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A. Howard Meneely papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MC-020

Scope and Contents

The A. Howard Meneely papers focus on A. Howard Meneely, his interactions with Wheaton College, as well as his academic pursuits while he served as President. This collection includes a large amount of correspondence, publications and speeches written by A. Howard Meneely. Materials regarding A. Howard Meneely make up the majority of the collection with a focus on his personal and academic affairs during his time as Wheaton President.

The documents of the collection span the years 1918 to 2002 with bulk dates between 1940-1960; Meneely was President of Wheaton from 1944 to 1960. Documents include letters, publications, hospital bills, newspaper clipping, Chapel talks, speeches, programs and images. This collection also contains objects.

Weaknesses in the papers include little documentation on A. Howard Meneely before his time at Wheaton. There is also a lack of documentation, regarding A. Howard Meneely's wife Mildred Durant Achorn and his step-son, J. Durant Achorn.

The collection is arranged into four series: PERSONAL, WHEATON COLLEGE, OBJECTS and PHOTOGRAPHS.


  • 1918-2002
  • 1940 - 1961


Access Restrictions

Access to A. Howard Meneely's insurance and hospital bills are restricted.


Copyright is retained by the authors, or their descendants, of items in these papers as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Alexander Howard Meneely (1899-1961) was born on January 2nd in 1899 in New York City. He attended public schools in Tacoma, Washington and New York, New York. He studied at the University of Washington (in Seattle) from 1917-1921, where he earned his A.B. degree. From 1921 to 1922, he was a Denny Fellow in History. In 1922, he received his Master's degree at the University of Washington. From 1922 to 1924, he was a graduate student at Columbia University, where he was a University Fellow (from 1923-1924), and did research on doctoral dissertation (1924-1925). He received his Ph.D in History from Columbia University in 1928.

From 1926-1929, Meneely was a research associate with Ray Stannard Baker and helped him prepare for Life and Letter of Woodrow Wilson (eight volumes). From 1929-1937, Meneely was an instructor of History at Dartmouth College (1929-1930), Assistant Professor of History (1930-1936), Professor of History in 1936 and a Visiting Professor of History at the Graduate school of New York University in the summer of 1937.

While at Dartmouth college, Meneely also served on a number of committee and administrative services. These services included: the Supervisor of Majors in History (1932-1935), Secretary of the History Department (1935-1939), Freshman Faculty Council (1934-1935), Chairman of Committee charged with revision of the Social Sciences curriculum (1935-1936), Committee Advisory to the President from 1935-1936, Committee on Nominations (1939-1842; chairman from 1941-1942), Chairman of Faculty Seminar on Educational Problems (1941-1942), Committee of Educational Policy (1942; chairman in 1944). Director of V-12 course in History in 1943, Graduate (Faculty) Club of Dartmouth College (1934-1938) and was the Trustee and Treasurer of Peta Theta Pi Corporation in Hanover, NH (1934).

In 1937, Meneely married Mrs. Mildred Durant Achorn and gained a stepson, John Durant Achorn. John became an aviation cadet in Naval Air Corps. Mildred was a graduate of Wellesley College and died in February of 1990.

In 1944, Meneely became the president of Wheaton College. During his presidency, Meneely strove to improve Wheaton as a whole, both academically and financially. The number of students, teachers, and campus buildings greatly increased. Number of students went from 474 to 797, while faculty members went from 66 to 78. 12 buildings were erected during his term, including Shepard Court, Faculty Dining Room, the Infirmary, Young Hall, Greenhouse, Norton Post Office, Chase Hall (student dining room), McIntire Hall, Meneely Hall, Clark Hall, and Watson Hall. An enlargement of the library was also done as well in 1961. Meneely also celebrated milestones at Wheaton. They included: the Academic Honor System in 1946, Mrs. May and Miss Colpitts becoming Dean and Dean of Students, Faculty Salary scale being established, the first Visiting Professor (Richard Eberhardt in 1954-1955), the position of Vice-President for Development and Public Relations was established in 1958, and in 1959-1960, it was the 12th Anniversary of Wheaton College. Meneely also gave 32 women honorary degrees from June 1945 to December 1960.

Meneely retired from the Wheaton Presidency in 1960, citing health issues. He was in the hospital frequently from 1960 to 1961, when he eventually died. His funeral service was held in Wheaton's Chapel.

Meneely published a variety of articles and a book, as well as assisted in a few publications. His book, The War Department, 1861, was published in 1928. He assisted N.W. Stephenson in Autobiography of Abraham Lincoln (1926) ad R.S. baker for Life and Letters of Woodrow Wilson, 8 volumes (1927-1939). His published articles are titled "Three Manuscripts of Gideon Welles and the editing of a Welles document: 'Narrative of Events'" (1926) and "Graduate Training in History" (1940). He also wrote biographical articles in the Dictionary of American Biography (20 volumes).


1.4 Cubic Feet (3 legal sized archival boxes, photographs, objects)

Language of Materials



A. Howard Meneely papers focus on Alexander Howard Meneely, his interactions and achievements of Wheaton College and his academic/writing pursuits. The documents in the series span the years of 1918-2002, with the bulk dates being from 1940-1960. The bulk dates, 1940-1960 is the time frame before Meneely became President at Wheaton and his term at Wheaton. These papers contain his publications, newspaper clippings, inauguration details, hospital and insurance bills, correspondence letters, speeches, images and objects.

Processing Information

Processed prior to 2008.
Inventory of the A. Howard Meneely Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Marion B. Gebbie Archives and Special Collections Repository

Wheaton College
26 East Main Street
Norton Massachusetts 02766