Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Morgan-McKoon Correspondence, 1886-1893, 1903-1912

Finding aid created by
Clements Staff, October 1997 and November 2006, and Meg Hixon, January 2013

Summary Information
Title: Morgan-McKoon correspondence
Creator: McKoon, May
Inclusive dates: 1886-1893, 1903-1912
Extent: 0.25 linear feet
The Morgan-McKoon correspondence primarily contains letters to May McKoon of Long Eddy, New York. Julia Morgan (later Royal), McKoon's sister, and Margaret A. McKoon, McKoon's daughter, wrote the majority of the letters from Portland, Oregon, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Julia discussed her experiences as an aspiring artist and her everyday life after her marriage, and Margaret McKoon wrote of her education, social activities, and other topics while living with her aunt and uncle.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1997. M-3387.1.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Morgan-McKoon Correspondence, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


Julia Morgan was born in New York in January 1865. Around 1886, she moved to Portland, Oregon, where she attempted to establish an artistic career. On October 17, 1888, she married Osmon Royal (January 3, 1856-December 31, 1910), the son of Charles Wesley Royal (1823-1895) and Rachel Eliza Powell Misner. He graduated from the Boston University School of Medicine in 1885 and practiced medicine in Portland. Julia and Osmon Royal had one son, Osmon V. Royal.

May McKoon, whom Julia Morgan referred to as "sister," lived in Long Eddy, New York, with her husband Horace. They had at least two children, Margaret and Morgan. Margaret A. McKoon lived with Julia and Osmon Royal, her aunt and uncle, from 1889-1893.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Morgan-McKoon correspondence (67 items) primarily contains letters to May McKoon of Long Eddy, New York, from her sister, Julia Morgan (later Royal); her brother-in-law, Osmon Royal; and her daughter, Margaret A. McKoon. Julia Morgan and Osmon Royal lived in Portland, Oregon, and Margaret McKoon lived with them in the early 1890s. The women discussed education, social activities, local travel, and their daily lives.

Julia Morgan wrote letters (often several pages in length) to May McKoon from December 1, 1886-February 5, 1912. Her early correspondence pertains to her experiences in Portland as she attempted to establish an artistic career, and she commented on exhibits, a studio, teaching classes, and aspects of her everyday life in Portland. After her marriage to Osmon Royal in 1888, her letters focused on her domestic life, including mentions of her son, also named Osmon. The elder Osmon Royal occasionally contributed to his wife's letters and individually wrote a few letters to his sister-in-law. In one, he commented on their recent move and he drew a floor plan of their new lodgings (March 22, 1891).

Margaret A. McKoon wrote regularly to her mother from February 28, 1889-January 5, 1893, while living with the Royal family in Portland, Oregon. She often discussed educational topics, such as her private instruction with Julia, her experiences at school, and her desire to attend Portland University. She also mentioned dresses and dressmaking, and described visits to Astoria, Oregon (September 12, 1891), and San Francisco, California (letter beginning January 15, 1892). Two of her letters mention a large Chinese funeral (October 26, 1890) and a presentation by an Eskimo woman (February 9, 1891). Other items are a letter from May McKoon to Margaret McKoon during a visit to Portland (September 21, 1905); a personal letter to May McKoon from a family member (August 25, 1909); and a letter from Harry Robbins to Don Viele of Buffalo, New York, about cross-country travel (June 5, 1907). The collection has a gap from 1893-1903.

Subject Terms

    • Astoria (Or.)
    • Portland (Or.)
    • Portland University.
    • San Francisco (Calif.)--Description and travel.
    • Women artists--United States.
    • Women--Education--United States.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Floor plans.
    • McKoon, Margaret.
    • Robbins, Harry.
    • Royal, Julia Morgan, b. 1865.
    • Royal, Osmon, 1856-1910.
    Genre Terms:
    • Clippings (information artifacts)
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Morgan-McKoon correspondence [series]
    Box   1 Folders   1-7
     December 1, 1886-February 5, 1912, and  undated
    Additional Descriptive Data

    Cudlipp, J. F. "Osmon Royal, M.D." The Christian Advocate 86 (April 27, 1911): 579

    Gaston, Joseph. Portland, Oregon: Its History and Builders, in Connection with the Antecedent Explorations, Discoveries and Movements of the Pioneers that Selected the Site for the Great City of the Pacific. Volume III. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.