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Manuscript Group 49

Rafe Gibbs, 1912-

Beacon for Mountain and Plain Papers, 1889-1962
1.5 cubic feet

The papers related to the book Beacon for Mountain and Plain were donated to the University of Idaho Library by the author prior to 1970. They were originally processed by Judith Nielsen in March 1982; when they were reprocessed in December 1997 the three volume corrected typescript of Beacon was transferred from MG 350 to this manuscript group.


Raphael Sanford Gibbs, educator and writer, was born in Yakima, Washington, on April 29, 1912, to Sanford Oliver and Anna (Sandmeyer) Gibbs. He attended the University of Idaho where he majored in journalism and from which he graduated with highest honors and a Phi Beta Kappa key in 1934.

Following his graduation he was employed by the university as Director of Sports Publicity. He resigned that position in 1935 to join the editorial staff of the Milwaukee Journal where he remained until called to active military duty in 1941. He served in the Army Air Corps on the staff of the Air Inspector until 1946. Upon leaving the military he returned to the University of Idaho where, in addition to teaching, he assumed the position of Director of Information and editor of publications.

After his retirement from the university in 1970 he became Assistant Dean of University Relations at Florida International University, Miami, from 1971 to 1974.

In 1962 Gibbs published Beacon for Mountain and Plain, a history of the University of Idaho, and in 1974 was commissioned by Governor Cecil Andrus to write a history of Idaho as a bicentennial project; Beckoning the Bold (University Press of Idaho, 1976) was the result. In addition to these two books, he has, since he published his first article at the age of 13, published several hundred articles in such magazines as This Week, Ford Times, Esquire, Popular Mechanics, and Sports Afield. He is also the-author of the Idaho article in the International Encyclopedia.

Rafe Gibbs married Elizabeth Ferne Egeland on October 3, 1940, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; they have two sons and three daughters. The Gibbs now live in Cape Canaveral, Florida where he divides his time between writing and fishing.

Scope and Content

The papers relating to Rafe Gibbs Beacon for Mountain and Plain span the years 1889 to 1962, with the bulk of the material covering the years 1930 to 1961.

Included in the records are historical materials related to the University of Idaho, a typescript of the book, a few photographs, the art work used for the end-papers, correspondence with Caxton Printers relating to the publishing of the book, and correspondence from those to whom the book was sent.

The research materials of C.J. Brosnan, from which Gibbs drew heavily, are in Manuscript Group 18.

Arrangement and Description

The material in this record group was in no discernable order when received. It was therefore divided into two series, research and publication during processing.

The writing of any historical work involves a great deal of research, and the history of a university is no exception. In writing his history of the University of Idaho Rafe Gibbs relied on personal interviews, correspondence, news releases, newspaper and magazine articles, as well as the extensive research files of Professor C.J. Brosnan of the University of Idaho History department. Only a small portion of Gibb's research material is in this record group, and it is contained in Series I.

Series II contains material related to the publication of Beacon for Mountain and Plain. Included are the revised typescript in three bound volumes, correspondence with Caxton Printers, mock-ups of the illustrations and end paper illustrations, correspondence from those to whom the book was sent by President Theophilus, and newspaper reviews of the book.

Photographs scattered throughout the material are listed in a separate appendix.

Series List

I. Research, 1889-1961 1

II. Publication, 1962 1-2


Rafe Gibbs. Beacon for Mountain and Plain

Box Folder Description Items

I. Research, 1889-1961

1	1	Agriculture, Grange, 1919-1945	15
	2	Fortieth anniversary, 1932	26
	3	Lewis-Clark Normal School, 1940	3
	4	Magazine articles, 1937-1959	13
	5	Margaret McCallie Moore, 1897-1961	31
	6	Newspaper clippings, 1929-1960	7
	7	Semi-Centennial, 1938-1939	27
	8	Semi-Centennial brochure drafts, 1938	5
	9	Speeches on University history, ca.1932-1960	4
	10	Student and campus life, 1901-1961	39
	11	Tape recording: Interview with Mervin G. Neale, 1961	1
	12	Typescript notes, 1931-1958	26
	13	University alumni, 1938-1961	26
	14	University faculty, 1899-1961	14
	15	University publications, 1889-1961	24
	16	University statistics, 1938-1950	21

II. Publication, 1962

	17-19	Corrected typescript for book, 1962	3
2	20	Correspondence with Caxton Printers, 1962	21
	21	Illustration mock-up, 1962	19
	22	Book mock-up with cover, 1962	1
os	23	End paper illustrations, 1962	1
	23-24	Correspondence from recipients of book, 1962	177
	25	Newspaper reviews, 1962	6

Appendix: Photographs

1	2	Group of notables attending Fortieth anniversary ceremonies, 1932	1
	2	President Mervin Gordon Neale, 1932	1
	2	Florence May Corbett Johnson and unidentified woman, 1932	1
	2	Florence May Corbett Johnson, Louis Fourniquet Henderson, Mervin Gordon Neale, John E. Ostrander, Charles Luther Kirtley, 1932	2
	5	Administration Building after fire, 1906	1
	5	Franklin B. Gault on his last day as president, 1898	1
	5	Aurelia Reinhardt and Permeal French, 1919	1
	5	Aurelia Henry Reinhardt, 1919	1
	5	Albert Napoleon "Nervy" and Otto Ludwick "Lude" Brunzell, 1898.	1
	5	Charles Armstrong, George Snow, Clem Herbert, taken in Manila, P.I.	1
	5	Gub Mix, Hal Tilley, Harvey Hoagland, n.d.	1
	5	Jim Jewell, ca.1898	1
	5	Moscow, looking east from music building driveway, showing "Lake de puddle", ca.1893	1
	5	Moscow, looking northeast from Administration Building, 1890s	1
	5	Moscow, looking northwest from campus, 1890s	1
	13	Phillip Tillinghast (Regent, 1893-1895), n.d.	1
	14	Isaac J. Cogswell and John M. Aldrich, 1930	1

December 1997 / mg049.htm

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