Allen and Eleanor Morrill Papers, 1962-1982

Overview of the Collection

Allen and Eleanor Morrill
Allen and Eleanor Morrill Papers
1962-1982 (inclusive)
2.5 l.f.
Collection Number
MG113 (collection)
Material collected by Allen and Eleanor Morrill for their Out of the Blanket (1978); included are Nez Perce missionary Kate McBeth's diaries and notebooks.
University of Idaho Library, Special Collections and Archives
Special Collections and Archives
University of Idaho Library
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 2350
Moscow, ID
Telephone: 2088850845
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The material donated to the University of Idaho Library by Allen and Eleanor Morrill is contained in one large file box. A majority of this material was collected by the Morrills in the course of their research for a book on Kate and Sue McBeth, missionaries to the Nez Perce. entitled Out of the Blanket (Moscow: University Press of Idaho, 1978). The remainder of the material. deals with the Camas Prairie, but has nothing to do with the McBeths or the Nez Perce.

Included in this group are many photographs, those used as illustrations in the book and some belonging to Kate McBeth. There are many newspaper articles, some dating from the late 1800's and others of a more recent date, research notes, photocopies of manuscript material., published and unpublished articles, some correspondence, brochures, and several issues of the newsletter of the Nez Perce churches.

The most valuable items in this archival group are the diary which Kate McBeth kept from 1879 to 1891, a notebook in which she wrote down some Nez Perce legends and also a brief history of the Nez Perce and of the missions to the tribe which give an account of the works of Rev. Spalding and also talk of her own work among the Indians in Lapwai and Kamiah, and finally there is a letter from Kate to her sister Sue in May 1890.

The items in this archival group are discussed in more detail in the following Description of Series.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Material in this archival group was first separated by type, photographs, manuscripts, newspapers and newspaper articles, etc. then each major group was organized by subject. No attempt was made to separate out the non-McBeth material from the major series.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series I. Photographs Return to Top

There are several categories of photographs in this series. The first consists of the photographs belonging to Kate McBeth which were in a trunk sent by Mazie Crawford, niece of the McBeth sisters, to Clifford Drury. Among them are twenty-one unidentified photographs which were taken either in New Brighton or Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Since Kate taught in New Brighton for ten years prior to her move to Idaho one can assume these people were either her pupils or friends. Also included among Kate's pictures are the following which are identified:

1. Mary McBeth Crawford (sister of Sue & Kate, mother of Mazie)

2. Marion Belle Crawford (niece of Mazie) as a small child

3. Arthur Kellaway (son of Elizabeth McBeth) as a child

4. Elizabeth (Lizzie) McBeth Kellaway (sister of Sue & Kate)

5. Man whom the Morrills believe was a Presbyterian minister in Portland

The remaining photographs were either used to illustrate Out of the Blanket or are photographs relating to the McBeth family. There are also two negatives and a collection of postcards. These are all listed below. Cards describing these photographs in more detail have been filed in the Special Collections card catalog for photographs.

Description Dates
Miscellaneous McBeth Photographs
1: Kate C. McBeth with her pupil Rev. Mark Arthur
2: Snapshot of the graves of Sue and Kate McBeth in Kamiah
3: Color snapshot of the McBeth house in Wellsville, Ohio
Out of the Blanket Illustrations
1: Kate C. McBeth (p. 12)
2: Susan Law McBeth (p. 13)
3: Map of the Out of the Blanket region (p. 18)
4: Wallowa Lake, Oregon (p. 110a)
5: Nez Perce Encampment, Lapwai, 1905 (p. 110c)
6: Robert Williams (p. 110e)
7: Archie Lawyer (p. 110e)
8: McBeth house and school, Kamiah (p. 110e)
9: McBeth cabin, Kamiah (p. 110g)
10: First Presbyterian Church, Kamiah (p. 336a)
11: First Indian Presbyterian Church, Kamiah (recent) (p. 336b)
12: Billy Williams (p. 336c)
13: Susan McBeth's house in Mt. Idaho (p. 336e)
14: Mt. Idaho (p. 336e)
15: Group of Nez Perce standing outside of the church in Kamiah (p. 336f)
16: Alice Fletcher and James Stewart at the surveyors camp (p. 336g)
17: Kate McBeth in 1913 (P. 336i)
18: Group at Kate McBeth's camp kitchen at Talmaks camp (p. 336i)
19: Graves of Sue and Kate in Kamiah church yard (p. 336j)
1: Letter from E.B. Law to Sue McBeth written in 1868
2: Poster with rules and regulations of Fairfield University (Sue McBeth is listed as a teacher)
1: Columbia River at Celilo Falls
2: Lake Wenatchee, Washington
3: Oregon Trail historical marker between Lander and Farson, Wyoming
4: Wallowa Lake, Oregon
5: Wallowa Lake and Indian cemetery
6: Watson's Store, Spalding, Idaho
7: Weeping Wall on Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Montana

Series II. Newspapers Return to Top

This series consists of complete newspapers and newspaper articles. Listed below are the items in each category.

Description Dates
1: Lewiston Morning Tribune. Lewiston Centennial Edition
Seven sections. Published every other Sunday between May 14 and August 13, 1961. Section seven has an article on the McBeth sisters.
2: Lewiston Morning Tribune
"Idaho Territorial Centennial." Section 3
Sunday, July 7, 1963
3: Lewiston Morning Tribune
Four sections. "Dedication of Today's Northwest Passage."
Monday, June 16, 1975
4: Lewiston Morning Tribune
Section E. "The War Nobody Wanted: Last Flight of the Nez Perces."
Sunday, July 24, 1977
5: The Missoulian
Magazine section entitled "Hello Neighbor: Lewis and Clark Highway Dedication."
Sunday, August 19, 1962
Newspaper Articles - Camas Prairie
Articles in this folder deal with the Camas Prairie, especially the 50th anniversary celebration in Craigmont in 1970. There are a few articles on Lewiston and Winchester. Since they do not deal with the McBeth sisters or the Nez Perce they are not listed individually.
Newspaper Articles - "From Blue Camas to Golden Grain"
This folder contains the serialized story written by Stanley Thomas and published in the Lewis County Herald beginning in the spring of 1976.
Newspaper Articles - Historic
1: "On the Clearwater; a neglected corner of Idaho shown up." Grangeville, The Free Press
August 21, 1891
2: "Nez Perce Reservation to be allotted at once." The Lewiston Teller
May 30, 1889
3: "Reminiscences of the discovery of gold in Idaho," by Joaquin Miller. (unidentified)
4: "Fourth at Lapwai." Lewiston Teller
5: "The Reservation." (unidentified)
6: "Even the Indians kick; the Nez Perces protest against their recently appointed agent." (unidentified)
7: "Miscarriage of justice." (unidentified)
8: "Indian killing at Kamiah." The Nez Perce News
August 13, 1885
9: "The Kamiah difficulty. Explanations of the agent." The Lewiston Teller
August 20, 1885
10: "In trouble." The Nez Perce News
September 3, 1885
11: "An open letter to agent Monteith on the Indian killing at Kamiah." The Nez Perce News
August 27, 1885
12: "Agent Monteith again; what was thought of his appointment four years ago." The Free Press
July 23, 1886
Newspaper Articles - Longeteig
The folder contains several columns entitled "Prairie Pioneering" written by M.N. Longeteig in 1979 and published in the Lewis County Herald.
Newspaper Articles - McBeth
1: "Bible, revolver and Springfield rifle." Letter from Robert Boyd of Lewiston (unidentified)
July 17, 1878
2: "Red men celebrate," by Mazie Crawford. East Liverpool, Ohio, Crisis
July 26, 1895
3: "Death of Miss S.L. McBeth (photocopy, unidentified)
4: "Sue McBeth was devoted missionary." (unidentified)
5: "Miss McBeth dies." (unidentified)
November 4, 1915
6: Several articles on the restoration of the McBeth home in Kamiah
Newspaper Articles - Miscellaneous
1: Several articles on the Morrills in 1965
2: Article on the Morrills in the Beaver County Times
March 11, 1979
3: Article on the Cataldo Mission, Lewis County Herald
June 3, 1976
4: Article on the Whitebird hill, Lewiston Morning Tribune
June 16, 1975
5: Article reviewing two books on Idaho women, one of which is about Jane Gay, Boise, The Idaho Statesman
January 24, 1982
Newspaper Articles - Nez Perce Indians
1: "Nez Perces will perform at Girl Scout Roundup." Spokesman Review
July 14, 1965
2: "Travels With Charlie," by Charles P. Boren. "Dateline Kamiah," Lewiston Morning Tribune
July 13, 1975
3: "Nez Perce Indians hymnbooks is presented Talmaks." Lewis County Herald
4: "Fire razes Lapwai landmark.'' (unidentified)
5: "Archeological find may reveal more history of Nez Perce Tribe." Ontario, Ore., Daily Argus Observer
February 18, 1981
6: "I will fight no more: legacy of Chief Joseph lives on." WSU Hill - Topics
October 1977
7: "Tale of courage," by Sterling G. Slappey. American Legion
June 1981
8: "Nez Perce country land of beauty." Cottonwood, Idaho, Farm & Ranch Chronicle
April 26, 1979
9: "Moffett named to President's council on aging." Lewis County Herald
August 17, 1978
10: "Idealistic Oregon dream falls short, ends later in massacre at Waiilatpu Missions," by Lancaster Pollard. Sunday Oregonian
March 11, 1962
11: "Historian rates Narcissa Whitman, massacre victim, as truly tragic pioneer figure," by Lancaster Pollard. Sunday Oregonian
12: "Tale of an Idaho Indian angel," by Betty Penson. Idaho Statesman
August 5, 1979
13: "Ghosts of Nez Perce, Infantry haunt Big Hole," by S.L.A. Marshall. (unidentified)
14: "Josiah Red Wolf tells his story." by Robert H. Ruby. Spokesman Review Inland Empire Magazine
November 17, 1963
15: "Retracing the Lewis and Clark Trail by car, footpath and boat," by Donald Janson. New York Times
February 26, 1967

Series III. Manuscripts Return to Top

The most valuable and historically most important items in this archival group are the three manuscripts in this series. The notebook containing the typescript of Sue's Choctaw diary and excerpts from Kate's diary has been placed with the other manuscripts since it relates to them. Each item in this series is described below.

Kate McBeth's Diary
The earliest entry in Kate's diary is dated "Sabath 15 of 15th Sep. 1878" and begins, "My last sab at least for years in the little cottage home." Her first Idaho entry is dated "Sabath Dec. 14, 1879, Kamiah Idaho Terr." and the final entry is July 4, 1891. Portions of the diary have been cut out, apparently by Kate herself, for near the end she writes that she regrets some of the things she has said, especially about her sister Sue, and has been cutting out the offending pages.
Kate's Diary and Sue's Choctaw Diary
This is a typescript copy of Sue's diary which she kept from April 16 to December 24, 1860. The extracts from Kate's diary are in fact an index to the diary described above. Entries are arranged under the following subjects: Sue, Loneliness, House, School.
Kate McBeth's Notebook
Taped to the front fly-leaf of this notebook is Kate's article "The coming of the people; a legend of the Kamiah Valley" (journal unidentified). In the book Kate has recorded legends of the Nez Perce and also attempted to write a history of the endeavors of several missionaries to Christianize the tribe,, including her own. The notebook,, which also contains financial accounts of the Nez Perce Mission from April 1891 to April 1893, appears to be written by several different hands.
This is a letter from Kate to her sister Sue in Mt. Idaho. It is dated Lapwai, May 13, 1890 and deals with a trial on the reservation.

Series IV. Articles Return to Top

Only one of the four articles in this series has been printed, the others were sent to the Morrills for their use.

Description Dates
1: Cosgrove, Donald B. "History of Mohler." 17 p.
July 24, 1968
2: Hedges, James A. "Pioneer preacher in Idaho." Journal of the Presbyterian Historical-Society pp. 131-190
September 1949
3: Pugh, Mary Alice. Untitled carbon typescript dealing with the life of Sue McBeth, her great-great aunt. 16 p.
4: Sugden, Henry L. Proposal for a Nekissa project submitted by the congregation of the First Indian Presbyterian Church, Kamiah, Idaho
This folder also includes correspondence between Sugden and the Morrills from 1972 to 1979.
January 16, 1972

Series V. Research Material Return to Top

This folder contains several letters from a woman either making or repairing moccasins for the Morrills, a list of McBeth material in the archives of the Oklahoma Historical Society, a photocopy of a newspaper article on the McBeth homestead in Wellsville, Ohio, a handwritten note on the name McBeth, photocopies of original manuscript material, typed notes, the inventory of Mazie Crawford's trunk, the will of Susan McBeth, and the military service file of Ebenezer P. Law. The file cards maintained for this series list the entire contents of the folder.
This folder contains items of biographical information and several lists of books in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington which were compiled in 1945. Nothing in this folder relates to the McBeth sisters.
This folder contains a couple of brochures on Kamiah and the booklet published on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Kamiah First Presbyterian Church.
This folder contains the covers and pages 31 and 32 of a Presbyterian catechism for young children, a postcard showing a field of wild camas, a hymn translated into Nez Perce, a religious tract entitled "Our Heathen Neighbors," a history of St. Gertrude's convent published in 1962, and a photocopy of an article on Alice Fletcher in Notable American Women.
Nez Perce Newsletter
This folder contains four issues of Nemepum Teleposenwausnim Tumtin, the newsletter of the Nez Perce churches, dated December 22, 1971 to March 20, 1972.
St. Louis Material
This folder contains souvenir reproductions of St. Louis historical documents, several articles, some correspondence, and a brochure on Jefferson Barracks Historical Park.
Material includes the p for the 78th annual meeting in 1975,, a booklet by Clifford Drury entitled "The beginnings of Talmaks," which is the introduction of the Fourth of July address at Talmaks Camp meeting in 1958, the program for the 4th of July camp meeting held at Mason Butte in 1911, a letter from George H. Lee to his son Charles in 1932 in which he mentions Talmaks, and a land use map of the Nez Perce Reservation.

Series VI. Miscellaneous Return to Top

This series contains the front and back covers for what appears to be a letter book, the end papers of which contain various names and addresses, and a copper printing plate engraved with a picture of the First Presbyterian Church in Kamiah.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Indians of North America -- Missions -- Idaho
  • Missionaries -- Idaho -- Biography
  • Nez PercĂ© Indians -- Missions -- History -- Sources

Personal Names

  • McBeth, Kate C., 1832-

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Morrill, Allen Conrad
    • Morrill, Eleanor Dunlap