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Stratford Lee Morton Papers

Identifier: MS-MS-ms087

Consists of personal papers including correspondence (1915-1969) with book dealers, librarians, and public figures including Joseph Tumulty, Secretary to President Wilson; Herbert Hoover; and others. Other personal papers include materials relating to the Missouri Constitutional Convention of 1943; photographs of Morton and his collection of early American furniture, etc.; miscellaneous articles by or about Morton; miscellaneous clippings relating to Morton and to book collecting; and lists of various book collections owned by Morton. Finally, the Morton papers include a miscellaneous collection of papers of historical interest, including documents and letters from notable individuals such as William Bigler, Alexander Hume Campbell, William Clark, Samuel Clemens, John Galsworthy, Abraham Lincoln, John Morton, Booth Tarkington, George Washington, etc.


  • Creation: 1737-1969


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


5.00 boxes

Biographical Information

Stratford Lee Morton (December 14, 1887 – February 18, 1970) was a St. Louis insurance executive and civic leader. Born in Dixon, Illinois, Morton graduated from Central High School in 1906 and Washington University in 1910. Morton began his insurance career in 1908 when he answered a St. Louis Globe-Democrat want ad seeking “energetic and ambitious solicitors” for Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company. He became general agent for eastern Missouri and southern Illinois in 1912. He retired in 1952, but continued to sell insurance and maintained an office until his death at 314 North Broadway.

Morton was also a delegate-at-large to the Missouri state Constitutional Convention in 1942, where he was an advocate of a one-house legislature. From 1946 to1948 and from 1952 until his death, he was president of the St. Louis Academy of Science and was instrumental in the establishment of the Museum of Science and Natural History at Oak Knoll Park in Clayton.

Mr. Morton assembled extensive collections of rare books, maps, manuscripts and documents, old prints, household articles and antique furnishings. He was particularly interested in items pertaining to St. Louis and the West. In the 1920's, Morton purchased a 225-acre tract of land near Gray Summit, Missouri which he named Persimmon Hill and housed a large portion of his collections.

Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers 1168, 1173, 1205, 1206, 1211. Gift of the Startford Lee Morton estate, April 1970

Processing Information

Processed March 1975

Stratford Lee Morton Papers
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 April 9: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Manuscripts Collecting Area

Joel Minor
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495