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Business and personal records, genealogical material, 1400s - 1992
Manuscript Collection MC 1311
Note: Box 15, oversize items, contains oversize items from several subseries: Some items are also in Manuscript Collections Oversize Box 12 (photocopies of these items are in the appropriate folders throughout the collection) and in the microfilm cabinet.
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Samuel Wesley Fordyce built the Fordyce Bath House in Hot Springs, Arkansas, in 1914-1915. It operated as a bathhouse until 1962 and remained in the family until 1976. Family members were active in other areas as well. Samuel Wesley Fordyce (1840-1919) was a Civil War veteran and railroad builder. His son John Rison Fordyce (1869-1939) was an engineer, inventor, amateur historian and archaeologist, and candidate for U.S. Congress. He was a member of Dr. Frederick A. Cook's expedition to the Arctic in 1894 and in 1917 was commissioned Major of Engineers and put in charge of the construction of Camp Pike. John Rison Fordyce, Jr. (1903-1943), wrote about his experiences in north Africa during World War II.

Many members of the Fordyce family had an interest in history and saved (and sometimes published) historical records and family papers. Most of the genealogical material was collected and organized by Clifton Powell Fordyce (1901-1982), son of John Rison Fordyce.


Books and papers pertaining to the Fordyce family were donated to Special Collections by Edward Winfield Fordyce of St. Louis, Missouri, on March 23, 1995. E. W. Fordyce is the son of John Rison Fordyce and grandson of Samuel Wesley Fordyce.

The collection includes business records of the Fordyce Bath House (1913-1985), clippings about various family members and their activities, correspondence, journals, and much genealogical material. Some of the items pertain to families linked to the Fordyce family by marriage. Of particular note are a Civil War diary (1862-1865) kept by Mary Jane (Mrs. W. D.) Chadick, mother- in-law of Samuel Wesley Fordyce; a typescript of an overland journey diary (1853-1854) kept by David Sloan Stanley, whose son David Sheridan married Jane Fordyce (daughter of Samuel Wesley Fordyce); and a collection of handwritten sermons (1868-1875) by A. W. Winfield, the maternal grandfather of Lillian Powell (Mrs. John Rison) Fordyce.

Processed by Nan Lawler, April 1995. Special Collections Division, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Special Collections also holds the John Rison Fordyce Papers, MS F759 357(R). The finding aid is available in the Special Collections Reading Room.

Series 1. Genealogical material, 1400s - 1980s. Boxes 1-3.

The genealogical material was collected by Clifton Powell Fordyce (1901-1982), over a period of more than forty years. Some is very general, having to do with (for example) the Clan Forbes in Scotland. Most of it is specific and includes family charts, published articles and booklets, and personal narratives. C.P. Fordyce corresponded with a number of Fordyce relatives, as well as genealogists, and apparently duplicated and distributed to Fordyce relatives whatever information he found.

Aside from removing most duplicate materials, the arrangement has been altered little. Many files were labeled "Correspondence" or labeled by the name of the location or family linked to the Fordyce family. Some material was kept in boxes labeled "Fordyce Genealogy," with more specific labels for "Loyalists," "Canada," "U.S.," etc. These materials were removed to folders, but the labels were kept.

Although this material has been subdivided into "correspondence" and "information," there is a mix of both in most files. Fordyce was also interested in Fordyce place names; this material constitutes a separate subseries.

Subseries 1. Genealogical correspondence, 1938-1980.
Box 1
  1. Clifton Powell Fordyce (1901-1982)--letters on family history, 1938-1960.
  2. Clifton Powell Fordyce--correspondence, mostly genealogy, 1956-1970.
  3. Fordyce genealogy--Loyalists--correspondence with Bob Butler.
  4. Fordyce genealogy--Canada--correspondence with Ruby Moore.
  5. Fordyce genealogy--U.S.--correspondence, 1944-1980.
  6. Fordyce genealogy--correspondence with Nannie Fordyce.
  7. Fordyce genealogy--correspondence with A. H. Sayers & others, 1938-1948.
  8. Fordyce family history--correspondence, 1954.
  9. Fordyce family history--correspondence, 1955.
  10. Fordyce family history--correspondence, 1956.
  11. Fordyce family history--correspondence, 1957.
  12. Fordyce family history--correspondence, 1958-1959.
  13. Correspondence re Fordyce family in New Jersey, 1958-1959.
  14. Fordyce family history--correspondence, 1960, & list.
Box 2
  1. Fordyce family history--correspondence, 1961-1963.
  2. Fordyce family history--correspondence, 1964-1967, 1973, n.d.
  3. Fordyce family--Great Britain--correspondence, notes, etc.
  4. John Norval Fordyce (1871-1953)--correspondence.

    Subseries 2. Genealogical information, Fordyce and related families, 1400s - 1980s.
    Box 2 (cont.)
  5. Fordyce genealogy--notes of Clifton Powell Fordyce.
  6. Fordyce family--primarily Ireland, Scotland, Pennsylvania (from 1400s).
  7. Dingwall-Fordyce (from 1700s).
  8. Fordyce family--Greene Co., Pennsylvania (1700s, 1800s).
  9. Fordyce genealogy--New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania information.
  10. Gerrard family, primarily Pennsylvania, 1700s & 1800s.
  11. Corbley & Houseman families, Pennsylvania, 1700s & 1800s.
  12. The Houseman Family (1937).
  13. Doak family, Virginia (ca. 1700-1850).
  14. Fordyce family--Canada & Illinois (1777-1936).
Box 3
  1. Revolutionary War.
  2. Ohio & Indiana land grants (early 1800s).
  3. Fordyce genealogy--includes Civil War material.
  4. Fordyce genealogy--U.S.--notes, information, & catalogs.
  5. Stanley family, 1982-1950.
  6. "Downs s Telecards," 1987 (slips of paper listing members of the Fordyce family from the first generation [Samuel Fordyce, 1734-1824] through the ninth generation).

    Subseries 3. Fordyce place names.
    Box 3 (cont.)
  7. Fordyce, Scotland.
  8. Fordyce, Arkansas.
  9. Other Fordyce place names.

Return to "Contents of Collection"

Series 2. Personal papers, 1734-1992. Boxes 4-9.

Some genealogical materials are also included in this series.
Subseries 1. Early Fordyce family members (1734-1882) and related family members (1828-1878).
Box 4
  1. The first Samuel Fordyce, 1734-1824.
  2. John Fordyce (1808-1882).
  3. David Sloan Stanley (1828-1902)--journal of expedition from Fort Smith to San Diego, 1853-1854. (David Sloan Stanley s son David Sheridan Stanley married Jane Fordyce, daughter of Samuel Wesley Fordyce.)
  4. Mary Jane (Mrs. W. D.) Chadick--"Incidents of the War" (journal), 1862-1865. (Mary Jane Chadick was the mother-in-law of Samuel Wesley Fordyce. Includes items originally laid in journal.)
  5. "The Complete Diary . . . " in The Huntsville (Alabama) Times (1937). (This is a supplement put out by the newspaper. Originally the Chadick journal was published serially; a scrapbook of clippings was included in the collection. The scrapbook was deteriorating badly and taken apart; the trimmed pages are in Box 15, oversize items.)
  6. "Incidents of the War" in Alabama Historical Quarterly (1947).
  7. Mary Jane (Mrs. W. D.) Chadick--reminiscences of marriage, 1848-1878.
  8. William D. Chadick.
  9. Scrapbook. ("Mark Twain s Adhesive Scrap Book," partly filled with clippings of inspirational stories, poems, and articles; no date.)
  10. Items originally laid in scrapbook. (Halftone portrait of unidentified man, possibly Samuel Wesley Fordyce, and bookmark of counted thread embroidery done on perforated paper.)

    Subseries 2. Samuel Wesley Fordyce (1840-1919).
    Box 4 (cont.)
  11. Samuel Wesley Fordyce (1840-1919).
  12. S. W. Fordyce--land transactions, 1870s & 1880s.
  13. S. W. Fordyce--land transactions, 1890s - 1909.
  14. Cotton Belt Railroad.
Box 5
  1. Samuel Wesley Fordyce--railroad pass books.
  2. Scrapbook--"Building the Cotton Belt."
  3. Items originally laid in Cotton Belt scrapbook.
  4. Samuel Wesley Fordyce--book of clippings (1880s), primarily railroads.
  5. Samuel Wesley Fordyce [Scrapbook] I. (Contains clippings, published speeches, railroad passes, and correspondence; the pages are numbered and an index is included. Another scrapbook of clippings only, labeled "Samuel W. Fordyce Scrapbook III," is in Box 15, oversize items.)
Box 6
  1. Autobiography of Samuel Wesley Fordyce, dictated 1919. (Includes foreword by John Rison Fordyce, 1936. Typescript includes handwritten alterations. Pages 134-150 originally clipped together with handwritten note, "Not to use.")
  2. "An Autobiography of Samuel Wesley Fordyce . . . ," pp. 1- 212. (Full title "An Autobiography of Samuel Wesley Fordyce. Soldier, Pioneer, Developer and Philanthropist." Includes letter from editor at Bobbs-Merrill Company, Publishers, to Col. John R. Fordyce, 1938.)
  3. "An Autobiography of Samuel Wesley Fordyce . . . ," Appendices.
  4. "Autobiography . . . with Introduction by Col. John R. Fordyce."
  5. "Autobiography . . . with Introduction," short biographical sketch added. (With comments by Clifton Powell Fordyce.) (Note: a copy of the autobiography, privately published in 1992, was removed to the Special Collections Arkansas Collection.)
Box 7
  1. Samuel Wesley Fordyce--memorial book.

    Subseries 3. John Rison Fordyce (1869-1939).
    Box 7 (cont.)
  2. John Rison Fordyce (1869-1939)--personal items. (See also two volumes of scrapbooks on microfilm. These scrapbooks include letters from Fordyce while he was a member of the Cook Arctic Expedition of 1894, newspaper clippings and correspondence regarding the construction he supervised of Camp Pike, correspondence and reports pertaining to his engineering consulting, newspaper clippings of his articles on history and archaeology, and a certificate signed by Franklin Roosevelt appointing Fordyce a member of the De Soto commission.)
  3. John Rison Fordyce--Arkansas Highway Audit Commission papers, 1929-1934.
  4. John Rison Fordyce--Report of Highway Audit Commission, 1934.
  5. "Old Tennessee," by John Rison Fordyce, [1929].
  6. John Rison Fordyce (1869-1939)--published articles.
  7. John Rison Fordyce--De Soto research, celebration.
  8. John Rison Fordyce (1869-1939)--engineering.
Box 8
  1. John R. Fordyce--patents--cotton bale carrier (1913-1915), lettering device (1931).
  2. John R. Fordyce--firearms (1918-1935), roads (1938-1939).
  3. John R. Fordyce--inventions--asphalt revetment, 1934-1938.
  4. John R. Fordyce--inventions--asphalt revetment-- correspondence, 1932-1938.
  5. John Rison Fordyce (1869-1939)--politics.
  6. Correspondence & clippings, 1923 (orig. laid in "John R. Fordyce, Candidate . . ." scrapbook. (Scrapbook, "John R. Fordyce, Candidate for Congressman Sixth District," is in Box 15, oversize items.)
  7. John Rison Fordyce (1869-1939)--death.

    Subseries 4. Lillian Powell (Mrs. John Rison) Fordyce and her family.
    Box 8 (cont.)
  8. Lillian Powell (Mrs. John Rison) Fordyce (1875-1954).
  9. Letters of Lillian Powell (Mrs. John Rison Fordyce) and her family, 1886-1894. (Includes several letters and envelopes edged in black for mourning.)
  10. Letters of Lillian Powell (Mrs. John Rison Fordyce) and her family, 1895-1929, n.d.
  11. A. R. Winfield (maternal grandfather of Lillian Powell [Mrs. John Rison] Fordyce).
  12. Sermons of A. R. Winfield.
Box 9
  1. [Winfield] "Index Rerum" (1840s & 1850s).
  2. Edward W. Winfield (Lillian Powell Fordyce s uncle).

    Subseries 5. Other family members.
    Box 9 (cont.)
  3. Samuel W. Fordyce, Jr., 1878-1948.
  4. Samuel W. Fordyce, Jr.--memorial book, St. Louis Union Trust Company.
  5. Samuel W. Fordyce, Jr.--memorial book, American Zinc, Lead and Smelting Company.
  6. John Rison Fordyce, Jr., 1903-1943. (Includes letters and excerpts of World War II letters.)
  7. Clifton Powell Fordyce (1901-1982).
  8. Edward Winfield Fordyce (1909- )
  9. Other Fordyce family members, 1964-1992.

Return to "Contents of Collection"

Series 3. Fordyce Bath House records, 1913-1985. Boxes 10-14.

The first bathhouse built by Samuel Wesley Fordyce, the Palace, was demolished in 1914 and replaced by the Fordyce Bath House, built 1914-1915. Fordyce intended the new bathhouse to be the finest in Hot Springs. The Fordyce operated as a bathhouse until 1962 and remained in the family until 1976.
Box 10
  1. Hot Springs. (Includes photographs of Hot Springs flood, 1910.)
  2. Hot Springs--maps of Garland Co. (1919), property (1939), National Park.
  3. Hot Springs--Army & Navy Hospital.
  4. Hot Springs bath houses--charts showing baths given, 1924- 1971.
  5. Hot Springs--real estate owned by Fordyce family--maps.
  6. Palace Bath House (predecessor of Fordyce Bathhouse)-- photograph.
  7. Fordyce Bath House--notes of L. P. Fordyce & J. R. Fordyce-- paid, 1913-1940.
  8. Fordyce Bath House--Court decisions re taxes (Briefs), 1919- 1945.
  9. Fordyce Bath House--insurance, 1920, 1939-1940.
  10. Fordyce Bath House--correspondence, 1921-1923.
  11. Fordyce Bath House--rates, 1922, 1938, 1940.
  12. Fordyce Bath House--personal property tax, 1923-1964.
  13. Fordyce Bath House--maps of lot (1929 & 1936) & brochure.
  14. Share certificate book, 1931-1935.
  15. Fordyce Bath House--debt of J. R. Fordyce, 1932-1933.
Box 11
  1. Fordyce Bath House--ledger containing minutes, 1931-1942.
  2. Fordyce Bath House--papers originally laid in ledger, 1931, 1934, 1943.
  3. Fordyce Bath House--letters & information re arthritis, 1934, 1936.
  4. Fordyce Bath House--salaries, 1934-1940.
  5. Fordyce Bath House--minutes of Fordyce Baths, Inc., & contracts with B. L. Neimeyer, 1934-1955.
  6. Fordyce Bath House--pools--correspondence, 1934-1939.
  7. Fordyce Bath House--pools--plans & blueprints.
  8. Fordyce Bath House--pools--advertisements, clippings, etc., [1930s].
  9. Fordyce Bath House--correspondence re pools & equipment, 1936.
  10. Fordyce Bath House--pools--photographs, [1939].
  11. Fordyce Bath House--taxes & correspondence, 1939-1940.
  12. Fordyce Bath House--insurance--notes & correspondence, 1939- 1963.
Box 12
  1. Fordyce Bath House--social security & unemployment taxes, 1940-1945.
  2. Fordyce Bath House--insurance--"Graphic Insurance Audit," 1942.
  3. Fordyce Bath House--advertising & clippings, 1946-1956.
  4. Fordyce Bath House--1948 concessions policies.
  5. Fordyce Bath House--1948 concessions policies--correspondence & proposal, 1948-1950.
  6. Fordyce Bath House--special reserve fund, 1949-1960.
  7. Fordyce Bath House--surrender of life insurance on Byron L. ("Bones") Neimeyer, 1951-1952.
  8. Fordyce Bath House--rate increases, 1951-1953.
  9. Fordyce Bath House--laundry, 1952-1953.
  10. Fordyce Bath House--hydrotherapy center, 1952-1960.
  11. Fordyce Bath House--lawsuit of Joseph E. Francese, [1954].
  12. Fordyce Bath House--1954 improvement program.
  13. Fordyce Bath House--parking, 1954-1955.
  14. Fordyce Bath House--sewer tax, 1958-1960.
  15. Fordyce Bath House--insurance policies & correspondence, 1961-1970.
  16. Fordyce Bath House--sale of Physical Medical Center stock, 1962-1963.
  17. Fordyce Bath House--sales agreement with B. L. Neimeyer, 1962-1963.
Box 13
  1. Fordyce Bath House--monthly statements, 1942-1946.
  2. Fordyce Bath House--monthly statements, 1947-1953.
  3. Fordyce Bath House--monthly statements, 1954-1962.
  4. Fordyce Bath House--monthly/quarterly statements, 1959-1962.
  5. Fordyce Bath House--annual statements & reports, 1935, 1942- 1959, 1961.
  6. Fordyce Bath House--decline in business, attempts to sell or convert, [1953] -1965.
  7. Fordyce Bath House--postcards.
  8. Fordyce Bath House--Historic Furnishings Report, 1987 (includes letter to Edward Fordyce from author Carol A. Petravage, 1989).
Box 14
  1. Fordyce Bath House--data for Historic Structures report, [1982].
  2. Fordyce vs. United States (1 of 2).
  3. Fordyce vs. United States (2 of 2).

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