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William A. Griffith and Stevens family papers

Call Number: RH MS 1012


William A. Griffith joined the KU faculty in 1899 and served as head of the Art Department for 21 years. He then moved his family to Laguna Beach and continued painting there. The William A. Griffith Collection includes correspondence, research materials and related information on Griffith's tenure at KU, as well as his Laguna Beach endeavors. The collection also includes correspondence, family papers, and records of the William C. Stevens, Flint, and Pugh-Tanner-Dart families.


  • Creation: 1761 - 1981


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biographies of William A. Griffith and William Chase Stevens

William Alexander Griffith was born August 19, 1866 in Lawrence, Kansas, the son of James Monroe Griffith and Margaret Alexander Griffith. He studied art at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and at the Academie Julian in Paris, France. He joined the faculty at the University of Kansas in 1899.

In 1901, Griffith married Ida Greeley Smith. They had five children, two sons and three daughters. In addition to teaching drawing and painting at KU, Griffith designed residential and public buildings in Lawrence. After retiring from KU in 1920, Griffith relocated his family to Laguna Beach, California, where he became a noted plein air painter. Griffith died on May 25, 1940.

William Chase Stevens was born February 21, 1861 in Princeton, Illinois, the son of James T. Stevens and Elizabeth A. Flint. He received a bachelor of science degree in 1885 and a master of science in 1893, both from the University of Kansas. In 1888, he married Ada E. Pugh. They had five children, four sons and a daughter. Stevens joined the KU Natural History department in 1889, where he taught botany until retiring to emeritus status in 1937. Stevens died in 1955.


10.5 Linear Feet (13 boxes + 7 oversize boxes)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The Griffith family papers contain correspondence, clippings, family histories and many photographs of the Griffith, William C. Stevens, Flint, Pugh-Tanner-Dart, and Smith families. Also included are lectures, notebooks, books, prints, and paintings from the career of W. A. Griffith.

Physical Location

RH MS 1012

Physical Location

RH MS 1059

Physical Location

RH MS Q258

Physical Location

RH MS R207

Physical Location

RH MS-P 1012

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Ida Griffith Hawley, 1996; Lucinda Stevens Foster (descendent of the Griffith and Stevens families), 1996.

Related Materials

Personal papers of William A. Griffith, PP 503, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Guide to the William A. Griffith and Stevens Family Collection
William A. Griffith and Stevens family papers
Finding aid prepared by rh, 2009. Finding aid encoded by rh, 2009. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2018.
Description rules
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Language of description
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Preferred citation
William A. Griffith and Stevens Family Collection, RH MS 1012, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States