Judge Robert Morton Collection

Collection Summary

Title: Judge Robert Morton Collection
Call Number: MS 97-01
Size: 4.5 linear feet
Acquisition: Donated by Robert B. Morton, 1995
Processed by: SKH, 8-26-1996; MN, 3-2016
Restrictions: None

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher, to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

The Judge Robert B. Morton collection extends from 1942 through 1970, and it includes correspondence, legislation, legal documentation, clippings, notes, memos, reports and publications. The majority of the materials in the collection concerns Morton's activities on the University of Wichita Board of Regents and as special counsel for the City of Wichita. Of particular interest in this collection are the materials concerning the integration of the University of Wichita into the Kansas state system in 1964 and the materials concerning the development of the Cheney Division Wichita Water Project. The underlined name on the individual file descriptions is the original file name and all materials were maintained in their original file unless otherwise noted.

Biography

Robert Ball Morton was born on October 26, 1912, in Webb City, Missouri, to Frank Percy and Grace (Ball) Morton. Upon graduating from Wichita High School in 1930, Morton attended the University of Kansas from 1930 to 1935. In 1935, Morton was admitted to the bar and entered into general practice. Morton joined the Wichita law firm of Kidwell, Darrah, Ball & Morton and later the firm of Aley, Morton, Darrah and Mellor. During that period, he was appointed special water counsel by the city commission to represent Wichita in the litigation to obtain the water rights to the Equus beds west of Wichita and the bond issue funding for the Cheney Reservoir which assured the city of a reliable water supply. He also represented the City of Wichita in the Wichita Municipal Airport litigation with the U.S. Department of Defense which wanted to take the airport. The successful settlement of this case resulted in construction of the current Mid Continent Airport.

Upon the outbreak of World War II, Morton joined the United States Marine Corps in 1942 and served in the South Pacific for three years. He was engaged in the battles on Cape Gloucester, Peleliu, Guadalcanal and Okinawa. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions on Okinawa. Morton retired from the Marine Corps Reserve with the rank of Lt. Colonel.

Morton was appointed 18th Judicial District Judge from 1950-1951 and served as special legal counsel to the City of Wichita from 1955 to 1962. In 1962, he was appointed Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court where he served until his retirement in 1986. In 1975 and 1976, he was President of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges. During his tenure on the bench he participated in a ten year effort to rewrite a revision to the Bankruptcy Code which was approved by Congress in 1978. Following his retirement from the court, he joined the Wichita law firm of Morris, Laing, Evans, Brock and Kennedy "of counsel."

In 1953, Morton was appointed to the University of Wichita Board of Regents and served on the board until 1964. During his tenure, Morton was instrumental in the integration of the University of Wichita, a municipal university, into the Kansas state system in 1964.

Morton and Dorothy B. Compton were married July 25, 1942. He died June 25, 2005.

Detailed Description: Series Listing

Series 1Box 1-Box 3University of Wichita and Wichita State University Documentation. This series contains correspondence, legislation, legal documentation, financial records, reports, memos, clippings and publications.
Series 1.1Box 1Entrance into State System Materials. This series contains documentation about the University of Wichita's entrance to state system of higher education.
Series 1.2Box 2Financial and Legal Materials. This series contains documentation concerning financial and legal matters of University of Wichita and Wichita State University.
Series 1.3Box 3Operations and Activities Materials. This series contains documentation concerning operations and activities of University of Wichita and Wichita State University.
Series 2Box 4 FF 1-9City of Wichita Documentation, 1955-1962. This series contains correspondence, legal documentation, reports, financial statements, records and publications.
Series 3Box 4 FF 10-Box 5Personal and Business Documentation, 1942-1964. This series contains correspondence, legal documentation, reports, notes, financial statements and publications.

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Series 1 ‒ University of Wichita and Wichita State University Documentation

Series 1.1 ‒ Entrance into State System Materials

Box 1FF 1Clippings WU. Contains correspondence and newspaper clippings, 1961-62, regarding the entrance of the University of Wichita (WU) into the Kansas state system.
Box 1FF 2Integration of WU to State System 1961. Contains correspondence, reports, newspaper articles and personal notes concerning the entrance of WU into the Kansas state system. Also included in the files are the following: December 1960 copy of AAUP Bulletin; brochure entitled "The Place and the Price of Excellence," by Jacques Barzun; Report entitled "Comprehensive Educational Survey of Kansas"; Report entitled "Message of Governor John Anderson, Jr. to the Kansas Legislature," January 1961; and report concerning the enrollment statistics for the first semester 1961-62.
Box 1FF 3Summary of Legislative Effort August 2, 1962. Contains a report and brochure entitled "An Act of Faith" regarding the effort to incorporate the WU into the Kansas state system. Also included in this file is WU's financial report for 1961-62 fiscal year.
Box 1FF 4University of Wichita. Contains reports, correspondence, memos and newspaper articles from 1963-65 regarding issues involving WU and entry to the state system. Also included in this file are the following: Copies of the Board of Regents minutes for July 1, 1963, July 17, 1963, Oct. 7, 1963, Nov. 4, 1963 and April 6, 1964; Copies of the University of Wichita Financial reports from the office of the Treasurer for Feb. 1964, Jan. 1964, Sept. 1963, Oct. 1963, Dec. 1963, Nov. 1963, Aug. 1963, June 1963, and May 1963; Copy of a Declaration of Trust between the Sedgwick's Triumph Over Polio Committee and the Fourth National Bank and Trust Company of Wichita.
Box 1FF 5University of Wichita Integration 1962. Reports, correspondence and memos concerning the WU's entrance into the Kansas state system and other university business and activities. Also included in this file is an unlabeled notebook containing numerous newspaper articles concerning the integration of WU into the Kansas state system.
Box 1FF 6Wichita State University. Contains correspondence and clippings (1964-1970) concerning Wichita State University's entrance into the state system. Also included in this file is correspondence, legal documents and clippings concerning the Colorado-Derby building and other university activities.
Box 1FF 7Wichita University. Contains correspondence, reports, financial statements and clippings regarding a variety of issues about WU, 1960-1962.
Box 1FF 8Wichita U. Entrance into State System #1. Contains 1962-64 correspondence, memos, reports, legislation and clippings concerning WU entrance into the Kansas state system. Also included in this files is a copy of the bylaws for the Citizens for a State University in Southern Kansas, Inc., copies of Kansas Senate Bill No. 151 and No. 139 and a report entitled "Eurich Report and the University of Wichita."
Box 1FF 9Wichita U. Entrance into State System #2. Contains 1962-63 correspondence, memos, reports, legislation, financial statements and clippings concerning WU's effort to enter the Kansas state system and other university activities. Also included in this file is the following: 1962-63 University of Wichita Graduate School Bulletin; a report entitled "Kansas: Plans for the Next Generation; and a report entitled "Some Factors in the Founding of State Colleges and Universities in Kansas: An Historical Survey."
Box 1FF 10Contains 1961-63 reports, correspondence and publications concerning WU integration into the Kansas state system. Also included in this file is the following publications: Autumn 1961, Stanford Today; Kansas magazine; and the "University of Wichita Bulletin Biennial Catalogue, 1961-1963."
Box 1FF 11Contains 1961-63 reports, correspondence, memos and clippings regarding the integration of WU into the Kansas state system. Also included in this file is an June 3, 1961 article from the Saturday Review, entitled "Renaissance in the Southwest," concerning graduate educations and a report entitled "Problems of Duplication in Higher Education."

Series 1.2 ‒ Financial and Legal Materials

Box 2FF 1Municipal University Fund. Contains reports on WU funding and a financial statements and supplementary information for the university for year ended June 30, 1961.
Box 2FF 2REM-WU. Application for Tax Exemption. Contains 1960-62 correspondence and legal documents concerning the university's application for relief from a tax grievance.
Box 2FF 3Tax Assessment-WSU. Contains correspondence, memos, reports, financial statements, legal documents and clippings concerning activities of Wichita State University (WSU) and a 1964 tax assessment and effort to obtain a tax exempt status for the university.
Box 2FF 4University of Wichita Financial Statements and Reports 1962-64. Contains a 1962-63 Budget Report and financial statements and supplementary information for year ended June 30, 1962.
Box 2FF 5WU Budget 1964 #1. Contains correspondence, minutes, reports, financial statements and legislation concerning the operation and funding of WU. Also included in this file is a 1963 report, entitled "University of Wichita Campus," concerning the development of the university's campus and buildings.
Box 2FF 6WU Budget 1964 #2. Contains correspondence, reports, financial statements and legislation concerning the operation and funding of WU. Also included in this file is a feasibility study for an Educational Administration Center at WSU.
Box 2FF 7WU Budget 1964 #3. Contains correspondence, reports, financial statements and clippings concerning the operation and funding of WU. Also included in this file is the summer 1963 issue of the AAUP Bulletin and a 1963-64 Budget Report for WU.
Box 2FF 8WU Budget 1961. Contains 1958-1961 correspondence, reports and financial statements concerning the operation and funding of WU.
Box 2FF9WU Financial Statement 1958-59. Contains 1958-1960 financial statements and correspondence concerning the operation and funding of WU. Also included in this file is a brochure for Washburn University Law School Graduates of 1959.
Box 2FF 10WU-Funding Accounts. Contains 1964 correspondence, reports, clippings, minutes and financial statements concerning the operation and funding of WU. Also included in this file is a copy of the bylaws for Wichita State University Physical Education Corporation, Inc.
Box 2FF 11WU-Improvement Revenue Bonds 1962-64. Contains correspondence, including correspondence from Wichita University President Harry F. Corbin, concerning the operation and funding of WU. Also included in this file is a 1961 Annual Report for the New York Life Insurance Company and a Directory of Graduates of the College of Business Administration and Industry for WU.
Box 2FF 12WU-Investment of Idle Funds. 1958-59 Correspondence and reports concerning the financial management and investments of WU.
Box 2FF 13WU-Joint Revenue Tax Committee Sales Tax Bill. Contains 1960-61 reports, correspondence and legislation for Wichita University Joint Revenue Tax Committee and its attempt to provide funding for the university through a revenue sales tax.
Box 2FF 14WU-State Aid. Contains 1960-62 correspondence, notes, reports, legislation and financial statements concerning the operation and funding of WU.

Series 1.3 ‒ Operations and Activities Materials

Box 3FF 1Board of Regents 1954 Development Plan Proposals. Contains correspondence, minutes and reports submitted by the faculty concerning the 1954 Development Plans at Wichita University.
Box 3FF 2Colorado Derby Bldg. (Wichita University). Contains 1963-64 correspondence, a prospectus and memorandum concerning the taxation of the Colorado-Derby Building and WU.
Box 3FF 3Corporate Tax Facts and Fees. Contains 1962 publications and booklets concerning corporate law and taxation. Also included is a 1962 letter to Harry F. Corbin, University President, letter concerning the WU football program.
Box 3FF 4Final Report on the National Defense Language Institute. Contains 1963 report conducted at the University of Wichita.
Box 3FF 5Handbook-Gifts and Bequests, University of Wichita, Wichita Kansas. 1958 Report.
Box 3FF 6Morton-Various Correspondence 1960-63. Correspondence concerning WU.
Box 3FF 7Summary of Engineering Education at the University of Wichita 1960-61. Contains correspondence and reports concerning the Kansas Farm Bureau, the College of Education and the College of Engineering.
Box 3FF 8RBM-WU Steering Committee 1962. Contains correspondence, reports and publications concerning the University of Wichita Steering Committee and other university issues.
Box 3FF 9RBM-WU Time Sheets. Contains 1960 time records with a description of the legal work that Judge Morton did for the university.
Box 3FF 10University of Wichita. Contains a 1961 preliminary report concerning graduate and professional degrees, a history of the graduate school and a report on the nature of the student body.
Box 3FF 11University of Wichita-1962-63. Contains correspondence, minutes of the Board of Regents meetings, financial statements and reports concerning the operation of WU. Included in this file is correspondence from Olive Ann Beech and Wichita University President Harry F. Corbin.
Box 3FF 12University-WSU Information. Contains 1959-63 correspondence, reports and publications concerning the operations of WU. Also included in this file are the following: a 1960-61 Student and Faculty Directory; 1959 Annual Report from the Institute for College and University administrators; and a report from Evansville College entitled "A Report of an Investigation by the American Association of University Professors."
Box 3FF 13 Ways and Means-Wichita University. Contains 1961-63 correspondence, Board of Regents minutes, Ways and Means Committee minutes, reports, clippings, memos and financial statements concerning the operations and funding of WU.
Box 3FF 14Wichita State University 1967. Correspondence and legal documents concerning a legal matter between Aetna Life Insurance Company and WSU. Also contains an undated list of the State of Kansas Board of Regents.
Box 3FF 15Wichita State University 1968. Correspondence and clippings concerning the passage of Kansas Senate Bill 151 and other university activities.
Box 3FF 16Wichita State University. 1969 Correspondence concerning activities at WSU.
Box 3FF 17Wichita University No. 3. 1964 Correspondence, committee minutes and financial statements concerning the operations and funding of WU. Included in the correspondence are letters from University President Emory Lindquist.
Box 3FF 18Wichita University Personnel Classification. Contains a 1963 position allocations list for WSU.
Box 3FF 19WU-Correspondence (Misc.) 1960-63. Contains correspondence, reports, financial statements, legal documents and clippings concerning the operations of the university.
Box 3FF 20WU-Education Building. Contains 1963-64 correspondence, reports, minutes, financial statements, publications and personal notes concerning the Corbin Education Center and other university matters.
Box 3FF 21WU-Legislative Program (1960). Correspondence concerning the operations of the university.
Box 3FF 22WU-Minutes (Board of Regents) (Committee) 1959-61. Minutes for the University of Wichita Board of Regents.
Box 3FF 23WU-Minutes-Paul V. Smith Chairman. Various University of Wichita Board of Regents committee minutes and a report on the Harvey D. Grace Memorial Chapel Fund.
Box 3FF 24WU-Research and Development Material 1959-61. Contains publications, financial statements, reports and correspondence concerning the operations of WU. Also included in this file is a 1959 publication entitled "A Master Plan Study," concerning the future development of the university.
Box 3FF 25WU-Retirement Plan 1958-59. Contains copies of the WU's retirement plan for the years 1958 and 1959.
Box 3FF 26WU-State Aid-University of Southern Kansas. Contains 1959-1961 correspondence, reports, publications a legislation concerning the operations of WU and its entrance into the Kansas state system.
Box 3FF 27WU-Tuition, salaries, enrollment degrees 1959-61. Contains correspondence and reports concerning the operations of WU.
Box 3FF 28WU-Various. 1960-61 Correspondence, reports, financial statements and publications concerning the operations of the university. Also included in this file is a copy of a proposal for a men's residence hall by the Board of Regents of WU. Also included in this file is a 1961 flier from the Kansans for the Right to Work organization.

Series 2 ‒ City of Wichita Documentation, 1955-1962

Box 4FF 1American Waterworks Suit. 1962 Correspondence and legal documentation.
Box 4FF 2Booklet. Contains a 1961 report entitled "Water Supply in the Wichita Metropolitan Area."
Box 4FF 3Robert B. Morton-Correspondence 1962. Contains correspondence, reports and records concerning Morton's work for the City of Wichita on the Cheney Water project.
Box 4FF 4Presentation File of Cheney Division Wichita Project (Kansas) Volume I. Contains reports beginning with July 1955 Reconnaissance Report of the Bureau of Reclamation and extending through and including the formal Project Report of the Secretary of the Interior transmitted to Congress on July 6, 1959. Also included in this file is a February 1957 report from the U.S. Department of the Interior entitled "Cheney Division Wichita Project: Ninnescah River Basin, Kansas."
Box 4FF 5Presentation File of Cheney Division Wichita Project (Kansas) Volume II. Contains 1957-59 reports concerning the legislative action in the United States Senate pertaining to the water supply project.
Box 4FF 6Presentation File of Cheney Division Wichita Project (Kansas) Volume III. Contains 1957-59 reports concerning the legislative action in the United States House of Representatives pertaining to the water supply project.
Box 4FF 7Publications. Contains a 1961 clipping concerning the Cheney Division water project for the City of Wichita and a January 1961 copy of the American Bar Association Journal.
Box 4FF 8W-113 Water Department Time Sheets 1962 and Purchase Orders. Contains receipts and vouchers for Robert B. Morton's services to the Wichita Water Department. These receipts and vouchers give a detailed description of the cases and work conducted by Morton.
Box 4FF 9Wichita-Waterworks. Contains 1962 correspondence, publications, legal documents.

Series 3 ‒ Personal and Business Documentation, 1942-1964

Box 4FF 10Agreement. 1958 legal documents concerning the inheritance of Richard Bruce Petrie and Charles Judson Petrie.
Box 4FF 11Deposits-Judge Robert B. Morton. Contains personal 1957 financial records and lease records for oil and gas production.
Box 4FF 12DUO-BED 1962-63. Contains correspondence, legal documents, financial statements, photographs, drawings and publications concerning the DUO-BED corporation.
Box 4FF 13RBM-American Express Corporation (European Trip Data). Contains 1961 correspondence, passport information, publications and a suggested itinerary for Morton's trip to Europe.
Box 4FF 14RBM-Frontier County, Nebraska, Oil Deal. 1961 correspondence concerning oil and gas production in Nebraska. Also included in this file is a 1961 annual report for the Colorado Fuel and Iron Corporation.
Box 4FF 15Reports 1951-1961. Contains financial statements for Zephyr Ventilated Awning Company, Inc.
Box 5FF 1Robert B. Morton. Contains 1960-62 personal correspondence, business correspondence and business publications. Also included in this file is a copy of Walton's Delight by George Brennand.
Box 5FF 2Robert B. Morton-Correspondence 1962. Contains 1961-62 business correspondence, notes, legal documents and publications. Also included in this file are the following: April 1962 publication, Kansas Judicial Council Bulletin; March 1962 publication by the Gerontological Research Foundation; and copies of 1961 partnership income returns for Murfin Drilling Co. and the firm of Aley, Morton, and Darrah.
Box 5FF 3Semper Fidelis Portfolio. Contains 1942-50 correspondence and documentation concerning Morton's military service in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II.
Box 5FF 4Contains a 1960 memorandum concerning the Cool-Temp Awning and Window Company and a legal pad with handwritten notes.