John B. Horner taught English and history at Oregon Agricultural College from 1891 until his death in 1933; founded the college museum; and wrote extensively on Oregon history and literature.
John B. Swadelnack was born on August 4, 1856 in central Texas to Frank and Mary Anna Swadelnack. He took the surname Horner after his widowed mother married Elias Horner in Walla Walla (Washington Territory). After attending Whitman College, Horner enrolled in Philomath College, receiving the BS degree (1877) and the MS degree (1879). He also attended Willamette University and received AB (1885) and MS (1887) degrees. In the 1880s, he taught school at several places in Oregon, including Buena Vista, Union, Brownsville, Roseburg, and Albany. He married Isabelle Skimpton on September 5, 1880; they had two daughters, Vera Delle and Pearl Alicia.
In 1891, he began a teaching career at Oregon State that lasted for more than 40 years. He taught English from 1891 to 1902 and history from 1902 until 1933. In 1925, Horner formally established the museum at Oregon State that was later named for him. He wrote several books on Oregon history and literature as well as numerous articles. Horner died on September 14, 1933 in Corvallis.
Series I contains publications authored by Horner and includes Horner's annotated copy of Oregon: Her History, Her Great Men, Her Literature (1919), individual lecture texts for A Vacation on the Mediterranean (1906 and 1907), a typescript copy of "History of Oregon State College, 1865-1907," a typescript of Horner's autobiography (1926), Outlines for Study of Oregon History (ca. 1927), and Days and Deeds in the Oregon Country, 1929. Series II consists of 2 volumes of maps of Europe drawn by Horner's history students in 1902 and 1905. Series III is a collection of pioneer stories written by school children around 1918. Series IV consists of letters of condolence written to Mrs. Horner after John B. Horner's death in 1933.
Series V contains a variety of programs, announcements, invitations, diplomas, and other ephemera. Included are booklets pertaining to the Cauthorn Hall and Alpha Hall dormitories, which the Horners were in charge of early in the 1900s; OAC commencement programs and invitations; a program to the memorial service held for B. L. Arnold on June 29, 1892; programs pertaining to musical, dramatic and literary productions and church, Masonic and educational organizations; and Horner's diplomas from Willamette University.
Series VI consists of three letters written by Horner. Series VII includes six photographic prints of Horner, J. R. N. Bell, and others in Egypt.
The Horner Papers consist of seven series: I. Publications; II. Maps of Europe Prepared by Horner's Students; III. Pioneer Stories by School Children; IV. Letters of Condolence; V. Ephemera; VI. Correspondence; and VII. Photographs.
Custodial History :
Most of the materials were originally donated to the Horner Museum and then transferred to the University Archives beginning in 1996. Several of the publications were transferred from the Archives' Faculty Author Collection and Memorabilia Collection.Related Materials :
The John B. Horner Photographic Collection (P 100) includes photographs assembled by Horner. The Horner Museum Records (RG 199) include extensive documentation of the museum and its collections.
Detailed Description of the Collection