Historical Manuscript Collections (T-Z)


Scrapbooks, 1933.
.16 cu. ft.

Clippings chiefly from Taylorville, Illinois daily newspapers, the Daily Breeze and the Courier, documenting eight months of the Illinois mine wars which started in 1932 as a wage dispute but soon became a power struggle between the United Mine Workers (UMW) and the Progressive Miners of America (PMA) for control of the mines in central and southern Illinois. The articles document the violence, particularly the bombings and beatings of the PMA members in the Taylorville area; the attempts at peace negotiations; and the murder trail in Vandalia of Albert Mattozzi (Chief of Police of Kincaid, Illinois) and Emil DuPire who were charged with killing three people in Kincaid, Illinois. Of particular note is the "Confession of Alleged PMA Gunman" which appeared in the Taylorville Daily Breeze on September 5, 1933, and "A Statement by a Former Progressive as to the Bad Conditions and the Lack of Leadership in the Progressive Miners of America," August 9, 1933. Photocopies.

Gift of Marilyn O'Bryan, 1984.

Finding aid available. MC 44

Click to ExpandTHON, J. J.

Necrology and Chronicle, 1823-1945
1 item, 42 pp.

Farmer and long-time resident of New Berlin, Illinois. Thon recorded of deaths of local and public figures and significant local and national events that occurred between 1823 and 1945 in one line, handwritten entries. Entries include name, date and cause of death, location and age of the deceased. Dates of national significance include the death of presidents, the end of Prohibition, and the outbreak of war in Europe. Local incidents such as the Springfield race riot of 1908, severe weather, and the opening of businesses are recorded. Also included are records of the Thon family, and diagrams of the Wild Wood and Reynolds Coal Companies mines near New Berlin.

Gift of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1993.

LHC 105


Micro-Radio Collection, 1989-2000
2 cu. ft.

Records, collected literature, and audio and videotapes concerning the unlicensed, low-power radio station of Mbanna Kantako of Springfield, Illinois, and the micro-radio movement in general. The efforts of the FCC to shut down Kantako's radio station attracted international press attention.

This material was largely collected or created by Michael Townsend, an associate professor of Child, Family and Community Services at UIS. Its primary focus is Mbanna Kantako (originally named DeWayne Readus), who began transmitting WTRA at a power of 4 watts from his apartment in a public housing development in Springfield in 1987. WTRA was later renamed Zoom Black Magic Radio, Liberation Radio, Black Liberation Radio, and Human Rights Radio.

The collection includes legal records documenting the defense by Kantako and supporters against efforts by the FCC and other bodies to silence his unlicensed radio station; audio and videotapes of coverage by local and national media showing Kantako at his radio station, speaking about police brutality, injustice, capitalism, race, free speech, and other issues; letters, periodical and newspaper articles, press releases, newsletters, memos, and printouts of web pages related to Kantako and other micro-radio broadcasters, collected from the U.S., Britain, Germany and Italy; correspondence of Townsend requesting legal and financial support for Kantako, involving Noam Chomsky, Edward Hermann, Marable Manning, Ben Bagdikian, Sidney Wilhelm, Peter Franck, and many others. Also in includes a 2000 video documentary, "free radio," by San Francisco filmmaker Kevin Keyser, featuring Kantako, Stephen Dunifer and others.

Gift of Michael Townsend, 1998-2000.
Finding aid available.MC 86

SEE ALSO Human Rights RadioWeb Pages.


Voting Rights Lawsuit Collection, 1984-1987.
.7 cu. ft.

Records and newspaper clippings related to the case Frank McNeil et al vs. the City of Springfield et al, known as the Springfield Voting Rights Lawsuit, heard in U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois in 1984-1987. The plaintiffs argued that Springfield's commission form of government was racially exclusive and violated the voting rights of minority residents in the city. The court ruled for the plaintiffs, resulting in the reorganization of the city's government in the aldermanic model and the defeat of Springfield mayor Mike Houston.

Includes photocopies of court documents from the case McNeil vs. City of Springfield and related actions; copies of exhibits used in the case, including maps, and demographic, voting and census data on the distribution of races in Springfield and their historical voting behavior; notes, correspondence and a class project on the case; and an collection of newspaper clippings, 1984-1987, from the Illinois State Journal-Register and other newspapers on the issue.

Gift of Michael Townsend, 1987.
Finding aid available. MC 72

Click to ExpandTRAYNOR, DUANE L.

Labor Arbitration Opinions and Awards, 1960-1995.
3.5 cu. ft.

Records of approximately 1400 cases handled by Springfield attorney Duane L. Traynor, a labor arbitrator active in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, and other states. Files include names of employers/companies and of employees/unions involved in grievances over contracts, working conditions, hours, job classifications, firings, etc.; listings of persons appearing to represent the parties involved; statements of the facts of the case; statements of contract provisions; the positions of the parties; discussions of the issues in dispute; and Traynor's final opinions granting or denying awards to the grievants.

The files contain detailed documentation of work conditions, employee classifications, contract provisions, relations between employers and employees, and work culture in general over a 25-year period.

Gift of Duane L. Traynor, 1995.
Finding aid available. MC 79

Click to ExpandULERY, OSCAR L.

Papers, 1901-1976.
1.9 cu. ft.

Teacher, farmer, carpenter, dairyman, and police magistrate of Morrisonville, Christian County, Illinois. Maintained a diary continuously for 60 years, 1916-1976. See photo.

Daily diaries and sundry letters, receipts, account books, a Ulery family genealogy, and other personal papers documenting the weather, expenses, daily work and experiences; farming and dairy activities in Macoupin and Christian Counties; and police magistrate duties in Morrisonville. Topics include Morrisonville's Shiloh Church, its UNO Club, crops, shucking corn, cows' breeding histories and dairy yields, hired hands, and income from sales of eggs, butter, hides, apples, calves, lard, cows, hogs, and roosters.

Gift of Oscar L. Ulery, 1977.
Finding aid available. MC 48


Transcripts, 1975.
606 pp., .3 cu. ft.

Transcripts of proceedings of the U.S. District Court case, Rev. Negil L. McPherson et al. vs. School District #186, popularly called the Springfield School Desegregation case. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, forcing the desegregation of Springfield schools. The hearings took place September-October 1975.

Gift of Dorothy L. Mau, 1977.

Finding aid available. M 3

SEE ALSO: MC 63 Springfield Desegregation Monitoring Commission


Meteorological Records, Springfield, Illinois, 1879-1994
23.3 cubic feet.

Daily weather observation records compiled in Springfield, showing barometric pressure, temperature, daily highs and lows, relative humidity, dewpoint, wind direction and velocity, amounts of sunshine, cloud types, precipitation amounts, and sunset observations. Also includes sums and means of observations, and monthly and annual summaries.

In the years before 1948, written descriptions of unusual phenomena (frosts, halos, heavy precipitation, droughts, auroras, meteor showers, earthquakes, etc.) are often included, as well as narrative accounts of severe storms, and newspaper clippings of weather-related stories. Also included are descriptions and plans of the locations of the recording stations, and information on recording equipment used.

The daily observation records consist of bound volumes, 1879-1948; ledger sheets, 1948-1988; and computer print-outs after 1989. Also included are Means Books, Climatological Records and Local Climatological Data, which summarize and compare weather data on a monthly and annual basis.

Also includes an original printed table showing "Quantity of Rain and Melted Snow, abstracted from the Meteorological Observations of JOEL HALL, kept at Athens, Ill. from January 1st. 1843 to the present time [August, 1861]."

Gift of Charles Finley et al., National Weather Service at Capital Airport, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996.
Finding aid available. M 9

Click to ExpandUSOW, J. L.

Home movies, ca. 1931-1933; 1955.
.35 cu. ft.

Six reels of 16 mm. color and black-and-white film documenting travels in Europe, the western United States, Canada, Alaska and Mexico. Scenes include the passenger ship Leviathan leaving New York Harbor and entering a British port, London and Paris, ca. 1931-33; South Dakota Badlands; Prince Ruppert, Canada; Juneau, Alaska; Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, California. Also included are scenes in Ensenada, LaPaz, Mazatlan and Magdalena, Mexico. Of special interest are wildlife scenes in South Dakota; street, boat and fish processing in Alaska; village life scenes in Mexico and battleships in the San Francisco area. No audio.

Source unknown.
Finding aid available. MC 54

Click to ExpandVIERA, DAVID.

Films, 1972-1979.
1.4 cu. ft.

Member of SSU Communication faculty, 1972-1979.

One 16 mm. and sixteen Super 8, experimental films made by SSU students under Viera's instruction. Of note is Michael Evans' "Communication at SSU or Whipped Cream Pie." Also includes two audio tape sounds tracks and several professional commercials for Sears and Roebuck and other companies.

Transfer from SSU Communication Program, 1984.

Finding aid available. P/Viera.


Sesquicentennial Pageant Program, 1986.
1 program with map insert.

Program of pageant performed at the high school in Virginia, Illinois on June 4 and 5, 1986 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Virginia. Program for the eight-act pageant include a description of the historical and events enacted, and the names of the performers, stage crew, and sponsors. Also included is an inserted map of Virginia, showing the locations of events connected to the town's Sesquicentennial festival.

Gift of Cheryl Lawrence, 2002. LHC 116.


Papers, 1911-1929.
1.3 cu. ft. and 81 blueprints.

Steel worker and contractor. Founding member of Local 46 of the International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers of Springfield.

Local 46 union records including correspondence, reports, financial records, workmen time books, day books, membership ledgers documenting routine union business, the Chicago lockout of 1921 and Illinois Governor Len Small, the local's involvement in the Springfield School District's 1921 election, and specifications for the Elks Club Building. Also includes personal papers and letters regarding the Jennings Ford dealership in Springfield and the Sears and Roebuck Company; and 81 blueprints recording steel and structural work for buildings in Springfield and other communities. Also photographs of construction projects involving Weinhoeft, including bridges in Montana and Iowa, and Lanphier and Springfield High Schools. Also a history of the Weinhoeft family, 1997.

Gift of Dean DeBolt, 1980, and John J. Weinhoeft, 1997.
Finding aids available: MC 11, 11/1


b. 1913.
Papers, 1876-1926.
.3 cu. ft.

Afro-American woman born in Carbondale, Illinois in 1913. Graduated from high school in Metropolis in 1930. Attended Southern Illinois University and Kentucky State University. Taught in secondary schools in Belgrave and Chester, Illinois. Married Luther Wheeler in 1937, and moved to Springfield in 1942.

Diplomas, certificates, photograph albums and memorabilia documenting Wheeler's childhood, family members, and educational activities. Also certificate and diplomas documenting educational activities of her grandfather, B.F. Porter, a medical doctor and certified hypnotist. Of note is a rejected claim for pension from the Department of the Interior, 1902.

Gift of Marie Porter Wheeler, 1984.
Finding aid available. MC 51

Click to ExpandWHITMAN, WALT.

Collection, ca. 1860-1971.
45 items; .16 cu. ft. and oversize.

Advertising circular, envelopes, offprints, posters, handbills, literary criticism, lithographs, letters, framed pictures and portraits, printed announcement, and lecture program; program and menu for Whitman's seventieth birthday party (1889); proofs of labels and autographs; admission tickets for a Robert Ingersoll lecture (1890); and a facsimile of a Whitman letter.

The material was collected by business executive and Whitman scholar, Charles E. Feinberg of Detroit, Michigan. Donated in memory of SSU Creative Arts professor Bruce Magidsohn. The bulk of the Feinberg - Whitman Collection is located at the Manuscript Reading Room of the Library of Congress.

Gift of Charles E. Feinberg, 1983.
Finding aid available. MC 49

See scanned images of this collection in UIS Digital Collections.

Click to ExpandWOMEN'S ALLIANCE.

Records, 1978-1983.
4.16 cu. ft.

Community women's resource, networking and referral center, founded in Springfield in 1978 as the Alliance of Women in Change. Shared a house with Rape Information and Counseling Center and Sojourn House. Changed name to Women's Alliance in 1980. Its house was sold in 1983, and the Alliance dissolved in soon afterwards. Directed by Polly Poskin.

Minutes, articles of incorporation, by-laws, correspondence, grant proposals, reports, newsletters, news clippings, brochures, printed material, photographs, and administrative, personnel, financial and programmatic records documenting the structure, goals, fundraising, publicity and feminist educational, cultural, athletic, and research activities of the Alliance. The controversy surrounding its participation in the Coal Employment Project, and its annual sponsorship of a women's art show are recorded. Extensive topical research files on other community organizations and women's issues, particularly health, sexuality,
and work, are included.

Gift of Polly Poskin, 1984.
Finding aid available.
Access to personnel records restricted. MC 41


Records, 1954-1989.
4.0 cu. ft.

Founded by Jane Addams in 1915, the WILPF is dedicated to working by non-violent means for international peace and freedom. The Springfield chapter was founded in 1947 by Francis Blane Hurie. Members have comprised black and white Springfield women, including Mary and Emma Kreider, Docia Ashurst, Martha Tranquilli, Isabel Patrick, Agnes Howarth, Alice Kaige and Mary Johnston.

Minutes, constitutions, by-laws, correspondence, newsletters, bulletins, committee records, membership lists, clippings, press releases, photographs, financial records and collected literature documenting the administrative structure, philosophy, activities of the Branch and its relationships with other community organizations and the regional and national WILPF offices. Topics include efforts to end racial discrimination in Springfield by demanding the integration of blacks in Springfield schools and public facilities; the Branch's opposition to the Vietnam War, the selling of war toys and military buildup are recorded; the activities of the Jane Addams Centennial Committee; the imprisonment of Martha Tranquilli for income tax evasion; race relations, housing and education in Springfield.

Also includes a 35 mm slide show on the history of the WILPF, and audio tapes of oral history interviews of 25 members of the Springfield chapter, including Martha Tranquilli, Agnes Howarth, Blanche Murphy, Mary Kreider, Eloise Wright, Isabel Patrick, and Docia Ashurst. Also a collection of anti-war literature from a variety of sources.

Gift of WILPF, Springfield Branch, 1984, and Alice Kaige, 1993.
Finding aid available. MC 40

SEE ALSO: MC 37 Alice Kaige Papers

Click to ExpandWORTHY, JAMES C.

Papers, 1961-1978.
1.5 cu. ft.

Personal papers of James Carson Worthy (1910-1998), member of U.S. President's Commission on Campaign Costs, 1961-1962; chair of the Illinois Board of Education's Master Plan Committee "N" on Governing Structure, 1970-1971; and SSU Professor of Public Affairs and Management, 1972-77.

Worthy's papers as a member of the U.S. President's Commission on Campaign costs (1961-1962) include correspondence, agendas and minutes of meetings, drafts and final reports of the Commission, travel vouchers, press clippings, staff memoranda, research reports, and miscellaneous publications relating to campaign funds, the financing of federal elections, political contributions, and party finance, along with final reports on Financing Presidential Campaigns. Correspondents include Walter P. Ruether, Alexander Heard, Lee C. White, Herber E. Alexander, Charles Percy, Irvin Lechliter, and Russell B. Long.

Worthy's s papers as Chairman of the IBHE Master Plan Committee N on Governing Structure (1970-71), include publications, reports, staff memoranda, minutes, position papers, statements, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and written responses concerning the University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University, the Board of Regents and Regency Universities, the Board of Governors and its universities, Illinois junior colleges, private colleges, the IBHE, governance of the universities by Boards, campus problems and the status of the U of I Chicago Circle Campus. Correspondents include George L. Clements, Otto Kerner, Franklin G. Matsler, Lyman A. Glenny, and Paul Simon.

Gift of James C. Worthy, 1973, 1998.
Finding aid available. P/Worthy

SEE ALSO: Special Collections, James C. Worthy, Brushes with History: Recollections of a Many-Favored Life, LD 4881 S1677 W67 1998

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