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Snarr, Otto Welton, 1886 - 1966. Collection, 1857 - 1968

 Collection — archives box: 01
Identifier: SMHC Collection 0122

Scope and Contents

The Snarr collection has been divided into two sections, and the original organization of the collection was retained

Newspaper Articles:

The first twenty-seven folders contain verbatim notes from various Mankato newspapers about the general history of the normal school between 1857 and 1893. These folders are chronologically arranged with a table of contents at the beginning of each folder. However, information for the years 1858, 1881, and the years between 1884 and 1892 are not included in this collection.

Notes and Miscellaneous Items:

Items in this section contain biographical information on Daniel Buck, George M. Gage, James Brown, Julia Sears, Charles M. Cooper, Susan M. Dyer, George M. Ferguson, David Clark John, and Edward Searing. Additionally, information about the history of newspapers in Mankato, lists of newspaper collections held by the Mankato Public Library and the Blue Earth County Historical Society, documents regarding the history of Mankato State Normal School and other miscellaneous items can be found in this section.


  • 1857-1968


Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on use of this collection for research purposes. The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property and libel laws as they apply.

Biographical / Historical


The Otto W. Snarr collection was the product of two Works Progress Administration projects conducted between November 1938 and October 1939 under Snarr’s supervision. The first project attempted to “collect and tabulate all records pertaining to the State Teacher’s Collect, Mankato, Minnesota” and was sponsored by Mankato State Teachers’ College. The second project, sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society, was for the purpose of “re-arranging and repairing county historical collections.” Charlotte Stahn and Fred Rose researched and typed both projects under Snarr’s direction.


Otto Welton Snarr was born 6 August 1886 at Inkerman, West Virginia. He taught school in rural West Virginia between 1906 and 1909. In 1912, Snarr completed normal college at Shepherdstown, West Virginia. He worked as the superintendent of schools at Romney, West Virginia between 1912 and 1914. Snarr earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of West Virginia in 1917. In 1917 after serving as a school’s principal and teaching college courses in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and in Chicago, Snarr finished his Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago in 1919. He completed his doctorate in 1941 from the same university.

Snarr was hired by Mankato State Teachers’ College in 1920 to direct the school’s professional education department. He held the position at MSTC until 1941 when he became the president of Moorhead State Teachers’ College at Moorhead, Minnesota. Snarr remained at Moorhead until 1955 when he retired and returned to Romney, West Virginia. He died on 21 November 1966 at Romney.


1.0 Cubic Feet (1 Box)

Language of Materials



The collection consists primarily of typed carbon copies of newspaper articles describing the Mankato Normal School, the Minnesota normal school system, and the schools of Mankato and Blue Earth County. The newspaper articles were published between 1857 and 1893 and were in the Mankato Independent, Mankato Record, Mankato Review, Mankato Union, and the Public Spirit (Mankato). Also, the collection contains typed copies of Minnesota’s laws relating to the state’s normal schools. Furthermore, the collection contains numerous biographical sketches of prominent individuals at Mankato Normal School and Mankato State Teachers’ College, a portion of a manuscript history detailing the Mankato Normal School, and other miscellaneous items related to the school’s history. Snarr compiled a list of the newspaper collections within the Mankato Public Library and the Blue Earth County Historical Society and with this information he created some short histories of the Mankato’s newspapers between 1857 and 1902.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Moorhead State College Library donated this collection in April 1973. The Northwest Minnesota Historical Center at Moorhead State University donated an addendum to this collection in October 1981.

Snarr, Otto Welton, 1886 - 1966. Collection, 1857 - 1968.
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Revision Statements

  • 1988-02: Karyn Nester processed an addendum to this collection.
  • 2001-12: The finding aid was revised by Jeff A. Jenson.

Repository Details

Part of the Southern Minnesota Historical Center Repository

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Memorial Library
PO Box 8419
Mankato MN 56002-8419 US