Rose A. Grubbs Papers

Summary Information

Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives
Fred and Maud Thompson Fraternity and School Pins
0.5 Linear feet
Kansas State Normal School yearbooks from 1902 and 1905, and eight annual letters from the Upper Room Bible Class.

Preferred Citation note

Recommended citation: Rose A. Grubbs Papers, Emporia State University Archives, Emporia State University.

Processed by: Shari Scribner and Michael Redmann, October-November, 2008

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Biographical/Historical note

Rose A. Grubbs Rose Amelia Leonhard was born on March 31, 1885. She married Ora F. Grubbs on September 10, 1913, in Topeka, Kansas. They lived for many years in Pittsburg, Kansas. Rose Grubbs died in July 1973, in Chanute, Kansas.

Ora F. Grubbs Ora Francis Grubbs was born on February 22, 1876, in Woodson County, Kansas, and later lived near Neosho Falls, Kansas. His mother was Eliza Grubbs, but Ora spent at least some of his childhood living with his grandparents, Edward and Susan Brown Grubbs. From 1902 to 1906 Grubbs taught at various schools while also attending Kansas State Normal School in Emporia. Grubbs was a class officer whose writings appear in the 1902 Kansas State Normal School yearbook, and he also appears in the yearbook for the class of 1905. Grubbs received his life teaching certificate from Kansas State Normal School in Emporia in 1905. He was principal of the high school in Thayer, Kansas, from 1906 to 1909. He then became superintendent of schools in Colony, Kansas, for the 1909-1910 academic year, and superintendent of schools in Neodesha, Kansas, from 1910 to 1912. On September 10, 1913, Grubbs married Rose Amelia Leonhard in Topeka, Kansas. He received the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Kansas in 1914. In 1914 he began teaching at the Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg as an associate professor of European history. Grubbs received the Master of Arts degree from the University of Southern California in 1927, and in 1928 he was promoted to professor of economics at Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg. He reduced his teaching work to a part-time status in 1948. Besides teaching at the college, Grubbs was a faculty sponsor for the Epsilon Chapter of Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity from 1924 to 1968. In addition to his academic work, Grubbs was elected to the Kansas legislature as a Democratic representative for Pittsburg and Crawford County three times, serving terms in 1953, 1955, and 1956. In 1957 Grubbs became the bailiff at the District Court in Pittsburg. He fully retired from teaching in 1959. Ora F. Grubbs died on October 11, 1968. His many years of service at what is now Pittsburg State University have been recognized by the naming of Grubbs Hall and the naming of various awards and foundations in his honor.

Upper Room Bible Class (Emporia, Kan.) Thomas Medary Iden, the head of the Department of Physics and Chemistry at the Kansas State Normal School in Emporia, Kansas, established a Bible study class as a private hobby that he offered to any young men of the college or the town. Iden had previously led an informal student group for Bible study while he was a professor at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, from 1887 to 1897, and that class provided some of the basis for the class in Emporia. Iden’s Bible class, which was established in Emporia on November 19, 1898, eventually became known as the Upper Room Bible Class, or simply the “Upper Room,” taking its name from the Biblical account of the location of the Last Supper. Coincidentally, the class actually held its meetings in rooms on upper floors of several different buildings over the years. Students of the class affectionately called their leader “Father Iden,” and the popularity of the class was such that the vast majority of men from the college (and many other young men in Emporia) attended the weekly classes held on Saturday nights during the academic year. During this time Iden produced weekly mimeographs of handwritten leaflets outlining the topics for the lectures and providing a schedule of Bible readings to study during the week. The leaflets also contained other notes or poetry and literary quotations relating to religious themes. Besides distributing the leaflets at the Saturday evening classes, Iden also regularly mailed leaflets to former students or those who could not attend the classes. Many students would save their weekly leaflets and have them bound at the conclusion of the academic year. Iden also wrote a special annual Christmas and New Year letter to all of his current and former students, and insisted on personally addressing by hand the hundreds of envelopes needed for mailing the letters. He often prepared the envelopes during the summer months when he was not busy with his regular academic job. The contents of the annual letters were prepared over many months of the year, although the completion and actual mailing of the letters would be done in late December. Iden’s work on the Upper Room Bible Class was supported by William Allen White, the famous editor of the Emporia Gazette. The class met in a room on the upper floor of the Gazette building for several years, and White made substantial contributions to a fundraising campaign with the purpose of building a permanent home for the class. The meetings of the Upper Room Bible Class in Emporia ceased in 1913 when Iden left to accept the position of Ann Arbor Bible Chair, a full-time religious instruction ministry serving the students of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Iden also established an Upper Room Bible Class in Ann Arbor.

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Scope and Contents note

The collection includes the class album or yearbook for the Kansas State Normal School in Emporia, Kansas, for the years 1902 and 1905. There are eight annual letters from the Upper Room Bible Class for the years 1902/1903, 1904/1905, 1905/1906, 1906/1907, 1907/1908, 1909/1910, 1910/1911, and 1912/1913.

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Arrangement note


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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives October-November, 2008

1200 Commercial St
Campus Box 4051
Emporia, KS, 66801
(620) 341-6431

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

The Iden Meditation Upper Room Collection (NA1996.0001) contains extensive information on Iden and the Upper Room Bible Class, plus the scholarships and reunion activities associated with them. The yearbooks (with various titles) for the years 1898, 1901, 1904, and 1906 to 1913 contain photographs and some descriptions of Iden and the Upper Room Bible Class. The Bulletin Index for T. M. Iden lists seven articles about him, and ten articles about the Upper Room Bible Class. The Emporia Gazette issue of January 1, 1934 has an article about Iden’s death in 1933 and discusses his annual letters and his lasting influence in the Emporia area.  Qualities of Greatness, volume 1, describes Iden and his influence at the Kansas State Normal School.

Separated Materials note


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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Emporia State University -- Student activities and organizations.
  • Kansas State Normal School -- Religion. .
  • Kansas State Normal School -- Societies, etc. .
  • Kansas State Normal School -- Students -- Yearbooks.
  • Kansas State Normal School--Societies, etc..
  • Kansas State Normal School--Students-- Yearbooks.
  • Upper Room Bible Class (Emporia, Kan.) .

Personal Name(s)

  • Grubbs, Ora F., 1876-1968
  • Grubbs, Rose A., 1885-1973
  • Iden, Thomas Medary, 1856-1933 -- Correspondence.
  • Iden, Thomas Medary, 1856-1933.


  • Bible -- Study and teaching -- Kansas -- Emporia.
  • Bible -- Study and teaching.
  • Church and college.
  • College students -- Religious life.
  • College yearbooks -- Kansas -- Emporia.
  • Students -- Kansas -- Emporia -- Societies and clubs.
  • Students -- Religious life.
  • Universities and colleges -- Religion.

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Collection Inventory


One Phi Sigma Epsilon pin, one Omega Society pin, and two Kansas State Normal School pins, 1910.