Milton M. Schayer Papers
Milton Mincha Schayer (1876-1935) was a Denver, Colorado businessman. Born to German-Jewish parents, he was active in many civic and religious organizations in Denver in the early part of the twentieth century. He wrote a weekly syndicated column titled, "Things to think about," which appeared in a variety of Jewish newspapers around the country.
In 1927, Schayer wrote to a number of Nobel Prize-winning scientists, literary figures, university presidents and judges inquiring about their views on religion and science. He expressed a concern that college students of the day were “drifting away from all religious impulses,” and that this notion was based on “a seeming conflict between the discoveries of scientists and the claims of religionists.” Given the in-depth scientific studies and life experience of these figures, he wished to know their ideas on the subject, for possible publication. Most of the correspondents either did not want their views published, or referred Schayer to writings on the matter that were already published. This collection primarily consists of letters written to Schayer in reply to his inquiry about the respondents' views on religion and science.
Language of Materials
The material is primarily in English.
Biographical / Historical
Milton Mincha Schayer was born in Denver, Colorado, in 1876 to German-Jewish parents. When he was ten the family moved to Galveston, Texas, where he began working as an errand boy at the Galveston Fruit Company. He was promoted in the company, but moved back to Denver after the Galveston flood of 1900. In Denver he entered the stock and bond business, and in 1920 founded the Bankers Building and Loan Association, and served as its first president and treasurer.
He was active in many civic and religious organizations. He was director of the Denver Chamber of Commerce, which recognized him as Denver’s “most valuable citizen” in 1925. He was a member of Temple Emanuel, president of the Central Jewish Aid Society, and president of the Denver Lodge of the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith. He was a member of the Masons, the Denver Press Club, the Philosophical Society, and the Colorado Bankers Association. He wrote a weekly syndicated column titled “Things to Think About,” which appeared in the Jewish News in the Rocky Mountain Region, and a number of East Coast newspapers. He was also active in a literary group, discussions of which prompted the inquirys he sent to prominent scientists and men of letters.
Schayer was married twice, first to Elsie Reinach, who died in 1919, and then to Jane S. Bear. He had two children, Helen Elsie and Charles Milton. He died in 1935.
0.5 Linear Feet (1 half letter document box)
Scope and Contents
The Milton M. Schayer papers primarily consist of letters written to Schayer in reply to his inquiry about the respondents' views on religion and science. The letters include original handwritten and typewritten letters as well as trancriptions and translations. The respondents include a number of Nobel Prize-winning scientists, U.S. Supreme Court justices, university presidents, and literary figures. Also included in the collection are articles written in 1969-1971 discussing the letter and describing the collection, and associated correspondence. The papers contain an article written by University of Denver Professor George Barany describing the collection at length, an article concerning the letter in the collection by Max Planck, and the correspondence associated with these two articles.
The collection is partially arranged.;
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Milton M. Schayer, date unknown.
No further accruals are expected.
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