Columbia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Collection, 1866-1893
0.1 cubic foot

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists primarily of photocopies of selected pages from the handwritten journals of the Columbia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. These include minutes of the annual meeting of the conference and reports of the Conference's Board of Education. These materials include many references to the establishment and early administration of Corvallis College. The collection also includes a 13-page typed transcript of portions of the handwritten journals that specifically pertain to Corvallis College.


These photocopies were made in 1966 at the request of OSU Archivist, William F. Schmidt, from original journals held at that time by the Willamette University Library (see "Related Materials" section below) and the typescript was prepared soon thereafter. In 1995, both the photocopies and typescript were transferred to the Manuscripts Collection.

Historical Note

The Columbia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was organized on October 26, 1866, in Corvallis, Oregon. However, representatives of the ME Church, South, had been present in Corvallis since the arrival of Orcenith Fisher in 1858. In 1859, Fisher purchased Corvallis College which had encountered financial difficulties and placed the new property (on Fifth Street between and Madison and Monroe) in the hands of the local church which used it as both a church and college building.

W.A. Finley was appointed as both the pastor of the church and president of the college in 1865. In 1866, James Kelsay was appointed to the Corvallis church, but Finley served as the pastor again in 1869-1870 while college president. College faculty member, Joseph Emery, also served as the church's pastor for several years in the late 1860s through 1870s.

In 1868, Corvallis College was adopted as the agricultural college of Oregon under the provisions of the Morrill Act and was thereafter administered by a Board of Trustees and then Board of Regents. However the Board of the Education of the Columbia Conference continued to have a strong interest in the operation of the College.

The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, congregation in Corvallis (later known as the Madison Street Methodist Church) was united with the northern Methodist congregation in 1941 to form the First Methodist Church of Corvallis.

Related Materials

Other materials relating to the early history of Corvallis College are available in the Board of Trustees (RG 33), Board of Regents (RG 8), and President's Office (RG 13) Records. The William A. Finley Scrapbook includes materials pertaining to Finley's association with Corvallis College and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, both in Oregon and California.

The original handwritten journals (3 volumes) of the Columbia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South are held by the Archives of the Oregon-Idaho Conference of the United Methodist Church, which is located in Waller Hall at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.

Shelf Locations:

7/1/1/b [12x17 oversize box]

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