University of Houston Libraries, Special Collections

Guide to the Dr. Edison E. Oberholtzer Papers

Overview of the Collection

Creator Oberholtzer, E. E. (Edison Ellsworth), 1880-1954
Collection Title Dr. Edison E. Oberholtzer Papers
Dates 1905-1967
Identification 1999-010
Physical Description 5.00 Linear Feet
Language of Materials English
Repository University of Houston Libraries M.D. Anderson Library 4333 University Drive Houston, TX, 77204-2000 URL: Email: Phone: 713-743-9229

Biographical Information:

Edison Ellsworth Oberholtzer began his career as a school teacher in rural Indiana. He served as Superintendent of Tulsa public schools from 1913 to 1923 and Superintendent of the Houston Independent School District from 1924 to 1927. With the formation of the Houston Junior College in 1927, Oberholtzer was named president. Oberholtzer remained president through the change from a two-year to a four-year institution in 1934. In 1945 Senate Bill (SB) 207 passed and gave the authority to the Board of Education of HISD to divorce the management of the University of Houston from the public schools. E.E. Oberholtzer was named as president and continued in that capacity until his retirement in 1950.

Oberholtzer received his bachelor and master degrees from the University of Chicago and his doctorate from Columbia University in 1934.

Scope and Contents

The papers of Edison Ellsworth Oberholtzer contain employment contracts, information relating to the University of Houston, photographs, newspapers, certificates, and diplomas. Dr. Oberholtzer's papers are arranged in five series. The collection contains material dating from 1905 to 1967. A few of the photographs may precede 1905. Most of the material was obtained from Richard A. Walker in January 2003. Mr. Walker is a Professor of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley and a grand nephew of Dr. Oberholtzer.


Conditions Governing Access:

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be discussed with the University Archivist

Conditions Governing Use:

The material in this collection is in the public domain. However, Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, and all reproduction restrictions apply.

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, locating copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian.

Access Terms

This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Corporate Name:
University of Houston
Personal Name:
Oberholtzer, E. E. (Edison Ellsworth), 1880-1954

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation:

Dr. Edison E. Oberholtzer Papers, Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries

Detailed List of Contents

Employment Contracts 1911-1950

Scope and Contents
This series consists of four folders containing the employment contracts for E.E. Oberholtzer, dating from 1911 to 1950 and arranged chronologically.
Box Folder
1 1 Clinton, Indiana 1911
2 Tulsa, Oklahoma 1914-1920
3 HISD 1924-1938
4 University of Houston 1945-1950

University of Houston 1938-1955

Scope and Contents
This series consists of twenty-one folders, probably office files, relating to various aspects of the University of Houston.
Box Folder
1 5 Achievements and Services Related to the War Effort, University of Houston 1942-1945
6 Alphabetical List of Contributors (Confidential) 1938
7 Convocation-Thirteenth Annual 1947
8 Ezekiel W. Cullen Building, The
9 Growth and Development of the University of Houston 1950
10 History of the University of Houston 1947-1948
11 Inaugural Address of Acceptance of Dr. E.E. Oberholtzer 1945
12 Junior College Appropriation Bill 1945-1947
13 M.D. Anderson Memorial Library, The
14 Minutes of the Board of Education of HISD
15 Notes: Library Appreciation Speech
16 Oberholtzer, E.E., President Emeritus 1950
17 Painting Presentation of E.E. Oberholtzer 1955
18 Pamphlets 1950-1951
19 Policies and Objectives of the University of Houston 1950
20 Quotations (Probably used in speeches)
21 Resolution Creating an Advisory Board for the University of Houston 1943
22 Senate Bill No. 207 (Bill separating the University of Houston) 1945
23 Summary of the Organization and Program of the University of Houston
24 University of Houston, Symphony 1949
25 University of Houston, The 1947


Scope and Contents
This series consists of seven folders relating to personal aspects of the Oberholtzer family. The materials date from 1910 to 1959 and are arranged alphabetically.
Box Folder
1 26 Acknowledgements-Deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Oberholtzer 1959-1960
27 Birth and Death Certificates and Will of Mr and Mrs. Oberholtzer 1937-1954
28 Correspondence 1954-1967
29 Death Announcements of E.E. Oberholtzer 1954
30 Life Insurance and Mortgage 1922-1935
31 Personal Correspondence and Notes 1910-1959
32 Tribute Cards, E.E. Oberholtzer


Scope and Contents
This series contains four folders of miscellaneous materials dating between 1924 and 1967 and arranged chronologically.
Box Folder
1 33 Houston High Schools Teachers Handbook 1924-1925
34 School Management Magazine 1934
35 The Teachers College Journal 1944
36 Tenth Annual Community Recognition, Dinner, Denver 1967


Scope and Contents
This series contains four folders containing family photographs spanning the life of E.E.Oberholtzer.
Box Folder
1 37-40 Photographs
41 Photographs K.E. Oberholtzer
Box Item
2 1 Photographs
2 Tin Plate
3 Photographs, Identified and Unidentified
4 Black and White Cased Image (3)
Box Item
3 1 Panoramic Photograph
Box Item
4 1 Miscellaneous Photographs

Diplomas and Certificates

Scope and Contents
This series contains fourteen diplomas or certificates awarded to the Oberholtzers that date between 1904 and 1959 and are arranged chronologically.
Box Item
5 1 Indiana Teachers' Reading Circle 1904
2 State of Indiana Teacher's State Certificate 1905
3 State of Indiana Teacher's Professional Certificate 1908
4 Indiana State Normal School, Course of Instruction 1909
5 The University of Chicago, Germanic Languages 1909
6 Universitas Chicaginienis, Baccalaurei in Philosophia 1910
7 Lincoln-Jefferson University, Bachelor of Law 1912
8 Sabine Royalty Corporation 1940
9 Rotary Club of Houston, Membership 1950
10 American Association of School 1952
11 Diploma, Honorary degree from the University of Houston 1950
12 Book of Remembrance 1954
13 Tribute to Myrtle May Barr Oberholtzer 1959
14 Diploma Certificate (in exhibit)


Scope and Contents
This series contains five newspapers arranged chronologically.
Box Item
5 15 The Houston Post-Dispatch 1929
16 The Cougar 1945
17 The Cougar 1949
18 The Extra 1955
19 The Tulsa World, (single page) 1964