Scope and Content
Terms of Access
Edgar Raymond Attebery was born in Missouri on Sept. 11, 1895. After graduating from Everett High School he attended Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, until his studies were interrupted by World War I. In 1917 he joined the Oregon National Guard and served for two years, including 14 months in France. After the war, he earned his B.A. from the University of Washington in 1921, attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, and received his bachelor of theology degree from Harvard Divinity School in 1925.
In Sept. 1925 Attebery became pastor of Grace Methodist Episcopal Church in Seattle (renamed Grace Methodist Church ca. 1939). He would serve in that post the rest of his life. In addition to his work in the ministry, Attebery was active in a number of civic causes. In 1929 he played an active role in the effort to free Industrial Workers of the World members jailed after the 1919 Armistice Day clash between workers and veterans in Centralia. He was also a vocal advocate of Prohibition and a critic of American isolationism.
Attebery joined the Washington National Guard as a chaplain in 1929. He was called to active duty in September 1940, and sent overseas the following year. He died while landing with his division on Biak Island, New Guinea, in May 1944.
Scope and Content
The E. Raymond Attebery Papers document the Seattle pastor's activities as a civic leader, soldier, and military chaplain.
Accession 3176-1 includes correspondence with his family. The bulk of the letters are to his wife, Miriam, written while Attebery was serving as a chaplain during World War II. There are also letters to his children, Eliot, Jerry, Edgar, and Gay. (Edgar also served in World War II and would be killed in action just months after his father's death.) Letters to his mother, Betty, date largely from his time in France during World War I. A scrapbook containing letters and clippings documents Attebery's career from the early 1930s. The Class Notes were made while Attebery was attending Harvard Divinity School.
Accession 3176-2 includes additional personal and church-related correspondence. Of note is a letter from President Franklin D. Roosevelt asking for Attebery's comments on local social conditions. His stance on Prohibition is outlined in the Writing file. The Friends of City Light subgroup includes correspondence and minutes of the organization, which was formed to support municipal ownership of Seattle's electric utility. The Committee on the Centralia Armistice Day Tragedy subgroup documents the efforts of Washington State church groups and individuals to exonerate International Workers of the World members imprisoned after the 1919 confrontation. The committee was established by the Puget Sound Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1929 to investigate the Centralia shootings and was part of a local movement that eventually led to a joint investigation by several national religious organizations. Attebery served as secretary of that special committee. The correspondence files document Attebery's requests to national organizations to join the effort. The report issued by the national groups in 1930 is also found in this subgroup.
Terms of Access
The collection is open to all users.
There are no restrictions on the use of the collection.
Accession 3176-1 was donated by Rev. Attebery's widow, Miriam, in 1980. She donated the materials in Accession 3176-2 in 1989.
Eighteen photographs, largely taken during Attebery's service in World War II, were transferred to the E. Raymond Attebery Photograph Collection in the division in 2004.
|Last modified: April 5, 2016|