Clarke Historical Library
Central Michigan University

Finding aid for
Walter Scott Ryder Papers

Finding aid created by
KYle Garver, Marian Matyn

Summary Information
Title: Walter Scott Ryder Papers
Creator: Ryder, Walter S. (Walter Scott)
Inclusive dates: 1909-1956, and undated
Extent: 2.5 cubic feet (in 5 boxes)
Collection contains biographical materials, photographs and postcards, cash book, diaries, photographs, and writings.

Call number: MSS.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University
250 East Preston Street
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Phone: 989-774-3352
Fax: 989-774-2160

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Acc# 981-990

Access Restrictions:

Walter Scott Ryder Papers are open for research.


Copyright is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

Walter Scott Ryder Papers, Folder # , Box #, Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University


The collection is organized alphabetically and chronologically.



Walter Scott Ryder was born on March 11, 1892 in Boston. He attended Acadia University (Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada), 1910-1915, from which he earned an A. B. from (1915).

In June 1915, Ryder was ordained a Baptist minister. He served as the minister of a Havelock Baptist Church in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, 1915-1916. He also performed marriages, baptisms, and funerals, 1919-1921. His B.D. thesis was entitled “the Labor Church Movement of Canada” (1920).

From 1916 to 1921 Ryder lived and studied in Parma, New York. He then earned a B.D. from Colgate Divinity School (now Colgate University, Hamilton, New York, and an A.M. from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada). The title of his A.M. thesis was “Canada’s Industrial Crisis of 1919” (1920).

Ryder also earned a Ph.D. in Economics and Sociology from the University of Chicago (1928) and a LL.B. from LaSalle University. After earning his LL.B., Ryder was admitted to the Bar in the State of Michigan.

In 1927 Ryder went to work at Macalester College (St. Paul, Minnesota) as head of the Sociology Department. He also wrote a book that year entitled, Men and Religion. He lived in St. Paul through part of 1934.

Ryder moved to Flint, Michigan, in 1934 and lived there until 1942. While in Michigan, he earned a certificate in social welfare work from the University of Michigan (UM).

On September 28, 1942 he accepted a position as an assistant professor in the Department of History and Social Science at Central Michigan College (now University, CMU). A year later he was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor. By 1955 Ryder was a professor of economics and chair of the Public Affairs Committee.

He had been appointed a study fellow at the UM for the summer of 1956. Ryder had planned to use the fellowship to finish a book on consumer economics. However, he died before he could use the fellowship in May 1956.

Ryder married Alice Mae (maiden surname unknown) probably around 1917. She was born in New Brunswick (Canada) on September 7, 1892. The Ryders were members of the First Presbyterian Church in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Together they had a son, John Ryder. Alice lived in Mount Pleasant from 1942 until September 1972 when she moved to Atlanta, Georgia, with her son. Alice died on February 15, 1973 and was survived by two sisters, her son and three grandchildren.

John Ryder graduated from CMU in 1947 with a music degree. He was very active while at CMU, serving as sports editor of CMULife, as a member of the A Cappella choir, the marching band, a dance band, a Glee Club accompanist, a member of Tau Alpha Upsilon fraternity, and as editor of the Appleblossom. He also worked as a correspondent of the Saginaw News. He later married and had three children. (This information is from the collection.)

Collection Scope and Content Note

The collection includes: Biographical Information about Ryder, mainly in newspaper clippings (copies); his Cashbooks, 1931-1944; Diaries, 1909-1956; some Photographs and Postcards made from photographs of him while attending Acadia University; Sermons, 1910-1919; Writings, 1933, undated; and church-related miscellaneous.

The diaries document Ryder’s years at Acadia University, 1910-1915, in great detail. The other diaries vary in amount of detail and document his stay in various places, including: as minister of Havelock Baptist Church, 1915-1916; and living in Parma, New York, 1916-1921; Vancouver, 1919; Chicago and Savanna, Illinois, 1919-1924; Oshkosh, Wisconsin, 1925-1927, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1928-1934, Flint, Michigan, 1935-1942, and Mount Pleasant, Michigan, 1942-1956.

Ryer’s correspondence file is very thin consists mostly of brief notes from CMU President Charles L. Anspach or Business Manager Norval C. Bovee.

The index of Ryder’s sermons includes a list of baptisms, marriages, and funerals he performed, 1919-1921.

The Clarke Historical Library also has copies of a number of Ryder’s publications including: Men and religion, a functional approach (1932); Society in the making; an introduction to sociology volumes 1-2 (1934); Sociological surveys of Iosco County, Michigan (1948); and Studies of economic and social aspects of Montcalm County, Michigan (1950).

Subject Terms

    • Ryder, Walter S. (Walter Scott)
    • Anspach, Charles L. (Charles Le Roy), b. 1895.
    • Bovee, Norval C.
    • Central Michigan University--Faculty.
    • Arcadia University--Alumni and alumnae.
    • Havelock Baptist Church (Oshkosh, Wis.)
    • Educational sociology--United States--HIstory.
    • Baptists--Nova Scotia--Clergy--Biography.
    • Baptists--United States--Clergy--Biography.
    • Diaries--Michigan--Mount Pleasant.
    • Diaries--Minnesota--Saint Paul.
    • Diaries--Nova Scotia--Wolfville.
    • Diaries--Michigan--Flint.
    • Mount Pleasant (Mich.)--History.
    • Flint (Minn.)--History.
    • Wolfville (N.S.)--History.
    • Saint Paul (Minn.)--History.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Walter Scott Ryder Papers. [series]:
    Box   1 F   1
    Biographical Information (copies), 1909-1955
    Box   1 F   2
    Cash Books, 2 Volumes, 1931-1933
    Box   1 F   3
    Cash Books, 2 volumes, 1934-1936
    Box   1 F   4
    Cash Books, 3 volumes, 1936-1938
    Box   1 F   5
    Cash Books, 4 Volumes, 1939-1944
    Box   1 F   6
    Church licenses, directory, membership papers, programs, 1913-1914
    Box   1 F   7
    Correspondence, 1937-1950
    Box   1 F   8
    Diaries, 3 volumes, 1909-1911
    Box   1 F   9
    Diaries, 2 volumes, 1911-1912
    Box   2 F   1
    Diaries, 3 volumes, 1912-1914
    Box   2 F   2
    Diaries and Address Books, 7 volumes, 1913-1916
    Box   2 F   3
    Diaries, 3 volumes, 1909-1911
    Box   2 F   4
    Diaries, 2 volumes, 1917-1923
    Box   2 F   5
    Diaries,1 volume, 1917-1923
    Box   2 F   6
    Diaries, 2 volumes, 1925-1926
    Box   3 F   1
    Diaries, 2 volumes, 1927-1928
    Box   3 F   2
    Diaries, 2 volumes, 1929-1930
    Box   3 F   3
    Diaries, 2 volumes, 1931-1932
    Box   3 F   4
    Diaries, 2 volumes, 1933-1934
    Box   3 F   5
    Diaries, 2 volumes, 1935-1936
    Box   4 F   1
    Diaries, 2 volumes, 1937-1942
    Box   4 F   2
    Diaries, 1 volume, 1943-1947
    Box   4 F   3
    Diaries, 2 volumes, 1948-1956
    Box   4 F   4
    Photographs and Postcards, undated
    Box   4 F   5
    Photographs and Postcards, undated
    Box   4 F   6
    Sermons, 2 volumes, 1910-1919
    Box   5 F   1
    Writngs, Consumers Functions In A Free Society, undated
    Box   5 F   2
    Writings, Course Information for "Social Control," undated
    Box   5 F   3
    Writings, Society In the Making, pages 1- 117 1933
    Box   5 F   4
    Writings, Society In the Making, pages 118- 257 1933
    Box   5 F   5
    Writings, Society In the Making, pages 258-432 2 volumes, 1933
    Box   5 F   6
    Writings, Society In the Making, pages 433- 494 1933
    Box   5 F   7
    Writings, Society In the Making, pages 495-565 1933
    Box   5 F   8
    Writings, Other Writings, C-T, undated