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Collection 2213 - Burton K. Wheeler Family Papers, 1924-1989

Creator: Colman, Elizabeth Wheeler, 1911-

Provenance Note: Papers, correspondence, and photographs pertaining to the Burton K. Wheeler family were donated to MSU Special Collections by Elizabeth Wheeler Colman in 1990 and 1994.

Historical Note: Elizabeth Wheeler Colman was born in Butte, Montana, on April 17, 1911, the second child of Lulu and Burton K. Wheeler. She attended grammar school in Butte and Washington, D.C., then graduated from Western High School in Washington. She obtained her B.A. in history and M.A. in political science from George Washington University. She and her husband, Edwin Woodruff Colman, have been married for over fifty years and have had four children. She has served on boards and committees concerning political, civic, educational, and community affairs. In 1989 she wrote Mrs. Wheeler Goes To Washington, dealing with the life of her mother, Lulu Wheeler, wife of U.S. Senator Burton K. Wheeler. The book was published by Falcon Press Publishing Co, Helena, Montana.

Content Description Note: The collection has been arranged in 3 series, based on subjects. Series 1 consists of papers and correspondence of Elizabeth Colman pertaining to the writing of her book Mrs. Wheeler Goes To Washington. Much is hand-written. Series 2 consists of papers pertaining to the life of Burton K. Wheeler. This series has been separated into 4 subseries: papers pertaining to B.K. Wheeler's U.S. Senate campaigns; Wheeler's isolationist and wartime activities; Wheeler's later life; and two large scrapbooks created by Elizabeth Wheeler Colman during the early 1940s containing some of her personal memorabilia and numerous clippings pertaining to her father. Series 3 consists of photographs of Burton K. Wheeler and his family. The 1990 donation materials, which are mainly originals, have been intermingled with the 1994 materials, which are primarily photocopies.

Contents

Series 1 Mrs. Wheeler Goes To Washington, 1974-1989
Series 2 Burton K. Wheeler biographical materials, 1924-1975.
Subseries 1 - U.S. Senate Campaigns, 1940; 1946
Subseries 2 - Isolationism and wartime activities
Subseries 3 - Elizabeth Coleman scrapbooks
Subseries 4 - General biographical materials
Series 3 Photographs, posters, and cartoons, Circa 1924-1970s

Series 1: Mrs. Wheeler Goes To Washington, 1974-1989

Photos, papers, and correspondence collected by Elizabeth Wheeler Colman while preparing her manuscript for Mrs. Wheeler Goes To Washington. Includes letters from her editor and correspondence from family friends. Much is handwritten. Does not include original manuscript.

Box 1
1. Mrs. Wheeler Goes To Washington

Contents | Special Collections

Series 2: Burton K. Wheeler biographical materials, 1924-1975

Wide variety of materials concerning the life of Burton K. Wheeler. Includes papers and correspondence pertaining to his political campaigns for U.S. Senate and other offices. Contains endorsements, correspondence, press statements, and newspaper articles about his political positions. Also includes legislation introduced by Senator Wheeler.

Contents | Special Collections

Series 2; Subseries 1: U.S. Senate campaigns 1940, 1946.

Campaign literature, endorsements, and news articles.

Box 1 (cont.)
2. 1940 Senatorial campaign literature.
3. 1946 Senatorial campaign literature.
4. Wheat bonus statement 1946.
5. Prospectus of Plot to Destroy America, by Kin.
6. Letter about B. K. Wheeler's record, 1946.
7. "The Railroad Man's Friend" labor support article.
8. Endorsements, 1946.

Contents | Special Collections

Series 2; Subseries 2: Isolationism and wartime activities, 1939-1945

Papers pertaining to the America First Committee, wartime legislation introduced by Wheeler, and news clippings.

Box 1 (cont.)
9. America First Committee papers
10. America First Committee papers, Chicago releases.
11. Legislation introduced by Wheeler, 1945-1946.
12. Various magazine articles about WWII.
13. Various clippings concerning isolationism, etc.

Contents | Special Collections

Series 2; Subseries 3: Coleman Scrapbooks, 1940-1941

Scrapbook created by Elizabeth Wheeler Colman in early 1940s. Contains mainly national newspaper clippings about Burton. K. Wheeler, as well as some of Elizabeth's personal memorabilia.

Box 2
4. Elizabeth Wheeler Colman scrapbooks

Contents | Special Collections

Series 2; Subseries 4: General biographical material, 1924-1975

Papers and articles pertaining to Burton. K. Wheeler's life and career other than his Senate campaigns and wartime activities. Some news articles written in Wheeler's later, post-political years.

Box 1 (cont.)
14. Lengthy Chicago Tribune article about Pearl Harbor.
15. Papers concerning Wheeler's 1924 campaign for Vice President.
16. 1975 address by Prof. Richard Ruetten on Wheeler's life.
17. "The Silver Question" magazine article.
18. 1937 article about Wheeler's court fight.
19. Numerous clippings on Wheeler's life.

Contents | Special Collections

Series 3: Photographs, posters, and cartoons, 1924-1975

Illustrations of Burton K. Wheeler and family, political posters, and cartoons. #s 1-24 are photographs. Photographers generally unknown although #1 was taken by Harris & Ewing and #15 and 16 were taken by H.D. Walter. #s 25-29 are campaign posters. #30-33 are original cartoons. Cartoons include Joseph Parrish's "The Indictment of Statesmanship" (published in Chicago Tribune 1941) Gene Elderman's "The Rough Rider", Cliff Berman's "You can't scare me..." (1948) and a Wheeler cartoon narrative by R. Faulkner.

Box 1 (cont.)
Folder 20. Photographs #1-10
#1. 5"X 7" Wheeler and Lafollette (original print in Box 2)
#2. 3"X 8" Woman in formal dress, possibly Lulu
#3. Small photo, Wheeler on U.S.S. Chicago with R.Admiral Rowcliff, 1940
#4. 4"X8" Wheeler
#5. 5"X7" Wheeler at desk
#6. Small dbl-mounted Wheeler reading
#7. Wheeler with Lulu on walkway
#8. Wheeler smoking
#9. Wheeler on telephone
#10. 8"X10" Wheeler talking to man and woman

Folder 21. Photographs #11-24.
#11. 8"X10" Wheeler, wife, and daughter
#12. Wheeler with daughter
#13. Burton and Lulu
#14. 1940 Wheeler, Lulu, and daughter
#15. Wheeler sitting at couch with Lulu and daughter
#16. Wheeler reading invitation
#17. Wheeler reading invitation
#18. On horseback with Lulu and Elizabeth, 1941
#19. Wheeler at dinner table in tux, in later years (two of this same image)
#20. Same setting as #19, different pose
#21. Same setting as #19, reaching (two identical)
#22. Same setting as #19, different pose
#23. 1949 dinner table, Wheeler, several others
#24. Newspaper illustration from Washington Herald, Wheelers family, 1928

Box 2
Folder 1. Wheeler & Lafollette

Folder 2. Wheeler Campaign posters #25-29
#25. Wheeler for U.S. Senate 1922
#26. Wheeler for U.S. Senate 1928
#27. Wheeler for U.S. Senate 1934
#28. Wheeler for U.S. Senate 1940
#29. Wheeler for Vice President - Progressive Party 1924

Folder 3. Cartoons #30-33
#30. "The Indictment of Statesmanship"
#31. "The Rough Rider"
#32. "You can't scare me..."
#33. Campaign narrative cartoon

Folder 4. Scrapbook from Series 2, Subseries 3

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 5/22/09