Baylor University Poage Library

Scope and Content


The papers of Hyde Murray provide a compliment to the papers of W. R. Poage, Fowler West, and John Hogan also deposited in the BCPM. Murray served as Republican counsel on the Committee on Agriculture for twenty years while Poage was Vice-Chair and Chairman. West served on the Committee staff for ten years with Murray before being appointed a commissioner on the CFTC. Hogan also served as Republican counsel on the Agriculture Committee from 1979-1995.

Murray's papers provide much more detail into major legislation than these other collections from 1958 to 1978, the year both Murray and Poage left the Committee. Research can be conducted using bill number, bill name, or topic. The strength of the entire collection is found in the wide range of materials related to agriculture legislation in the three largest series: Legislation by Bill, Legislation by Subject, and Topics.

The Legislation by Bill series consists of files on agricultural legislation passed during 30 years between 1954 and 1984. Each bill carries a general description and supplementary information such as reports, statements, surveys, statistics, analysis, or publications. Legislation include the Sugar Act, Soil Bank Act, Animal Quarantine laws, Food Stamp Act, Cotton, Dairy, and Farm Bills. This segment constitutes one of the largest portions of the Murray collection and provides a wealth of legislative history and information.

Legislation by Subject overlays with Legislation by Bill, but includes more information and spans a broader period of time, 1948-1984. The series provides agricultural legislation supplemented by discussions, hearings, articles, reports, statements, publications, proposals, statistics, and correspondence. The subjects include various agricultural acts involving Mexican Farm Labor, fair practice, trade development, animal welfare acts, beef research and information, commodities, cotton, dairy, feed, meat inspection, food stamps, rural development, sugar, and wheat.

The Topics series is a compilation of Murray's research from 1949 to 1980 organized by subject. Murray researched Legislative issues and prepared reports and speeches. His sources include House Resolutions, media releases, newsletters, articles, statements, reports, publications, correspondence, and congressional records. The 352 research topics include Agricultural Committee, Agricultural Policy, Animal Welfare, Barter, Beef, Brucellosis, China, Common Market, Cotton, Dairy, Exports, Farm Bill, Livestock, Rural Electrification Administration, Sugar, Tobacco, Wheat, and the World Food problem.

These three major series are further supplemented by over 1,100 speeches and numerous publications. Throughout his career, Murray regularly wrote speeches for public figures. This series represents some of Murray's speeches written between 1958 and 1978. There are approximately 1,136 speeches. This series contains speeches for Bob Dole, Ezra Benson, Earl Butz, Orville Freeman, Gerald Ford, Clifford Hardin, Charles Hoeven, Richard Nixon, True Morse, Clarence Palmby, W.R. Poage, William Wampler and numerous others.

General Publications encompass all forms of publications (except for press releases) collected by Murray between 1949 and 1984. These books, acts, reports, and manuals were mostly published by the USDA, U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate. Press releases relate to agriculture between 1959 and 1980 with the majority dating from 1973 and 1974. A number of publications from the late 1970s were sampled and discarded.

Along with the emphasis on legislation, the Murray papers also provide insight into his personal life through a small collection of personal papers, a series on the Congressional Staff Club, photographs reflecting his personal interests and travels, and his participation in the national and Wisconsin republican parties.

The Personal series chronicles Murray's private events and activities. These files include awards, correspondence, invitations, interviews, doodles, travel materials, and visitor correspondence. The Travel section preserves pictures, postcards, notes, brochures, correspondence, itineraries, speeches, and expenses from Murray's trips to Africa, Europe, Rome, Venezuela, and around the United States.

This Congressional Staff Club series covers Murray's participation in the Congressional Secretaries/Staff Club between 1950 and 1980. The materials incorporate newspaper articles, publications, correspondence, photographs, bulletins, programs, and brochures. The Congressional Club materials are divided into subseries: business notebooks, club administration, correspondence, events, fundraising, sports, travel, and personal.

The Photographs document events from 1958 to 1982 including sports, committees, doodles, cartoons, group photos, meetings, special occasions, and travel. The travel pictures cover Murray's trips to Mali, Rome, and Venezuela in 1973 and 1974. All of the photographs are stored in a separate notebook and are available online.

The Politics series contains material collected by Murray between 1947 and 1979 about the Republican Party, categorized by subject, arranged alphabetically. This section contains documents from and about the Republican National Convention from 1968 and 1972 including platforms, committees, directories, the Miami convention, and the 1970 election.

Two smaller series complete the Murray Papers: Agencies, Committees and Departments and the Hoover Institute. The government files encompass news releases, publications, correspondence, reports, bills, news articles, and statements from 1958 to 1981. This section spans Murray's time serving as Minority Counsel to the House Agriculture Committee and a brief portion of his time as Minority Counsel of the House and Counsel to the Minority Leader.

The Hoover Institute series constitutes several boxes covering Murray's involvement with the Hoover Institute on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. These files are predominately correspondence, itineraries, speeches, articles, and publications. The Hoover Institute papers are subdivided into five subseries: Correspondence, 1975-1979, Publications, Ralph Nader's Congress Project, China, and Folders. Correspondence, 1975 to 1979, is arranged chronologically, and covers a variety of topics including wheat, agricultural conferences, associations, institutes, and bureaus. Geographically, the Hoover Institute papers blanket the globe from Russia, Paris, and Belgium to China, Canada, and the United States.

As a group, the Hyde Murray Papers provide a glimpse into the internal workings of the House Committee on Agriculture from the perspective of a hard-working legal counsel during a twenty-year period. The content is further enhanced by the papers of Congressman Poage, Fowler West, and John Hogan whose Committee on Agriculture papers are also archived here.


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