Magill, Orrin Rankin Papers

A Guide to the Orrin Rankin Magill Papers, 1945-1972 Ms.1975.010


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Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu

John M. Jackson

Repository
Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech
Identification
Ms.1975.010
Title
Orrin Rankin Magill Papers,1945-19721960-1972
Quantity
2.5 Cubic Feet 5 boxes
Creator
Magill, Orrin R. (Orrin Rankin), 1887-1976
Language
The materials in the collection are in English.
Abstract
The collection contains the papers--including correspondence, memoranda, subject files, and printed materials--of Orrin Rankin Magill, graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute (class of 1913), VPI professor of philosophy and religion, and active participant in civic and political affairs of Blacksburg and Montgomery County, Virginia. Materials document Magill's community activities, particularly as a member of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors and the New River Valley Planning Commission.

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials. Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: http://bit.ly/scuareproduction. Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: http://bit.ly/scuapublication. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives (specref@vt.edu or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: [identification of item], [box], [folder], Orrin Rankin Magill Papers, Ms1975-010, Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Source of Acquisition

The Orrin Rankin Magill Papers were donated to Special Collections in 1975.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Orrin Rankin Magill Papers commenced and was completed in June, 2012.


Biographical Note

Orrin Rankin Magill, son of Robert N. and Ella F. Doty Magill, was born in Dayton, Tennessee on November 21, 1887. Magill later moved with his family to Alabama, and he graduated from Mississippi State University. While attending graduate school at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI) in 1911 and 1912, Magill served as secretary of the university's YMCA. Later, after obtaining a master's degree in education from Columbia University, Magill moved to China, where he served on the staff of the Chinese National YMCA. In September, 1915, he briefly returned to Southwest Virginia to marry Ellen Howe Bell (1893-1968), the daughter of Francis Bell. The Magills, who would eventually have six children, both worked in establishing a YMCA in Manchuria. Beginning around 1917, they lived for 25 years in Shanghai, where Magill served on the staff of the National Chinese YMCA and Ellen Magill worked as a teacher fo the American Community Church and worked with refugees. The Magills lived in New York during World War II then returned to China for a few years. After retiring from the YMCA in 1950, Magill served for five years as public relations director of the International Missionary Council.

In 1955, the Magills moved to Blacksburg, Virginia, where Magill became active in civic, educational, and religious affairs. Magill served on the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors from 1959 to 1971 and is generally credited with leading efforts in passing several ordinances to govern the orderly development of the county during its period of rapid growth in the 1960s. During these years, Magill also served in numerous other boards and commissions, some as a direct result of his position on the board of supervisors, while others were separate from his work there. Among the other bodies on which Magill served were the New River Valley Industrial Commission, Mountain Empire Board of Mental Health Clinic, Virginia Polytechnic Institute Centennial Planning Committee, Associaiton of Virginia Counties, Showalter Memorial Hospital board of directors, New River Valley Airport Commission, and New River Valley Planning District Commission. (Ellen Magill also remained active in the community, working with the university's foreign students and serving on the board of directors of Showalter Memorial Hospital. In 1962, she was named Virginia's Mother of the Year.) Orrin Rankin Magill died on September 3, 1976, and was buried at New Dublin Presbyterian Church, Dublin, Virginia.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the papers of Orrin Rankin Magill, a graduate student at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (1911-1912), long-time YMCA officer, and active local community leader in Blacksburg and Montgomery County, Virginia during the 1960s. The papers, containing correspondence, administrative documents, subject files, and printed materials, document Magill's many community activities, particularly his service on the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors and the New River Valley Planning District Commission.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in three series:

Series I. Personal and Community Activities, 1945-1972. This series contains materials relating to the personal life of Orrin and Ellen Magill, as well as Orrin Magill's public activities apart from his official duties on the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors and the New River Planning District Commission. Included is a folder of personal photographs, correspondence, notes, and newspaper clippings; as well as folders relating to Magill's service in other organizations. Also included is a file of materials relating to Virginia Tech, where Magill served on the Derring Retreat Planning Committee and the Virginia Tech Centennial Committee. A folder labeled "Community and Political Activity" contains materials relating to Magill's political campaigns as well as notes, speeches, correspondence, and certificates relating to his other public activities. Among these are a few items relating to the Blacksburg Area Committee for Public Schools, formed in 1959 to address Virginia's public school desegregation controversy.

Series II. Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, 1958-1972. The files in this series relate largely to issues confronting Montgomery County during Magill's service on the board of supervisors. Many of these issues relate to rapid growth in the county during the 1960s and Magill's advocacy for various ordinances to govern that growth. Broad topics include public health concerns, commercial and residential development, public services, planning and zoning, schools, taxes, and transportation. The files include such materials as correspondence, reports, notes, and printed materials. The series also includes materials relating to the board's routine administrative maintenance as well as county governance, including budgets. The series also includes files devoted to other bodies on which Magill had a seat due to his position on the board of supervisors. These include the New River Valley Airport Commission and the New River Valley Industrial Commission.

Series III. New River Valley Planning District Commission, 1968-1972. This series largely consists of subject files maintained by Magill during his service on the New River Valley Planning District Commission. Included are files on health, housing, land use, law enforcement, and water/sewer services, represented in correspondence, reports, notes, and printed materials. The series also contains administrative files relating to the commission's work, as well as meeting minutes and financial records.

Separated Material

The following item was removed from the collection and added to the Historical Map Collection:

Montgomery County, Virginia, showing Primary and Secondary Highways. Virginia Department of Highways, 1969. 19 x 24 in.


Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • Blacksburg (Va.)
  • Faculty
  • Local/Regional History and Appalachian South
  • Montgomery County (Va.)
  • University History
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (1970-)

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Orrin Rankin Magill Papers by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/).

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Magill, Orrin R. (Orrin Rankin), 1887-1976

Container List

Series I. Personal and Community Activities,
1945-1972
  • box-folder 1 folder: 1
    Personal papers,
    1962-1970, n.d.
  • box-folder 1 folder: 2
    Community and personal activity,
    1945-1971, n.d.
  • box-folder 1 folder: 3
    Council on Alcoholism, Delinquency, Crime and Poverty,
    1966-1971, n.d.
  • Mountain Empire Mental Hygiene Service,
    box-folder 1 folder: 41962-1968
  • box-folder 1 folder: 5
    Showalter Memorial Hospital,
    1967-1970, n.d.
  • box-folder 1 folder: 6
    Virginia Tech,
    1958-1971, n.d.
Series II. Montgomery County Board of Supervisors,
1958-1972
  • box-folder 1 folder: 7
    Administrative file,
    1960-1971, n.d.
  • box-folder 1 folder: 8
    Air pollution,
    1964-1965, n.d.
    [2 folders]
  • box-folder 2 folder: 1
    Annexation,
    1964-1970, n.d.
  • box-folder 2 folder: 2-3
    Budgets,
    1961-1972
  • box-folder 2 folder: 4
    Census,
    1960-1971
  • box-folder 2 folder: 5
    Civil defense,
    1961-1963, n.d.
  • box-folder 2 folder: 6
    Community Action Program,
    1965-1968, n.d.
  • box-folder 2 folder: 7
    Courthouse,
    1962-1971, n.d.
  • box-folder 2 folder: 8
    Dogs,
    1962-1971, n.d.
  • box-folder 2 folder: 9
    Electrical and plumbing ordinances,
    1970-1971, n.d.
  • box-folder 2 folder: 10
    Financial statements,
    1965-1971
  • box-folder 2 folder: 11
    Fire departments,
    1962-1971, n.d.
  • box-folder 2 folder: 12
    Health Department,
    1963-1965, n.d.
  • box-folder 3 folder: 1
    Insurance,
    1965-1971
  • box-folder 3 folder: 2
    League of Virginia Counties,
    1961-1965, n.d.
  • box-folder 3 folder: 3
    Library,
    1962-1971, n.d.
  • box-folder 3 folder: 4
    Magisterial districts,
    1965-1971, n.d.
  • box-folder 3 folder: 5
    Miscellaneous local issues,
    1960-1971, n.d.
  • box-folder 3 folder: 6
    New River Valley Airport Commission,
    1960-1965, n.d.
  • box-folder 3 folder: 7
    New River Valley Industrial Commission,
    1962-1971, n.d.
  • box-folder 3 folder: 8
    Planning Commission,
    1961-1971, n.d.
  • box-folder 3 folder: 9
    Public Service Authority,
    1969, n.d.
  • box-folder 3 folder: 10
    Real estate tax appraisal,
    1960-1972, n.d.
  • box-folder 3 folder: 11
    Roads and bridges,
    1961-1971, n.d.
  • box-folder 3 folder: 12
    Roanoke River watershed project,
    1959-1971, n.d.
  • box-folder 3 folder: 13
    Sales tax,
    1966, n.d.
  • box-folder 4 folder: 1
    Schools,
    1959-1971, n.d.
    [2 folders]
  • box-folder 4 folder: 2
    Subdivision ordinances,
    1961-1971, n.d.
  • box-folder 4 folder: 3
    Trailer ordinance,
    1962-1969, n.d.
  • box-folder 4 folder: 4
    Virginia Association of Counties,
    1966-1971, n.d.
  • box-folder 4 folder: 5
    Welfare,
    1961-1971
  • box-folder 4 folder: 6
    Zoning ordinances,
    1958-1971, n.d.
Series III. New River Valley Planning District Commission,
1968-1972
  • box-folder 4 folder: 7
    Administrative file,
    1968-1971, n.d.
    [2 folders]
  • box-folder 5 folder: 1
    Health Planning Advisory Council,
    1969-1970, n .d.
  • box-folder 5 folder: 2
    Housing Committee,
    1971, n.d.
  • box-folder 5 folder: 3
    Land use plan,
    n.d.
  • box-folder 5 folder: 4
    Law enforcement plan,
    1970-1971, n.d.
  • box-folder 5 folder: 5
    Water/sewer services,
    1969-1971, n.d.
  • box-folder 5 folder: 6
    Financial records,
    1970-1972
  • box-folder 5 folder: 7-8
    Minutes,
    1969-1971