Larry McBryde Collection on the John McLaren McBryde Family
Scope and Content
The Larry McBryde Collection on the John McLaren McBryde Family, 1859-2013, contains materials concerning John McLaren McBryde, Sr., his brother Robert James McBryde, and their descendants, including John McLaren McBryde, Jr., Charles N. McBryde, Robert J. Davidson (the son-in-law of McBryde, Sr.), Meade Bolton McBryde, Sgt. John McLaren McBryde, David Caldwell McBryde, and others. The collection contains five series, organized by subject and subdivided chronologically.
Series I contains the papers of John McLaren McBryde, Sr., and his immediate family, dating from 1859 through 1930. Items include photographs and newspaper articles relating to McBryde's life and service at Virginia Tech, a Petersburg Railroad Pass during McBryde's Conderate service, a Sweet Briar College program, newspaper clippings related to the colleges he worked at, and an unbound photograph album (20 leaves) with photographs of the University of South Carolina, Washington and Lee University, and early images of the VPI campus and the surrounding town of Blacksburg. There are also letters to McBryde, including copies of correspondence pertaining to the University of Virginia's presidency, and to his son Charles N. McBryde about him. Finally, legal documents, letters, and resolutions relate to McBryde's death.
Series II contains items belonging to John McLaren McBryde, Jr., dated 1904 thru 1947. Primarily, items pertain to his research, reminiscences, and biographies about his father. There are also postcards to him and his wife of Blacksburg, Charlottesville, and Hollins, Virginia.
Series III contains a c. 1905 photograph of and 1926 memorial to Robert James McBryde, the brother of John McLaren McBryde, Sr.
Series IV consists of newspaper clippings, obituaries, and curriculum vitae, dated [1916?] thru 2013, for other McBryde Family members, including Robert J. Davidson, Meade Bolton McBryde, and the descendants of John McLaren McBryde, Sr., and Robert James McBryde. There is also a 1972 invitation sent to Sgt. John McLaren McBryde for the dedication ceremony of McBryde Hall at Virginia Tech in 1972.
The fifth and final series is undated genealogy of the McBryde Family. Several family trees and four handwritten volumes of the Chronicles of the McBryde Family by David Caldwell McBryde are included, along with partial photocopies and digital copies of the volumes on DVD.
- 1859 - 2013
Language of Materials
The materials in the collection are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use
The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.
Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: http://bit.ly/scuareproduction. Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: http://bit.ly/scuapublication. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives (email@example.com or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.
John McLaren McBryde (January 1, 1841-March 20, 1923) was born in Abbeville, South Carolina, to Susan McLaren and John McBryde, a Scottish cotton merchant. In December of 1858, John McLaren McBryde enrolled in South Carolina College (later the University of South Carolina) in Columbia, South Carolina. He later transferred to the University of Virginia in 1859, leaving in 1861 to fight in the American Civil War for the Confederacy. Having joined the military, McBryde was stationed on both Sullivan and Morris Islands, reportedly seeing the first shot fired on Fort Sumter. In 1862, McBryde contracted typhus fever and was forced to leave the army, but went on to work for the Treasury Department of the Confederate States of America in Richmond, Virginia. In September of 1963, McBryde married Cora Bolton, with whom he later had six children.
Following the end of the Civil War, McBryde ran a large farm named Branchland in Charlottesville, Virginia. During this time, he published numerous articles on the subject of agriculture, gaining him the attention that eventually lead to his appointment as a Professor of Agriculture and Botany at the University of Tennessee in 1879. In 1882, McBryde was offered a chair at the South Carolina College, where he remained until 1891, expanding it into a university after becoming president. In 1891, South Carolina University was again reduced to a college and its agricultural department moved to Clemson, leading to McBryde's acceptance of the Presidency at the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (VAMC).
During his time at Virginia Tech, McBryde divided the college into separate departments, expanded the curriculum, oversaw the installation of an infirmary and a new water system, added dormitories and faculty housing, and increased enrollment from 135 students in 1891 to 727 by 1903. After his retirement in 1907, McBryde was the first person elected president emeritus for the college, eventually becoming known as "the father of VPI." In 1923, McBryde died at his son's home in New Orleans but was returned to Blacksburg, Virginia for burial.
0.94 Cubic Feet (3 boxes)
The Larry McBryde Collection on the John McLaren McBryde Family, 1859-2013, contains materials concerning John McLaren McBryde, Sr., his brother Robert James McBryde, and their descendants. Primarily, the collection contains photographs, letters, family histories, and biographies about McBryde, Sr., who was president of Virginia Tech from 1891 thru 1907.
This collection is arranged into series by subject, and each series is arranged chronologically.
- Series I: John McLaren McBryde, Sr., and Family
- Series II: John McLaren McBryde, Jr.
- Series III: Robert James McBryde
- Series IV: Other McBryde Family Members
- Series V: Genealogy
Source of Acquisition
The Larry McBryde Collection on the John McLaren McBryde Family were donated to Special Collections and University Archives in multiple accessions in 2013. Additional materials were donated in May 2019.
Existence and Location of Copies
Some of this collection has been digitized and is available online.
Rights Statement for Archival Description
The guide to the Larry McBryde Collection on the John McLaren McBryde Family by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your- work/public-domain/cc0/).
The processing, arrangement, and description of the collection was completed in June 2013. An addition was integrated in June and July 2019.
- McBryde family
- McBryde, Charles Neil, Dr., 1872-1962
- McBryde, John McLaren, 1841-1923
- Record Group 2
- University Archives
- University History
- Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute (1896-1944)
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute (1944-1970)
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (1970-)
- Larry McBryde Collection on the John McLaren McBryde Family, 1859-1920s
- Hannah Bochain, Student Assistant, Tamara Kennelly, Archivist, AnnRea Fowler, Student Worker, and LM Rozema, Archivist
- 2019 (CC0 1.0)
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository
Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US