Helen L. Markell and Esther V. Martin Sacramento Bee and KFBeeK Players collection

Alex Guilbert
Center for Sacramento History
551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd.
Sacramento, California 95811-0229
Phone: (916) 808-7072
Fax: (916) 264-7582
Email: csh@cityofsacramento.org
URL: http://www.centerforsacramentohistory.org/
© 2021
Center for Sacramento History. All rights reserved.

Helen L. Markell and Esther V. Martin Sacramento Bee and KFBeeK Players collection

Collection number: MS0095

Center for Sacramento History

Sacramento, CA
Processed by:
Alex Guilbert
Date Completed:
2012
Encoded by:
Kim Hayden
© 2021 Center for Sacramento History. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Dates: 1944-1998
Bulk Dates: 1950-1990
Collection number: MS0095
Creator: Markell, Helen L. (1914-2005)
Creator: Martin, Esther Virone (1918-2012)
Collection Size: 0.5 linear feet (1 box)
Repository: Center for Sacramento History
Sacramento, California 95811-0229
Abstract: The collection documents Helen L. Markell and Esther Virone Martin's work for the Sacramento Bee and involvement with the KFBeeK Players. Material includes Markell's published columns and reader responses from the 1970s, and draft columns from the 1990s; items related to Eleanor McClatchy; Martin's photographs and ephemera; KFBeeK Players productions photographs and ephemera; history booklets documenting the Sacramento Civic Theater; and material pertaining to the Sacramento Bee's employee library, Beeline Book Alley. Items date from 1944 to 1998, with the bulk from 1950 to 1990.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights

All requests to publish or quote from private manuscripts held by the Center for Sacramento History (CSH) must be submitted in writing to csh@cityofsacramento.org. Permission for publication is given on behalf of CSH as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the patron. No permission is necessary to publish or quote from public records.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item and/or item number], [box and folder number], Helen L. Markell and Esther V. Martin Sacramento Bee and KFBeeK Players collection, MS0095, Center for Sacramento History.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Joanne Virone, niece of Esther Virone Martin (accession number 2012/023)

Processing Information

Processing and finding aid by Alex Guilbert, 2012. Finding aid edited by Kim Hayden, 2021.

Biography / Administrative History

Helen L. "Marki" Markell was born in Portland, Oregon on March 15, 1914. Markell worked with Eleanor McClatchy at KFBK radio and the Sacramento Bee. She participated in the KFBeeK Players and directed many of their shows. She also operated the Sacramento Bee's Beeline Book Alley, a library and reference center for the staff of the newspaper. She wrote numerous columns for the Sacramento Bee from the 1970s into the 1990s. She passed away in Sacramento on July 3, 2005.
Esther Virone Martin was born in Sacramento on July 7, 1918. She worked as private secretary to Eleanor McClatchy at the Sacramento Bee from early 1940s into the 1960s. She participated in the KFBeeK Players. She was married to Emil Martin until his death in 1991. She was very close friends with Markell and became executor of her estate. She acquired the material in this collection upon Markell's death. Martin passed away on January 23, 2012.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection documents Helen L. Markell and Esther Virone Martin's work for the Sacramento Bee and involvement with the KFBeeK Players. Material includes Markell's published columns and reader responses from the 1970s, and draft columns from the 1990s; items related to Eleanor McClatchy; photographs and ephemera from KFBeeK Players productions; history booklets documenting the Sacramento Civic Theater; Sacramento Bee employee newsletters; photographs and ephemera; and material pertaining to the Sacramento Bee's employee library, Beeline Book Alley. Items date from 1944 to 1998, with the bulk from 1950 to 1990.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Sacramento Bee (Newspaper)
KFBK
Sacramento (Calif.)--Theater
McClatchy, Eleanor, 1895-1980
Sacramento (Calif.)--Journalism
Sacramento (Calif.)--Publishing


Collection Contents

Box 1, Folder 1

Markell personal papers 1957-1998

General

Mapcase 3:2, Folder 1

Markell retirement card from Sacramento Bee staff undated

General

Box 1, Folder 2

Markell columns, published and responses 1973-1979

General

Columns include "Why Not Impeachment" (1973); "Nixon's TV Memoirs: Capitalizing On Infamy" (1975); "Worry, Worry, Worry. Wanted: A Reliable Guru" (1975); "50 Years of 'Talkies': Not Always The Sound Of Music" (1977); "How To Spend The Sunset Years: How Does Hang Gliding Strike You?" (1979); "Anita And The Gays: Bigotry Or Christianity?"; "Phyllis Schlafly And The ERA: ‘She Made A Believer Of Me'"; "To Each Her Own: Musings About Ms."
Box 1, Folder 3

Markell columns, drafts 1992

General

Columns include: "Great Decisions. Politics as Usual." (1992); "Who Is Calling Whom – What? RE: ‘Hachet Job on Reagan'"; "Didionitis"; "Is There Any Wonder… Why There Are Hesitations and Delays Over the Bush Clinton Debates?"; "Who's Fooling Whom?"; "A Word from Helen L. Markell"; "Draft Dodgers… Truth Dodgers"; "We Must Do This More Often; or, Tell Me All About Yourself, Dear"; "News a la Carte"; "So We Are Going to War to Maintain Peace and Build a New World Order"; "The Home Stretch. Dan Quayle - Ready or Not, Here I Come: A Review of His Performance"; "Dan Quayle - Running on Empty"
Box 1, Folder 4

Markell script: "Oh Beautiful – Beautiful Friendship" undated

General

Folder 2012/023

Markell photographs undated

General

Some photographs are related to a performance at a U.S. Army base
Box 1, Folder 5

Eleanor McClatchy personal family history/genealogy of Feeney undated

General

Box 1, Folder 6

Eleanor McClatchy obituaries and eulogy 1980-1982

General

Box 1, Folder 7

Eleanor McClatchy speech presented to UNIVAC undated

General

Box 1, Folder 8

Eleanor McClatchy - Sacramento History Center 1985

General

Folder 2012/023

Eleanor McClatchy Photographs undated

General

Photographs are related to a performance at a U.S. Army base and note that Eleanor McClatchy was part of the makeup crew.
Folder 2012/023

KFBeeK Players - "Family Album" photographs undated

General

Photos show cast and set at Southside Park.
Folder 2012/023

KFBeeK Players - "Lost in the Stars" 1967-1968

General

Folder 2012/023

KFBeeK Players - "My Sister Eileen" photographs 1945

General

Photos show cast and crew members, including Albert J. "Al" Bastian, Evert S. "Pete" Peterson, Ann Smith, and Ruth Ward; an awards night; and other images related to the production.
Box 1, Folder 9

KFBeeK Players - "My Sister Eileen" ephemera 1945

General

Includes a playbill and Sacramento Bee/KFBK congratulations.
Folder 2012/023

KFBeeK Players - "Night Must Fall" photographs undated

General

Folder 2012/023

KFBeeK Players - "On Borrowed Time" photographs 1948

General

Photos show cast, crew, and production. Cast members shown include Frank McPeak and Ann Smith.
Box 1, Folder 10

KFBeeK Players - "On Borrowed Time" ephemera 1948

General

Includes a playbill and a letter from the Oakland Veterans Administration Hospital to the KFBeeK Players.
Folder 2012/023

KFBeeK Players - "Prime Play" photographs undated

General

Folder 2012/023

KFBeeK Players - "Suds in Your Eyes" photographs ca. 1947

General

Photos show cast, crew, and production. Cast members shown include Betty Maloney and Claire Peterson.
Box 1, Folder 11

KFBeeK Players - "Suds in Your Eyes" ephemera ca. 1947

General

Includes correspondence between Markell and the Dramatists Play Service.
Folder 2012/023

KFBeeK Players - "You Can't Take It with You" photographs 1944

General

Photos show cast, crew, and production. Cast members shown include Clara Guilberce, Myron "Max" Depew, Ruth Ward, Leta, Bob, and Phyllis.
Box 1, Folder 12

KFBeeK Players - "You Can't Take It with You" ephemera 1944

General

Includes a playbill, clipping, and handwritten notes to cast by Markell.
Folder 2012/023

KFBeeK Players - photographs from unidentified productions undated

General

Photos show unidentified productions. People identified in photos include Markell, Frances F., L. R. Matushak, Dick Rodda, and Myron "Max" Depew.
Box 1, Folder 13

Sacramento Civic Theater history booklets 1966-1976

General

Folder 2012/023

Sacramento Bee Beeline Book Alley photographs 1955-1986

General

One photograph shows Dr. John McKibbin.
Box 1, Folder 14

Sacramento Bee Beeline Book Alley spiral stenographer's notebooks 1955-1986

General

Box 1, Folder 15

Sacramento Bee Beeline Book Alley ephemera 1985-1986

General

Folder 2012/023

Unidentified photographs 1966

General

Folder 2012/023

Martin photographs 1943-1977

General

Included are photos of a 1943 Sacramento Bee Christmas party featuring Eleanor McClatchy, Gladys Cunningham, Mila Landis, and Esther Virone Martin; President John F. Kennedy; Walter P. Jones; an NBC convention; Martin and her husband Emil; and a "25-Year Club" party.
Box 1, Folder 16

Martin ephemera 1945-1971

General

Includes an invitation from Eleanor McClatchy to a luncheon to welcome new members to the 25-Year Club; a 1971 issue of Beelines, the McClatchy Newspapers employee magazine; and 1945 memos from Eleanor McClatchy to Bee staff announcing a gift of war bonds to the staff and staff cost-of-living wage adjustments.