Guide to the Gleason and Scholes Family Papers 1897-2004
Cage 855

Summary Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Gleason and Scholes Family Papers
Cage 855
Date [inclusive]
3.0 boxes
General Physical Description note
1.5 linear feet of shelf space
Correspondence and papers of Jean Gleason Witt, Robert G. Gleason, Jay Mark Gleason, and James Heap Scholes.

Preferred Citation note

[Item Description] Gleason and Scholes Family Papers, 1897-2004

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

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Biographical/Historical note

Little biographical information is readily available for James Heap Scholes. According to the 1892 United States Census, he resided at that time in Tacoma, Washington, was 41 years of age, and was born in Massachusetts. He lived with his wife, Matilda, and his seven children, Marion, Rilla, Jessie, Stella, Nettie, Emma, and Harold. During the period represented by his papers in this collection (1897-1910), he was engaged in a variety of international business ventures.

Jay Mark Gleason (1881-1956) was a minister and Army Chaplain with the American Expeditionary Force in France before coming to Washington state as the pastor of the Ellensburg Presbyterian Church. He resigned his Ellensburg parish in 1921, and apparently tried ranching in the Yakima area for several years. A Yakima County district elected him to the State House of Representatives in 1932 and he served as a member of both the regular and special sessions of 1933. In early 1933, he became one of the thousands of Army reserve officers who were called to active duty to superintend the Civilian Conservation Corps. When the CCC became a permanent formation in late 1933, Gleason elected to remain at his job as district Chaplain for the Fort George Wright District, Spokane. He remained at that post until the liquidation of the CCC in 1942. Gleason died in 1956 in Edmonds, Washington. (From the guide to the Jay Mark Gleason Papers, Cage 26)

Jean Gleason Witt (Dorothy Jean Gleason Witt) (1921-2016) and Robert G. Gleason (1924-2014) were siblings, the children of Jay Mark Gleason and Emma (Scholes) Gleason. They both attended Washington State College. Jean studied taxonomic botany, earning her bachelor's degree in 1943. She met her future husband, Joseph Witt, at WSC. They married in 1945, and both earned master's degrees in botany after their marriage. At WSC, she worked with Professor Marion Ownbey. One of her major projects was working with the voluminous William Suksdorf herbarium, on the classifications Rosaceae through Umbelliferae (see her seminar paper outline in folder 25). After graduating from college, she became an expert on iris, and an accomplished iris hybridizer.

Robert G. Gleason served in the Quartermaster Corps of the U.S. Army during World War II, at various duty stations in the Pacific theater, including the Philippines. He married Elsa McMahon in 1948, and graduated from WSC in 1949. He went on to a career in transportation, working as a traffic manager and consultant in the Seattle area.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of papers of four members of the Gleason and Scholes families: James Heap Scholes, Jay Mark Gleason, Jean Gleason Witt, and Robert G. Gleason. It contains diaries and letters (original manuscripts and transcriptions, some edited and annotated), photographs, printed ephemera, and memorabilia.

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Arrangement note

This collection is arranged in four series:

Series 1. James Heap Scholes Papers, 1897-1910. The manuscripts in this series are arranged chronologically. The typed transcriptions are in their original arrangement (no discernable order).

Series 2. Jay Mark Gleason Diary, 1917-1919.

Series 3. Robert Gleason Papers, 1938-1954 and undated. The bulk of this series is correspondence, arranged chronologically.

Series 4. Jean Gleason Witt Papers, 1939-2004. With the exception of the folder of botanical correspondence, the materials in this series were grouped together in labeled binders. The original order and labeling has been retained.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries © 2016
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open and available for research use.

Conditions Governing Use note

Copyright restrictions may apply.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Jean Gleason Witt and her family donated this collection to the Washington State University Libraries in 2016 (MS.2016.30).

Processing Information note

Cheryl Gunselman processed this collection in 2016.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Jay Mark Gleason Papers (Cage 26).

Separated Materials note

A small amount of Jay Mark Gleason Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) material (receipts and other business forms) was transferred to the Jay Mark Gleason Papers (Cage 26), Series 1.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Washington State University -- Students -- Archives

Family Name(s)

  • Gleason family
  • Scholes family

Geographic Name(s)

  • Washington (State ) -- History -- Sources

Personal Name(s)

  • Gleason, Jay Mark, 1881-1956
  • Gleason, Robert G.
  • Scholes, James Heap
  • Witt, Dorothy Jean Gleason


  • Military.
  • Washington (State)
  • Women -- Employment -- United States -- History -- 20th century
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Chaplains -- United States
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Soldiers -- Correspondence
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Women -- Washington (State)

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Collection Inventory

Series 1. James Heap Scholes Papers 1897-1910 

Scope and Contents note

This series includes letters, stories, and other papers, mainly related to Scholes's international business ventures. Some are from the Philippines during the Spanish-American War; others are from Singapore, Burma, Hawaii, and various ports of call during sea voyages.

Box Folder

Letters from James Heap Scholes to his family (typed transcriptions). 

1 1-3

"History of Prospecting Trip to Olympic Mountains 1897 A.D." (transcription). 

1 4

Letters from James Heap Scholes to his family (manuscripts, including originals and transcriptions). 

1 6-10

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Series 2. Jay Mark Gleason Diary 1917-1919 

Box Folder

Jay Mark Gleason World War I diary (bound volume). 

1 11

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Series 3. Robert Gleason Papers 1938-1954 and undated 

Box Folder

Photograph (portrait) of Robert Gleason. undated 

1 12

Photographs of Robert Gleason in the Philippines. 1944 

1 13

Robert Gleason correspondence. Mainly outgoing letters to his family during his Army service in World War II. 

1-2 14-18

Miscellaneous items including incoming correspondence, memorabilia, unlabeled negatives, and Japanese government currency. 

2 19

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Series 4. Jean Gleason Witt Papers 1939-2004 

Box Folder

Botanical correspondence. 1948-1956 

2 20

"Letters/Diary." This is an edited, typed transcription with later commentary, and includes illustrations of Jean Gleason's college wardrobe, photographs, clippings, and event programs. circa 1940-1948 and 1982 

2 21-25

"Letters to Home from Jean Gleason" (typed transcriptions). 1939-1943 

2 26-29

Stories of Working in Mukilteo, Washington, During World War II 1943. 1943-1946 

3 30-32

Stories of Working at Mukilteo Pier During World War II. circa 1943-2004 

3 33-35

"Memoirs of WSU Botany Fieldtrip 1941" (typed transcription). undated 

3 36

"Memoirs of WSU Botany Fieldtrip 1941, Canadian diary original" (manuscript and photographs). 1941-2004 

3 37-38

"Memoirs of WSU Botany Fieldtrip 1941 typewritten originals" (includes photographs). circa 1940s 

3 39-43

Administrative file (collection documentation). 

3 44

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