A Guide to the Edward H. Russell Records, 1909-1919 Russell, Edward H., records 0001

A Guide to the Edward H. Russell Records, 1909-1919

A Collection in
Special Collections and University Archives
Collection number 0001


Simpson Library, University of Mary Washington

© 2014 By the University of Mary Washington. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Special Collections and University Archives staff

Special Collections and University Archives, Simpson Library, University of Mary Washington
Collection number
Edward H. Russell Records, 1909-1919
18 folders .
Russell, Edward H.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection open for research.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Edward H. Russell Records, 1909-1919, Special Collections and University Archives, Simpson Library, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA.

Acquisition Information

The materials were transferred from the President's Office to the University Archives.

Biographical Information

Edward H. Russell
President, 1908-1919
Fredericksburg State Normal and Industrial School for Women

Edward Hutson Russell was born in Petersburg, Virginia on November 26, 1869. He graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 1891 and studied law at Richmond College until he began teaching. His early teaching career was varied: he served as principal at Pulaski, for two-years as commandant of the Fishburne Military Academy, and as superintendent of schools in Bristol, where he founded and conducted a summer school for teachers at Emory and Henry College. In 1905 he became a member of the State Board of Public School Examiners for the First Circuit that included Fredericksburg. While in Fredericksburg, he again founded and taught a summer school for teachers.

Based partially on his intimate knowledge of the public schools as well as his successful summer institutes for teachers, on May 19, 1908 the Board of Trustees appointed Russell as president of the new Fredericksburg State Normal and Industrial School for Women.

Beyond his responsibilities for establishing the facilities of the school, Russell also set the courses of instruction. He established a regular course that was two to four years of high school level education and a professional course that was a two year normal school course after a high school education. It was Russells hope that as the state established more high schools, the regular course would be reduced by two years. The professional course covered general education, methodology, and student teaching completed in concert with the Fredericksburg Public School system. The program concluded with a teaching certificate issued by the State Board of Examiners.

Due to limited accommodations, admission to the new teacher-training school was competitive; applicants were required to be at least fifteen years old, of good moral character, and possessing a thorough knowledge of subjects taught in the grammar grades of public school. Social standards were equally high. Students were expected to practice self-control and required to wear clothing of simplicity and modesty. Though the school was not affiliated with any single church, Russell extended his policy of discipline to religious worship. Students were expected to attend some church, preferably by the choice of their parents. Aside from church-sponsored entertainment, students had numerous activities to choose from, including sports and clubs. The Russell Literary Society was particularly popular among students, as well as the Student Government Association and the school yearbook, the Battlefield.

As the first president of what is now the University of Mary Washington, Russell supplemented the normal school course of study with curriculum in classical, commercial, and industrial courses, already envisioning a larger institution. However, his ambitious efforts weakened him physically, and ill health forced him to resign the presidency on May 9, 1919. He then moved with his family to Washington, where he entered the real estate business. He died in 1956.

Scope and Content

The collection contains Edward H. Russell's records from 1909-1919, and principally includes correspondence related to school subjects and personnel; reports to various state education bodies; reports on teachers salaries and summer school; and reports of comparative statistics with other similar institutions. Some reports in this collection were generated by Dean Algernon B. Chandler, Jr. acting on behalf of the President.

Folder 8 contains materials pertaining to the appointment of Hugh S. Bird as head of the Education Department at the Normal School. Also included are progress reports to the Fredericksburg School Board relative to using the Fredericksburg schools for teacher training. Folder 9 contains memos to student employees and memos regarding special privileges of the senior class. Folder 10 contains materials documenting rules and procedures for the new schools library, swimming pool, and housekeeping services. Folder 15 contains various reports to the state board governing the four Normal Schools in Virginia. It also includes reports on the impact of the Spanish influenza on the students and faculty.


The collection is organized into four series: (1) Correspondence, (2) Rules and Regulations, (3) Reports, and (4) Examinations, State Teachers. The Correspondence series is comprised of three Subseries: (1.1) Correspondence with faculty and staff, (1.2) Correspondence with the Fredericksburg School Board, and (1.3) Correspondence with students. The appointment and re-appointments correspondence folders (1-6) are arranged alphabetically, with a list of names appearing in Appendix 1.

Adjunct Descriptive Data


History of Mary Washington College: 1908-1972, Edward Alvey, Jr., 1996.
"The First President, 1908-1919 ", MWC Today. Winter, 1983.


History of Mary Washington College: 1908-1972, Edward Alvey, Jr., 1996.
"The First President, 1908-1919 ", MWC Today. Winter, 1983.

Appendix 1: Appointments and reappointments, 1911-1919

Anthony, Annie I.
Black, Ethel
Campbell, Espie
Carter, Parke D.
Chandler, Jr., Algernon B.
Chesley, Bessie
Chesley, William S.
Chew, Mary Bailey
Cooke, Roy S.
D., Dora J.
Eyles, Clara E.
Forbes, Marion C.
Fraser, Margaret E.
Gammon, Mary Somerville
Goolrick, Virginia M.
Graves, Cary
Hamlet, William M.
Harrison, G.M.
Hinman, Olive M.
Horner, M. A.
Houchen, Grace
Humphreys, Anne
Jackson, Caroline R.
Jamison, Lillie H.
Jones, Margaret
Keller, Edith M.
Lewis, J. Louise
Marshall, Sarah R.
Moore, K.C.
Robinson, John
Saunders, Lucy
Shewmake, E. F.
Smith, C. Mason
Stone, Virginia E.
Straith, M. Catherine
Tanner, Grace K.
Tyler, Mary H.
Tyner, Bunyan Y.
Van Landingham, Harry S.
Veech, Annie
Ward, Charles R.
Ward, Nora C.
White, Bernice M.
Withers, Francis L.
Yates, Mary S.

Contents List

Series 1: Correspondence, 1911-1919
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Series 2: Rules and Regulations, undated
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Series 3: Reports, 1909 - 1919
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Series 4: Examinations, State Teachers, 1911-12, 1914
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