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Reagan Family Papers

Identifier: MC 755

Scope and Content Note

Series 1. Essays written by Z. Lytton Reagan, a student at the University of Arkansas (then the Arkansas Industrial University) and photographs pertaining to the University and Phi Kappa Alpha fraternity. The material consists of several essays written by Lytton Reagan while he was in the Preparatory Department and a number of photographs apparently collected during his years at the University. The original donation also included Reports and Bulletins of the University, removed and cataloged for the Arkansas Collection.

Series 2. A collection of political papers. The collection, all family papers, were originally assembled by Mary Sue Reagan to use teaching American history at Rogers High School. The papers include political correspondence, campaign literature, broadsides, and newspaper clippings. The original arrangement has been essentially maintained. Some printed items were removed to be cataloged for the Arkansas Collection.

Series 3. A scrapbook, "In Memoriam Martin Lynn Shelton". It contains photographs, correspondence, clippings, and other papers pertaining to Martin Lynn and his death, as well as material pertaining to his mother's "Gold Star Mothers and Widows Pilgrimage" to Europe in 1930.

Series 4. Photographs and other papers. The photographs are mainly of members of the Shuford family, related by marriage to the Reagans. Included also are some items pertaining to N. M. Ragland and the First Christian Church, of which he was minister (1885-1907).


  • Creation: 1895-1930


Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

No Use Restrictions Apply.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical Note

Hugh Reagan and his wife, Mary Belle Agee, were residents of Washington County; Hugh attended Cane Hill College. He began the family's connection with the University of Arkansas in 1871 when he voted to have Arkansas' proposed new land grant university located in Washington County. He was appointed secretary to the then Arkansas Industrial University's Board of Trustees, and in this capacity he became the "auditor" (registrar) in charge of matriculation requirements and procedures. Hugh and Mary Belle's only child, Lytton, was enrolled in 1900 in the University's Preparatory Department. He earned his bachelor's degree in engineering at the University eight years later. His activities during those years are documented in the Z. Lytton Reagan Papers, originally a collection in itself, now constituting Series 1 of this collection.

In 1908 Lytton married Agnes Dean Shelton (known as Dean), the daughter of Hugh K. Shelton and Susan Walker, and the great-granddaughter of Peter van Winkle, whose saw-mill supplied the basic lumber for Old Main. The Shelton-Tucker American Legion Post #27 was named for Dean's brother, Lynn, who was killed in World War 1.

In 1917 Dean and Lytton moved to Rogers, where Lytton was president and manager of the Rogers Wholesale Grocery Company. He served on the Rogers School Board and from 1915 until 1921 he was a member of the University Board of Trustees.

Each of the Reagan sisters has had an outstanding career in education. All three obtained undergratuate degrees from the University of Arkansas. Agnes Lytton (B.A. 1935) received a master's degree in history and a bachelor's in library science from Emory University. She subsequently received both a master's and a doctorate in library science from the University of Illinois. She served on the library staff at Agnes Scott and Wellesley colleges. From 1947 to 1967 she taught courses in reference and documents at Emory's Division of Librarianship, and from 1969 until 1975 she served as the first accreditation officer for the American Library Association in Chicago. From 1975 until her retirement in 1984, she taught in the areas of reference and government publications at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1986, she was given the American Library Association's Beta Phi Mu award for "distinguished service to education for librarianship."

Mary Sue (B.A. 1942) earned a master's degree in history from the University of Missouri. Her American history teaching career at Rogers High School began in 1943 and continued until her retirement in 1990.

Betty Lynn (B.A. 1945) earned her master's degree in history from Emory. She taught world history and American government at Rogers High School from 1945 until 1993, when she retired. In 1962 she studied in France on a Fulbright Scholarship.

Both Mary Sue and Betty Lynn have been honored as Teacher of the Year in Rogers, both were named by the Rogers Chamber of Commerce to the Educator's Hall of Fame, and both received the Benton County Bar Association's Liberty Bell Award for outstanding teaching of American history and government. The Mary Sue Reagan and Betty Lynn Reagan Elementary School was dedicated in Rogers in 1989.


2.5 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials


Arrangement of the Papers

Material is arranged by subject and described in four series:

  1. Series 1. Z. Lytton Reagan Essays and Photographs, 1901-1910
  2. Series 2. Mary Sue Reagan Political Collection, 1895-1934
  3. Series 3. Shelton Memorial Scrapbook, ca. 1930
  4. Series 4. Shuford Photographs, ca. 1900-1930

Acquisition Information

The Reagan Family Papers collection was donated in different parts by different people as follows

(Series 1) Z. Lytton Reagan Essays and Photographs, 1901-1910 was donated to the Special Collections Department by Agnes L. Reagan, Betty Lynn Reagan, and Mary Sue Reagan, of Rogers, Arkansas, February 4, 1988.

(Series 2) Mary Sue Reagan Political Collection, 1895-1934 was donated to the Special Collections Department by Mary Sue Reagan of Rogers, Arkansas, September 1991.

(Series 3) Shelton Memorial Scrapbook, ca. 1930 was donated to the Special Collections Department by his neice and namesake Betty Lynn Reagan on February 26, 1997.

(Series 4) Shuford Photographs, ca. 1900-1930 was donated to the Special Collections Department by Agnes Lytton Reagan, July 1996.

Processing Information

Series 1 processed by Nan Lawler, completed in March, 1988.

Series 2, 3, and 4 processed by Nan Lawler, completed in April 1997.


Reagan Family Papers
Nan Lawler,
March 1988
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Materials are in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Department Repository

University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville AR 72701 United States
(479) 575-8444