Preliminary Guide to the Edwin Haines Burgess Papers 1899-1970s

Summary Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Burgess, Edwin H. (Edwin Haines), b. 1888
Preliminary Guide to the Edwin Haines Burgess Papers 1899-1970s
Date [inclusive]
Circa 1899-1970s
5.0 Linear feet 4 boxes plus oversize material (map case).
Location Note
(MASC staff use) MS.1980.23: 2-10-1-6; MS.1983.07: 2-14-5-5; MS.1989.70: 2-2-6-3 and one folder in the map case.
Materials are in English.

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Biographical Note

Edwin Haines Burgess (1888-1980) was born on September 1, 1888. As a teenager, Burgess moved with his family from the Oklahoma Territory to the state of Washington, settling between the towns of Palouse and Colfax. In 1909, Burgess received his A.B. from Pacific College in Oregon, and the following year received his Bachelor of Science degree in Economic Science and History from the State College of Washington (now Washington State University). After serving a year as the Principal of Sprague High School, Burgess attended the University of Pennsylvania and obtained his law degree in 1914. In 1915, he married Ruth Wayland and began work with the Lehigh Railway Company in New York. Through 1942, he served as the Assistant General Solicitor and the General Solicitor, before becoming the Chairman of the Truck Line Association (1942-1946), and the Chairman of the Civilian Components Policy Board of the U.S. Department of Defense (1950-1951). Burgess was appointed the Vice-President and General Counsel for the B and O Railroad Company in 1946, and remained there until his retirement in 1958. Burgess was a member of multiple professional organizations, including the American Bar Association and the U.S. Supreme Court and the Classical League Association. After accumulating a significant collection of books on the history of the American West, Burgess began donating his materials to the WSU Libraries in 1967. Burgess was awarded the WSU Alumni Achievement Award in 1973, and his support to the university continues today in the form of the Edwin and Ruth Burgess Memorial Library Collection Endowment.

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Collection Description

This collection contains personal and professional papers of Edwin Haines Burgess (1888-1980), a Washington State University alumnus and corporate attorney. The collection primarily consists of documents related to Burgess' research and writings on western history, especially the Lewis and Clark Trail history, and papers connected to his work with the B and O Railway Company. The collection also includes numerous certificates and honors awarded to Burgess, as well as newspaper clippings and a scrapbook on the centennial celebration of the California gold rush.

Preliminary Inventory:


Oversized Materials: Professional and organizational certificates and honors, as well as a photograph of Edwin Haines Burgess.

Box 1: Correspondence, newspaper clippings, certificates and awards connected to Burgess' work as an attorney and his memberships in various historical and legal associations, as well as published materials related to railroads, and Kansas road maps, between the 1920s and 1973. Also included is Burgess' State College of Washington diploma from 1910, a Pullman High School diploma for Netty Cave from 1911, and Burgess' school book: Ray's New Elementary Arithmetic, Embracing Mental and Written Exercise. New York: American Book Company, 1879 (with inscriptions by Burgess from 1899 in the Oklahoma Territory).


Boxes 1-2: Newspaper clippings, papers, and research notes related to railroad development and interstate commerce law, as well as Lewis and Clark Trail history, including copies of papers presented by Burgess and his brother Howard Burgess, and documents related to Burgess genealogy, between 1910 to 1970s.


Box 1: Papers related to the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, and a scrapbook containing newspaper articles and miscellaneous papers related to centennial celebration of the California gold rush.

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Organization of Collection

This is an unprocessed collection. Any arrangement reflects either a pre-existing order from the records' creators or previous custodians, or preliminary sorting performed by staff.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

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


This collection is open and available for research use. Copyright restrictions apply.

Acquisition Information

Received by Washington State University Libraries from the Burgess Estate in 1980 (MS 1980.23), from Mrs. E. H. Burgess in 1983 (MS.1983.07), and from G. Edward Budde in 1989 (1989.70).

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Related Materials

Related Materials

Guide to the Atlantic-Seaboard Merger Case Records, 1960-1969 (Cage 228)

Howard Burgess Collection of Walla Walla Area Photographs, 1907-1964 (PC 140)

"Grassroots Cuttings of Territorial Days," Project 1953 (Cage 4886)

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Controlled Access Headings

Personal Name(s)

  • Burgess, Edwin H. (Edwin Haines), b. 1888


  • Railroads -- Mergers--Law and legislation--United States

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