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William Boerum Wetmore correspondence

Call Number: RH MS 1531


This collection includes correspondence from William "Willie" Boerum Wetmore (1849-1919) to Sarah T. Wetmore, his mother, from 1890 to 1895. Wetmore writes about his new life at the Denver Athletic Club; travels and business ventures in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, and surrounding areas; recreational activities; and divorce proceedings and the legal troubles of the Wetmore family.


  • Creation: 1890-1895, 1921


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biography of William Boerum Wetmore (1849-1919)

Major William "Willie" Boerum Wetmore was born in New York City to Samuel Wetmore and Sarah T. Wetmore. Wetmore graduated from West Point Academy in 1872, and after his graduation served in several forts in Kansas. He served at Fort Riley and Fort Wallace from 1872 to 1873 and in 1874 was an Aide-de-Camp to Major General Pope at Fort Leavenworth. In December 1876, Wetmore resigned from the army.

After the end of his military career, Wetmore traveled abroad extensively, collecting coins and art and becoming a noted numismatist. Wetmore also became a prominent businessman and active investor in mining operations in Colorado and surrounding regions in the late 19th century.

[Information taken from Encyclopedic Dictionary of Numismatic Biographies found at]


0.25 Linear Feet (1 document case)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

This collection includes correspondence from William "Willie" Boerum Wetmore to Sarah T. Wetmore, his mother, from 1890 to 1895. In this correspondence, William Wetmore provides details about his move to and daily life at the Denver Athletic Club in Colorado, his various recreational activities with his associates, his divorce proceedings and contentious relationship with Annette Butler Wetmore, the legal difficulties of the Wetmore family and the loss of the family home in New York, his political observations of the New York 1893 state election, and his business ventures in mining companies and real estate development in Colorado.

Wetmore also provides observations about the Atchison, Topeka, and Sante Fe Railway, the Central Pacific Railroad, and the Kansas Pacific Railway, as well as his real estate holdings in the Herington and McPherson, Kansas areas. The collection contains an undated map of the railway system in Kansas, as well as an obituary that provides details about William Wetmore’s education at West Point and military career.

Physical Location

RH MS 1531

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, William Reese Company, 2020.

Guide to the William Boerum Wetmore Collection
William Boerum Wetmore correspondence
Finding aid prepared by cmp. Finding aid encoded by cmp.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
William Boerum Wetmore correspondence, RH MS 1531, 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