Collection Title: Rainey T. Wells Papers
Series Number: RG003-12-04
Department: Office of the President
Processed and Cataloged by: Processed by Haley Allen in April of 2012.
Date Listed: July 11, 2012; updated April 26, 2013.
Size of Collection: 3.25 linear feet.
Number of Boxes: 1 legal size document case; 1 legal half size document case and 1 oversize box.
Type of Material: Correspondence, press releases, newspaper clippings, photographs and ephemera.
Condition of Material: Good. The Geneve Wells letters are in bad condition with serious water and mold damage.
Arrangement: Organized alphabetically by title of file folder; Chronological arrangement.
Historical Information: Rainey T. Wells was the second president of Murray State Normal Scholl and Teachers College, presently Murray State University, from 1926 to 1932. He was born near Murray in Calloway County, Kentucky on December 25, 1875. He held a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education from Southern Normal University and taught for several years at Kirksey, Kentucky. He was very influential in establishing the Calloway Normal School at Kirksey in 1899. Wells later became a prominent attorney and entered politics. He was elected to the Kentucky State Legislature from Calloway County in 1902. He also served as the State Tax Commissioner from 1920 to 1926 and was a member of the State Normal School Commission in 1922 and 1923. He was the primary force that led to the selection of Murray as the location of one of the State’s two new normal schools in 1922. In 1933 he became general attorney for the Woodmen of the World. A position he retained until his retirement in 1946 and passed away at his home Murray on June 15, 1958.
Scope and Content: Collection consists of correspondence, speeches, press reports and newspaper clippings related to Rainey T. Wells from 1916 to 1986. The collection primarily contains information that focuses upon his years as president of Murray State Normal School and Teachers College, presently Murray State University, from 1926 to 1932. The papers include early deeds to the college, historic records relevant to the school, family history and a building, memorial and statue constructed and named in his honor. Included in the collection are letters received by Geneve Wells, the daughter of Rainey, from 1926.
Subject Headings / Descriptors:
Wells, Rainey T., 1875-1958.
Banks, Geneve Wells, 1902-1985.
Murray State University – Presidents.
Murray State Normal School – Presidents.
Murray State Teachers College – Presidents.
Murray State University – History.
Research Notes: The Geneve Wells’ letters were found at Oakhurst during a remodeling project on the home in 2013. They were added to the collection on April 26, 2013.