Archives and Manuscript Repository for the Continuing Presbyterian Church

Manuscript Collections :
Synthetic Collections :

Loraine Boettner
Manuscript Collection MS#065
Box #

Content Summary: A small collection, consisting primarily of photographs and only a few letters, graciously donated by the Rev. Tony Mattia. Regretably, Boettner had directed a relative to destroy the contents of several filing cabinets containing his papers. Thus what is gathered here is what remains of Boettner's life-work, apart from his published works. If you have letters from Dr. Boettner that you would consider adding to this collection, please contact us.

Span dates: 1899, 1917 - 1990 Size: 1.0 cu. ft. (one carton)

Access: This collection is open to researchers.

Administrative History:
Arrangement and description by Amanda Lewis [Covenant College Intern], on Wednesday, 10 March 2004.

boettnerLoraine Boettner
[7 March 1901 - 3 January 1990

Preferred citation: Loraine Boettner Manuscript Collection, PCA Historical Center, St. Louis, Missouri.

Biographical Sketch:

Loraine Boettner was born on 7 March 1901 in Linden, Missouri, a small town about seven miles northwest of Rock Port, Missouri, the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Boettner. His grade school education was at the Lone Cedar and Fairview schools in rural Northwest Missouri. He next attended Tarkio High School, followed by a brief course in agriculture at the school in Columbia, MO, intending at that time to become a farmer.

Mr. & Mrs. William Boettner,
parents of Loraine Boettner.
Photograph dated 26 September 1899

Loraine Boettner, 1917, age 16.

1918 agricultural class in Columbia, MO
5Dr. J. B. Work, one of Boettner's professors at Tarkio College

But recognizing a need for further education, he entered Tarkio College, a Presbyterian school in Tarkio, Missouri. Boettner graduated from Tarkio in 1925 with a Bachelor of Science degree, cum laude. It was while he was at Tarkio that he was mentored by one of the professors there, Dr. J.B. Work. Boettner would in later years tell visitors that it was under Dr. Work's instruction that he became a postmillennialist.

[Tarkio College opened in 1883 and closed it doors in May of 1991. There is apparently the possibility that the school may yet reopen in a reorganized form, with a new name: Tarkio Valley College.]

By graduation Loraine Boettner was beginning to explore the possibility of God's call upon his life, and so he entered Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey in the fall of 1925. As a student there, he joined one of the dining clubs, known as the Warfield Club. Boettner spent a total of four years at Princeton, graduating from there first with the Th.B. degree in 1928 and then the Th.M. degree in 1929.

Princeton Graduate Loraine Boettner on the steps of Stuart Hall.5
This photograph is probably upon the occasion of his graduation in 1929 with the Th.M. degree.
It was his Th.M. thesis which later became the core of his first book, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination.

5Photo of the students of the Warfield Club, circa 1926. Loraine Boettner is on the left at the back of the grouping, with an arrow pointing to him. The Princeton dining clubs began as a way of feeding the students, but later became much like fraternities.
Mr. & Mrs. Boettner at their wedding,
15 July 1932

Upon completion of his work at Princeton, Boettner took a position as Professor of Bible at Pikeville College in Eastern Kentucky, teaching there from 1929 until 1937. It was while there that he met and married Miss Lillian Henry, a native of eastern Tennessee who was also teaching at Pikeville. During his years at Pikeville he also worked to complete his first three published books. These were The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination (1932); A Summary of the Gospels (1933) and The Inspiration of the Scriptures (1937).

Though we are unclear at this time as to why, the Boettners moved to Washington, D.C. later in 1937, and resided there for eleven years. During these years he continued his writing, and from 1942 to 1947, Loraine worked for the Treasury Department. Quoting from the biographical account provided at Rev. Boettner's funeral, "Those years included the Second World War, 1939 until 1945, at which time the United States gained a complete victory over both Germany and Japan. Those were most interesting years to be in Washington, as that city was then, in effect, the capital of the free world, with intense activity national and international."
The Boettner's home near Washington, D.C., 1937-1948.
In 1948 the Boettner's moved again, this time to Los Angeles, California on account of Lillian Boettner's failing health. The move to Los Angeles was apparently a matter of convenience, as two of her sisters lived there and had volunteered to assist with her care. Mrs. Boettner's health continued to decline until her decease in 1958. Upon his wife's death, Loraine saw to her internment at the Linden Cemetary outside of Rock Port, Missouri.
From 1958 until his own death in 1990, Dr. Boettner lived a quite life in Rock Port. In 1933 he had been awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity by Tarkio College. The added honor of a Literary Doctorate was conferred by Tarkio in 1957, a year before his wife's death. Though his books had sold modestly well up to this point, it was really the years after returning to Rock Port that Dr. Boettner began to enter into the ministry for which he is so fondly remembered.

Box/File & Subject
ƒ01 — Finding aid
ƒ02 — School Photographs, 1929
ƒ03 — Miscellaneous items
ƒ04 — Correspondence Regarding Boettner's Death, 1990, Including letters from Ernest Reisinger; Maurice Roberts; Albert Martin
ƒ05 — Mattia, Tony, 1979-1988, Correspondence
ƒ06 — Boettner, Loraine, 1954, History of the Boettner Family
ƒ07 — Personal Photographs
ƒ08 — Funeral Service for Dr. Boettner [Rockport, Missouri], 1990, Photographs
ƒ09 — Rockport, Missouri, 1990, Photographs of Town and Surrounding points
ƒ10 — Boettner, Loraine and Lillian, Wedding Photograph
ƒ11 — Boettner, Loraine, circa 1937, Portrait Photograph
ƒ12 — Boettner, Loraine, 13 January 1956, Portrait Photograph
ƒ13 — Boettner, Vina and William [parents of Loraine Boetter], 26 September 1899, Photograph
ƒ14 — Boettner, Loraine, 1917, Photograph at Age 16
ƒ15 — American Standard Version, Correspondence regarding Dr. Boettner's 1901 ASV Bible
ƒ16 — Funeral Service for Dr. Boettner, 1990, Pressed Flowers
ƒ17 — Funeral Service for Dr. Boettner, 1990, Audio Tape of Funeral Service, 5 January 1990

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