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The Maid of McMillan Student Film, 1916

The ending scene of the Maid of McMillan film.

The Maid of McMillan is a 15-minute silent film written and produced by Washington University in St. Louis students in the Thyrsus Dramatic Club in 1916. It tells the story of Jack Tower (played by Gordon Morrison), the captain of the track team, who is in love with Myrtle Maroon (played by Dean Marion McDaris), a pretty co-ed. It includes a track meet with Coach Edmunds and many students. Even Chancellor Frederic Aldin Hall appears in the film. There are scenes around campus at McMillan Hall, Francis Field, Brookings Archway and Steps, and around St. Louis at Delmar Station, on the road to Clayton, and in “Some Lonely Spot.”

Access the Film

The Maid of McMillan film with an original soundtrack composed in 2023 by David Drazin featuring the Washington University in St. Louis alma mater and fight song. The film is also available on the University Libraries Vimeo account.

View the film trailer: The Maid of McMillan film trailer (YouTube).

Read more about the film in the Washington Magazine article “One of the nation’s earliest student films gets new life” (February 14, 2022).

Preservation Grant

Washington University Libraries’ Film & Media Archive, in collaboration with University Archives, has received a National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF) Basic Preservation Grant to preserve and digitize the film.

Read more about the grant in the Film & Media Archive Receives Grant to Preserve a Unique Piece of WashU and St. Louis History on Film article.

Read more about the completion of the grant work Libraries Complete Digitization of a 106-Year-Old Film.

The main couple featured in the silent film, The Maid of McMillan (1916).

About the Film

  • Produced by The Thyrsus Dramatic Club of Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Written and Directed by George Daniel Bartlett, Law 1918, and Donald Wilson Stewart, Law 1917
  • Photography by J. D. Wooster Lambert, Architecture 1918

(Note: Dates indicate the student’s class as of 1916 when the film was produced. Some students actually graduated in a different year due to the war or other circumstances.)

  • Myrtle Maroon, Dean Marion McDaris, College 1919
  • Jack Tower, Gordon Morrison, Law 1918
  • Aloisius Higgins, Phil Bryan, Law 1918
  • Justice of the Peace, Gordon B. Sommers, Law 1916
  • His Wife, Dorothy Kremer, Coll. 1917
  • Highwaymen, Donald Wilson Stewart, Law 1917 and George Daniel Bartlett, Law 1918

(Note: Dates indicate the student’s class as of 1916 when the film was produced. Some students actually graduated in a different year due to the war or other circumstances.)

  • 1916 at Washington University Univee Surkuss
  • 1939 at Washington University Thurtene Carnival
  • 1959 at Manual Training School alumni group reunion with narration by Daniel Bartlett, Sr.
  • 1966 at the Washington University 50th reunion of the class of 1916
  • 1982 at Washington University after the film was located in University Archives
  • 2022 at the Museum of Modern Art, as part of its To Save and Project film festival, January 23
  • 2022 at Washington University ThurtenE Carnival, April 8-10
  • 2023 at Brown Hall Auditorium during Washington University Reunion at Commencement, May 14

Contact

Department
Special Collections, Special Collections, Preservation, and Digital Strategies
Name
Sonya Rooney
Job Title
University Archivist
Phone Number
(314) 935-9730