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G. Harry Wright Showboat Collection

Inventory

Prepared by Thomas Scheuerman; March 3,1999
12 document boxes, 6 cubic ft.; 11th Floor
 

Historical Note/Biographical Sketch

Professor G. Harry Wright of the School of Speech at Kent State University grew up in the small village of Guyandotte, West Virginia, on the banks of the Ohio River. It was there in the first decade of the twentieth century he developed his fascination with showboats. In 1946 he began to research the history of showboats for a proposed book. In 1948 he discovered an old showboat, The Majestic, still on the river. Upon receiving approval from Professor E. Turner Stump, Head of the School of Speech, and Dr. George Bowman, President of the University, he negotiated with Captain T.J. Reynolds, the owner of the boat, to lease it as a summer theater for K.S.U. students. It was a successful venture, touring the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers for an entire season. This collection represents the history of that experience as well as a lifetime endeavor by an individual whose passion led him to taking the responsibility of preserving the memories of showboats for all of us. An excellant companion piece to the collection is the master's thesis written by Robert J. MacDonald, 1951: "THE 1948 KENT STATE UNIVERSITY SHOWBOAT. THE RECORD OF AN EXPERIMENT", in which is included descriptions of daily life on the showboat, the itinerary of the trip, receipts, photographs, maps, etc. Collection also includes brief personal correspondance from Edna Ferber.


Scope and Content

Eleven legal sized document boxes plus one hinge lidded wooden box (6"x8"x12") containing scrapbooks, photographs, manuscripts, newspaper cuttings, playbills, correspondances, note cards, etc., pertaining to the history of showboats, particularly on the Ohio River and its tributaries in the first half of the twentieth century. Collection also includes slides, negatives, and audio tapes.


Description of Series

  1. Scrapbooks
  2. Photographs
  3. Showboat Odyssey manuscripts
  4. Reed,Duane E.: History of Showboats manuscript
  5. Bryant,Billy: showboat show manuscripts
  6. Files by Name
  7. Account Books; Cash Books; Documents; etc.
  8. Names A-F
  9. Names G-N
  10. Names O-Z
  11. Miscellaneous
  12. Note Cards
  13. Box 1 Scrapbooks

    Folder -- Contents
    1. scrapbook 1: boats
    2. scrapbook 2: interiors and productions
    3. scrapbook 3: people

    Box 2 Photographs

    Folder -- Contents
    1. 4 slide boxes containing 95 slides
    2. photographs: miscellaneous
    3. photographs: people
    4. photographs: interiors and productions
    5. photographs: boats
    6. photographs: negatives

    Box 3 Showboat Odyssey Manuscripts

    Folder -- Contents
    1. Bibliography
    2. Showboat Odyssey No.1
    3. Showboat Odyssey No.2
    4. Showboat Theatre - Heyday and Decline
    5. Showboat Theatre's Second Pioneer
    6. Showboat Theatre in 1948
    7. Showboat Theatre at Its Best
    8. Showboat Majestic
    9. The Showboat is Born
    10. Showboat Entertainment Becomes of Age
    11. On A.B. French
    12. On the Majestic
    13. Showboat Odyssey carbon
    14. Showboat Odyssey carbon (part)

    Box 4 Reed, Duane E. : History of Showboats Manuscript

    Folder -- Contents
    1. History of Showboats... vol.1
    2. History of Showboats... vol.2
    3. History of Showboats... vol.3

    Box 5 Bryant,Billy; Showboat Show Manuscripts

    Folder -- Contents
    1. Circus Girl
    2. Convict 999
    3. Jesse James
    4. Lena Rivers
    5. Little Nell of the Ozarks
    6. Mother
    7. Raining and Rising
    8. Tempest and Sunshine
    9. Way Down East

    Box 6 Files by Name

    Folder -- Contents
    1. Bryant's Showboat
    2. American Floating Theatre - Price's Columbia - Hollywood Showboat
    3. Cotton Blossom (original)
    4. Eisenbarth-Henderson Showboat (original)
    5. Enterprise (Hughes Floating Enterprise)
    6. Goldenrod (originally W.R. Markle's New Showboat)
    7. Lennox Floating Theatre
    8. Lightnor's Floating Palace - New Era
    9. Majestic
    10. New Grand Floating Palace - Greater New York
    11. New Sensation (original)
    12. New Sensation (5th & last)
    13. New Sensation #2 (originally the 4th Floating Palace)
    14. Price's Floating Opera
    15. Princess
    16. Rivermaid (Captain Hi's Rivermaid)
    17. Sunny South - Hippodrome
    18. Water Queen
    19. Wonderland

    Box 7 Account Books; Cash Books; Documents; etc.

    Folder -- Contents
    1. Account Book 1913-1916
    2. Account Book 1907-1910 J.W. Cooley
    3. Showboat Cash Book 1922
    4. Showboat Cash Book 1915
    5. Showboat Ads, Programs, etc. (original)
    6. Showboat Cash Books 1892-1893 French's New Sensation
    7. Showboat Log, A.B. French, 1886-1889
    8. Showboat Payroll, A.B. French, 1890-1894
    9. Showboat Ads, Documents, Programs, etc. (copied)

    Box 8 Names A-F

    Folder -- Contents
    1. Adams, Carl B.
    2. Deacon Albright
    3. Allen, Sidney J.
    4. Autry, Gene
    5. Badon, Robert
    6. Bailey, Frank
    7. Banks, Herbert E.
    8. Barkwill, O.C.
    9. Bates, Ida
    10. Beadling, E.V.
    11. Beardstown Public Library, Beardstown, Illinois
    12. Boardman, Gail
    13. Bowman, George A.
    14. Breidenbach, Mrs. C.F.
    15. Brentano's
    16. Brown, Freeman
    17. Bruce, Robert
    18. Bryan, Frank A.
    19. Bryant, Capt. Billy; Point Pleasent, W.Va. (present address)
    20. Bundy, Geo. M.
    21. Burns, Charles Wilson
    22. Burns, Robert B.
    23. Campbell, A.B.
    24. Carpenter, H.A.
    25. Cheyenne, Wyoming, Chamber of Commerce
    26. Cincinnati, University of, Library
    27. Clay, Russell
    28. Cleveland Public Library: A Program on the Musical "Mississippi"
    29. Cleveland Public Library: Fine Arts Departments
    30. Colbert, Jo Ann
    31. Coleman, R.E.
    32. Collett, Charles L.
    33. Commerce, Missouri: To the Postmaster
    34. Connolly, Lyle F.
    35. Cook, Helen
    36. Cooley, J.W.
    37. Cooper, Norman A.
    38. Costello, Kate
    39. Crowther, Clifford T.
    40. Cutnaw, Edith
    41. Dater, Henry M.
    42. Dakin, Burt R.
    43. Day, Ella
    44. Dixon, Margaret
    45. Dolan, Walter
    46. Dollar, Sylvester
    47. Drake, Katherine
    48. Dunleavay, Charles A.
    49. Eisenbarth, Capt. Ellsworth E.
    50. Emerson, Capt. Ralph W.
    51. Evans, Merrell
    52. Ewbank, Henry L.
    53. Ferber, Edna
    54. Filson Club, (The)
    55. Fischer, H.P.
    56. Ford, Captain Charles
    57. Ford, George D.
    58. Freedley, Dr. George
    59. French, A.B. and Callie

    Box 9 Names G-N

    Folder -- Contents
    1. Gamble, J. Mack
    2. Gard, Robert E.
    3. Gebaver, Emanuel L.
    4. Gianelloni, E.D.
    5. Graham, Phillip
    6. Grand Tower, Illinois: To the Postmaster
    7. Green, George S.
    8. Griffith, Frank T.
    9. Gross, Sarah Chokla
    10. Guess, Genevia L.
    11. Guggenheim Foundation
    12. Gustman, James R.
    13. Hagans, James
    14. Haley, Wayne
    15. Hall, Virginia S.
    16. Hanesworth, Robert D.
    17. Hanley, Norman
    18. Habert, Edith E.
    19. Hardin, Illinois: To the Postmaster
    20. Hastings, Bernard
    21. High, Harry
    22. Hitner, D. Otto
    23. Hodgson, Alfred
    24. Howard, James E.
    25. Hornstein, Charles L.
    26. Howard, Nina
    27. Hughes, Capt. Jessie P.
    28. Hunter, Charles and Beulah
    29. Lacon Home Journal, The
    30. Lambert, F. B.
    31. Ledbetter, Charles
    32. Leverton, Garrett
    33. Lochhead, John L.
    34. Lodder, Andrew J.
    35. Lord, Clifford L.
    36. Lousiana State University
    37. Marietta College Library
    38. Markle, W. R.
    39. Martin, Pete
    40. Mason, Frank
    41. Mauer, Capt. Edward
    42. Maynard, Wade H.
    43. McCurdy, Mrs. T.C.
    44. McNair, J.E. and family
    45. McNair, Mrs. Wiley P.
    46. Meek, Felix
    47. Menke, Capt. J.W.(Bill) & brothers: Ben F., Harry J., & Charles F.
    48. Merchants Bank, The: Point Pleasant, West Virginia
    49. Meredosia, Illinois: To the Postmaster
    50. Mitchell, Ronald
    51. Morris, Pearl E.
    52. Muncie, Indiana: To the Chamber of Commerce
    53. Murphy, Horace
    54. Nedwick's Book Store; Chicago, Illinois
    55. Nicholson, John B.

    Box 10 Names O-Z

    Folder -- Contents
    1. Orr, Mrs. Barrett
    2. Orr, Nelle
    3. Pargellis, Stanley
    4. Parkersburg Dock Company, The: Parkersburg, West Virginia
    5. Pearl, Illinois: To the Postmaster
    6. Pekin, Illinois: Pekin Public Library, The
    7. Pell, Mrs. Walter Scott
    8. Pemberton, Margerie
    9. Potter, Bert
    10. Preble, Harry
    11. Price, Capt. E.A.
    12. Reynolds, Capt. T.J.
    13. Robinson, Capt. Richard
    14. Roth, Herb
    15. Rose, Sarah E.
    16. Rutter, J.W.
    17. Rutter, Joe
    18. Seabrook, Earl
    19. Shanower, Don
    20. Short, Joseph W.
    21. Sillito, Raymond
    22. Slover, Gus L.
    23. Snyder, Evelyn J.
    24. Sons and Daughters of Pioneer Rivermen, Sept. 13,1947
    25. Star News, The; Sisterville, West Virginia
    26. Steamboat Photo Company, The
    27. Steiner, Colonel H.E.
    28. Stevens, Dr. David H.
    29. Strauss, Harold
    30. Sullivan, Anna E.
    31. Suter, Harry
    32. Swope, Albert
    33. Tessier, Jack
    34. Thibideaux, Louisiana: Chamber of Commerce
    35. Thompson, Nellie
    36. Tulane, University Library
    37. Varnado, Alban F.
    38. Walraven, Carl
    39. Ward, Robert E.
    40. Warren, Ed
    41. Weaver, A.T.
    42. Weirz, Mrs. Frank
    43. Welden, R.H.
    44. Williams, C.B.
    45. Wisconsin, University of: Photographic Laboratory
    46. Wright, Capt. Donald T.
    47. Wright, Francis L.
    48. Young, Roger A., Jr.
    49. _____, Irwin to Mack ____
    50. _____, H. Carl

    Box 11 Miscellaneous

    Folder -- Contents
    1. Autograph Album
    2. Clippings
    3. Cities,towns, & tributaries of the Ohio River in order from Pittsburgh to Cairo
    4. News story: "Adams Cast in Rehearsal."
    5. News story from Broadside
    6. News story: "Chesapeake Town's Show Boat Inspired Dramatic Tale"
    7. News story: "Floating Theatre's Melodrama Still Get's 'Em"
    8. News story: "A Last Survivor of a Once Mighty Fleet"
    9. News report, Marietta Journal
    10. News story, Marietta Register-Leader
    11. News story: "Michigan Man Has Floating Theatre"
    12. News report, Showboat on Mississippi
    13. News story: "Real-life Showboat Captain"
    14. News story: "Real Showboat"
    15. News story: "Safe After Ploughing Up Harbor Bottom"
    16. News story: "Showboat"
    17. News story: "Showboat Again on Chesapeake"
    18. News story: "Showboat Famed in Novel, and Its Sponsers"
    19. News story: "The Showboat Ties Up"
    20. News story: "Showboat's Comin'"
    21. News story: "Tied Up for the Winter"
    22. News story: "Vivian Shirley Hears Tales of Exciting Showboat Life"
    23. News story: "Floating Theatre, Edna Ferber's Inspiration..."
    24. Vaudville Acts
    25. Notes

    Box 12 Note Cards

    1. 431 index cards arranged alphabetically by showboat name
    2. 173 index cards arranged alphabetically by person name
    3. 29 index cards arranged alphabetically by towboat name
    4. 12 index cards arranged alphabetically by publication name
    5. 47 miscellaneous index cards; handwritten notes, and memorabilia

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