Guide to the Clarence Urmy Papers M0020

Department of Special Collections and University Archives
1999 ; revised 2020
Green Library
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford 94305-6064
specialcollections@stanford.edu


Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Title: Clarence Urmy Papers
Creator: Urmy, Clarence, 1858-1923
Identifier/Call Number: M0020
Identifier/Call Number: 165
Physical Description: 2 Linear Feet (4 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1878-1936

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research. Note that material must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Urmy family, 1945.

Biographical / Historical

Poet Clarence Urmy (1858-1923) was born in San Francisco on July 10, 1858. He was the grandson of Elea Thomas who was one of the founders of the Methodist church in the state of California. Urmy's father was a Methodist minister for 50 years. Urmy attended San Francisco public schools and then Napa College where he studied music and received a bachelor's degree. He worked for a number of years in music houses including Sherman and Clay in San Francisco. Urmy continued to study voice at this time and did some performing in San Francisco and San Jose. He was the organist at Santa Clara Methodist Church and later at Trinity Episcopal Church in San Jose. He taught piano at the College of the Pacific and four years at San Jose Teachers' College.
Urmy was the first native poet of California. He published three volumes of collected verse: A Rosary of Rhyme, Vintage of Verse, and California Troubadour. Two more volumes were nearly ready for publication at his death: Wild Willow and Under the Toyon Tree. His poems appeared in a large number of national magazines. He also did dramatic and music criticism for the San Jose Mercury Herald.
Urmy died on June 3, 1923 in San Jose. A Clarence Urmy Memorial was established at Stanford in 1930, which consists of a prize given each year to the student submitting the best original poem.

Paging

Page from catalog record: https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/4082739

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item] Clarence Urmy Papers, M0020, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

Scope and Contents

Collection contains the following:
Correspondence to Urmy from publishers concerning his poetry. 1897-1922 ca. 35 items
Corresponding primarily to Mabel Urmy Seares from many sources largely concerning Clarence's works and various memorials set up in his honor. A number of these are from Alfred Lindsay and Helen Millar Lehman. ca. 60 items
Holograph and typescript of his poems and collected volumes ca. 100 items
Clippings of his works in print, both poetry and prose, criticism of music and drams by Urmy, and a number of clippings about him (including programs etc.) ca. 260 items.
Five photographs of Urmy
A scrapbook of autographs
A biography of Urmy by Mabel Urmy Seares
Ina Coolbrith--letters, poems, and clippings ca. 7 items

Conditions Governing Use

While Special Collections is the owner of the physical and digital items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. Any transmission or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the owners of rights, heir(s) or assigns. Some of these materials are believed to be in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use of public domain materials.

box 1, folder 1-2

Series 1. Letters to Urmy from editors and publishers 114201 1897-1922

 

1. William Doxey to Urmy 114323 1897, Jan 13

 

2. C [Urmy] to "Mabel" [Mrs. Seares] 114321 1897, Jan 17

 

3. C [Urmy] to "Mabel" [Mrs. Seares] enclosed agreement between W.Doxey (publisher) and Urmy 114319

 

4. Horace Annesley Vachell 114317 1899, Nov 29

 

5. Robert Coningsley Clarke to "Dear Sir" [Urmy] 114315 1900, May 8

 

6. Alfred Lindsay to Urmy enclosed list of poems 114313 1905, Oct 20

 

7. Alfred Lindsay to Urmy 114311 1905, Nov 8

 

8. Alfred Lindsay to Urmy 114309 1905, Dec 4

 

9. Alfred Lindsay to Urmy 114307 1905, Dec 9

 

10. Alfred Lindsay to Urmy 114305 1905, Dec 18

 

11. Alfred Lindsay to Urmy 114303 1906, Feb 10

 

12. Alfred Lindsay to Urmy 114301 1906, May 16

 

13. Alfred Lindsay to Urmy 114299 1906, May 16

 

14. Marian Phelps to Urmy 114297 1906, Mar 24

 

15. Alfred Lindsay to Urmy 114295 1906, May 30

Container Summary: (copy)
 

16. Alfred Holman to Urmy 114293 1907, Jan 21

 

17. Sheperd Knapp to Urmy 114291 1908, July 16

 

18. to Mrs. F. Seares 114289 1909, Apr 22?

Container Summary: (postcard)
 

19. A.M. Robertson to Urmy 114287 1912, May 10

 

20. C.Alexander to Urmy 114285 1916, Apr 2

 

21. Marguerita Wilkenson to Urmy 114283 1917, Apr 28

 

22. Marguerita Wilkenson to Urmy 114281 1917, May 10

 

23. Urmy to M. Wilkenson 114279 [1917, May 12]

 

24. M. Wilkenson to Urmy 114277 1917, May 17

 

25. Will B. Turney to Mabel Seares 114275 1923, Jun 24

 

26. C.M. Dennis to Mabel Urmy Seares 114273 1923, Jun 27

 

27. Claud H. Simson to? 114271 1924, Jun 24

 

28. A.W. Noel Porter to Mabel Urmy Seares 114269 1924, Sep 25

 

29. Delancy Lewis to Mabel Urmy Seares 114267 1925, Sept 22

 

30. Edward O'Day to Percival Urmy 114265 1926, Aug 31

 

31. F.P. Brown to Newton Barry enclosed letter to H.Roy Kelley to Mrs. Seares 114263 1926, Sept 20

 

32. [J.Milshen] to H.Roy Kelley 114261 1927, Dec 23

 

33. [J.Milshen] to H.Roy Kelley 114259 1928, Jan 16

 

34. Garton D. Keyston to Percival Urmy 114257 1928, Oct 4

 

35. "Sonnet in Memory of Clarence Urmy" by Francis Wm. Reid 114255 1930, Jan 6

Container Summary: (photostat)
 

letter on the back to Mrs. M.U. Seares 114253 1930, Jan 18

 

36. Francis Wm. Reid to Mrs. Mabel Seares 114251 1930, Jan 23

 

37. Francis Wm. Reid to Mrs. Mabel Seares 114249 1930, Jan 27

 

38. Garton D. Keyston to Mabel Seares 114247 1930, Mar 8

 

39. Garton D. Keyston to Mabel Seares 114245 1930, Jun 10

 

40. Francis W. Reid to "friend" [Mabel Seares] 114243 1930, Nov 24

 

41. Ina L. Cook to Mabel Seares 114241 1931, Jan 9

 

42. Ina L. Cook to Mrs. John R. Jarboe Kathryn Jarboe Bull, J.C.Bull, Esq. 114239 1931, Jan 18

 

43. Francis W. Reid to Mrs. Mabel Seares 114237 1931, Apr 2

 

44. Garton D. Keyston to Mabel Seares 114235 1931, Jun 4

 

45. Garton D. Keyston to Mabel Seares 114233 1932, Jun 6

Scope and Contents note

enclosed: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place poems 1931-32
 

46. Mrs. Frederick Seares to Mr. Reid 114231 1933, Jan 27

Container Summary: (copy)
 

47. Helen Miller Lehman to Mabel Seares 114229 1933, Jan 23

 

48. Helen Miller Lehman to Mabel Seares 114227 1933, Jan 28

 

49. Helen Miller Lehman to Mabel Seares 114225 1933, Jan 30

 

50. Helen Miller Lehman to Mabel Seares 114223

 

51. Francis W. Reid to Mabel Seares postcard with poem "Clarence Urmy" 114221 1933, Feb 5

 

52. Helen Tobin to Mabel Seares 114219 1933, Mar 20

Container Summary: (postcd.)
 

53. Mrs. Frederick Seares to Mrs. Lehman 114217 1933, Mar 28

Container Summary: (copy)
 

54. Helen Miller Lehman to Mabel Seares 114215 1933, Apr 19

Container Summary: Postcard
 

55. Helen Miller Lehman to Mabel Seares 114213 1933, May 8

Container Summary: postcard
 

56. Garton D. Keyston to Mrs. Seares 114211 1936, Jun 24

Scope and Contents note

enclosed: 1st, place poem; and "To Clarence Urmy"
 

57. CTU [Urmy] to Mr. Holman 114209 Jan 14

 

58. C [Urmy] to "Mabel" [Mrs. Seares] 114207

 

59. [B. Kulen] to Mrs. Seares 114205 Dec 7

 

Series 2. Manuscripts 114175

box 1, folder 3

Vol. 1 Apr. holograph notebook 114199 1878-Oct 1880

box 1, folder 4

Vol. 2 Nov. holograph notebook 114197 1880-Dec 1895

box 1, folder 5

Vol. 3 Feb. holograph notebook 114195 1896-May 1901

box 1, folder 6

Vol. 4 Jul. holograph notebook 114193 1901-Jan 1904

box 1, folder 7

Vol. 5 holograph notebook 114191 1904-4

box 1, folder 8

Vol. 6 holograph notebook 114189 1906

box 1, folder 9

Vol 7 holograph notebook 114187 1910-13

box 1, folder 10

Wild Willow book of verse original manuscript 114185

box 1, folder 11

Under the Toyon Tree book of verse original manuscript 114183

box 2, folder 12

assorted manuscript verse 114181 dated

box 2, folder 13

assorted manuscript verse (and some lists of his poems in the back) 114179 undated

box 2, folder 14

assorted prose 114177

 

Series 3. Clippings, ephemera, photographs 114141

Arrangement

As a result of later processing, folders in the latter part of Box 2 were moved to a Box 3 along with other material.
box 2, folder 15

printed verse 114173

box 2, folder 16

"Peace" - prize winning poem in the San Francisco Chronicle contest (and letters praising it, and one from M.H. deYoung) 114171

box 2, folder 17

printed prose 114169

box 2, folder 18

music and drama criticism 114167

box 2, folder 19

biographical (including diploma from Napa College and exerps from a diary, programs from muscial performance 114165

box 2, folder 20

concerning California (about Bret Hart, R.H. Stoddard and Clinton Scollard) 114163

box 2, folder 21

photographs 114161

Container Summary: (five of him)
box 2, folder 22

Biography of Urmy by Mabel Urmy Seares (prepared about 1935-6, but she couldn't revise it because of illness) 114159

box 2, folder 23

Scrapbook of autographs (and list of contents prepared by Urmy's brother Percival Urmy) 114157

Scope and Contents note

Includes: Aldrich, Thomas Bailey; Butterworth, Hezekiah Bryant, William Cullen; Coolbrith, Ina; Dorr, Julia; Davis, Jefferson; Fawcett, George D.; Hay, John; Holmes, Oliver Wendell; Howe, Julia Ward; Hubbard, Elbert; Jewett, Sarah O.; Kimball, Harriet; Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth; Mason, Caroline Atwater; Moulton, Louise Chandler; Piatt, John James; Rexford, Eben Eugene; Sangster, Margaret Elizabeth; Thorpe, Rose Hartwick; Whitney, Adeline Dutton Train; Whittier, John Greenleaf; Wilde, Oscar; Winter, William
box 2, folder 24 (possibly in box 3 now)

Series 4. Ina Coolbrith letters, poems etc. 114143

 

1. letters to Urmy 114155

Container Summary: (9)
 

2. poems, manuscript 114153

Container Summary: (2)
 

3. poem by Urmy 114151

 

4. clippings 114149

 

5. "Ina Coolbrith and Clarence Urmy" by Mabel Seares 114147

 

6. "Ina Coolbrith" Laura Bell Everett 114145

 

Series 5. Other material

Box 4, folder 1

Urmy's copies of "Common Prayer," and "The Hymnal" 1892

Box 4, folder 2

Urmy's copy of the Bible 1865

Box 4, folder 3

Daguerreotype of Clarence Urmy as a child

Box 4, folder 4

Small poetry publications: "By the Guadaloupe," with photograph by Newton Barry; "At a Wayside Shrine," with decorations by Janet Tobin; and "A Wreath of California Laurel," inscribed to Ralph and Marion... 1910, with photographs by Frederick W. Martin and A.C. Vroman

Box 4, folder 5

"The Lyric Land of California," by Mabel Urmy Seares, illustrated by the verse of Clarence Urmy, with two etchings by Benjamin C. Brown. Laid in is a manuscript poem, "To my brother...," and a newsclipping of a book review for this piece, 1914

Box 4, folder 6

Two collections of published poems by Urmy. 1. "The Day that I was Born," 1924, with a drawing by Loren Barton and 10 uncredited early San Francisco area photographs, one of which is of El Retiro, Saratoga, Clarence Urmy's summer home. 2. "Songs of the Spirit," 1922

Box 4, folder 7

Two copies (different bindings) of "A California Troubadour," 1912. One signed by Urmy, and one inscribed to Ralph and Marion from Mabel, 1912. Folder 8. "A Vintage of Verse," 1897, inscribed to Marion Freer Saxe, from R.B.U., April, 1897