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Biographical Note

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Arrangement of the Collection


Access Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Series 1: Biographical Materials

Series 2: Works by Montgomery

Series 3: Family Papers

Series 4: Correspondence, 1894-1949

Series 5: Photographs

Series 6: Miscellaneous

Series 7: Ira K. Stephens’s research notes

Southern Methodist University

Edmund Montgomery and Elisabet Ney papers, 1830-1949:

A Guide to the Collection


Creator: Montgomery, Edmund, 1835-1911
Title: Edmund Montgomery and Elisabet Ney papers
Dates: 1830-1949
Abstract: This collection contains the papers of Edmund Duncan Montgomery and his wife Elisabet Ney. Montgomery, who trained in Germany as a medical doctor but subsequently gravitated toward philosophy and science, and Ney, a sculptor, immigrated to the United States in 1871, settling in Texas two years later. The papers include biographical material, copies of Montgomery’s published articles and books, deeds to the Texas cotton plantation that Montgomery and Ney owned, wills of Ney family members, letters to and from Montgomery, correspondence between friends of Montgomery and his chief biographer, SMU philosophy professor Ira K. Stephens, photographs, and Stephens’s research notes.
Accession No: Mss 0050
Quantity: 3 boxes (3.75 linear feet)
Language: Material is in English, German, and French
Repository DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

Edmund Duncan Montgomery, physician, philosopher, and scientist, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on March 18, 1835 and died at Liendo Plantation near Hempstead, Texas on April 17, 1911. He was the son of Isabella Davidson Montgomery and Duncan MacNeill, an eminent Scottish jurist. Raised in Paris, France and Frankfurt, Germany, he entered Heidelberg University in 1852 as a student of medicine, earning his Doctor of Medicine degree from Wϋrzburg in 1858. In 1860 he moved to England, serving as the resident physician at the German Hospital, and at Bermondsey Dispensary. He also served as a demonstrator of morbid anatomy at St. Thomas’s Hospital in London.

In 1863, Montgomery relinquished these positions and moved to the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira after being diagnosed with Tuberculosis. There he married Elisabet Ney. He practiced medicine from 1863 to 1869 in several locations: Madeira, Menton, Rome, and Munich. In 1869 he retired from medical practice. He and Elisabet Ney immigrated to America in 1871.

At the urging of their friend Vicco von Stralendorff, Montgomery and his wife spent the first two years in America in a colony promoted as a resort for consumptives near Thomasville, Georgia. In 1873, they purchased Liendo, a cotton plantation near Hempstead, Texas, which had been established in 1853 on 1,100 acres of Justo Liendo’s Spanish land grant.

Montgomery devoted his time to intensive research on the nature of protoplasm which he had begun in London. His biological studies appeared in a number of papers published in Popular Science Monthly, St. Thomas Hospital Report, the Index Jenaische Zeitschrift fur Naturwissenschaft, Archiv fur die gesammte Physiologie, and in a final monograph, The Vitality and Organization of Protoplasm. In these papers he maintained what may be called a neo-vitalistic point of view in contrast with the materialism popular in his day.

Montgomery’s wife was the sculptor Elisabet Ney. Described as beautiful, talented, and self-willed, she was born in Muenster, Westphalia, Germany on January 26, 1833, the daughter of Johann Adam and Anna Elisabeth (Wernze) Ney. At age nineteen she announced she was going to Munich to study art at the Academy of Arts. Her talent and personal charm brought her many admirers, among them a young medical student from Scotland, Edmund Montgomery.

After two or three years Elisabet Ney traveled to Berlin and studied under Christian Daniel Rauch. There she made busts of great men such as Arthur Schopenhauer and Alexander von Humboldt. In 1859 she moved to Hanover where she made a colossal bust of George V, King of Hanover. In 1861 she returned to Muenster, where she remained until 1863 when she followed Montgomery to Madeira and married him on November 17th. She generally lived with Dr. Montgomery, but she would not admit the marriage and continued to call herself Miss Ney. She subsequently bore two sons, Arthur (1871-1873) and Lorne Ney (1872-1913).

Elisabet Ney spent several years in Italy, where she made a bust of famed Italian Giuseppe Garibaldi. Heralded on the European continent, she made busts of German chemist Justus von Liebig, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, King Wilhelm I of Prussia, and a full-length statue of Ludwig II of Bavaria, which now adorns Linderhof Palace in southwestern Bavaria.

In 1873 she moved with Montgomery to Texas. Miss Ney eventually sought the stimulation and appreciation of Austin where she secured a commission from the state to execute statues of Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston for the Texas Exhibit at the Word’s Fair in 1893. The two now stand in the Capital at Austin and copies of them represent Texas in the Capitol at Washington. Those statues were much admired and brought many other commissions, including a statue of Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth walking in her sleep, and a recumbent statue of Civil War General Albert Sidney Johnston, considered her best work, which resides in the Texas State Cemetery.

Ney died on June 29, 1907 and was buried at Liendo Plantation. Montgomery suffered an apoplectic attack two months later and was an invalid the remainder of his life, during which time he wrote his last work, The Revelation of Present Experience, published in 1911. He died at Liendo Plantation on April 17, 1911.


Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Montgomery, Edmund Duncan" http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/MM/fmo10.html (accessed August 20, 2010).

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The bulk of the collection concerns the work and life of Edmund Duncan Montgomery, with only a small portion of material pertaining to his wife, Elisabet Ney. Biographer Ira Kendrick Stephens collected groups of letters and printed material from George W. and Laura B. Harris, who purchased the Montgomery-Ney estate of Liendo; various Montgomery heirs, including Lorne and several of his children; Charles A. Lane, a friend of Montgomery; and various other employees and acquaintances.

The papers are divided into seven series: Biographical Materials, Works by Montgomery, Family Papers, Correspondence, 1894-1949, Photographs, Miscellaneous, and Ira K. Stephens’s Research Notes. The collection occupies three cubic feet of shelf space and the correspondence files span the years 1894 to 1949.

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Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into seven series:
Series 1: Biographical Materials
Series 2: Works by Montgomery
Series 3: Family Papers
Series 4: Correspondence, 1894-1949
Series 5: Photographs
Series 6: Miscellaneous
Series 7: Ira K. Stephens’s research notes

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Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the DeGolyer Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Sensitive Material Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which DeGolyer Library assumes no responsibility.

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Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Subjects (Persons)
Montgomery, Edmund, 1835-1911.
Ney, Elisabet, 1833-1907.
Stephens, Ira K.
Women sculptors -- Texas.
Philosophers -- Texas.

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Related Materials

Stephens, Ira Kendrick. "The Hermit Philosopher of Liendo," (A1984.0428c)

Loggins, Vernon. 1946. Two Romantics and Their Ideal Life: Elisabet Ney, Sculptor; Edmund Montgomery, Philosopher. New York: Odyssey press. (NB.588.N4.L6 1946)

Montgomery, Edmund , trans. 1861. On the Use of Cold in Surgery. London: New Sydenham Society. (RM863.E86 1861)

Keeton, Morris T. 1936. The Philosophy of Edmund Montgomery. M.A. thesis, Southern Methodist University. (Fondren Library B945.M494 K4 1950)

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Edmund Montgomery and Elisabet Ney papers, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Gift, Ira Kendrick Stephens and Morris T. Keaton, circa 1930.

Finding aid revised by

Dale Topham, 2010.

Encoded by

Lara Corazalla, 2010.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Biographical Materials
6 folders

Box Folder
1 1 Journal Articles on Montgomery and his work by Ira K. Stephens, unknown dates. 5 items; typescripts
2 Morris T. Keeton, "The Philosophy of Edmund Duncan Montgomery." M.A. Thesis, Southern Methodist University, 1936. 1 item; typescript
3 Paul Carus. "Dr. Edmund Montgomery," The Monist, October, 1909.
4 Newspaper clippings about Edmund Montgomery
5 Genealogy of Clan McNeill. 5 items.
6 Biography of Elisabet Ney prepared for Biographisches Jahrbuch und Deutscher Nekrolog.

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Series 2: Works by Montgomery
45 folders

Box Folder
1 7 Manuscript Journals, undated.
Handwritten journals in German and English. Smaller journal appears to have more than one author. 2 items.
8 Stereometrie by Edmund Montgomery, 1851.
Handwritten notebook with elaborate drawings. 1 item (German).
9 "An Address to the People…"
Manuscript with typescript and carbon. 1 item.
10 "The Corngrowers of Tomorrow."
Manuscript. 1 item.
11 "The Epistemological Task."
Manuscript with typescript. 1 item.
12 "Fichte."
Manuscript. 1 item.
13 "The Groundwork of Ethics."
Handwritten drafts (2 copies) with typescript. 3 items.
14 Untitled.
Miscellaneous notes. Handwritten notebook and fragment. 2 items.
15 "Ethics." 3 copies, Typescript
"Fichte." Typescript
"The Epistemological Task." 3 copies; typescript and carbon
"Concerning Psycho-Parallelism." Typescript.
16 Letters to Religio-Philosophical Journal, "The Open Court"; The New Ideal; The Conservator; and the Hempstead News, 1887-1911. 20 items; typescript copies.
17 Photocopies of Journals.
Photocopies of the New Ideal and Twentieth Century for 1889-1890
18 "Anent Psychophysical Parallelism" American Journal of Psychology April, 1905
19 "Are We Cell Aggregates?" Mind, 1882
20 "Are We Conscious Automata?" Proceedings of the Texas Academy of Science, 1897
21 "Causation and Its Organic Condition," Mind, Vol. VI, 1882
22 "The Dependence of Quality of Specific Energies," Mind, Vol. V, 1880
23 "The Elementary Functions and the Primitive Organization of Protoplasm," St. Thomas’s Hospital Reports, IX, 1879
24 "Hunger," The Index, December 25, 1884
25 "The Integration of Mind," Mind, 1895
26 "Mental Activity," Mind, 1889
27 "Molecular Theories of Organic Reproduction," Proceedings of Texas Academy of Science, 1897
28 "Neovitalism," Proceedings of Texas Academy of Science, 1904
29 "The Object of Knowledge," Mind, 1885.
30 "Our Personality," The Index, April 2, 1885.
31 "The Psychological Significance of Dreams," Religio-Philosophical Journal, September 30, 1893.
32 "Space and Touch," Mind, 1885
33 "The Substantiality of Life," Mind, 1881
34 "To be Alive, What is it?" Monist, 1895
35 "Transcendentalism and Evolution," The Index, March 26, 1885
36 "True Democracy," New Occasions, June, 1893
37 "Uber das Protoplasma Einiger Elemeentarorganismen," Jenaishe Zeitschrift fur Naturwissenschaft, 1885
38 "The Unity of Organic Individual,’ Mind, 1880
39 "ZurFrage uber die Struktur und Contraction quergestreifter Muskel fassern," Centralblatt fur medicineische Wissenschaften, 1807
40 "Zur Lehre von der Muskelcontraktion," Pfluger’s Archive fur Physiologie, 1881
41 The Revolution of Present Experience. Boston: Sherman, French & Company, 1910.
42-43 Die Kant’sche Erkenntniss Lehre Widerlegt Vom Standpunkt Der Empirie. Munchen: Verlag con C. Ackermann, 1870.
Box Folder
2 44 On the Formation of So-Called Cells in Animal Bodies. London: John Churchill and Sons, 1867.
45 Fr. Esmarch. On the Use of Cold in Surgery written by Esmarch, translated by Edmund d. Montgomery, 1866
46 The Vitality and Organization of Protoplasm. Austin, Texas: Gammie-Statesman Publishing Company, 1904. (3 copies)
47 Bibliography of Edmund Duncan Montgomery. 3 items; typescript
48 Reviews of Edmund Montgomery’s work by miscellaneous individuals for various publications, 1907-1912. 4 items; typescripts. (one in French)
49 William Mackentire Salter. "A New Type of Naturalism – Montgomery," International Journal of Ethics, October, 1908
50 Charles A. Lane. "Montgomery Philosophy of Vital Organization," The Monist, October, 1909.
51 Letters to miscellaneous scientific journals, including critiques and rebuttals written either about or by Edmund Montgomery, 1868-1911. 20 items; typescript copes.

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Series 3: Family Papers
9 folders

Box Folder
2 52 Deeds (Georgia), 1870, 1872, 1875, and 1948
8 items; typescripts.
53-58 Deeds (Liendo), 1830 to 1949
Records of transfer of deed for Liendo from original Spanish grant
59 Will, Adam and Elisabeth (Wernze) Ney, February 20, 1871
Last will and testament of Adam and Elizabeth (Wernze) Ney, typescript and accompanying letter. 2 Items.
60 Wills, Ney
Wills of Friedrich Ney (1881) and Adam and Elisabeth Ney (1872). 3 items; photocopies (in German).

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Series 4: Correspondence, 1894-1949
27 folders

Box Folder
2 61 Montgomery to Elisabet Ney December 12, 1908.
Original at Ney Museum, Austin. Letter from Montgomery at Liendo to Ney, discussing his health problems and Lorne. 1 item; photocopy.
62 Montgomery to Hans Driesch, 1903-1907.
Letters from Montgomery, written primarily in German, discussing psychological evolution experiments and energy levels, review of Driesch’s book, journal articles by both, and family matter. 11 items, with translations.
63 Montgomery to and from Charles Alva Lane, 1894-1910.
Montgomery’s translations and encouragement, evaluation and critiques of Lanes’ writings. In addition, Montgomery commented on his own work and affairs and family matters. 22 items, with some translated and paraphrased.
64 Montgomery to Miscellaneous. 1878-1910.
Letters from Montgomery to professional colleagues regarding journal articles, his work, views, and opinions. Included are copies of letters to University College, London with their editorial comments. Correspondents include: "Robertson," Lewis Janes, Ernst Mach, and Ernst Haeckel. 14 items; photocopies & transcription.
65 Miscellaneous to Montgomery, 1877-1908, and undated.
Letters written to Montgomery regarding publication of Ney’s work, comments on Montgomery’s book, lawyer’s reports on inheritance, and a personal letter from Maria Leuder discussing family matters (includes photograph and translation).Correspondents include: Paul Carus, William M. Salter, Shadworth H. Hodgson, and C.A. Lane. 9 items (Some in German).
66 Crescentia "Cencie" Simath, 1890 and 1900.
Includes a typescript of a letter sent from Ney in Meunchen, Germany to her housekeeper, Cencie, discussing efforts to get a relative to the doctor’s office. Another letter, dated "early, 29 – 1909," mentions an illness of Dr. Montgomery. 2 items; typescript and photocopy of originals.
67 Ney to Hallie Bryan and Guy M. Bryan, 1899-1900.
Letters from Ney discussing her work, financial difficulties, and other miscellaneous matters with the Bryans of Galveston. 4 items; photocopies of originals.
68 Edmund Ney to Elisabet Ney, Feb. 21, 1871.
Letter from Edmund, Boston, to his sister Elisabet who was visiting New York. Discusses business and family matters. 1 item; photocopy.
69 Letters about Elisabet Ney, Miscellaneous Letters, 1917-1948, and undated.
Letters from miscellaneous individuals, primarily photocopies or carbons, answering questions pertaining to Elisabet Ney. Includes a long letter from Dora Gray Muller, who lived at Liendo and taught Lorne for one year, to a Mrs. Rutland, describing the Montgomery/Ney household. Also, letters to Ira Kendrick Stephens, and copies of Texas appropriation bills contracting for work with Ney. Correspondents include: Paul Caus, Waldemar Kuhlman, and F. Skolaude. 9 items.
70 C. A. Lane to George W. Harris, 1911-1918
Letters to the Harrises from Lane, who purchased Liendo and became holder of Montgomery’s papers. Letters deal with Montgomery family affairs and the philosopher’s writings. 13 items.
71 C.A. Lane to Ira K. Stephens, 1930-1934
Correspondence and poetry by Lane regarding the letters and literature of Montgomery sent to Stephens for the preparation of his biography on Montgomery. Relates sources for information on Montgomery and Ney including the Harrises and some interesting anecdotes. 30 items.
72 A.G. Lipscomb to C.A. Lane, 1912.
Correspondence from a lawyer to Montgomery regarding the publication of poems. Includes copies of the originals in German and typescripts of the translations. 27 items (20 in German).
73 Montgomery heirs to C.A. Lane, 1913-1925
Correspondence from the Montgomery grandchildren relating their activities and appreciation for clothes sent by Lane as well as correspondence from and concerning Mrs. Barrett, an acquaintance of Lorne Montgomery, involved in the settlement of the estate. 14 items (One in German).
74 George W. and Laura B. Harris to C.A. Lane, 1911
Correspondence from Harris to Lane regarding the death of Montgomery and his friends, the funeral , the disposition of papers, and request for information on his life and family. 7 items.
75 G.W. and L.B. Harris to C.A. Lane 1912. Correspondence deals with the disposition of the works of Montgomery, problems with the son, and the litigation involved with Montgomery heirs. Harris is attempting to obtain information for Lane on Ney’s life and work also. 16 items.
76 G.W. and L.B. Harris to C.A. Lane, 1913
Correspondence, notes, newspaper clippings, and a Christmas card. News of family and friends, Lorne Montgomery’s activities and subsequent death, and the progress of court litigation; newspaper clipping on Buckner Orphanage where Montgomery grandchildren were placed, and poetry believed written by Montgomery. 27 items.
77 G.W. and L.B. Harris to C.A. Lane, 1914
Correspondence deals with Montgomery –Ney affairs, comments on family and friends from Montgomery grandchildren. 16 items.
78 G.W. and L.B. Harris to Miscellaneous, 1911-1931
Correspondence regarding family affairs, Lorne’s activities, Montgomery’s publications, farm news, comments on Ney, information on Montgomery collections at the University of Texas and SMU. Correspondents include: Lorne Montgomery and Mrs. J. Dibrell. 8 items.
79 Cencie Simath June 27, 1913 – November 25, 1916
Correspondence with translations and typescripts regarding the retirement of the housekeeper, Cencie Simath. Includes letter from the grandchildren in the Buckner Home, Dallas. 19 items (one in German).
80 Ira K. Stephens, 1930-1938
Correspondence by Stephens to individuals with knowledge of the activities of Montgomery and Ney. Letters addressed worldwide and include Stephens’ attempt to have Liendo Plantation purchased by Texas as state museum and park. Correspondents include: Dr. Hans Driesch, C.A. Lane, and Laura B. Harris. 74 items; typescript copies.
81 Ira K. Stephens, 1937-1951
Correspondence regarding the joint publication of Montgomery’s work. Comments and evaluation of the work and life of the philosopher. 41 items.
82 Ira K. Stephens, 1931
Correspondence in response to Stephens’ inquiry concerning information regarding all facets of Montgomery’s life, including education, genealogy, publications, and legal and financial affairs. Correspondents include: Mrs. Bride Neill Taylor. 40 items (six in German).
83 Ira K. Stephens, 1931
Correspondence in response to Stephens’ inquiry concerning information on all facets of the lives of Montgomery and Ney. Includes individuals and institutions worldwide. Correspondents include: Bride Neill Taylor and Sidney E. Meezes. 20 items (one in German).
84 Ira K. Stephens 1932, 1937-1939
Correspondence in response to Stephens’ inquiry concerning information on all facets of the lives of Montgomery and Ney; includes individuals, institutions, educators, and attorneys. Correspondents include: Louis S. Moore and Clarence Lewis. 34 items (three in German).
85 Ira K. Stephens, 1951
Correspondence in response to Stephens’ inquiry concerning information on the work of Montgomery and Ney. 5 items.
86 Ira K. Stephens, undated
Correspondence and notes on a variety of topics. Correspondents include: C.A. Lane. 7 items.
Miscellaneous Correspondence
87 Miscellaneous, 1911, 1913, 1924, 1931, and undated
A variety of topics. Correspondents include: C.A. Lane and Mrs. Laura B. Harris. 7 items.

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Series 5: Photographs
11 folders

Box Folder
2 88 "Cencie," 2 items
89 "Liendo." 16 items
90 Duncan McNeill (father of Edmund Montgomery). 2 items
91 Edmund Duncan Montgomery. 18 items
92 Edmund Duncan Montgomery. 21 items
93 Montgomery’s grave and bronze tablet. 4 items
94 Lorne Ney Montgomery. 4 items
95 Vicco and Margaret von Stralendorff. 5 items
96 Elisabet Ney 14 items
97 Work of Elisabet Ney 5 items
98 Miscellaneous. 6 items

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Series 6: Miscellaneous
4 folders

Box Folder
2 99 Items on Liendo. 10 items
100 Newspaper clippings. 8 items
101 Maps of Thomas County, Georgia. 2 items
102 Shipping receipt for one of Ney’s sculptures

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Series 7: Ira K. Stephens’s research notes
1 folder and 2 items

Box Folder
2 103 Research materials gathered by Ira K. Stephens
Includes notes, scraps of paper, a published essay on Liendo, fragments of typescripts, and "A Statement by the Editors of The Open Court . . ." (Chicago, 1887)
3 Two Index Card files created by Ira K. Stephens containing notes and references to his research on Montgomery and Ney

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