TRUMAN STATE UNIVERSITY Pickler Memorial Library Truman State University

The Works of Willis J Bray, 1915-1961
Ms Collection B5

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  Willis Joseph Bray (1884-1961) was Professor of Chemistry at Northeast Missouri State Teachers College (now Truman State University) from 1912 until 1952. He joined the faculty as Head of the Chemistry Department when Northeast was still the First District Normal School and was named Head of the Division of Science and Mathematics in 1925.  While teaching at the college, he also served several terms as Chemist and Bacteriologist for the City of Kirksville.  He stepped down as Division Head for health reasons in 1945 but continued teaching until June 1952.

A 1st Lieutenant in the US Army Ordnance Reserve Corps, Bray was called to active duty in Washington, DC during World War I.  He returned to the Reserves after the war, transferred from the Infantry to Chemical Warfare Service in 1926, and had risen in rank to Major when recalled to active duty in 1942. A heart problem necessitated his medical retirement in March 1944.

Dr Bray was very active in the Masonic Orders and attained the offices of Grand High Priest of the Royal Arch Masons, 1934, and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, 1945-46.  He edited several editions of the Transactions of the Missouri Lodge of Research and authored many Masonic articles and booklets.

This collection of 60 articles, addresses and essays, a gift of his son, Willis J Bray, Jr, contains a mix of rough drafts, more finished typescripts and published versions (mostly photocopies) of Dr Bray’s works.   

B5:1 Biographical Materials
  1:1 Biographical Sketches & Bibliography
     “Willis Joseph Bray: Grand Master, 1944-46”. Transactions of the Missouri Lodge of Research.  Vol  5.  Trenton: The Lodge [AF&AM], 1947.
Ryle, Walter H.  “Willis Joseph Bray”.  Address delivered at the unveiling of the portrait of Willis J Bray, Grand Master, Grand Lodge of Missouri, Kirksville Masonic Temple, April 1, 1945.
Bray, Willis J. “List of Studies and Articles Prepared and Delivered by Willis J. Bray”.   [note: not all titles on this bibliography are included in the collection]
  1:2 Photographs
    Tri-fold cardboard frame containing 3 3½x5 black & white photos of Bray in military uniform Cadet 2nd Lieutenant, Fredericktown, MO High School, 1901 1st Lieutenant, US Army Ordnance Dept, 1918 Major, US Army Air Corps, 1942
B5:2 General Education and Chemistry
  2:1 Addresses & Published Articles
      “Achievement in General Chemistry as it is Related to Certain Learning Abilities”.  Bulletin of the Northeast Missouri state Teachers College 31:6 (1931).  
“Aerosols – Clouds, Dust, Fog, and Smoke”.  Journal of Chemical Education 6:9 (Sept 1929).|
“The Intangible Values of College Life”.  Address before the Freshman Class, Sept 7, 1948.  Bulletin of the Northeast Missouri State Teachers College 48:10 (October 1948).
  “Education for Happiness”,  High School Commencement Address, Kirksville, Bethany, Lewistown and Hurdland, MO , May 1935.
  “Kiwanis Education and the Under-privileged Child”.  Delivered at a joint meeting of the Kirksville and Moberly, MO clubs, Mar 23, and at the Mo-Kan-Ark District Spring Conference, April 6, [1937]. 
  “The Nomenclature of Biology Courses in Teachers Colleges”.  Science Education 17:3 (Oct 1933).
 “The School’s Responsibility for Physical Efficiency” The Rural School Messenger 5:3-4 (Nov-Dec 1915).
  “Science in General Education”.  Science Education 23:2 (Feb 1939).
  The Selection of High School Science Textbooks”. Science Education 18:3 (Oct 1934).
 “A Study of the First Class High Schools of Missouri”.  Normal School Index, Feb 5, 1915.
  2:2 Typescripts
    By-Products of College Life
College Teachers and Higher Degrees  
Exercise for Mental, Moral and Spiritual Growth
Individual Differences of Students in the Study of General Chemistry
Science and Religion (2 drafts)
Some Observations on Student Difficulties in the Study of General Chemistry
Some Thoughts Concerning the Certification of Rural Teachers in Missouri
The Study of General Chemistry
A Study of the Graduates of This Teachers College by Major Fields for the Years 1931 to 1933 Inclusive
B5:3 Masonry
  3:1 Addresses
    Address of Companion Willis J Bray, Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Missouri
Address of Most Worshipful Brother Willis J Bray, Scottish Rite Cathedral, St Louis, MO, Nov 4, 1948
“Grand Master’s Annual Address, Grand Lodge Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, State of Missouri, 1945”.  Proceedings of the Grand Lodge, 1945.
  “Grand Master’s Annual Address, Grand Lodge Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, State of Missouri, 1946”.  Proceedings of the Grand Lodge, 1945.
  “The Inter-Relation of Symbolic and Capitular Masonry”, read before the Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons of Missouri, April 28, 1946
Remarks of the Grand Master before the Grand Chapter, Order of Eastern Star, Oct 30, 1945
A Response of M.W. Brother Willis J. Bray, Grand Master of Missouri, to the Address of Welcome by the Grand Master of the District of Columbia
A Response to the Address of Welcome Delivered by the Grand Master of the District of Columbia
  “The Symbolism of the Capitular Degrees” , presented in the Grand Chapter of Missouri, 2nd Royal Arch School, Columbia, MO, Nov 9, 1933
  3:2 Typescripts
    A Brief Sketch of the History and Aims of the Order of De Molay
A Brief Sketch of the History of the Knights of Malta and the Knights Templar [incomplete]
The George Washington Masonic National Memorial, 1946
The Great Light of Freemasonry
The Knights Templar
Let’s Go to Lodge
The Meaning of Masonry
More About the Alleged Decline of Religion; attached letter of transmittal to Allister, J McDowen, Editor, Masonic Historiology, Nov 30, 1946
The Objectives of Royal Arch Masonry
The Philosophy of Masonry
The Powers and Duties of the District Deputy Grand Master
Report of the Special Committee on Masonic Relief
A Sketch of the History and Geography of the Ancient Orders of Chivalry [outline]
Why I Am a Royal Arch Mason
William Frederick Kuhn, MD, Apr 24, 1945
B5:4 Other Topics
  4:1 Religion
    Christ, The Church and Easter
The Fight for Moral Integrity
God’s Great Gifts (2 drafts)
Love, Our Most Ambiguous Word (2 drafts)
Some Problems of the Modern Church, delivered at First Baptist Church, Kirksville, Aug 16, 1936
Prayers Christmas Prayer, delivered at the KSTC Christmas Program, Dec 17, 1947 Invocation at the Laying of the Cornerstone, Blanton & Nason Halls, KSTC, May 27, 1948 Prayer A Prayer at the Memorial for the Gold Starts of KSTC, June 14, 1946 Prayer on “I Am an American Day” (2) Prayer on V-E Day [May 8, 1945] A Pray on V-J Day [Aug 14 1945]
  4:2 Miscellany: Family, Philosophy, Patriotism
    Address of Welcome at the Graham Family Reunion, Fredericktown, MO, June 19, 1938 [incomplete]
Assets in the Bank of Life
Bells Ring for Liberty
  “Democracy at the Crossroads”, Pearl Harbor Day address broadcast by KIRX Radio, Kirksville, MO, Dec 7, 1947
  “General John Joseph Pershing”,  Nemoscope 3:1 (Summer-Fall 1948)
My Philosophy of Life
Physical, Mental and Emotional Factors as They Relate to the Health and Happiness of the Family
Our Oriental Neighbors (ca 1919)
The Quest for Happiness
The Stewardship of Intangible Values (1961)
To the Mayor and Commissioners of Kirksville, Missouri (ca 1915) [Report of the City Chemist?]

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