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Claude Carr Cody

Identifier: MSS- 0006

Scope and Contents

Materials include: incoming topical and miscellaneous correspondence, various handwritten compositions and themes, curricular texts and handwritten notes, old report cards, handwritten speeches, personal financial and household items, biographical texts and posthumous documents for colleagues, historical sketches of local communities, various photography and illustrative media, documents and clipped articles regarding the “proposed removal of Southwestern University from Georgetown,” university contracts and resolutions, Southwestern University Medical College documents, university organizational and administrative records, Methodist documents, sketches and reminiscences of university-related figures, university financial and statistical reports, documents for other colleges/universities, Southwestern University and other publications, personal journals and entry books, clippings, newspapers, university bills and receipts, university checks and check stubs, personal and financial records, personal scrapbooks, grade books, tuition account books/ledgers, pocket account books, receipt books, bank books, artifacts and memorabilia. These records reflect the breadth of interests, responsibilities, activities, and achievements pursued by Cody throughout his life and career.

The first series, Incoming Correspondence, is arranged in eleven folders by subject and contains incoming correspondence to Cody from personal and professional contacts. Included are letters concerning both Cody’s contact with members of his family and with members of his family from other senders, including condolences sent to Cody’s wife following his death in 1923. Also included are letters from individuals reacting to Cody’s resignation from SU in 1915 and letters from individuals at other universities and colleges, including the University of Texas in Austin, the Polytechnic College in Fort Worth, and the Peacock Military College in San Antonio. Some letters in this series express thanks, praise, and/or affection to Cody from his friends and colleagues. A considerable number of letters relay or request information of a business/professional nature, focusing on subjects such as Southwestern University, Georgetown, Methodism, Texas, education, and both religious and secular organizations. Subsequent letters convey requests or inquiries to Cody from current and former SU students, with specific concerns to college credits, courses, and student-related incidents. Final letters in this series make requests and inquiries to Cody from parents of SU students regarding matters such as adequate boarding, attendance, academic performance, expense arrangements, and disciplinary actions.

The second series, Other Correspondence, is likewise arranged in eleven folders by subject and provides both incoming correspondence to Cody and collected correspondence between other individuals. Letters to Cody include ones from building/construction companies discussing architectural/design affairs for SU buildings, as well as letters listing monetary donations gathered from Methodist conferences for SU. Some sets of letters appear to have been kept or obtained by Cody, particularly those between Bishop Edwin D. Mouzon and SU President C. M. Bishop. Other letters to Cody cover a range of university and Methodist-related affairs such as costs for printing SU catalogues, the missionary work/experiences of John Clark, biographical facts about Martin Ruter, invitations to university events and celebrations, as well as Christmas cards to Cody and his family from several university colleagues, associates, and friends.

The third series, Miscellaneous Compositions, is arranged in five folders by subject and contains collections of compositions and writings believed to have been done by Cody, students, professors, and/or Cody’s sons as students themselves. The compositions concern a wide range of issues, some of them possibly serving as either affirmative or negative cases for issues that may have been used by student literary societies in debates. Topics include education, citizenship, America, nationalism, roles/responsibilities of clergymen, juvenile crime, Georgetown’s history, Sunday school, taxation, music education, foreign immigration, comparative “natures” of men and women, and human reason. Also included are two compositions possibly written and/or used by Cody, “Progress” and “[Quadrature] of the Circle.” Finally, an assortment of poetry and prose narratives follows, the authors of which are unknown. The subjects of these writings likewise vary, but many center upon religious or historical themes such as “Mark Antony,” “Daniel,” and “Prayers.” Also included are documents that list the dates of death for Thomas and Judith Collins.

The fourth series, Curriculum Supplements and Educational Materials, is arranged in seven folders by subject and holds both handwritten and printed documents pertaining to class curriculums and educational supplements used for those curriculums. A copy of G. A. Parr’s “The Mannheim Slide Rule” (possibly used in Cody’s math/geometry classes) is included in this series. Also found here are bound collections of notes, most of which are believed to have belonged to C. C. Cody’s son, M. D. Cody. M. D. Cody’s curriculum notes reflect the range of classes he took as a student, including American literature, chemistry, biology, Latin, Spanish, math, history, German, politics, and economics. Among these notebooks are scattered essays/compositions similar those in the previous series. Essay and composition topics include “Students in Evidence,” “The Reproduction of Palamon and Arcite,” “El Pajaro Verde,” “Poema Morale,” “The Ormulum,” “The Brut(us),” “King Horn,” Catholic/Methodist comparative church structures, and “Education.” Documents that provide guides and references to non-class items such as the “Key to Mystified Writing,” lists of names and addresses, “Gould’s Universal Index and Everybody’s Own Book,” and copied text excerpts from “The Ancient Mariner,” “Cicero,” and “Julius Caesar” also populate this series. Last in this series are grade reports (equivalent to report cards) for an M. D. Cody (believed to be an earlier relative of C. C. Cody rather than his son) from the University of Georgia from 1844 to 1847.

The fifth and sixth series are arranged together in seven folders by subject. The first three folders, Speeches, contain copies of speeches, addresses, and lectures believed to have been given by Cody, Cody’s sons, other professors, or keynote speakers at events. Some speeches address specific audiences or occasions such as “Respondent’s Address Delivered to the Senior Class Valedictorian of 1874,” “Ultimate in Mathematics” delivered to the SU junior class of 1898, “Valedictory – to the Trustees,” “Address on Tobacco” delivered to the Band of Hope, a speech addressed to “The Young Ladies of the Helion Society,” and a speech addressed to “The President and Members of the [Williamson County G. S. Association]. Other speeches address more general topics and issues, some of which comprise cases used in formal debates such as “Public Debate Case for Phi Gamma Debate – Resolution: Were the governments justifiable in expelling the Indians from their homes?/Negative Case.” The last four folders, Personal/Household/Financial Items, contain loose personal, household, and/or financial documents for Cody. These include copies of paid bills and financial statements from various businesses, Battle Creek Sanitarium documents, and various business forms and legal documents regarding both living and deceased figures.

The seventh, eighth, and ninth series are arranged together in twelve folders by subject. The first six folders, Colleagues/Associates, possess documents honoring both historical and deceased figures through biographical narratives, eulogies, clippings, and condolences. Half of these relate the life and death of local lumber businessman J. I. Campbell, providing multiple reminiscences of his career and detailed reports of his death. The second half presents biographies and/or eulogies for John Wesley Kennedy, Francis Asbury Mood, and J. G. Swofford. The seventh folder, Towns and Communities of Texas, offers reminiscences of its own, specifically historical sketches and descriptions of “Florence, Texas” and “Rice’s Crossing community.” The last five folders, Photography and Illustrative Media, hold visual media – photography, artwork, and printed commercial documents. Black-and-white portraits are included in this series, with photographs of Cody himself among them. Scenic photography is also found here, offering pictures of natural subjects and historically significant areas. Artwork available in this series includes picture postcards of major cities and points of interest, as well as color maps and illustrated advertisements.

The tenth series, SU History, is arranged in fifteen folders by subject and is divided between two boxes of folders in the collection, all of which contain documents specifically concerning the history of Southwestern University. The first box holds nine folders – over half of the content in this series. Some of the documents in this box pertain to specific events or periods of time in the university’s history, most notably its attempted removal from Georgetown during President Hyer’s administration. Publications and newspaper articles serve as supporting arguments for either position, ranging from copies of “The Origin and Location of the Southwestern University” to “In Re-Removal of Southwestern University – A Statement.” These may have been used or referenced by Cody, who was a strong opponent of the university’s proposed relocation. The series also holds copies of university resolutions, decrees, and contracts from committees and boards, on most of which Cody was either an involved party or recipient with authority to approve or reject. Other documents include correspondence and publications about Southwestern University Medical College in Dallas, notebooks and loose notes recording meeting minutes for both university and civic organizations, attendance lists for Methodist Conferences, lists of students under various financial or academic conditions, song lyric sheets, and handwritten historical sketches/descriptions of Southwestern figures and departments.

SU History continues in a second box with six additional folders arranged by subject. Over half of the documents kept here are lengthy statistical reports kept by Cody. Their contents attend to administrative and financial issues both within and beyond the university. Examples of university-related reports include “Reports of the Faculty,” “Executive Committee’s Report Addressed to the Trustees of SU (1903-1904),” “R.W. Tinsley’s Financial Reports of the Ladies’ Annex (1908),” and “Tuition Accounts (1895-1896, 1908).” Broader reports examining educational rankings include “Bureau of Education Universities and Colleges Report for the Scholastic Year ending June 1908” and “Statistics of Denominational and Private Schools and Colleges in Texas.” Although several of these reports clearly indicate the figures and offices within Southwestern responsible for their authorship/presentation (i.e., Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Registrar-Bursar, etc.), Cody may have helped create and deliver some of these reports because of his occupation of various positions in the university’s administration during his career. The rest of the documents in this box consist of other administrative records for the university, yet also include brief amounts of papers, correspondence, and lists relating the histories of other schools such as Blinn Memorial College and the colleges that later joined to create Southwestern.

The eleventh series, Publications, is arranged in eleven folders by subject and narrows the range of historical artifacts from the previous series to focus on publications and print-media materials. This series is divided between two boxes, the first box containing the first six folders. The first four folders of this box contain published (and presumably distributed) documents from Southwestern University. These include “SU Bulletins” and publications from when the university attempted to adopt the name “Texas University,” various informational brochures and celebratory booklets, an issue of the Texas Inter-Colegian publication, event programs, handouts, and registration/attendance blank slips. The last two folders include printed and published materials pertaining to Methodist organizations, subjects, and events. These range from attendance lists for Methodist Annual Conferences, to booklets and pamphlets concerning aspects of Methodist/religious education such as “The Methodist Superintendent and His Helpers” and “Catechism for the Use of the Methodist Missions.”

Publications continues in a second box with five additional folders, which are also arranged together by subject and continue to focus upon historical publications and print-media within their own contents. The first folder includes business-related publications that focus upon financial issues of specific organizations, corporations, and markets. The next two folders contain published documents and copies of distributed materials from other universities, colleges, and schools, including Franklin College, Emory College (Cody’s alma mater), Georgetown High School, Packard Business College, University of Georgia, Alexander Collegiate Institute, and Clarendon College. Materials for this series range from event programs and topical booklets to actual copies of academic catalogs used by the separate institutions. Another folder contains copies of promotional publications for events occurring in Georgetown, namely the Texas Chautauqua Assembly (including program booklets for the 1889, 1891, and 1892 annual sessions), as well as town promotional brochures such as “Did You Ever Think About Georgetown?” A final folder in the series presents copies of published materials concerning education-related subjects. Some of these documents provide prescriptive/descriptive issues involving specific methodologies for educators such as “What Should Be Emphasized and What Omitted in the High School Course in Algebra, 1907” and R.S. Hyer’s own “A Rare Opportunity for the Teacher in the Rural Schools.” Other documents record and describe specific educational organizations and their products, including “The Texas World’s Fair Educational Committee, 1903” and “The Texas World’s Fair Educational Commission, Texas Educational Exhibit, 1904.”

The twelfth and thirteenth series are arranged together in eleven folders by subject and consist of documents representing written and printed keepsakes of Cody’s life. The first five folders, Journals and Personal Books, house both bound and loose-leaf pages of handwritten, daily/weekly/monthly journal entries that Cody kept during the 1870s, specifically his smaller journal, “My Amusements, by C. C. Cody,” as well as his larger “1873” journal. Other separate pages of entries whose author is unknown (although believed to be Cody) are likewise included in this series, particularly a seven-page set of notes relating the events of a trip from Georgetown to San Antonio. Also included is a hardcover sign-book containing the inscription, “[To] Claude C. Cody from Edward Everett, 22, February 1859” and pages of personal notes with signatures from various individuals either related to or acquainted with Cody. Last in this series are separation records documenting the various educational, religious, and miscellaneous books presumably kept and/or used by Cody. The next seven folders, Clippings, contain a considerable amount of clipped articles and issues from various newspapers to which Cody may have subscribed. Initial articles include brief narratives and editorial columns about subjects such as education, Methodism, and Southwestern University, while others focus upon specific places and individuals (including Cody himself). They range from “What Should the Summer Normal Do for the Teacher?” and “Schools of Texas, Schools Census Poor, Crimes Against Pupils” to “Judge Carr Dead” and “Merited Tribute – Bishop Candler Speaks of Georgetown and the Southwestern University.” Subsequent clippings in the series present various poetic and spiritual verses by both renowned and amateur writers, including “Chroniclings of Billie” (a tribute to Dr. Cody), “”Sands of the Desert in an Hour-Glass” by H.W. Longfellow, “The Tree of Life” by Orelia Key Bell, and “The Dying Christian” by A.A.E. Taylor. Other clippings display printed illustrations and media artwork such as “The First Parting” by A.B. Walter, “Fun for the Boys - Fun for the Mule” (a comic strip), and “New York [Area Map]” by the New York Rubber Company. In addition to the clipped articles are copies of entire issues of newspapers and publications possibly read and/or kept by Cody, ranging from campus/local titles like The Williamson County Sun and The Megaphone to newspapers from neighboring cities like The San Antonio Express, The Houston Post, and The Austin Daily Tribune.

The fourteenth series, SU Financial Documents, is arranged in sixteen folders by subject and is divided between two boxes of folders among the collection. The first box of nine folders in this series contains stacks of separately packaged financial notes written to or on behalf of Southwestern University. Various sets of bills and receipts, account notes, check stubs, and check copies from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries constitute the types of documents found in this box. This series continues in a second box with seven additional folders, all of which hold stacks of university check copies, check stubs, and checkbooks.

The fifteenth series consisting of twelve folders arranged by subject, Personal and Financial Records, begins in the second SU Financial Documents box with its first three folders. The first folder holds tax receipts possibly belong to Cody himself. The second folder holds more receipts and letters, and the third folder holds a stack of personal bank statements. The series continues in a second box with nine more folders whose contents likewise reflect the scope of Cody’s and his family’s finances. Folders in this box range from general stacks of documents such as check copies, bank statements, and appointment diaries, to more specific stacks of documents like check copies belonging to T. H. Cody and M. Darrell Cody (Cody’s relatives). A few loose, miscellaneous documents accompany these stacks, most notably a “List of Books Which Belonged to C.C. Cody, Jr.” sheet.

The sixteenth series in the Cody collection, Scrapbooks, consists of eighteen individual scrapbooks arranged together in rough chronological ascension, from albums with content dating back to the early 1800s through albums with materials dating as late as the 1920s and 1930s. Many of the documents held in these scrapbooks reflect aspects of Southwestern University’s history, from its celebrated events and early culture to its focus on education and roots in Methodism. Several scrapbooks contain numerous pages of clipped articles from several local and national newspapers similar to those in the Clippings series, covering subjects and issues such as Southwestern, education, Methodism, Georgetown, Texas, and Prohibition. Of special note are those articles authored by Cody that present his published opinion(s) of such topics. Other documents in the scrapbooks move beyond the scope of the university to represent significant subjects within the nation and time period. One scrapbook contains documents pertaining to the American Civil War , ranging from newspaper articles accounting political positions of 13th U.S. President Millard Fillmore (1850-1853 term) to Union/Confederate war strategies and listings of Confederate soldiers. Another scrapbook contains a mysterious, handwritten history of a secret society, “A History of the ‘Temple of the Skull,’” of which Cody may have been a member when he was a student at Emory. Sets of newspaper clippings and printed illustrations from a third scrapbook describe a visit of Japanese ambassadors to the United States in the mid-nineteenth century. Some scrapbook documents are copies of institutional publications, media, and printed forms distributed and/or kept by the university that Cody may have used in his administrative duties. Examples of these include programs for university events, report card forms, honor roll lists, faculty reports, copies of the Southwestern University Charter, and promotional brochures for other colleges and universities. Among the last to be found among these scrapbooks are biographical documents and media representative of Cody’s career and achievements. Letters to both Cody and his family are scattered among these scrapbooks. One scrapbook contains copies of report cards for C.C. Cody (from Emory College) and C.C. Cody, Jr. Black-and-white photographs of Cody’s old home in Georgia and “Wesley Chapel, the first Church erected in Atlanta” illustrate locations presumably significant to him and are found in separate scrapbooks, as well as pages of telegram copies sent from friends and colleagues conveying condolences to Cody’s surviving family following his death in 1923.

The seventeenth series, Teaching and Administration Materials, consists of 104 folders arranged by subject and divided into three boxes, making this series the largest physical series in the collection. The first of the three boxes in this series contains twenty-eight folders, all of which hold individually filed pocket grade-books that Cody kept for the classes he taught. The grade-books in this box span a period of classes from 1879 to 1900. A second box in this series holds thirty subsequent folders also arranged by subject. More of Cody’s grade-books are found in the first sixteen folders of this box, spanning a following series of classes held from 1900 to 1915. Additionally, four more folders hold bundled stacks of tuition account books and ledgers that Cody may have kept on file for his students. The last ten folders in this box hold pocket account books (similar to the tuition books and ledgers) ranging from 1894 to 1908. The series concludes in a third box with forty-six folders arranged by subject. The first five folders include receipt books from 1899 to 1905. The last forty-one folders contain bank books of Cody’s, possibly created and used for his office as University treasurer. The bank books range in date from 1889 to 1907.

The eighteenth and last series, Memorabilia, consists of fourteen folders/files arranged by subject/function and are divided evenly between two boxes. Documents in the first box serve as identifying/explanatory indexes for the series that follows them. The first folder indexes undergraduate and graduate degrees received by Cody and his relatives. The second folder indexes photograph and print plates either belonging to Cody or made in memory of him. The third folder indexes medals and pins awarded to Cody, listing titles, awarding organizations, and dates. The fourth folder indexes decorative office tools possibly kept on Cody’s desks. The fifth folder indexes framed certificates from various medical organizations. The sixth folder in the series indexes plaques and trophies given to Cody by Southwestern students, as well as awards given to C.C. Cody, Jr. The seventh and final folder indexes photo albums of Cody’s, the photographs of which are separately catalogued under Special Collections’ SU Photograph – Archives section. The items indexed in the first box are separately wrapped and labeled together in a second box according to their individual contents. This completes the amount and type of content in the C. C. Cody Collection.


  • Majority of material found within 1811 - 1959
  • 1860 - 1929

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Claude Carr Cody was born on November 5, 1854, in Covington, Georgia. Cody graduated from Emory College in 1875 with an A.B. degree and highest honors, followed with an A.M. degree in 1878 from the same institution. After he complet a few years of graduate studies and work at Cornell University in New York, Emory awarded Cody an honorary doctorate degree. He accepted a position at Southwestern University (SU) as Professor of Mathematics on January 20, 1879, and left Georgia for Texas.

At Southwestern, Dr. Cody’s responsibilities evolved and increased significantly. In addition to teaching, he served as the University’s first Dean, managed men’s dormitories, acted as both secretary and chairman for the faculty, worked on the University’s Executive Committee as both a member and secretary, and held the office of University Treasurer. On two occasions, Cody served as SU’s acting president. He co-authored several mathematics texts and produced an original biography for the University, The Life and Labors of Francis Asbury Mood (1886). During the 1910-1911 debate regarding the first “proposed removal of Southwestern from Georgetown,” described in Ralph Jones’ history, Southwestern University: 1840-1961, Cody opposed President Robert Stewart Hyer’s efforts to relocate the University and successfully campaigned against the proposal. When not immersed in the duties of his official positions, Dr. Cody shared a unique and positive relationship with students. Many considered him a beloved father figure of the University, later recounting his warm humor, kindness, concern, and special counsel as a professor and friend.

Cody supplemented his academic duties with his individual roles as a member of the Methodist Church, family man, and citizen of Georgetown. Not only did he regularly participate in local church activities, but he taught Sunday school for several years, including a term as Superintendent. Cody was a lay speaker and regular Methodist Conference participant/organizer. He held state-level offices in both the Sunday School Institute and the Epworth League. Cody was also a co-founder of the Texas Methodist Historical Association and editor of its publication, the Texas Methodist Historical Quarterly. He married Mattie Hughes on December 20, 1883, and had three sons, Claude Carr, Jr., Hughes, and Darrell. Despite increasing responsibilities, Cody managed to participate in multiple civic organizations and citizens’ committees, including his appointment to the Board of Examiners for Williamson County by the State Department of Education and his term as City Engineer.

Cody’s dedicated career at SU lasted 37 years and afterward earned him two distinct mantles. The first was as a member of “The Five” – a group of professors whose influence and presence proved the earliest in the University’s history and lasted the longest throughout the first fragile decades of the University’s half-life. The second mantle was a character-title all his own: “The Grand Old Man of Southwestern,” whose love for the university and support of its ambition won him the deepest respect and esteem from both his colleagues and students. Cody died on June 26, 1923, and was buried at the I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Georgetown. As a tribute to his achievements, Southwestern University’s first library was named in his honor – the Cody Memorial Library. Its original collections are currently kept and used by the A. Frank Smith, Jr. Library Center


12 Linear Feet

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Repository Details

Part of the SU University Archives Repository

1001 E. University Ave.
Georgetown TX 78626 USA