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Guide to the Frank Ray Morris Papers, 1905-1956
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Frank Ray Morris Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1905-1956
    Creator: Morris, Frank Ray, 1886-1956
    Extent: 2.25 linear feet
    Repository: Henry Madden Library (California State University, Fresno).

    Sanoian Special Collections Library.
    Fresno, California
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    The papers were donated by Bruce L. Morris in 1998.

    Access Restrictions

    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has been transferred to California State University, Fresno.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Frank Ray Morris Papers, Sanoian Special Collections Library, California State University, Fresno.


    Frank Ray Morris was born in Pekin, Indiana, in 1886. He began teaching in public schools in Indiana at the age of eighteen. Morris held bachelor's degrees from Valparaiso University, a bachelor's and master of arts in from Indiana University and a doctorate of philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the Fresno State College (FSC, now California State University, Fresno) faculty in 1921 and retired in July of 1955. While at FSC, he was Head of the Department of Mathematics and Engineering and engaged in several outreach programs in the community. During World War II, he served as the armed forces representative for the campus.
    Morris was a member of the American Mathematical Society for forty years and the Mathematical Association of America for forty-two years. He was the regional governor of the Mathematics Teachers Association for three years, the president of the Northern California section for one year and chairman of the committee on education for five years. He was a member of the Engineers Club of Fresno from 1924 and was a president of the group. He was also a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Association of University Professors.
    Morris married Lota Ray, also from Indiana, in 1913 and had one son, Bruce L. Morris. Lota Morris died in 1951. Like many of Morris's students, Bruce served in World War II. Morris was the executor of his brother-in-law, William M. Tucker's, estate after his death in 1955. Tucker, a faculty member in the FSC Geology Department, was married to one of Lota's sisters. Frank Ray Morris died on January 6, 1956.

    Scope and Content

    The Morris papers measure 2 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1955. The papers predominantly cover Morris's professional life and are arranged in four series: Personal, Perpetual calendar, Professional and Photographs.
    Personal materials (1905-1955) include family and friends' correspondence as well as letters received from friends and former students in both World War I and World War II. Also included in this series are letters and papers from his school days in Indiana and the University of California, Berkeley. This series also includes the estate papers of William M. Tucker and notes on how Morris dealt with the estate. Another part of this series deals with papers relating to the Fresno Archers and his involvement in this group.
    The Perpetual calendar series (1918-1921) contains correspondence relating to the patent of the perpetual calendar created by Morris as well as letters to and from colleagues regarding the calendar. This series also contains examples of the perpetual calendar, as it was to be presented as well as printer's blocks of it (located in box 3).
    Morris's Professional life (1918-1955) is divided into two main sections: organizations and Fresno State College. The first section involves professional groups and organizations to which Morris belonged. The Fresno State College section not only involves teaching materials but correspondence relating to the students and the teaching materials he used. Morris was the armed forces representative on the FSC campus during World War II and as such was in charge of advising students in the army as well as recruiting students to be in the Army. As head of the Department of Mathematics and Engineering, Morris had much correspondence with colleagues as well as with institutions. His duties involved discussing different options for the department with colleagues across the nation. As head of the department, Morris was an advisor to students in Mathematics and Engineering and wrote letters of recommendation for former students. This section also includes unpublished works by Morris. One is a compilation of methods on the trisection of angles and the other is a manual, "Mathematics of Finance" that Morris wrote himself.
    The Photographs series (1918-1932 and undated) includes pictures of Morris as a recent graduate, as well as other photographs taken of him at different times in his life. There is also a picture of his wife Lota, and one of Dr. Herbert Wheaton. Also included in this series are pictures taken during FSC summer sessions at Huntington Lake.