Walter H. Moursund, MD papers

Identity elements

Reference code

MS 042

Level of description



Walter H. Moursund, MD papers


  • 1913-1959 (Creation)


4.5 cubic feet (9 boxes)

Name of creator


Biographical history

Walter Henrik Moursund was born in Fredericksburg, Texas on August 13, 1884. One of eight children, he was the son of District Judge Albert Waddell and Henrikke M. Moursund, both immigrants from Norway. Dr. Moursund was later to attribute his interest in the study of medicine to the kindliness of a family doctor who helped him recover from a childhood illness. Following graduation from Fredericksburg High School, Dr. Moursund received his medical degree at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, in 1906. He married the former Freda Adelaide Plate of Seguin in 1907 and for the next several years was a general practitioner in Fredricksburg, Seguin, Marion, Lavernia and Sulphur Springs, Texas. During World War I he served with the army as a captain and then major.
Dr. Moursund's association with Baylor University College of Medicine began in 1911 when he joined the staff as an assistant in pathology and bacteriology. The college was at this time located in Dallas, and in the ensuing years Dr. Moursund served in a variety of roles, including professor of physiology, pathology, clinical pathology, bacteriology and hygiene. He also served as secretary and registrar, as acting dean, and finally as dean from 1923 until his retirement in 1953. His tenure spanned the years of Baylor's move to Houston in 1943 and its growth as part of the newly-created Texas Medical Center. His file of clippings and other material documenting the medical school's growth became the basis for A History of Baylor University College of Medicine 1900-1953, published by Dr. Moursund in 1956. Material concerning other medical institutions in the Houston area provided the basis for a second book, Medicine in Greater Houston 1836-1956,which was prepared as a manuscript but never published. Dr. Moursund's professional affiliations included membership in the American Medical Association, the Southern Medical Association, and the Harris County Medical Society. The Texas Medical Association elected him to emeritus membership in 1950. He was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree by Baylor University in 1946, and in 1951 the Walter H. and Freda Moursund Endowment was established at Baylor College of Medicine. Upon retirement from Baylor in 1953, Dr. Moursund was named dean emeritus and director of endowment. Dr. Moursund died April 2, 1959, and is buried at Grove Hill Memorial Park in Dallas.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Walter H. Moursund, MD papers contains biographical material, a manuscript, miscellaneous correspondence, pamphlets, survey reports, press clippings, department reports, Baylor College of Medicine clippings, programs, directories and miscellaneous documents, articles related to many Houston area medical institutions and other paper materials related to the career of Walter Moursund in internal medicine and at Baylor college of Medicine.

Subjects: Internal Medicine/Baylor College of Medicine

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

No access restrictions. Open for research.

Physical access

Materials are in good condition.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright restrictions may apply.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Box-level inventory is available.

Uploaded finding aid

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history


Immediate source of acquisition

Following Dr. Moursund's death, the collection was retained by his daughter, Mrs. Mildred Essig. Elizabeth White, director of the Historical Research Center of the Houston Academy of Medicine/Texas Medical Center Library, became aware of the collection while corresponding with Mrs. Essig and other family members in 1984 and arranged for its transference to the Harris County Medical Archive in 1986.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


No accruals are expected for this collection.

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Notes element

Specialized notes

  • Citation: Walter H. Moursund, MD papers; MS 042; John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center, Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library. Please cite the box and folder numbers where appropriate.
  • Processing information: This collection when received consisted largely of dated but untrimmed newspaper clippings, placed in envelopes according to subject. These classifications were generally maintained, and processed clippings were then arranged in chronological order wherever possible. Biographical material and correspondence were separated into appropriate categories and arranged chronologically where possible. Some duplicate material was removed to the institutional collections of the Archive, and photographs were removed to the Historical Research Center. [1987]

Alternative identifier(s)



Description control element

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Sources used

Archivist's note

Finding aid prepared by Joan R. Ferry September, 1987

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