[Back to Formatted Version]

Thomas B. Searcy Collection, 1889-2013

By Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Nielsen.

Collection Overview

Title: Thomas B. Searcy Collection, 1889-2013

Predominant Dates: 1889-1961

ID: MSS Searcy

Primary Creator: Searcy, Thomas B.

Extent: 0.2 cubic feet. More info below.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The Thomas B. Searcy Collection documents the land in Sherman County, Oregon, homesteaded by Thomas B. Searcy in 1889; Searcy's financial interactions with the Moro Grain Growers Association and the Pacific Co-operative Wool Growers Association; and the Searcy family.

Scope and Content Notes

The core of the Thomas B. Searcy Collection consists of property records that reflect the ownership of land homesteaded by Thomas B. Searcy in 1883 in Sherman County and include mortages, warranty deeds, tax payment receipts, promissory notes, and materials documenting financial interactions between Searcy and the Pacific Co-operative Wool Growers Association and the Moro Grain Growers Association. The final property document is the lease of the land to Dean and Margaret Pinkerton in 1961.  Original property documents and photocopies of many of them, as well as a list of documents provided by the donors are part of the collection.

The collection also includes land patents issued in 1891-1904; family records and biographical information; and photographs.  The family records include wills, records of property sales and transfers, and obituaries.  A 1994 publication of the Sherman County Historical Society includes two articles about the Searcy family.

The photographs date from circa 1890 to circa 1940 and include snapshots of family members as well as formal studio portraits and group photographs.  The images depict members of the Searcy and Shelton famlies.  Photographs of basketball, baseball, and football teams taken in the 1910s may be of  Moro high school teams.  Ten of the photographs are snapshots (circa 1915) affixed to a scrapbook page.

An online exhibit, Searcy Ranch and Sherman County History, includes several items from the collection.

Biographical / Historical Notes

Thomas B. Searcy was born in 1860 in Kentucky and moved west in the early 1880s; in 1883, Searcy filed for a homestead on land in Sherman County, Oregon, about 10 miles south of Moro. Searcy married Lena Rivers Shelton in 1895, who filed her homestead claim on land adjoining Searcy's. Thomas B. Searcy resided on the ranch until his death in 1934.

James T. Searcy, a descendant of Thomas B. Searcy, attended Oregon State College in 1955-1960 and earned a BS in Business and Technology in 1960. He married Julie A. Davies, also a graduate of Oregon State, in 1960.

Additional information about the Searcy family is available in an on-line exhibit, Searcy Ranch and Sherman County History.

Author: Elizabeth Nielsen

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 2 boxes, including 1 oversize box; 22 photographs

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: The property records that form the core of the collection were received by the University Archives in 2009; an addition of photographs, land patents, family records and biographical information was received by the Special Collections and Archives Research Center in about 2016.

Related Materials: Additional materials pertaining to agriculture in Sherman County are part of the Edwin Russell Jackman Papers (MSS Jackman), Extension Service Records (RG 111), and the Agricultural Experiment Station Records (RG 025).

Preferred Citation: Thomas B. Searcy Collection (MSS Searcy), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Finding Aid Revision History: This finding aid supersedes a collection-level guide to the collection prepared in 2009, which was updated to incorporate additions to the collection and to include a link to the on-line exhibit prepared in 2015-2016.


Searcy, Thomas B.
Searcy, James T. (James Thomas) (1937-)
Searcy, Julie A. Davies

People, Places, and Topics

Farm ownership--Oregon--Sherman County.
Farm tenancy--Economic aspects--Oregon--Sherman County.
Natural Resources
Pacific Wool Growers
Searcy, Thomas B.
Sherman County (Or.)
University History

Forms of Material

Photographic prints.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.