction of materials.

Biographical Information

Winthrop E. Stone was the fifth President of Purdue University. He was born in Chesterfield,New Hampshire on June 12, 1862.Stone earned a Bachelor’s of Science from Massachusetts Agricultural College in Chemistry in 1882 (some documents reporta later degree from Boston University in 1886). He then spent several years studying at the University of Göttingenin Germany. He left in 1888 to work as chief chemist at the State of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station and then, in 1889, became professor of chemistry at Purdue University(Purdue Reamer Club 34).Stone was appointed to the postof Vice President of Purdue in November, 1892, making him the first vice president in the university’s history.He became President of Purdue University following the death of President James H. Smart in February 1900. During his Administration, Stone developed the agriculture program, building the Agriculture Hall (currently Pfendler Hall)(Reamer 33), the Agricultural Experimental Station, and various agricultural farms.Other structures built during Stone’s Administration included “Eliza Fowler Hall, theMemorial Gymnasium, the original Civil Engineering Building, and the original Physics Building” (Reamer 34).Under his leadership, Purdue also developed its engineering (“Past Presidents”), education, and home economics programs (Reamer 34).While vacationing in the Rocky Mountains of Canada, Stone diedin 1921when he fell during a mountain-climbing expedition on Mount Eon. Stone Hall was built as a memorial to him following his death


20.75 Cubic Feet (34 manuscript boxes, 2 cubic foot boxes, 11 artifact boxes (various sizes), 1 oversize folder, 1 flat file folder)


Papers, photographs, notebooks, and other miscellaneous materials documenting the life, academic career, and Purdue University Presidential Administration of Winthrop E. Stone.

Arrangement Note

The Papers are organized into two series: Presidential Materials and Personal Materials. 1.  Presidential materials, 1880s-1920s (6.25 cubic feet).  This Series documents the administration of the fifth Purdue University President, Winthrop E. Stone.  It includes various speeches Stone gave on campus and at other venues, as well as official correspondence for the Office of the President.  It also documents financial transactions of the administration.  It features a variety of material related to the 1913 train wreck, which occurred during Stone’s administration.  Finally, it illustrates Stone’s academic research and publishing during his administration. Major subseries include: Addresses, 1901-1921 Correspondence, 1899-1920s Publications, 1900s-1920s Financial Materials, 1880s-1920s Scrapbooks and newsclippings, 1901-1920s Trainwreck materials, 1903 Photographs and pictorial materials, 1904-1920s      Materials in the series are arranged by form. 2.  Personal and professional materials, 1870s-1920s (14.25 cubic feet) This Series documents the personal life of Winthrop E. Stone and his family.  It includes photographs of various family members and colleagues, including images and maps of mountains, mountaineering, and natural settings Stone visited.  It also records Stone’s correspondence with family and with professional colleagues.  It features Stone’s daily journals, which document the years 1880-1921, with a gap between 1900-1909. Additionally, it also details Stone’s academic research and publishing.  Finally, it records Stone’s death and memorial after his fatal fall while mountain climbing. Subseries: Correspondence,1880s-1920s Academic research and publications, 1880s-1900s Addresses, 1892-1898 Photographs,1870s-1920s Diaries and Journals, 1880s-1921 Death and memorial materials,1920s Artifacts, 1900s Miscellaneous, 1889-1920s Oversized materials, 1913-1921 Materials in the series are arranged by form.

Acquisition Information

Part of collection donated by estate of Winthrop E. Stone on May 24, 1984. aPart of collection donated by William Shunk on November 1, 2003

Accruals and Additions

Part of collection donated by William Shunk on November 1, 2003

Processing Information

Whenever possible, original order of the materials has been retained. Many materials have been placed in acid-free folders and acid-free boxes.  Some loose newsprint has been photocopied and original newspaper clippings have been discarded.  Some clippings containing images of people or color graphics, or front pages of newspapers, have been preserved for display purposes, with photocopies made available for research.  Oversized materials and artifacts have been separated and grouped into individual series for preservation purposes.
Winthrop E. Stone papers
Under Revision
Shequita Parker and Michael Maune
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
Second Edition. Collection description was first completed in 2008.

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 W. State Street
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States