Walter H. Sawyer papers: 1900-1931
Summary Information
Title: Walter H. Sawyer papers
Creator: Sawyer, Walter H. (Walter Hulme), 1861-1931
Dates: 1900-1931
Extent: 5 linear feet, 1 oversize folder
Hillsdale, Michigan physician, regent of the University of Michigan. Correspondence, notes, reports, addresses, and other papers relating to board of regents activities and state medical issues.
Call number: 8684 Aa 2; Ac
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
Home Page:
Finding aid created by Michigan Historical Collections staff

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection was the gift of Thomas Mitchell Sawyer (donor no. 433) and came to the library in 1936.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open to research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see:


Copyright is held by the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Walter H. Sawyer papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Walter H. Sawyer was born August 10, 1861 in Huron County, Ohio. He graduated from the University of Michigan homeopathic medical school in 1884, then moved to Hillsdale, Michigan, where he began his practice. Also politically active, Sawyer was a member of the Republican State Central Committee from 1904 to 1908. In 1905 he was elected to the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan. He would be reelected three times. Respected as a regent, Sawyer became a member of its executive committee (from 1908) as well as its finance committee (from 1911). Because of his medical background, Sawyer was especially involved in issues relating to the administration of the hospital and the medical school.

In addition, Sawyer served as trustee of Hillsdale College from 1896 until his death. He was also active in several medical professional associations, including the Michigan State Board of Registration in Medicine, the Michigan State Medical Society, and the Detroit Academy of Medicine.

Sawyer died April 28, 1931.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Sawyer papers contain a mixture of papers relating to his political and regental activities, and to his medical practice and association with professional medical groups. The collection has been arranged into three series: Correspondence and other papers (arranged chronologically); University of Michigan Board of Regents; and Addresses and Miscellaneous. Sawyer's regent's papers are significant for information on those individuals who were considered for the presidency of the University of Michigan in 1909, 1920, 1925, and 1930. As a heavily involved regent, Sawyer maintained communications with his fellow regents, with university presidents and other administrators. These letters and other documents will be found throughout the Correspondence series. These individuals include James B. Angell, Harry B. Hutchins, Marion L. Burton, Clarence C. Little, and Alexander Ruthven.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Elections -- Michigan -- 1910.
  • Elections -- Michigan -- 1918.
  • Hillsdale (Mich.)
  • Medicine -- Michigan.
  • Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1917-1921.
  • Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1922-1928.
  • Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1929-1938.
  • Physicians -- Michigan -- Hillsdale.
  • Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1837-1950.
  • Hillsdale (Mich.) -- Streets.
  • Parades and processions.
  • Streets -- Michigan -- Hillsdale.
  • Photographs.
  • Alumni Memorial Hall (University of Michigan)
  • Hillsdale College.
  • Michigan. Board of Registration in Medicine.
  • Michigan State Medical Society.
  • Republican Party (Mich.)
  • Sawyer, Walter H. (Walter Hulme), 1861-1931.
  • University of Michigan -- Sports.
  • University of Michigan. Board of Regents.
  • University of Michigan. Homoeopathic Medical School.
  • University of Michigan -- Law School.
  • University of Michigan. President.
  • University of Michigan. University Hospital.
  • Angell, James Rowland, 1869-1949.
  • Brooks, Stratton D. (Stratton Duluth), 1869-1949.
  • Brown, Elmer Ellsworth, 1861-1934.
  • Farrand, Livingston, 1867-1939.
  • Finley, John H. (John Huston), 1863-1940.
  • Garfield, James Rudolph, 1865-1950.
  • Gay, Edwin F. (Edwin Francis), 1867-1946.
  • Gayley, Charles Mills, 1858-1932.
  • Hall, James Parker, 1871-1928.
  • Hill, Albert Ross, 1847-1909.
  • Hill, David Jayne, 1850-1932.
  • Hughes, Charles Evans, 1862-1948.
  • Jenks, Jeremiah Whipple, 1856-1929.
  • Jessup, Walter A. (Walter Albert), 1877-1944.
  • Keppel, Frederick P. (Frederick Paul), 1875-1943.
  • King, Henry Churchill, 1858-1934.
  • Perry, Bliss, 1860-1954.
  • Townsend, Charles E. (Charles Elroy), 1856-1924.
  • Van Tyne, Claude Halstead, 1869-1930.
  • Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924.
  • Knights Templar (Masonic order)
  • Sawyer, Walter H. (Walter Hulme), 1861-1931.
  • Angell, James Burrill, 1829-1916.
  • Barbour, Levi L. (Levi Lewis), 1840-1925.
  • Beal, Junius E. (Junius Emery), 1860-1942.
  • Burrows, Julius C. (Julius Caesar), 1837-1915.
  • Burton, Marion Le Roy, 1874-1925.
  • Clements, William L. (William Lawrence), 1861-1934.
  • Cook, William W. (William Wilson), 1858-1930.
  • Cooley, Mortimer E. (Mortimer Elwyn), 1855-1944.
  • Grant, Claudius Buchanan, 1835-1921.
  • Hanchett, Benjamin Sawtell, 1868-1933.
  • Hunsaker, Walter Jerome, 1857-1939.
  • Hutchins, Harry B. (Harry Burns), 1847-1930.
  • Knox, Frank, 1874-1944.
  • Lane, Victor Hugo, 1852-1930.
  • Little, Clarence C. (Clarence Cook), 1888-
  • Mauck, Joseph William, 1852-1937.
  • May, Thomas, 1860-1927.
  • Murfin, James Orin, 1875-1940.
  • Osborn, Chase S. (Chase Salmon), 1860-
  • Ruthven, Alexander Grant, 1882-1971.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Correspondence and other papers [series]
Box   1  
Miscellaneous and undated
Box   1  
1900-June 1909 (53 folders)
Box   2  
July 1909-June 1913 (49 folders)
Box   3  
July 1913-1923 (55 folders)

(include material on Chase Osborn's senatorial campaign, 1918; also on selection of a president for Hillsdale College in 1920)

Box   4  
1924-June 1929 (27 folders)
Box   5  
July 1929-1931 (8 folders)
University of Michigan Board of Regents [series]
Presidential search files 1909
Box   5  
Woodrow Wilson (2 folders)
Box   5  
John H. Finley
Box   5  
Henry C. King
Box   5  
James R. Garfield
Box   5  
Elmer E. Brown
Box   5  
J. Jenks (Cornell)
Box   5  
David J. Hill
Box   5  
Stratton D. Brooks
Box   5  
Charles E. Hughes
Box   5  
Edwin F. Gay
Box   5  
Bliss Perry
Box   5  
James P. Hall
Box   5  
Charles M. Gayley
Box   5  
General (2 folders)
Presidential search files 1920
Box   5  
Livingston Farrand
Box   5  
James R. Angell (2 folders)
Box   5  
Albert Ross Hill
Box   5  
Walter A. Jessup (State University of Iowa)
Box   5  
W.T. Foster
Box   5  
Henry Suzzalo (pres., University of Washington)
Box   5  
Frederick P. Keppel
Box   5  
Frank Vanderlip
Box   5  
Donald, J. Cowling
Box   5  
Marion L. Burton
Box   5  
Box   5  
Presidential search 1925

(summary reports on various candidates)

Box   5  
Presidential search correspondence 1929
Box   5  
Clements, William L., correspondence with 1919-1931 (2 folders)
Box   5  
Investigation of Undersecretary James Wade 1908
Box   5  
University Hospital Administration 1924
Box   5  
University Hospital; University physician miscellaneous
Box   5  
Relationship of universities to schools of homeopathy 1923
Box   5  
Daughters of the American Revolution (A. J. Brosseau) 1928

(criticism of comments made by Clarence Cook Little and Claude Van Tyne)

Box   5  
William Cook will (with biographical sketch)
Box   5  
Medical School dean Hugh Cabot
Addresses and miscellaneous [series]
Box   5  
Addresses on medical subjects
Box   5  
Addresses to medical organization
Box   5  
Addresses at Hillsdale College

(Good Health Week and Dedication of Mitchell Library)

Box   5  
Addresses concerning The University of Michigan

(Dedication of Alumni Memorial Hall; Tribute to President James B. Angell)

Box   5  
Miscellaneous speeches and reports
Box   5  
Legislative acts and resolution concerning medical subjects
Box   5  
Legislative acts and resolution concerning The University of Michigan
Box   5  
Clippings and other printed materials (2 folders)
Box   5  

(see also certificate of election in oversize folder Ac)

Box   5