AUBURN UNIVERSITY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS & ARCHIVES
Guide to the Ralph Brown Draughon Papers, RG 107
Listed by: Dieter C. Ullrich
Date: September 2003
7.0 cubic feet.
Number of Boxes:
7 record center boxes.
Historical or Biographical Sketch:
Ralph Brown Draughon was born in Hartford, Alabama, on
September 1, 1899, the son of John William and Vasht (Roney) Draughon. He attended local public schools until 1918
when he attended Alabama Polytechnic Institute (presently Auburn University). In 1922, he received his Bachelor of Science
degree. After graduation he taught at Choctaw County High School from 1922 to 1923 and as principal of Sumter County High
from 1923 to 1927. From 1927 to 1931, he served as principal at Louisville and later Orrville High School. In 1929, he
Master of Science degree from Alabama Polytechnic Institute and during the summers between 1923 and 1939 attended the
University of Chicago. In 1931 he was appointed Associate Professor of History and Political Science at Alabama
Polytechnic Institute until he resigned to
serve as Executive Secretary and Secretary to Board of Trustees at the Institute in 1937. He remained in that
position until 1944 when he became Director of Instruction. In 1947 he was appointed Acting President of the college and in
1948 became President of Alabama Polytechnic Institute. Later in 1948 he received a honorary LL.D. from Birmingham-Southern,
and a L.H.D. from Howard College in 1962. A year later he acquuired a LL.D from the University of Alabama. He was a
member of the American Academy of Political and Social Science; the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; the Alabama
Education Association; the National Education Association; the Alabama Historical Association (President); the Alabama
Academy of Sciences; the American Institute of Engineers and Contractors (National Board of Advisors); the Southern
Association of Colleges and Schools; Southern Regional Education Board; the Southern Regional Education Board (Executive
Committee); and the Southern Association of Land-Grant Colleges and State Universities (President). He also
served as Director of the State Survey on Rural Tax Delinquency in 1934; the Regional Supervisor at the Bureau of Agricultural
Economics in 1936; the Director of Survey of Farm Mortgages and Sales for Five Southeastern States in 1936; the
Director of the Governor's Emergency Commission on Higher Education in 1946; a member of the Committee on Defense
Programs; Chairman for the Council of Presidents, Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges from 1954 to 1955;
the Man of Year to Alabama Agriculture in 1954; the Civilian Coordinator of Army and Navy Programs from 1942 to 1945; Chairman
of the Tennessee Valley Conference from 1960 to 1961; and an inductee to the South's Hall of Fame for the Living in 1959. He
was the author of several articles published in various journals. Dr. Draughon retired from Auburn University in 1965 and
died in August of 1968.
Scope and Content:
Contains personal and professional correspondence and telegrams (1922-1968) from family,
friends and professional colleagues to Ralph Brown Draughn; material on Auburn University history, including letters from
alumni (1967-1968) reminiscing about their student days; Draughon's lecture notes (1930-1935); administrative
notes(1936-1950); speeches (1938-1967); newspaper clippings (1928-1968) about Draughon and Auburn; scrapbooks; biographical
material and congratulatory letters (1965) upon Draughon's retirement
Accession Number: 1968
I. Biographical data: folder containing biographical sketches compiled for publication such as Who's Who In America is
filed at the beginning of the collection.
Biographical sketch in Marie Bankhead Owen. The Story of Alabama, A History of the State, Vol. V. N.Y.: Lewis
Historical Pub. Co., Inc., 1949, pg. 900.
II. Personal Correspondence:
- Sept. 1. 1899 - Born in Hartford, Alabama.
- 1922 - B.S., API
- 1929 - M.S., API
- 1923, 1929 - (Summers) Studied at University of Chicago
- 1922-23 - Taught at Choetaw County High School, Butler, Alabama
- 1923-25 - Taught at Sumter County High School, York, Alabama
- 1925-27 - Principal, Sumter County High School
- 1927-28 - Principal., Louisville High School
- 1928-31 - Principal, Orrville High School
- 1931 - Married Caroline Marshall
- 1931-37 - Assistant Profressor of History and Political Science, API
- 1937 - Executive Secretary and Sect. of Board of Trustees, API
- 1944 - Director of Instruction, API
- 1947 - Acting President API
- 1948-1965 - President, Auburn University
- August, 1968 - Died, Auburn, Alabama
- Children: Ann, b. 1932 and Ralph, Jr., b. 1935
- List of organizations of which he was a member, list of publications, and further information in folder of biographical
A. Letters, 1922-1968:
III. Student Records:
1922-1928 approximately 18 letters from friends and family while Ralph Draughon was studying at
Auburn University and teaching in Sumter County. From
1936 to 1968 approximately 2800 letters were received and sent by Ralph
Draughon. Letters include letters concerning mother, brothers, daughter, son, aunt and cousins; friendly letters about
fishing, football, sympathy, presents; semi-professional letters from and to colleagues, associates and politicians
concerning recommendations; invitations to speak for clubs (Kiwanis, Rotary, scouts, UDC, Alumni) concerning military,
legislation, and general activities at Auburn. Correspondents include: M. C. Huntly, George A. Matterson, Fred O. Wallace, J.
Edward Thorton, Ralph Callahan, Theodore Jack, James W. Thornton, P. Stewart Macualy, Roy Sewell, Harry Ayers, and Frank
Politicians include: Lister Hill, James Folsom, George Andrews and John Sparkman.
42 plain and picture postcards dating from 1940 to 1967 from friends, Alumni, professional associates.
14 special cards including birthday, Christmas, sympathy and Easter.
D. Invitations (1944-1968):
16 invitations including invitations from Draughon for Alumni Receptions, etc. and to Ralph Draughon for White House
luncheon (1964)) Presidential Prayer breakfast (1966).
E. Telegrams (1945-1965):
Approximately 176 tele7ra.,ns pertaining to personal affairs and AU
business (housing, legislation, finances).
Contains two small black notebooks - Ralph Draughon's API Rat Book, 1922, and small pocket notebook of appointments and
IV. Professional Records:
A. Master's Thesis by Ralph B. Draughon, 1929, History of Alabama Bond Issues.
B. Notes while professor include lecture notes for American Gov't 209 and American History S-108, 1935; Alabama History
examinations 1930 and lecture notes for European History.
C. Notes while administrator dating 1936-1950 includes one ledger of expenses (WPA.1936); 10 stenographers notebooks, a
1940 and a 1946 yearbook, 1941 desk diary, and about 8 dated and 8 undated memo
pads of daily appointments, things to do, copies of letters, etc. (1946 Yearbook contains expenses while member of Governor's
Committee on the Emergency in Higher Education, 1946).
A. Speeches made by Ralph Draughon 1938 to 1967 for commencements, dedications, clubs and about General Holland M. Smith,
history of Auburn Alabama bond issues. Also includes folders of speeches
given at Commissioning exercises, President's messages, statements
for "This Is Auburn", introductions and presentations.
VI. History of Auburn University:
B. Two Book Reviews by Draughon on:
C. Articles include about 16 articles by Draughon for state newspapers and school publications.
- Banking In Alabama, 1816-1860. Vol. I, 1816-1937 by William Brantley.
- The Mind of the South by W. J. Cash.
D. Funeral Service Address by Harry M. Philpott at funeral of Ralph
B. Draughon, August 15, 1968.
A. Photostatic copies of three newspaper articles about Auburn (1884).
B. Photostatic copy of Alabama State Bond Agreement
C. Copy of minutes of Auburn Board of Trustees meeting, January 11, 1877 and November 13, 1880.
D. Letters from Alumni in reply to request of Draughon for reminiscences of their days as Auburn students, Class
of 1860 to Alumni of World War II.
A. Original and 6 copies of photo of Draughon with L. B. Johnson.
B. Alabama Association for Mental Health, Inc.; photo of billboard and group, five men including Draughon; and map
of Birmingham showing location of billboards supporting amendment No. 1, Feb., 1960.
C. 3 photos: Jim Kelly, U. S. Army, 1944, M. Kelly Mosley & RBD, Eddie Brockway, 1960.
12 Auburn University Pamphlets and 45 general Pamphlets.
IX. Newspaper Clippings:
Auburn University Pamphlets:
- "The Alabama Polytechnic Institute, 1949"
- "Alabama Polytechnic Institute"
- "An Adventure in Becoming".
- "Auburn-Georgia, Official Auburn Football Program," 1964
- "Auburn In My Time" by Prof. Dan T. Jones
- "Auburn in The Nation's Service"
- "Commencement Exercises of API.," 1947
- "Delta Colony of Phi Gamma Delta"
- "Joint Commissioning Program, Army, Navy, and Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps"
- "New Year's Greeting to Auburn Men in the Service" "President's Message to the Graduating Class"
- "Provisions of the Constitution and Code of the State of Alabama Pertaining to AFITI?
- "This Is Auburn"
- "Admiral Semmes Chapter-United Daughters of the Confederacy"
- "The Alabama Bible Society Quarterly"
- "Alabama Hunting and Fishing are Big Business"
- "Alabama, The News Magazine of the Deep South" July 11, 1952
- "The Alabama Review, 1960
- "The Alumni Fund" University of Chicago
- "Biography as an Instrument of Moral Instrution"
- "The Borden Awards Recipients"
- "By These Testimonials"
- "Circle K in Brief"
- "Combat History of the 79th Inf. Div."
- "Come South, Young Men"
- "The Confederate Cause, Yesterday and Today"
- "Don't Give Us Your Tired, Your poor"
- "Engineering Experiment Station Record" 1941
- "Gas Lines"
- "General William Crawford Gorgas Scholarships"
- "Governor's Conference on Wood-Plastic Combinations"
- "Graduated, Reciprocal, Indentifiable, De-escalation Parallel Steps to
Peace in Vietnam"
- "Guide to the Oxford Degree Ceremony"
- "The History of Homewood"
- "Is Politics in Alabama Any of Your Business"
- "John Finley McRae - 50 Years"
- "John Witherspoon, Clergyman, Educator, Statesman, Patriot"
- "The Kiwanis Club"
- "Not Great in Itself but of Great Good Hope" Account of East India School
- "One Hundred Years of Bond Interest"
- "The Perfection Way" 1957
- "Pocket Guide to the Cities of Belgium and Luxembourg"
- "A Proposal for Better Citizenship and More Capable Administration of Government"
- "The Public Librarian"
- "Report of the Governor's Emergency Committee on Higher Education"
- "Report of the Mechanical Emergency Advisory Committee"
- "Report of the President, 1953-1956.." Pratt Institute Bulletin
- "Research, Technology and the National Security"
- "The Samford University Alumnus"
- "Some Aspects of the History of Alabama Bond Issues"
- "The Seven Tribes of Alabama" 1929
- "South Illustrated" May, 1966
- "The Southern Regional Training Program for the Development of Trained Talent for Public Service"
- "The University of Heideberg ... Presents a Series of Lectures for Americans" 1956
- "What's It Like To Be An Editor"
- "Whatsoever Things"
- "Your Map of and Welcome to Opelika"
18 folders dating 1928-1968 with articles primarily concerning Ralph Draughon and Auburn University.
X. Bulletins, Newsletters, Reprints, Magazine Articles
Selected list of newspaper clippings:
- 1947 - RBD appointed Acting President of API; Atomic conference at Auburn; team of Draughon and Mullins.
- 1948 - RBD appointed Pres. of ARI; football at API; RBD awarded honorary L.L.D. degree by Birmingham Southern
College of Agriculture.
- 1949 - Cliff Hare Stadium enlarged and named, speeches by RBD.
- 1955 - RBD named "Man of the Year to Alabama Agriculture" for 1954; RBD mild heart attack, mid-August.
- 1959 - RBD named to South's Hall of Fame for the Living
- Oct. 1961 - RBD President of Southern Association of Land-Grant Colleges and State Universities.
- 1963 - RBD presented honorary Doctor of Law degree by University of Alabama.
- 1964 - RBD announces retirement; RBD commended by Alabama Legislative resolution.
- 1965 - AU buildings named after Draughons; AU Research Funds; RBD retires August 31, 1965.
XII. 1 Book and 4-Scrapbooks:
- Personal -
Includes 21 honors and certificates of appreciation to Ralph Draughon and others; bills and financial records; and 17
- General -
1. Alabama Academy of Science: folder contains minutes of Summer Meeting of Officers, July 21, 1967; articles of
incorporation and by-laws and notes on board meeting to discuss cooperation between U.S. Army and Alabama Academy of Science
to support certain activities of the Junior Academy of Science, June 27, 1967.
2. Alabama Historical Commission: contains copies of application for the position of executive director which were sent
to Milo Howard who sent the copies to Draughon.
3. Alabama Jaycees: Contains speech tracing activities of the
Jaycees for 1966-1967 by- Maxwell Alston to the Alex City Kiwanis Club.
4. Auburn University., General: 1935-1968.
5. Auburn University Reports: 1935-1948, no date.
6. "Confederate Soldiers Buried at Pine Hill Cemetary, Auburn, Alabama," by Charles Edwards, April 26, 1967.
7. Freedom to Read: collection of material sent to Draughon by Miss GayneUe Brown, October 28, 1958.
8. General Holland M. Smith Memorial: contains minutes of the Advisory Board and Executive Committee meeting October 8,
1967 and data on Gen. Smith.
9. History of Radio Station TDAPI: xerox copy of letter sent to Draughon from P.O. Davis, November 25, 1961. Original
filed with Draughon personal correspondence.
10. Honors Day Address, "Giving Way to Something New" by Rufus Carroll Harris, May 4, 1967.
11. "The Instructor's Responsibility To His Students" by David Mullins, Executive Vice-President of API, before faculty
of the School of Agriculture, 1955.
12. Mailing addresses for Philpott inauguration.
13. Membership Roster, Mobile Council, Navy League of the United States as of June 30, 1965.
14. Minutes of the Alabama Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South held in Montgomery, Alabama, December
15. National Council of the Atlantic Union Committee: information sent to Draughon by Elmo Roper, February, 1958.
16. 7 Papers: Benjamin West,
17. Paper on Benjamm Hartwell Boyd.
- "Build Thee More Stately Mansion..." 1957
- "Twenty Million Gallons Daily Water Waste" 1957
- "A.F.W.L. and Science or Technical Writing"
- 2 Task Force Reports, April, 1958 and May 1958
- Lewis K. Sillcox, "Stamp of Success," Oct. 11, 1961 "Recommendations of the National Advisory Committee on Education
Relating to Federal Aid in the Support of Public Education"
18. Public Librarv Service in Alabama, 1967.
19. Ralph Draughon's Chicago Workshop Notes, 1939.
20. Report on "Academic Potential and College Performance, Auburn FYesh-
man Class, 1966-673" Office of Institutional Research.
21. Report of the President of Alabama College for the Year 1936-37.
22. Soil Conservation: Report on Soil Conservation in Alabama by O. C.
Medlock, State Conservationist, January 23., 1948 and "Man and Land" remarks by P. O. Davis, Director of the Ala. Extension
Service, API., at the annual meeting of the Alabama Association of Soil Conservation
District Supervisors at Decatur, November 18, 1948 and 3 newspaper clippings.
23. Statement of Dr. Frederick Sorensen of his view and work written at the request of Dr. Ralph Draughon, July 30, 1951.
24. "Survey of Devices Used to Stimulate Faculty Growth," report by committee at Chicago Workshop which included Dr. Ralph
25. Tennessee Valley Authority: Looseleaf notebook of reports, papers,
letters concerning Land-Grant College - TVA Conference, August 30-31, 1954 which considered fertilizer research and
development, water rights, regional development and agricultural change.
26. Volumes I and II, War Service Training Programs, API, December, 1942,
27. Miscellaneous, General.
A. The Auburn Band 1899-1962, presented to RBD by Auburn Band Alumni Club.
XIII. Ralph Brown Draughon Inauguration (May 12, 1941): Material includes:
B. William Samuel Richardson, Pres. B. F. Goodrich; leather bound manual of information with pictures of Richardson;
biographical information company history, opportunities, BFG in Alabama, in South attached to manual (front pocket). B. F.
Goodrich public relations article on WSR reprint from Business Week, Aug. 28, 1954; picture and reprint Fortune July,
1954; letter to Draughn to Harold Williams, May 10, 1957, in correspondence.
C. President's messages to Graduating Classes, Auburn University, 1935-1965; 101 of 106 are baccalaureate exercirses;
Pres. L. N. Duncan 1934-1947, Pres. R. B. Draughon 1947-1965; bound volume of typed addresses [Messages in pamphlet form
added to AU pamphlet collection]
D. Letters from friends on the Occasion of His Retirement to Draughon: President Abuurn
University Oct. 1, 1946, Aug. 31, l965- volume of 168 letters compiled by friends and colleagues from close
friends, former students, faculty, fellow university presidents, fishing friends, etc.
E. Resolution of Board of Trustees of Auburn University Honoring Dr. Ralph Brown Draughon, leather bound, ll 1/2" by 17
1. Announcements programs, and reports concerning inaugurations at other
2. Invitations to inaugurations and other special events at various schools.
3. Programs and samples of printed materials relating to Draughon's
4. Guest Lists.
5. Membership lists and progress information for the following committees:
6. Correspondence dating October, 1948 to June 6, 1949 consists of approximately 700 replies to invitations and
congratulations upon the inauguration. Includes telegrams and cards.
- Publicity and printing
- Traffic and parking Invitations
- Academic Robes
- Academic Procession Housing
- Dedication of Forestry Building Dedication of Men's Dormitory
7. Newspaper clippings consisting of approximately 140 clippings dating February, 1949 to October, 1949 and 3 special
issues of papers emphasizing the inauguration:
Photographs separated to AU photograph collection.
- The Auburn Alumnews, May 12, 1949
- The Auburn Bulletin, May 12, 1949
- Lee County Bulletin, May 12, 1949
9. Formal greetings from other schools containing some legal size proclamations are filed at the end of the collection
with oversized books.
10. Bulletins and newsletters: "Alpha Tau Tales," Spring Quarter, 1949 and "The Helm", 11 May 17, 1949
Accession Number: 92-094
1. Senior Class Exercises Program, 1922 and Program for Mother's Day Services.
2. Auburn University Dame's Club - Garoline Draughon.
3. Biographical background on Ralph Brown Draughon.
4. Address by Ralph Draughon before the Newcomen Society,.Dec. 15, 1953.
5. Innaugural address by Draughon at Mississippi State College, July 14,
6. President's Message to Graduating Classes, 1961, 1963, 1965.
7. Honorary Ph.D. conferred on Draughon by Auburn University, 1967.
8. Board of Trustee material transferred to Department of Archives from President's office, July 1967
9. Remarks by Dr. Robert C. Anderson to Gadsden Rotary Club, August 20, 1964
10. Excerpt taken from "Yesterdays in Lochapoka and Nearby Communities" about 37th Alabama Regiment organized at Auburn
during the Civil War
11. Handwritten notes by Ralph Draughon, n.d.
12. Ralph B. Draughon personal correspondence, 1947-49, 1961, 1964, 1966.
13. Eulogy tor Ralph B. Draughon delivered by Harry M. Philpott, August 15, 1968.
14. Obituaries from newspapers about Ralph Draughon, August 1968.
15. General newspaper articles honoring Ralph Draughon, various dates.
16. Sympathy messages to Draughon family, August 13-21, 1968 Part I.
17. Sympathy messages to Draughon family, August 13-21, 1968 Part II.
18. Sympathy messages to Draughon family, August 13-21, 1968, Part III.
19. Sympathy messages to Draughon family, August 22-28, 1968.
20. Sympathy messages to Draughon family, August 29-September 4, 1968
21. Sympathy messages to Draughon family, September 5-12, 1968.
22. Sympathy messages to Draughon family, September 13-20, 1968.
23. Undated sympathy cards to family of Ralph Draughon, Part I.
24. Undated Sympathy cards to family of Ralph Draughon, Part II.
25. Miscellaneous material on Draughon, various dates.
26. Miscellaneous material on Draughon, various dates.
27. Contributions in honor of Draughon.
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