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RG1174.AM:  Joseph Gallio Masters, 1873-1954

Papers:  1905-1932, n.d.

Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska:  High school principal

Size:  One folder


Joseph Gallio Masters, son of Joseph and Ellen Masters, was born on a homestead seven miles from Newton, Kansas, on February 20, 1873. He received a diploma for the academic course and in 1904 a diploma for the Latin course from the Kansas State Normal School at Emporia. He taught at District 46 in Harvey County, Kansas, and Bacone College at Muskogee and Atoka Academy, both in Indian Territory. From 1902 to 1905 he was principal at the Jones Academy in Dwight, Indian Territory. In 1905 he accepted a position as Superintendent of Schools at Wilburton, Indian Territory; and in 1906 he accepted a similar position at Tulsa.

On November 11, 1911, he married Helen Geneva Smith whom he met on the Chicago University Campus. In 1912 he received his doctorate from Chicago University and in 1915 he and his wife moved to Omaha where he had been chosen principal of Central High School, a position he was to retain for 28 years. After his retirement in 1939, he became Executive Secretary of the Omaha Roundtable of Christians and Jews. He was also the W.P.A. Supervisor of Education for Omaha from 1940-1942. In August of 1943 the Masters’ moved to a farm belonging to her ancestors in Smethport, Pennsylvania. Joseph Masters died on May 19, 1954, at Smethport, Pennsylvania at the age of 81.


This collection consists of one folder of manuscript material including correspondence, manuscripts, and newspaper clippings. The bulk of this collection relates to historical articles written by Joseph Masters for various newspapers. Of particular interest are the manuscript drafts of “Following the Overland Nebraska Trails” by Joseph Masters. Also included is a proposal written by Tom Rivington of Gering, Nebraska to plant spruce trees along the Oregon Trail as a memorial to the pioneers who lost their lives along the trail.

Note: See the photo component [RG1174.PH] for photographs. The Library collection holds several publications authored by Masters. See the Nebraska History Index for articles about Masters. Additional Joseph Gallio Masters collections are held by the Kansas State Historical Society and the Denver Public Library.



  1. Letter to Masters from Nedwick’s Book Store, Chicago, Ill., January 19, 1929

  2. Letter to A.E. Sheldon from Masters, January 20, 1929

  3. Manuscript, “Following the Overland Nebraska Trails” by Joseph Masters (3 drafts)

  4. Newsletter, “Oregon Trail Memorial Association Centenary Celebration, April 10 – Dec. 29, 1930,” by Joseph Masters, Regional Director (3 copies)

  5. Newspaper article, “Teacher — Her Troubles and Her Triumphs,” Sunday World Herald (Omaha), Oct. 4, 1908.

  6. Newspaper article, “The Great Overland Trail,” Sunday World Herald (Omaha), April 6, 1930.

  7. Newspaper article, “Feats of the Original Buffalo Bill,” Sunday World Herald (Omaha), Jan. 24, 1932.

  8. Proposal by Tom Rivington of Gering, Nebraska to plant spruce trees along the Oregon Trail as a memorial to the pioneers who lost their lives along the trail.

  9. Program, “Unveiling Ceremonies of the Arbor Day Memorial Monument,” Nebraska City, Nebraska, Oct. 28, 1905.


Subject headings:

Educators — Nebraska — Omaha

Masters, Joseph Gallio, 1873-1954

Mathewson, William, 1830-1916

Oregon National Historic Trail

Trails — Nebraska


DDS/kj                   01-21-1970

Revised TMM        05-01-2007