Manuscripts Collection


The Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church maintains its own archives (the archivist can be contacted at (651) 870-0058 ext. 249). Since its establishment, official Conference records, as well as the papers of church officials, have been deposited there. The Society continues, however, to selectively collect the papers of individuals who are active in the church.


Methodist Episcopal church records, 1840-1909.
Correspondence and collected materials relating to Methodist Episcopal church history in Minnesota. They include a record book of the quarterly meeting of the St. Peter's mission (1840-1841); a classbook of camp meetings at Red Rock (1848-1866); a ledger kept at Hamline University, Red Wing (1859-1868); minutes of annual conferences (1859-1895) and of various district and local conferences; sermons; articles on early church and missionary history; and reminiscences and biographical sketches of early church men. The correspondence contains information on the Dakota mission at Red Wing, on early German and Scandinavian Methodism in Minnesota, and on the growth of Methodism in St. Paul and in other parts of Minnesota.

Methodist Episcopal Church. Minnesota Conference. Winona District records, 1870-1899.
Quarterly conference records for the Hamilton circuit, Winona District (1870-1883), and minutes of meetings of the board of trustees of the High Forest Methodist Episcopal Church (1896-1899). The Hamilton circuit covered Hamilton, Washington, Spring Valley, Pleasant Hill, Frankford, and Grand Meadow.

German Conferences of the Methodist Church of America. Minnesota church records, 1855-1933 [microform].
Records concerning German-speaking Minnesota congregations, kept by the two geographically defined conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church that governed them. There are annual journals, minutes, and financial and miscellaneous record books (1868-1933) of the Northwest German Conference, encompassing areas of Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin. Financial and assessment records (1883-1925) of the Northern German Conference's insurance company cover Minnesota, North Dakota, and northern Wisconsin. There are church registers, minute books, and financial records (1855-1919) of Minnesota districts and congregations and of congregational organizations and societies.


Edward Eggleston papers, 1856-1866.
Correspondence (photocopies) relating to Eggleston's Minnesota years as an itinerant Methodist preacher and Bible agent, pastor in several Minnesota communities, teacher, lecturer and scientist. Many letters exchange ideas with other early eminent Methodist clergymen regarding Hamline University in St. Paul, annual Methodist conferences, and church politics, and reveal the clergy's attitudes toward such contemporary issues as slavery, suffrage for blacks and theology.

Frank P. Leslie papers, 1903-1972 (bulk 1940-1970).
Correspondence (1932-1972), subject files, newspaper clippings, photographs, printed material and phonograph records relating to a Minneapolis paper company executive and book collector. Correspondence and subject files include information on national and Minnesota politics, Republican Party, the first Hoover Commission on which Leslie served, Princeton University (the class of 1915 and the rare book library), Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church (Minneapolis, Minn.), books and book collecting, history of printing, travel, and the Leslie Paper Company. The correspondence from 1932 to 1949 is mainly political. Later correspondence becomes more topically diffuse. Principal correspondents include Secretary of Defense James Forrestal, editor J. Russell Larcombe, opera star Jerome Hines, Minnesota governor Harold E. Stassen, publisher John Cowles, Minnesota Congressman Sydney Anderson, Governor Luther Youngdahl, Warren Burger, Herbert Hoover, Leva Marx, writer James Reston, Major General Wilton B. Persons, Fred Seaton, Fr. Anselm Strittmatter, editor Dan Whetstone, Methodist Bishop Richard C. Raines, and John Crosby.

Edward McCann and family papers, 1872-1966.
Correspondence relating to McCann's church work and parish assignments as a Methodist pastor and supply minister in many towns in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Included also are family letters, marriage licenses, religious tracts, records of church services and family photographs.

James Peet papers, 1846-1871.
Correspondence (1854-1871), diaries (1855-1866), sermons, and newspaper clippings (1855-1860) related to the family and career of an itinerant Methodist Episcopal minister who served missions in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

James H. Rideaux papers, [192-]-1990.
Speeches, photographs, photocopied newspaper clippings and obituary, awards, programs, a letter, and church publications relating to the life of an African American from St. Paul (Minn.) who was a red cap for the Union Depot for 32 years and a lay leader at Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church.

Jo Lutz Rollins and family papers, 1894-1988.
Autobiographies, sketchbooks and diaries (1921-1985), subject files (1931-1987), photographs, art catalogs (1943-1986), newspaper clippings (1936-1986), and subject files of a painter from Minneapolis and Stillwater, Minnesota, as well as correspondence (1894-1907) of her father, a Methodist minister. Subject files document the Minnesota Artists Association (1892-1986), Stillwater Art Colony (1930s), Stillwater Bicentennial Art Project (1975-1976), inventories and sales of her paintings (1968-1982), and a few of her sketches and Christmas cards. Correspondence of her father and mother, Joseph and Shella Lutz (1894-1907), relate to his work as a Methodist minister in southern Minnesota. The letters relate his work in seven churches; his marriage to Shella Wheeler; his personal experiences with his congregations; his attendance at district conferences; his interest in family history; his examination studies for the ministry; and the exchange of pulpits by ministers of Protestant denominations.

Leland P. Smith and family papers, 1812-1957.
Manuscript sermons (undated), correspondence, and biographical data on the family of Smith, a Methodist minister and chaplain of the Minnesota Soldiers' Home, including teaching certificates (1859, 1868-1869) issued to Eva Bell, Smith's wife; and a diary kept by Lemuel Bowers while on a trip to California (1850-1852), noting topography, weather, flowers, and daily mileage.

Samuel Spates and family papers, 1841-1916, 1929.
Spates' diary (1841), letters, and recollections (1853-1855) of his experiences as a Methodist missionary to the Ojibwe in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (1841-1846), Fond du Lac, Wisconsin (1846-1849), and Sandy Lake, Minnesota (1849-1855). Supplemented by biographical data, family memorabilia, and miscellany relating to the life of his son Samuel.