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Frederick William Betts Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: -
Date: 1967-01

Biographical History

Frederick W. Betts (1858-1932) was born in Winnebago County, Illinois on March 6, 1858. He attended St. Lawrence University from 1884 to 1885, and the next year was ordained a Unitarian Universalist minister in Plymouth, New Hampshire. After several years in Plymouth, Betts moved to Syracuse, New York, where he became minister of the First Church, a position he held until his death. He was also active in civic affairs, serving as president of the Associated Charities of Syracuse (1906-1910), president of the Board of Syracuse Public Library, and as chairman of the Syracuse chapter of the American Red Cross. Betts wrote several books, including A Philosophy and Faith of Universalism, The Abiding Life, and Forty Fruitful Years.

Mr. Betts married the former Mary R. Browning in 1878 and the couple had two children, Welcome A. and C. Fred.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Frederick W. Betts Papers consist of correspondence, manuscripts and published material. Correspondence contains two letters, one outcoming (Betts to his parishioners) and one incoming (from the Church secretary, written after Betts' death). Manuscripts include letters, notes, and sermons written by Betts. Published material consists of an article by Patterson and MacCauley, newspaper clippings about Betts and others, and a prayer in Betts' memory.

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence and Printed material are arranged chronologically. Manuscripts are arranged in alphabetical order by type and then chronologically within each type.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Betts, Frederick William Archives.


Clergy as authors.
Clergy, New York (State), Syracuse.
Sermons, American, 19th century.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Letters (correspondence)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Frederick William Betts Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. C. Betts, 1963.

Table of Contents



Published material