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Grant Adelbert Covell Papers, 1883-1904

By Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Nielsen.

Collection Overview

Title: Grant Adelbert Covell Papers, 1883-1904

Predominant Dates: 1889-1904

ID: MSS Covell

Primary Creator: Covell, G. A. (Grant Adelbert)

Extent: 0.05 cubic feet. More info below.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The Grant Adelbert Covell Papers consist of materials created and assembled by Covell during his student years and early years as a faculty member at Oregon Agricultural College (OAC). Covell earned engineering degrees from Cornell University and was appointed the first faculty member in engineering at OAC in 1889. Covell served as the first Dean of Engineering at OAC, from 1908 until 1927.

Scope and Content Notes

The Grant Adelbert Covell Papers consist of materials created and assembled by Covell during his student years and early years as a faculty member at Oregon Agricultural College. The papers include an expense ledger, correspondence, and other materials. The expense ledger itemizes Covell's daily expenditures by month for 9 years, from January 1896 through December 1904. These are primarily miscellaneous personal expenses, such as postage, newspapers, clothing, medicine, football tickets, subscriptions, church donations, and services. The expenses do not include housing or food.

The correspondence consists of letters received by Covell from Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) officials in 1889-1896, such as Wallis Nash, Secretary of the Board of Regents, and John M. Bloss, President, regarding his faculty position at OAC. The Papers also include a letter to Covell from L.C. Henrichsen, of Oregon Jewelry Manufacturing Co. in Portland regarding a tower clock.

The collection also includes an oration given by Covell at his high school graduation in Troy, Pennsylvania, in 1883; an essay titled, Man is a Progressive Being; and ephemeral items from the 1887 Cornell University graduation.

Biographical / Historical Notes

In 1889, Grant Adelbert Covell was appointed to the first professorship exclusively devoted to engineering at Oregon Agricultural College and soon thereafter he established the Department of Mechanical Engineering. When the School of Engineering was formed in 1908, Covell was selected to serve as the School's first Dean, a position he held until 1927.

Grant Adelbert Covell was born on a farm in Bradford County, Pennsylvania on August 30, 1862. He attended and graduated from high school in Troy. In 1883, at the age of 21, he entered Cornell University where he earned his BS in Engineering in 1887. Upon graduation, he was named as an instructor of engineering at Cornell for the next year, during which time he completed his M.E. degree. He taught in Minnesota for one year before moving west to Oregon in 1889. Covell married Mary Spencer, a public school teacher in Corvallis, in 1893. He died at his home in Corvallis on November 20, 1927.

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 1 box

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: Some or all of these materials may have been received by the Oregon State College Library in 1941 from Covell's widow. This collection was established within the University Archives in 1993.

Related Materials: The Samuel H. Graf Collection (MSS Graf) documents Graf's activities as a student and faculty member in engineering beginning in 1903. The College of Engineering Records (RG 062) document engineering programs at Oregon State, beginning in the 1930s.

Preferred Citation: Grant Adelbert Covell Papers (MSS Covell), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.


Covell, G. A. (Grant Adelbert)
Bloss, John M. (John McKnight) (1839-1905)
Nash, W. Gifford (Wallis Gifford) (1867-1920)

People, Places, and Topics

Covell, G. A. (Grant Adelbert)
History of Science
Oregon Agricultural College--Faculty.
University History

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