Guide to the Clarence Urmy Papers, 1878-1936 M0020

Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Stanford University Libraries
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford, California, 94305-6064
Repository email:

Title: Clarence Urmy Papers ,
Identifier/Call Number: M0020
Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 1.0 Linear feet
Date (inclusive): 1878-1936
creator: Urmy, Clarence, 1858-1923

Biographical Note

Urmy, Clarence 1858-1923
He was born in San Francisco on July 10, 1858. He was the grandsoneof 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 batchelor's degree. He worked for a number of years in music houses (Sherman and Clay in San Francisco). He 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.

Scope and Content Note

Urmy, Clarence
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
Inclusive dates: 1878-1936

Preferred Citation:

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


Gift of Urmy family, 1945.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

Access Restrictions


Box 1, Folder 1



Letters to Urmy from editors and publishers 1897-1922

Box 1, Folder 2

1. William Doxey to Urmy 1897, Jan. 13


2. C” [Urmy] to “Mabel” [Mrs. Seares] 1897, Jan. 17 “


3. C” [Urmy] to “Mabel” [Mrs. Seares] enclosed agreement between W.Doxey (publisher) and Urmy ? “


4. Horace Annesley Vachell 1899, Nov. 29


5. Robert Coningsley Clarke to “Dear Sir” [Urmy] 1900, May 8


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


7. Alfred Lindsay to Urmy 1905, Nov. 8


8. Alfred Lindsay to Urmy 1905, Dec 4


9. Alfred Lindsay to Urmy 1905, Dec. 9


10. Alfred Lindsay to Urmy 1905, Dec. 18


11. Alfred Lindsay to Urmy 1906, Feb. 10


12. Alfred Lindsay to Urmy 1906, May 16


13. Alfred Lindsay to Urmy 1906, May 16


14. Marian Phelps to Urmy 1906, Mar. 24


15. Alfred Lindsay to Urmy 1906, May 30

Physical Description: (copy)

16. Alfred Holman to Urmy 1907, Jan. 21


17. Sheperd Knapp to Urmy 1908, July 16


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

Physical Description: (postcard)

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


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


21. Marguerita Wilkenson to Urmy 1917, Apr. 28


22. Marguerita Wilkenson to Urmy 1917, May 10


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


24. M. Wilkenson to Urmy 1917, May 17


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Physical Description: (photostat)

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


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


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


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


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


40. Francis W. Reid to “friend” [Mabel Seares] 1930, Nov. 24


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


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


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


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


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

Scope and Contents note

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

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

Physical Description: (copy)

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


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


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


50. Helen Miller Lehman to Mabel Seares ?


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


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

Physical Description: (postcd.)

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

Physical Description: (copy)

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

Physical Description: Postcard

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

Physical Description: postcard

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

Scope and Contents note

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

57. CTU” [Urmy] to Mr. Holman ? Jan 14 “


58. C” [Urmy] to “Mabel” [Mrs. Seares] ? “


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



Box 1, Folder 3

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

Box 1, Folder 4

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

Box 1, Folder 5

Vol. 3 Feb. holograph notebook 1896-May 1901

Box 1, Folder 6

Vol. 4 Jul. holograph notebook 1901-Jan 1904

Box 1, Folder 7

Vol. 5 holograph notebook 1904-4

Box 1, Folder 8

Vol. 6 holograph notebook 1906

Box 1, Folder 9

Vol 7 holograph notebook 1910-13

Box 1, Folder 10

Wild Willow book of verse original manuscript

Box 1, Folder 11

Under the Toyon Tree book of verse original manuscript

Box 2, Folder 12

assorted manuscript verse - dated

Box 2, Folder 13

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

Box 2, Folder 14

assorted prose



Box 2, Folder 15

printed verse

Box 2, Folder 16

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

Box 2, Folder 17

printed prose

Box 2, Folder 18

music and drama criticism

Box 2, Folder 19

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

Box 2, Folder 20

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

Box 2, Folder 21


Physical Description: (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)

Box 2, Folder 23

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

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

Ina Coolbrith letters, poems etc.


1. letters to Urmy

Physical Description: (9)

2. poems, manuscript

Physical Description: (2)

3. poem by Urmy


4. clippings


5. “Ina Coolbrith and Clarence Urmy” by Mabel Seares


6. “Ina Coolbrith” Laura Bell Everett