MsC 251

  Manuscript Register


Collection Dates: 1905 -- 1967
112 items

This document describes a collection of materials held by the
Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1420
Phone: 319-335-5921
Fax: 319-335-5900

Posted to Internet: November 1997

Acquisition Note: The papers of Thomas J. Bray were given to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1971 by his children, Josephine Bray Hairston, James F. Bray, and Charles M. Bray.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Photographs: Box 1

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

Copyright:  Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"

Use of Collections:  The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Biographical Note

Thomas James Bray (1877 -- 1967) was born in Vermont. His parents moved the family to Grinnell, Iowa when he was thirteen years old. There he graduated from high school in 1895. After completing a course in stenography and business at the Capital City Commercial College in Des Moines, Iowa, he returned to Grinnell and took a job as an official court reporter. He remained in that job until 1905, however in the meantime he was studying law with Judge John T. Scott. In 1904, Bray was admitted to the bar. His first law practice was in Grinnell, Iowa. In 1916, he moved his practice to Oskaloosa where he earned a reputation s an excellent trial lawyer. He belonged to the Mahaska County Bar Association as well as both the Iowa State and American Bar Associations. Bray owned a four hundred acre stock farm in Mahaska County and helped organize the Eleven State Corn Belt Convention held in Des Moines in 1926.

Active in the Republican Party, Bray helped to manage the campaigns of Iowa governor and U.S. Senator Albert B. Cummins. He also supported the movement to nominate Frank O. Lowden for U.S. President in 1928.

Scope and Contents

The papers of Thomas J. Bray date from 1905 to 1967 and consist of 112 items arranged chronologically within an alphabetical sequence. The papers reflect his political concerns with speeches on subjects ranging from Albert B. Cummins and Theodore Roosevelt to farming and Oskaloosa, Iowa. A folder of correspondence includes letters from Karl M. LeCompte, Jack Miller, Raymond Moley, and Dan W. Turner. A biographical sketch, photographs, a scrapbook, and clippings provide insight into other aspects of Bray’s life and legal career.

 Box 1

Biographical sketch of Thomas J. Bray by his daughter, Josephine Bray Hairston.

Correspondence, 1925 -- 1967 (Including T.L.S. by Jack Miller, Dan Turner, Raymond Moley, Bert Bandstra, Karl M. LeComte, and John Kyl).

Mahaska County Non-Partisan Self Government Club.

Newspaper clippings.

Photographs of Thomas J. Bray.

Photographs used in Mr. Bray’s book, Rebirth of Freedom.

 Box 2


“Security of Human Rights” Speech, 1961.

Speeches, 1905 -- 1952:

“Reciprocity as it affects the farmer,” Poweshiek County Corn Belt Meat Producers’ Association Convention, Grinnel, Iowa, December 16, 1905.

“1906 campaign address.”

“1912 campaign address.”

Introductory remarks at meeting of Governor George W. Clark at Colonial Theater, Grinnell, May 29, 1914.

July 4, 1914, speech.

35th Annual Reunion of Tama County Veterans Association, Tama, Iowa, September 8, 1914.

Memorial address, General Shield’s Council of Knights of Columbus, Ottumwa, Iowa, November 19, 1916 (two copies).

July 4, 1920, speech.

Address to a convention of supervisors, engineers, and auditors from 12 countries in Southeastern Iowa, City Hall, Oskaloosa, March 10, 1931.

Knights of Columbus, Washington, Iowa, November 29, 1931.

Oskaloosa Rotary Club, August 1, 1933.

Oskaloosa Kiwanis Club, February 16, 1942.

75th birthday party, 1952?

Undated speeches (titled):

Speech supporting Cummins for Senator.

Elbert W. Clark Eulogy.

“Catholicism and Americanism."

“The law as a profession."

Endorsement of Cummins for Senator.

PTA talk on uncontrolled temper among children.

On Theodore Roosevelt.

The American Bar Association.

Bear Creek Drainage Proposition.

Undated speeches (untitled).

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