Creator: Sayler, Frances Wheeler

Provenance Note: A literary manuscript created by Frances Wheeler Sayler and letters from Burton Kendall Wheeler to Allen Sayler were donated to Montana State University Special Collections by Gloria W. Sayler of Bainbridge Island, Washington on October 31 and November 24, 2008. Three additional manuscript chapters and a carbon copy letter were donated by Ms. Sayler on February 21, 2011 and added to the collection as folder numbers 34-37. An additional box of index cards created by Frances Wheeler Sayler was donated on June 13, 2011 by Ms. Diana Matsushima of Glendale, California. Gloria W. Sayler dontated one additional letter to the collection on January 23, 2014 and it has been placed in folder 32.

Historical Note: Frances Wheeler Sayler (1916-1957) was the second youngest daughter of Montana Senator Burton Kendall Wheeler. She met Allen Sayler (1909-1989) while investigating labor practices for the LaFollette Committee in the late 1930s. Allen had been working with the FCC, and Frances was on loan from the Women's Labor Board. They both went on to work with unions, and Allen set up a radio station for the United Auto Workers in the midwest. He later chaired the Wallace campaign for president in Michigan in 1948. Frances continued her political activities as a labor worker and a member of the Committee to End the Poll Tax, challenging discriminatory practices in Maryland and elsewhere. The couple was investigated by the FBI as a result of their work, and Frances, along with her father, gave testimonty to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee in the early 1950s. In addition to her career as a labor worker, Frances began researching and writing a biography of her father after his retirement from the U.S. Senate in 1946. The manuscript was never fully completed before Frances' death in April, 1957, but it provided the base for Yankee from the West, Burton K. Wheeler's autobiography written in 1962. In 1957 Allen moved his children to Phoenix, Arizona where he worked as an advertising salesman for a radio station owned by Wheeler's son Richard. He also returned to graduate school in Arizona to qualify as a high school teacher. Allen kept up a correspondence with his father-in-law during his years in Arizona in which they exchanged both family news and political opinions.

Content Description Note: The Sayler papers consist of the original manuscript biography of Burton K. Wheeler written by Frances, along with a collection of letters written by Wheeler to Allen Sayler in the years following Frances' death. The manuscript consists of multiple chapters that were assigned alphabetic headings. These preliminary chapters were revised and corrected as the writing continued, but sometimes the letter assigned to a particular episode was changed in the process. The arrangement of the chapters in alphabetical order does not follow the chronology of the narrative, but is the best manner to demonstrate the author's work in composition and revision. In those cases where more than one chapter was given the same letter, the earliest versions have been placed first in the file order. Two folders in the collection include sixteen original letters by Burton K. Wheeler to Allen Sayler in chronological order. The letters include family news and Wheeler's opinions on political issues of the day. Also included is a signed letter from Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater to Sayler congratulating him on his completion of his graduate degree in 1963. The final four folders in this collection were added on March 8, 2011 and contain three additional chapters to the manuscript and a carbon copy of a letter from the senator to John Wheeler dated December 12, 1934. A box of index cards with bibliographic notations created by Frances Wheeler Sayler while working on her biographical manuscript was added on August 30, 2011.


Box 1.
1. Chapter "A"
2. Chapter "B"
3. Chapter "B"
4. Chapter "C"
5. Chapter "C"
6. Chapter "D"
7. Chapter "D"
8. Chapter "E"
9. Chapter "F"
10. Chapter "G"
11. Chapter "H"
12. Chapter "H"
13. Chapter "I"
14. Chapter "I"
15. Chapter "J"
16. Chapter "J"
17. Chapter "J"
18. Chapter "J"
19. Chapter "K"
20. Chapter "K"
21. Chapter "L"
22. Chapter "L"
23. Chapter "M"
24. Chapter "M"
25. Chapter "N"
26. Chapter "N"
27. Chapter "O"
28. Chapter "O/P"
29. Chapter "R"
30. Chapter "T"
31. Chapter "U"
32. Letters, 1945-1959
33. Letters, 1961-1967
34. Chapter "Q"
35. Chapter "S"
36. Chapter "V"
37. Letter, 1934
Box 2. Index cards

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 1/27/14