• IdentificationAyer Modern MS Watson
  • TitleInventory of the Elmo Scott Watson Papers, 1816-1951, bulk 1920-1951 Ayer.Modern.MS.Watson
  • PublisherThe Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts
  • RepositoryThe Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts
  • Physical Description20.4 linear feet (49 boxes)
  • Date
    • Bulk, 1920-1951
    • 1816-1951
  • Location3 59 13-14
  • AbstractPersonal papers of journalist, professor of journalism, and western / frontier historian Elmo Scott Watson, consisting mainly of topical files on western subjects and journalism. Also included are Watson's manuscripts and published writings, and his correspondence and teaching-related files.
  • OriginationWatson, Elmo Scott, 1892-1951

The Elmo Scott Watson Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

The Elmo Scott Watson 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.

Elmo Scott Watson Papers, The Newberry Library, Chicago.

Jeffrey Makala, 1998.

Professor of journalism (University of Illinois, Northwestern University, University of Denver) and western / frontier historian.

Elmo Scott Watson was born on a farm near Colfax, Illinois. He attended Colorado College, where he began his journalism career writing for the school newspaper. For a short time Watson worked as a journalist in Colorado Springs and also managed a local rodeo. In 1918, he was appointed instructor of journalism at the University of Illinois. By 1924 Watson had joined the faculty of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern and remained there until 1950. From May, 1950, until his death the following year, Watson was chair of the Department of Journalism at the University of Denver. He obtained a master's degree at Northwestern and a doctorate in letters from Illinois Wesleyan University.

Watson was editor of the Publishers' Auxiliary (1932-1945) and contributed a regular column, "Dear Ed.," to the magazine. He also served as president of Sigma Delta Phi (1939-1940) and was an active member of the Chicago "Corral" of the Westerners, serving as editor of their journal, the Westerners' Brand Book (1940-1949), and as Sheriff (1949-1950).

Papers dating primarily from 1920-1951 document Elmo Scott Watson's career as a journalist, western historian, and teacher of journalism. They consist mainly of newspaper clippings, published articles and manuscripts, notes, photographs, and correspondence in extensive subject files on the history of journalism and such western topics as frontiersmen, wars, explorers, Indians, artists, photographers, and writers. Watson's own manuscripts, published writings, and files relating to his teaching and research are also included.

Papers are organized in the following series:

Title Box Series 1: Elmo Scott Watson's Writings, 1913-1941 Boxes 1-5 Series 2: Correspondence, Research and Teaching Files, 1910-1951 Boxes 5-8 Series 3: Journalism Subject Files, 1862-1951 Boxes 8-11 Series 4: Western History Subject Files, 1816-1951 Boxes 11-49

  • Names
    • Barry, D. F. (David Francis), 1854-1934
    • Brady, Mathew B., approximately 1823-1896
    • Brave Bear, d.1882
    • Brininstool, E.A., (Earl Alonzo), 1870-1957
    • Clark, Badger, 1883-1957
    • Colorado College.
    • Crazy Horse, ca. 1842-1877
    • Custer, George A., (George Armstrong), 1839-1876
    • Dalton, Emmet, b. 1871
    • Geronimo, 1829-1909
    • Lewis, Lloyd, 1891-1949
    • McGillycuddy, Valentine, 1849-1939
    • McWhorter, Lucullus Virgil, 1860-1944
    • Medill School of Journalism.
    • Mencken, H. L. (Henry Louis), 1880-1956
    • Miles, Nelson Appleton, 1839-1925
    • Murphy, Timothy, 1751-1818
    • Pawnee Bill, 1860-1942
    • Powell, John Wesley, 1834-1902
    • Publishers' Auxiliary.
    • Remington, Frederic, 1861-1909
    • Sitting Bull, 1831-1890
    • Watson, Elmo Scott, 1892-1951
    • Wells, William, 1755-1825
    • Westerners. Chicago Corral.
  • Subject
    • Chicago
    • Frontier and pioneer life -- West (U.S.)
    • Indians and the West
    • Indians of North America -- Portraits
    • Indians of North America -- West (U.S.) -- Wars -- 1866-1895
    • Journalism
    • Journalism -- Study and teaching -- Illinois
    • Manuscripts, American
    • Newspapers -- West (U.S.)
  • Geographic CoverageWest (U.S.) -- History -- Sources