• IdentificationMidwest MS Rank
  • TitleInventory of the Frederick John Rank Papers 1872-2013, bulk 1875-1939 Midwest.MS.Rank
  • PublisherThe Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts
  • RepositoryThe Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts
  • Physical Description1.7 linear feet (4 boxes)
  • Date
    • Bulk, 1875-1939
    • 1872-2013
  • Location1 38 4
  • AbstractThe Frederick John Rank Papers contain his diaries from 1875-1939, which record his daily life and touch upon his work as a packer for Montgomery Ward. A bound volume about Rank's diaries, compiled by Rank's great-granddaughter Janet Rank Spaletto, is also present. Additionally the papers contain family correspondence, some of which relates to Rank's son's attempt for an assistant postmaster general appointment.
  • OriginationRank, Frederick John

Gift of Janet Rank Spaletto, 2015.

The Frederick John Rank Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

The Frederick John Rank Papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Frederick John Rank Papers, The Newberry Library, Chicago.

Samantha Smith, 2015.

Frederick John Rank's parents, John Martin Rank and Augusta Drechsel Rank, immigrated to the United States from Bavaria. Raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, he completed high school and then began his career working in a stationery store. He gave up his job to travel and see other parts of the United States, and eventually settled in Chicago, where he worked for 33 years as a packer for Montgomery Ward. In 1893, he married Augusta "Gussie" Minnie Klotz, a German immigrant, and together they had four children: Carl Frederick Rank, Frederick Herman Rank, Laura Augusta Rank, and Emily Matilda Eva Rank, who died in infancy. Frederick John Rank died in 1940 and Gussie in 1960.

The Frederick John Rank Papers include diaries from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, correspondence, photographs, and genealogical materials. Notes about Frederick John Rank's diaries are in the first box. Rank wrote about daily life in the Chicago area (such as early unionization efforts at Montgomery Ward, buying a house in Chicago, and raising children), and also documented major Chicago events, such as visiting the 1893 World's Fairand the Chicago Cubs' 1908 World Series win. The bound volume by Janet Rank Spaletto features highlights from the diaries and is interspersed with copies of correspondence and photographs. There is an additional copy of the volume, cataloged separately, call number folio CT275 .R2558 A3 2013.

Arranged by material type and chronologically.

  • Names
    • Montgomery Ward Workers of Chicago.
    • Rank, Augusta "Gussie" Minnie
    • Rank, Carl Frederick
    • Rank, Frederick John
    • Rank, Laura Augusta
    • Spaletto, Janet Rank
  • Subject
    • Business
    • Chicago
    • Families--Illinois--Chicago
    • Families--Illinois--History
    • Family Papers
    • Immigrants--United States--History
    • Manuscripts, American -- Illinois -- Chicago
  • Geographic Coverage
    • Chicago (Ill.)
    • Oak Park (Ill.)
    • Saint Paul (Minn.)