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Harvey L. McAlister Collection, 1805-1950

By Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Nielsen.

Collection Overview

Title: Harvey L. McAlister Collection, 1805-1950

Predominant Dates: 1893-1946

ID: MSS McAlister

Primary Creator: McAlister, Harvey L.

Extent: 1.0 . More info below.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The Harvey L. McAlister Collection consists of materials assembled by McAlister pertaining to the first Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) football teams in the mid 1890s and the Spanish American War as well as photographs of the OAC campus and students in the 1890s. McAlister played on the first OAC football team in 1893 and graduated with a degree in agriculture in 1897. He was a farmer in Lexington, Oregon, until he retired in 1947.

Items from this collection have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital.

Scope and Content Notes

The Harvey L. McAlister Collection consists of materials assembled by McAlister that document his student years at Oregon Agricultural College and his service in the Spanish-American War.

The materials from his student years include a scrapbook of clippings about the first years of football at Oregon Agricultural College in 1893-1897, photographs, and his diplomas. In addition to football clippings, the scrapbook includes clippings about OAC students and Corvallis; several ephemeral items; and articles about Oregon and Washington history especially Dr. Marcus Whitman.

The photographs include portrait photographs of McAlister and images of groups of students; military cadets; and campus views and buildings, including Benton Hall, the greenhouse and horticulture building, Mechanical Hall, Alpha Hall, and the octagonal barn. One of the photographs was made by Pernot Brothers, of Corvallis. Of particular note are several Christmas cards showing either Mount Hood or Benton Hall.

The Spanish-American War materials include Spanish-American War veterans publications, Philippine newspapers published in Manila in 1898-1899, and several photographs of Oregon veterans made in the 1920s.

The McAlister Collection also includes several early American newspapers. These include two issues of the Boston Weekly Magazine (May 25 and July 27, 1805) and one issue of the Independent Messenger (September 9, 1831), published in Mendon, Massachusetts.

An addition to the McAlister Collection (Accession 2013:054) consists of letters from McAlister to Charlotte "Lottie" Herbert Blake and a portrait shot of McAlister in military dress. McAlister wrote the letters while stationed in the Philippines during the Spanish- American War in 1898. In the letters, McAlister describes how his regiment is faring in the tropical climate, the food given to the troops, his thoughts on the Spanish presence in Manila, local meetings of the YMCA, health/mortality among the troops in the regiment, local currency, and the state of mail service. Found with these letters is a note from Lottie to former student Norman Hindes, to whom she gave the letters and photograph. McAlister enclosed the portrait of himself in uniform to Lottie in one of the letters.

Items from this collection have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital.

Biographical / Historical Notes

Harvey L. McAlister was known as "Pap Hayseed" during his student years at Oregon Agricultural College (OAC). McAlister came from Lexington, Oregon (in Morrow County) to OAC in 1893. As a freshman, he played center on the first OAC football team. McAlister attended OAC from 1893 to 1897 and earned a BS in Agriculture. After service in the Spanish-American War, he returned to Lexington where he farmed until his retirement in 1947, when he moved to the Veterans Home in Napa, California. McAlister died in California in 1955.

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 26 photographs; 4 boxes, including 2 oversize boxes, and 1 map folder

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: The paper records and scrapbooks were donated to the Library in 1950; the photographs were acquired by the Archives before the early 1960s.

Related Materials: Additional materials pertaining to the Spanish-American War are available in the OSU Memorabilia Collection (MSS MC) file "MC-Spanish American War". The Football Photograph Collection (P 004) and Harriet's Photograph Collections (P HC) include numerous other photographs of early Oregon Agricultural College football teams and players.

Preferred Citation: Harvey L. McAlister Collection (MSS McAlister), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Processing Information: The photographs in this collection were originally a separate OSU Archives collection (P 064) and have been combined with the paper records and the football scrapbook to form the Harvey L. McAlister Collection. This collection is not fully processed; this guide is preliminary.

Other URL: Preliminary container list available online.


McAlister, Harvey L.

People, Places, and Topics

College buildings--Oregon--Corvallis.
College students--Oregon--Corvallis.
McAlister, Harvey L.
Military education--Oregon--Corvallis.
Oregon Agricultural College--Buildings.
Oregon Agricultural College--Students.
Spanish-American War, 1898.

Forms of Material

Albumen prints.
Panoramic photographs.
Photographic prints.

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