Clay County was organized in 1822. The county seat is Liberty. The collections listed below deal in some manner with Clay County. This list is not comprehensive, so be sure to browse collection descriptions by subject.
*Collections marked with DIGITIZED MATERIALS have additional digitized items available.
Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service Aerial Photographs, (P0335)
107.5 linear feet
Missouri county aerial photographs produced by the Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service.
American Revolution Bicentennial, Missouri Committee for Agriculture, Papers, 1974-1976 (C4276)
1.2 cubic feet (42 folders), 1 audio tape
The papers of the committee contain correspondence, newsletters, reports, updates, events awards programs, lists of elected members, historical information on "Centennial Farms," and "Liberty Trees," meeting minutes, announcements, newspaper clippings, and audio-visual material for a slide presentation entitled "The Spirit of 76."
Baker, Thomas Frazier, III (1918- ), Papers, 1959-1967, (C2465)
716 folders, 8 volumes, 8.4 cubic feet
Papers of a state representative from Stoddard County, 1961-1967. Campaign correspondence and publicity, correspondence with constituents in regard to legislation and welfare assistance, political correspondence on such matters as gubernatorial succession, reapportionment, conflict of interest legislation, and ouster of House Speaker Graham.
Beauchamp Family, Letters, 1832-1894, (C3128)
Letters received by the John A. Beauchamp family of Liberty, MO, from relatives in Tennessee, Louisiana, and southeastern Texas discussing family news, prices, business prospects and post-Civil War conditions.
Bentley Family, Collection, (CA5291)
Addition of scrapbook kept by Jordan R. Bentley while a student at William Jewell College, in Liberty, MO, 1910s. Includes photographs, programs, and memorabilia.
Benton, Thomas Hart, (1782-1858), Papers, 1850-1852, (C1466)
The papers contain Benton's certified statements in the slander suit against him by James H. Birch, in the Clay County Circuit Court, Liberty, Missouri.
Bill Allen Chevrolet Photograph Collection, 1927-1965, (K0614)
0.25 cubic feet
The records of the Bill Allen Chevrolet Photograph Collection contain exterior and interior images of Bill Allen's auto shop in North Kansas City, Missouri, as well as unidentified employees, businessmen, and automobiles.
Bird, Greenup, Letter, 1866, (C1957)
Bank robbery committed in Liberty, MO, February 13, 1866, and statement of the bank's financial condition after the robbery.
Boothe Coal Company Records, 1938-1953, (K0098)
0.3 cubic feet
The records of the Boothe Coal Company contain material related to employment and coal production at the company. In addition, there are maps of the Boothe Coal Mine and miscellaneous receipts.
Breckenridge, William Clark (1862-1927), Papers, 1752-1927, (C1036)
4.75 linear feet, 21 volumes, 3 rolls of microfilm
The papers of the St. Louis businessman, writer, and historian contain correspondence, scrapbooks, book sale announcements, and miscellaneous materials, with an emphasis on St. Louis and Missouri history.
Brown, Robert C., Photograph Collection, (P0004)
Photographs of Missouri railroad depots, primarily for the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railroad. Photographs relating to A.F. Schliecker of Kansas City, Missouri.
Cameron, John F., Papers, (K1013)
10 cubic feet
John F. Cameron was a real estate broker and owner of a real estate company in Kansas City. The papers include newsletters, sermons, and materials pertaining to the Catholic and Redeemer Presbyterian Churches. Additionally, the collection contains maps, plans, brochures, and books relating to Cameron's real estate activities.
Chew, Dr. Joseph, Special Orders, 1863, (C1490)
Orders, September 1863, forbidding Dr. Chew of Kansas City, MO, to reside in Platte, Clay, or Carroll Counties during the Civil War.
Chick, Washington Henry, "As I Remember," 1965, and Program, Dedication of William M. Chick Post Office, 1964, (C2577)
Pamphlet about the life of Washington Henry Chick in western Missouri and Kansas. Program of dedication of William M. Chick post office.
Christy, E.A., Letter, 1863, (C1834)
To J.H. Marmon, Liberty, MO, from Platte City, MO, Feb. 24, 1863. Written to her father, the letter discusses the Civil War, particularly jayhawkers and marauding bands. Mentions conscription and health of various family members.
Clay County, Missouri, History Papers, 1850-1956, (K0445)
0.18 cubic feet
The collection contains miscellaneous papers related to the lives of early settlers in Clay County, Missouri. These papers include newspaper clippings related to Clay County, miscellaneous papers related to important events and people in the mid-1800s of Clay County, photographs, and a large genealogical scrapbook with small autobiographies in it.
Clay County Rural School Records, (K0479)
5 microfilm rolls
The records of the Clay County Rural Schools contain student information submitted by certain district schools to administration from 1915 to 1946.
Clay County Savings Association Robbery Description, 1866, (C0693)
Description of robbery, supposedly committed by Jesse James, February 13, 1866, including amounts stolen.
Coombs, Kenneth E., Papers, (CA5865)
5 linear feet
Project files of a Kansas City architect related to historic restoration projects in Missouri. Includes correspondence, photographs, survey material, planning documents, financial records, and architectural drawings, 1960s-1970s.
Corbin, Ovid H. Papers, (K0129)
0.2 cubic foot (4 folders)
This collection consists of an account book of the Stone and Umbarger Company, a wagon-maker and wheelwright business, and its descendent companies, which operated in Liberty, Missouri, from 1849 to 1856. Also included are personal financial records of Ovid H. Corbin, an owner of the company.
Davidson, Ernest Evans, Photograph Collection (R1320)
0.2 cubic foot (8 folders, 92 photographs)
The Ernest Evans Davidson Photograph Collection contains the personal and family photographs of Ernest Davidson of Clay County, Missouri. Images include family photographs, scenes of family vacations in Althea, Missouri, and on the North Fork of the White River.
Davis, John E. "Fifty Years at William Jewel College." 1903-1953, (C2708)
An informal history of the growth and changes at William Jewell College, Liberty, MO.
Davis, True (1919- ), Campaign Newspaper, 1968, (C3341)
A paid political advertisement, ""The True Davis Story"" aimed at informing Missourians about Davis' background, experience, and political reputation during his 1968 campaign for Democratic nomination for U.S. senator from Missouri. The paper also gives Davis' views of the major campaign issues.
Doniphan, Alexander, W., Letter, 1856, (C1942)
The papers contain a letter from Doniphan of Liberty, Missouri, to his nephew John, on December 15, 1856, concerning business and banking opportunities in Liberty, Weston, and St. Joseph.
Doniphan, Alexander W. (1808-1887), Letters, 1861-1873, (C1926)
The collection contains letters to John Doniphan from Liberty and Richmond, MO, concerning convention of 1861, politics, business, and legal and family affairs.
Doniphan-Moss Family, Papers, 1840s-1880s, (CA6478)
0.2 cubic feet
Correspondence and land records concerning a familiy largely from the St. Joseph and Clay County, MO, areas. Includes letters from Alexander W. Doniphan, as well as land records of the Thornton family.
Fike, Henry C., (1832-1919), Diaries, 1851-1919, (C2215)
0.1 linear feet, 43 volumes
Diaries written by Fike while a student in McKendree College, IL; while a soldier in the Civil War; and about his migration to and life in Warrensburg, MO, and his work in Kansas City, MO, and various cities in the West.
Foard, Rebecca, Scrapbook, 1860-1880, (C3376)
Scrapbook of newspaper clippings, mostly of a philosophical nature, kept by a resident of Kansas City, MO.
Friends of Sacred Structures Records, (K1370)
5 cubic feet
The records of Friends of Sacred Structures documents, photographs, and notebooks related to religious structures assisted by FOSS, covering the period 1991 through 2015. The records also include materials related to locations targeted by the organization for assistance as well as board, council, and committee records.
Gordon-Cox Family Papers, (K0156)
0.07 cubic feet (8 folders)
The Gordon-Cox Family papers contain genealogical research materials, which trace the lineage from John Gordon, a Revolutionary War soldier, to Lenna Ruth Gordon, for an application of membership with the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Great Flood of 1993 Photographs, (K1376)
0.03 cubic foot (1 folder, oversize)
The Great Flood of 1993 Photographs contain two photographs of the Missouri River during the Great Flood of 1993 taken by Lightfoot Photography of North Kansas City, Missouri.
Guitar, Sarah (1892-1963), Collection, n.d., (C3391)
1.5 cubic feet, 5 card boxes
Card file compiled by Sarah Guitar, reference librarian of the State Historical Society of Missouri, as a guide to county boundaries of Missouri, 1812-1929; Missouri congressional district boundaries, 1845-1933; Missouri senatorial districts, 1820-1931; and Missouri judicial circuits, 1815-1915.
Harris, James (1798-1882), Papers, 1806-1918, (C2669)
0.2 linear feet
Papers of James Harris, farmer and justice of the peace, Clay County, MO, and family. Contains personal correspondence from friends and family and miscellaneous financial and legal documents such as receipts, contracts, court orders, inventories, land deeds, and wills.
Heck, Earl Leon, The Rise of Higher Education in the Missouri Valley, 1818-1900, 1965., (C2914)
Histories of academics, colleges, and universities in the Missouri Valley.
How, Russell A. (1906-1996) and Bernadine M. (1910-2001), Collection, 1927-1989, (C4023)
5 linear feet, 4 card files
The Russell and Bernadine How collection contains photographs, maps, printed materials, and notes on grist mills in the Ozarks region of Missouri and Arkansas. The collection also includes materials related to Missouri tourism.
Hunt, William S., Divorce Petition, 1851, (C2826)
Notice of petition for divorce by William S. Hunt from Malinda Hunt, printed in Liberty, MO, Weekly Tribune.
James, David A. (1937- ) Papers, 1790-2008, (C4126)
5 cubic feet
The research material of a hotel management instructor whose work resulted in the publication Historic Hotels of Missouri: Hotels, Inns, and Taverns of 19th Century Missouri.
James, Frank, (1844-1915), Letter, 1915, (C2377)
To [Ernest] Lowney, Excelsior Springs, MO, from Kearney, MO, Feb. 8, 1915. Frank James discusses his health and requests a prescription from Dr. Lowney. He died ten days later.
Kansas City, Galveston, and Lake Superior Railroad Company Note, n.d., (C1906)
Blank stock note.
Kimsey, Warren, Papers, 1915-1934, (C3747)
The papers of Warren Kimsey contain correspondence, stories, press releases, and histories of a Missouri-born short story writer.
Lauck, Jesse F. Architectural Records, (K0730)
18.37 cubic feet (6 of folders, 158 rolled items)
The Jesse F. Lauck Architectural Records consists of correspondence, site surveys, specifications, microwave relay tower information, floor plans for the Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, California, and test data on the First Baptist Church in Richmond, Missouri. The collection also contains 158 sets of architectural drawings, primarily designed by Lauck and his firm, of buildings located in the Kansas City metropolitan area and throughout the Midwest region of the United States. These drawings date from 1919 to 1971.
Lee, Richard L. (1925-2011), County Courthouse Photographs, ca. 1955, (P0003)
The collection includes photographs of county courthouses for the state of Missouri, taken in the mid-twentieth century by Richard L. Lee.
Liberty Christian Church Records, 1824-1987, (K0235)
0.25 cubic feet
The records include minute books, treasurer's records, correspondence, committee reports, financial records, and general papers related to the Liberty Christian Church of Missouri. This collection was loaned for microfilming and the original documents are unavailable.
Liberty Ladies College Records, (K0128)
0.2 cubic foot (4 folders)
The collection contains documents relating to a private women’s college in Liberty, Missouri. It includes a grade book for the academic years of 1905-1906 and 1906-1907, a small amount of correspondence, and a record book, along with miscellaneous receipts and other items from 1909 to 1910.
McClellan, A[braham], and Hiram H. Baber, Letter, 1840, (C1651)
The collection contains a form letter to Clay County Court Clerk, Liberty, MO, from the state treasurer and auditor of public accounts, Jefferson City, MO, Dec. 15, 1840, notifying the county court clerk that the General Assembly appropriated $1620 for Clay County from the road and canal fund.
McConn, Mrs. Charles A., Scrapbooks, 1875-1950, (C1412)
The scrapbooks of Mrs. Charles A. McConn contain McConn family memorabilia; as well as newspaper clippings of travel articles by Charles A. McConn.
Missouri Equine & Equestrian Collection of Photographs, (P0993)
0.5 linear feet
Photographs of mules, horses, and equestrians. Many of the photographs were taken in mid-Missouri, but images of notable race horses of the early to mid-20th century are also included. Broadacres Farm in Liberty, Missouri, is heavily featured. Shows include the National Belgian Horse Show and the International Livestock Exposition.
Missouri Ex-POWs Oral History Project, Records, 2000-, (C3975)
Interviews with ex-prisoners of war (POWs). The records include audio cassettes, compact discs, and transcripts.
Missouri Extension Homemakers Association, Inc., "Sacred Stones and Stained Glass Windows," Project, 1977-1980, (C3723)
7.1 cubic feet
Statewide documentation of local churches by county. Includes cultural arts reports, church histories, floor plans, architectural details, clippings, slides, photographs, and miscellany.
Missouri, Clay County. Assessor's Notice, 1868, (C2836)
Notice by C.J.J. Leopold, assessor, of the locations designated by the county court for filing lists of taxable property and census information.
Missouri, Clay County, Public Notices, 1860-1869, (C2848)
Miscellaneous public notices from Liberty and Clay County concerning services offered, rental or sale of property, rewards for lost or stolen items, and internal revenue collection.
Missouri Temperance Union, Prathersville, Missouri, Records, 1887-1888, (K0109)
0.01 cubic foot (1 folder)
The Missouri Temperance Union, Prathersville, Missouri, Records contains photocopies from a ledger consisting of a member list and meeting minutes for the Missouri Temperance Union of Prathersville, Missouri.
Morrow, Lynn, Papers, (R1000)
21 cubic feet (964 folders, 4 oversize)
The papers of Lynn Morrow contain correspondence and research papers, with an additional significant collection of late twentieth-century promotional and advertising items. The papers reflect major areas of Morrow’s research on the southwest Missouri region; Iron, Shannon, and Washington counties; Theodore Pease Russell and his writings; and the writings of Silas C. Turnbo. The collection also includes a large selection of promotional publications and ephemera associated with late 20th century tourism in Missouri and Arkansas.
Nowlin, Sneed and Nowlin Invoice Book, 1851-1852, 1865-1867, (C1192)
Invoices of items purchased by a general merchandise firm in Missouri City, MO, mounted on pages of an account book entitled "Richfield, MO, 1851-1852." Several pages of the Richfield, MO, section are not covered by invoices."
Perry Family Letters, 1837-1872, (C3323)
Personal letters mentioning deaths, marriages, religious conversions, slave auctions, and events of local interest. Letters originate in Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, or Missouri.
Pigg, E. L. "Early Post Roads and Post Offices in Ray and Clay Counties," 1942, (C0704)
Early routes, methods of travel, location of post offices, and postmasters in Ray and Clay Counties, with connecting towns on these postal routes, 1800-1857.
Presbytery of Missouri, Minutes, 1920-1943, (C1353)
0.2 linear feet
The records contain official copies of minutes of the Presbytery of Missouri. Minutes for 1920-1939 are bound; others are in pamphlet form.
Presbytery of Missouri Records, 1817-1920, (C1354)
1.4 linear feet, 6 oversize volumes
The records of the Presbytery of Missouri contain minutes, reports, and other records of an organization composed of ministers and representative elders of Presbyterian churches in Missouri. Volumes 1-6 have been microfilmed. Volume 7 is available onsite. See also collection C1353.
Ramsay Place Names File 1928-1945, (C2366)
12 cubic feet
Card file of origins of Missouri place names, compiled by students of Robert L. Ramsay, University of Missouri professor of English.
Rider, Richard Price, (1837-1927), Letter, n.d., (C1752)
To Pearl Mitchell, Rocheport, MO, from Liberty, MO, n.d. Letters refer to and address made by Miss Mitchell at a Stephens College commencement when she presented a picture of former President Rider to the college. Miss Mitchell was a student at Stephens College, 1877-1880.
Robert H. Blackburn Papers, (K1367)
0.1 cubic foot (5 folders, 18 photographs, oversize)
The Robert H. Blackburn Papers contain materials related to Southwest High School in Kansas City, Missouri, materials about Hallmark Cards, and photographs of Kansas City Royals baseball players.
Rupe, James F., Collection, 1885-1943, (C3463)
0.8 cubic feet
Records of Dr. James F. Rupe of Clay County, Missouri, including ledgers; account books, Paradise, Missouri, Christian Church treasurer's books; two warranty deeds; and four diplomas, including his diploma from medical college in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1886, and photographs.
Shield America, 1941, (C2548)
Six issues of paper of the America First Committee, Kansas City, MO, August-November 1941.
Short, David W. Collection, (K0690)
0.98 cubic foot (20 folders, 20 glass plate negatives, 3 oversize folders, 4 rolled items)
The David W. Short Collection includes correspondence, memorial cards, family and military photographs, scrapbooks, two magazine issues, glass plate negatives, a marriage certificate for Moses Wood and Rossie Bellis, election poster of Moses Wood for County Court Judge, a photograph depicting the Grand Chapter of Missouri, Order of the Eastern Star, and architectural drawings of streetcar plans, railway terminals, and rail lines.
Smith, Jabez, Papers, 1847-1855, (C2729)
The papers of Jabez Smith contain letters to Smith, Independence, MO, from various people acting as his agents in California and Virginia. Also included are miscellaneous items and photographs.
Smith, Thomas Hardeman, Papers, 1845, (C1996)
The papers of Thomas Hardeman Smith contain letters to Smith from his father, mother, and sister, Liberty, MO.
Smithville and Longview Dam and Reservoir, Missouri, Projects Records, 1978-1979, (C2519)
0.4 linear feet
The records of the Smith and Longview Dam and Reservoir contain National Architectural and Engineering Record/Historic American Buildings Survey photographs, field records, historical and descriptive data, maps, and drawings of historic architectural structures at the Smithville and Longview Lakes, MO. Included are Longview Farm, Rockford School, James Poff and Sophia Rollins residences, Reuben Ross barn, and Waddell ""A"" truss bridge.
Soren, Noelle Louise, Papers, (K0525)
3.84 cubic feet (260 folders, 4 rolled items)
The papers contain research notes, photographs, correspondence, architectural drawings, and other materials related to Noelle Soren's research into the theater building careers of Carl and Robert Boller, known as the Boller Brothers. The results of her research culminated into her two-volume book, Windows to Wonderland: The Cinespace Creations of the Boller Brothers, Architects.
Spencer, George A. (1906-1997), Papers, 1931-1963, (C2466)
4.6 cubic feet
Correspondence, publicity, and legislative papers of a Boone County, MO, Democrat. Spencer's election campaigns and positions as city attorney, prosecuting attorney, and state representative and senator, and candidacy for Democratic nomination for attorney general. Activities of the Columbia, MO, Chamber of Commerce.
State Historical Society of Missouri, Typescript Collection, (C0995)
774 items on 14 rolls of microfilm
The State Historical Society of Missouri Typescript Collection consists of typescripts of articles and manuscripts donated over the years to the Historical Society.
State of Missouri Collection, (P0018)
Over 400 original photos created for the 1904 publication on Missouri at the time of the World's Fair by Walter Williams; shows all aspects and counties in Missouri.
The Missouri Collection (C3982)
17.9 cubic feet, 9 audio cassettes, 3 audio discs, 9 CDs, 1 computer disc, 1 film, 6 film strips, 3 DVDs, 2 video cassettes (791 folders, 21 oversize ite The Missouri Collection is an artificial collection combining miscellaneous small acquisitions related to Missouri places, individuals, organizations, and events.
Thompson, Robert C., Records, 1838-1843, (C3282)
The records contain a deed for land in Clay County, Missouri, 1838, and a land grant registered at Lexington, 1843.
Thomson and McKee Mercantile Records, 1860-1866, (K0108)
The Thomson and McKee Mercantile Records consist of one volume of customer account ledgers presumably for a general store. The accounts are listed by customer name, include a record of merchandise purchased, and indicate when and how the account was settled.
U.S. Post Office Department, Letters, 1941-1942, (C0906)
To E. L. Pigg, Jefferson City, MO, From Washington, D.C., concerning early mail routes between Richmond and Liberty, MO. Includes a list of postmasters at Richmond, 1822-1935, and at Liberty, 1822-1934.
U.S. Work Projects Administration, "Church Bibliography, Baptist Bodies of Missouri, Associational Minutes," 1941, (C1312)
The collection contains a list of the various Baptist associations in Missouri and the dates for which their records are in existence.
U.S. Work Projects Administration, Historical Records Survey, Missouri, 1935-1942, (C3551)
302 linear feet; also available on 817 rolls of microfilm
Correspondence, records, and working files. Originally designed to survey and inventory all county government records, the survey finally included inventories of church records, manuscript collections, vital statistics, American imprints, and federal archives. Incorporates records of the Federal Writers Project for Missouri.
University of Missouri, Agricultural Extension Service, Records, 1908-1963, (C2513)
1.5 linear feet
The records of the University of Missouri Agricultural Extension Service contain histories, letters, reports, memoranda, speeches, maps, publications, newspaper articles, and pictures concerning Missouri Agricultural Extension Service and U.S. Department of Agriculture policies; agricultural, home economics, and 4-H extension work; and the College of Agriculture.
van Ravenswaay, Charles (1911-1990), Papers, 1841-1990, (C3873)
21.8 linear feet, 1 audio cassette
Correspondence, research notes, photographs, and literary manuscripts of historian and author Charles van Ravenswaay, former director of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis; Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, Massachusetts; and the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum and Gardens, Wilmington, Delaware.
Watkins Mill State Park, Clay County, Missouri, Architectural Drawings, n.d., (C3369)
The collection contains measured drawings (blueprints) by the Historic American Buildings Survey of Franklin School and Mount Vernon Church including plans, elevations, sections, and details.
Watkins Woolen Mill Oral History Project, (K0826)
0.16 cubic foot (7 folders, 2 cassette tapes)
The Watkins Woolen Mill Oral History Project collection contains correspondence, pamphlets, newspaper articles, and research concerning Watkins Woolen Mill and the Watkins Mill Association, as well as oral history interviews conducted with Lee Oberholtz, secretary and founding member of the Watkins Mill Association.
Withers, Ethel Massie, Scrapbook, ca. 1916, (C1440)
0.3 linear feet
The Ethel Massie Withers Scrapbook is an album of photographic copies of lantern slides used to illustrate the Missouri Daughters of the American Revolution lecture, Pioneering in Missouri, 1916. The scrapbook also includes a copy of the lecture, written by Ethel Massie Withers, with explanations of the photographs. The lantern slides are located in the Editorial Department of the State Historical Society of Missouri.