William F. Rigge, SJ, Papers
William F. Rigge, S.J., was born September 9, 1857, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He completed his grade school education at St. Xavier College (Cincinnati) in 1870 and joined the Society of Jesus in 1875. As a young scholastic (i.e., a Jesuit who has not completed his final vows), Rigge came to Omaha in 1878 along with Father Roman Shaffel and three other Jesuit scholastics to open the new Creighton College. In 1881 William left Omaha for his theological and academic studies, although he kept in touch with Creighton through correspondence and visits with his older brother Joseph F. Rigge, SJ (who taught science here in from 1885 to 1893). After damaging his eyesight while obtaining a Ph.D. from Georgetown University, William was again assigned to Creighton in 1896 for a distinguished career as a teacher and scientist. His research, much of which involved the Creighton Observatory, was published widely and earned him local and international recognition. Creighton remained his home until his death on March 31, 1927.
The William F. Rigge, SJ, Papers in the Creighton University Archives contain many of Father Rigge’s published writings, some of which are available online, and some of his research notes. The collection also contains several drafts of his Memoirs, really more of a history of Creighton’s first fifty years, which he was unable to complete before his death.