University of Idaho

Manuscript Group 83


Papers, 1910-1966
3 cubic feet

The correspondence and financial papers of Frederic Corss Church were received by the University of Idaho Library prior to his death in 1966; this material was processed in 1979. In recent years family photographs were given to the library by the Latah County Historical Society, the manuscript materials were removed from the Day-NW collection in the Special Collections Library, and other photographic material was found. It was decided to bring all of this material together; therefore the papers, including the original inventory, were reprocessed in November 1989 by Judith Nielsen.


Frederic Corss Church was born on October 3, 1885, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He attended Cornell University from 1905 to 1909, and was granted a fellowship from that institution to continue his studies in Europe from 1909 to 1912. He taught at Pennsylvania State University until the First World War which he spent as Y.M.C.A. secretary in Italy. In this capacity he organized many social events for the Italian troops, including films, musical evenings, holiday parties, and also provided quiet places for the troops to read and write letters--in some cases writing letters for the men who were illiterate. Changes in the administration at Penn State made his return to his former position unlikely, and he applied for other jobs.

In his diary entry for August 6, 1921 he wrote: "Telegram from Idaho offering Hulme's place for $2800. Accepted wondering if I was being taken at a disadvantage, being so far away." He continued teaching in the history department at the University of Idaho until his retirement in 1955. In 1925 a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was established at the University of Idaho and Church became its first secretary, a position he held for over 25 years. He was also an honorary member and chapter advisor of Phi Delta Theta in Moscow, frequently hosting their yearly social gathering at his home.

He was a member of the Presbyterian Church where he directed the choir, and for many years served as church secretary.

Church was considered an outstanding authority on the renaissance in Poland, and was a member of the Polish Academy of America. He was also a member of the Wyoming Valley, Pennsylvania, History and Geological Society. Among his books, book reviews, and articles is the book The Italian Reformers, 1534-1564, published in 1932.

Frederic Church spent his first night in Moscow as a roomer in the house built by Governor William J. McConnell located at 110 South Adams, and remained there, eventually as its owner, the rest of his life. While he owned the house he rented rooms to students. In his will he left the house to Latah County to be used by the Latah County Pioneer Association, the Moscow Historical Society, and other cultural organizations. It now houses the Latah County Historical Society which has restored the house to its turn of the century splendor, adding period furniture and replicas of the original carpeting and draperies.

Church died in Moscow at the age of 81 on October 14, 1966, and is buried in Forty Fort, Pennsylvania.


The papers of Frederic Corss Church span the years 1910 to 1966. They include typed copies of his 1910 to 1920 letters, a few original letters from the 1910 to 1912 period, incoming letters, 1933 to 1966, research notes, typescript copies of several books and articles, daily diaries, 1919-1921 and 1935 to 1965, financial records of family members as well as Dr. Church, memorabilia from his service in Italy, and photographs of Church and his relatives, Moscow scenes, and a large collection of blue prints of landscape views.


Since this record group is a reprocessing of an earlier group with the addition of many other items, a series order was imposed during processing.

The first series contains the 1979 inventory for the original record group which included the correspondence, genealogical records, military memorabilia and financial records.

The correspondence consists of typed copies of outgoing letters written to family members dating from 1910 to 1920 and incoming letters from 1933 to 1966. The outgoing letters are in chronological order and describe Church's travels in Germany and Switzerland, including a visit to the Oberammergau Passion Play, his daily routine and people he met while studying in Zurich, and his trips to Italy and Paris. The cover of the 200 page volume of carbon typescript letters written between 1918 and 1920 states that the originals were loaned to the Pennsylvania War History Commission by Mrs. William F. Church. These letters describe in detail the important work of the Y.M.C.A with soldiers in Italy during this period. Of interest is his frequent reference to the identity problems of the Y. On page 26 (letter 6), he writes, "For instance, Y.M.C.A. is not easy to explain in Italy, where there is liable to be no distinction between 'Christian' and 'Catholic'. The triangle again makes trouble, for it has to be dissociated from Masonry, which is also regarded with disfavor in Italy." The only original letters of Frederic Church in this series are a group of 20 letters written between 1910 and 1912. In the eight which have no typescript copy he tells his family about his appendectomy. The incoming letters are arranged alphabetically with the exception of those of his nephew Carl Engler which are arranged chronologically.

The third series contains many of Church's research notes including genealogical and chronological tables of European and Oriental history, transcriptions of Italian manuscripts, drafts of his book The Italian Reformers, and typed copies of several articles. The Obiter Dicta volume contains speeches, short articles and book reviews. The other items are Church's daily diaries in which he recorded his activities, books read, movies seen, and money spent.

The financial records include Frederic Church's accounts as well as account books belonging to family members.

The fifth series contains family genealogical records, list of books acquired from 1903 to 1958, memorabilia including certificates, medals, Italian money, from his service in Italy during World War I, and financial reports of the 4th army in Belluno. Other items in this series include grades from Cornell and a newspaper clipping about a book Church was writing.

The final series contains a large number of photographs, some of the Corss family, a collection of photographs belonging to Mary Church, pictures of Frederic Church dating from about 1900 to 1955, photos of several of Church's students, scenes of Moscow and the University of Idaho Campus, and a large collection of blue prints of landscape views. Also in the landscape views collection are safety film negatives and one glass negative.


I. Original Inventory, 1979	1
II. Correspondence, 1910-1966	1
III. Research, Writings, and Diaries, 1915-1965	1-2
IV. Financial papers, 1891-1965	3
V. Other papers, 1905-1966	3
VI. Photographs, ca.1865-1955	3


I. Original Inventory, 1979

1	1	Descriptive Inventory of the papers of Frederic Corss Church in the University of Idaho Library, 1979	1

II. Correspondence, 1910-1966

	2-5	Travels and Studies in Europe, 1910-1912	43
	6	Original Letters, 1910-1912	20
	7	Letters from Italy, 1918-1920	1
	8	Incoming Correspondence, 1933-1951	4
	9	Correspondence from Carl H. Engler, 1965-1966	23
	10	Incoming Correspondence, 1963-1966	15

III. Research, Writing, and Diaries, 1915-1965

o.s.	11	Chronological Tables for Oriental History, ca.2800 B.C.-1912 A.D., 1915-1916	18
1	12	Notes on Egyptian History, n.d.	4
	13	Notes Cards: Manuscripts about Egyptian Archaeology, n.d.	200
o.s.	14	European History: Genealogical Tables of Rulers, ca.900-1950, n.d.	18
1	15-17	European History: Genealogical Tables of Important Families, ca.820-1947, n.d.	135
	18	Transcriptions of Italian Manuscripts, Notes on Italian History, n.d.	3
	19	Chronology of Polish History, 966-1944, n.d.	1
	20	Typescript: "Boniface Amerbach and His Circle," n.d.	1
	21	Draft: The Italian Reformers, 1534-1564, 1931	1
	22	Proof Copy: The Italian Reformers, 1534-1564, with author's corrections, 1932	1
	23	Obiter Dicta of F.C. Church, 1921-1961	1
	24	Typescript: "An Onlooker of the Reformation: Giovanni Bernardino Bonifacio, Marquis of Oria," n.d.	1
	25	Research Notes for "Politics & Persecution in the Time of Calvin," ca.1920	24
	26	Typescript: "Politics and Persecution in the Time of Calvin (1536-1564) as reflected in the lives of the Italian Reformers," ca. 1920	1
	27	Typescript: "Socinus and Rationalism," n.d.	1
2	28-66	Diaries, 1919-1921; 1935-1965	39

IV Financial Records, 1891-1965

3	67	Account Book of Nancy Corss, 1897-1935	1
	68	Stocks owned by Mary L. Church, 1930-1931	1
	69	Clothing Expenditures of F.C. Church, 1921-1965	2
	70	Account Books of F.C. Church, 1921-1965	2
	71-75	Check Registers (not F.C. Church's) 1928-1936	5

V. Other Papers, 1905-1966

	76	Hatch, Berry, and Church Genealogical Information, n.d.	4
	77	Books Acquired, Chronological List, 1903-1957	1
	78	Books Acquired, Alphabetical List Compiled Every Five Years, 1913-1958ff	11
	79	Y.M.C.A. Service Certificates, Medals, and Other Memorabilia, 1918-1919	14
	80	Financial Reports of the 4th Army, Belluno, 1919	7
	81	Other Items, 1905-1966	4

VI. Photographs, ca.1865-ca.1959

	82	Corss Family, ca.1865-1900	26
	83	Photographs Belonging to Mary Church, ca.1880-1890	21
	84	Church Family, n.d.	2
	85-90	Frederic Corss Church, ca.1900-1955	80
	91	Kenneth Hensley, James Hawkins, Paris Martin, Donald Spaugy, ca.1932	4
	92-94	Moscow Scenes, Including the Campus, Presbyterian Church, and Church's home, ca.1940s	103
	95	Landscape Views, Photographs, 1928-1932	12
	96-97	Landscape Views, Blue Prints, n.d.	115
	98	Landscape Views, Negatives, n.d.	17
	99	Moscow High School Football Team, and Unidentified Group, ca.1950s	3

November 1995 / mg083.htm

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