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Guide to the Chester H. Rowell Papers, 1887-1946
BANC MSS C-B 401  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Scope and Content
  • Biography

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Chester H. Rowell Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1887-1946
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 401
    Creator: Rowell, Chester H. (Chester Harvey), 1867-1948
    Extent: Number of containers: 10 cartons, 27 boxes and 2 oversize v. Linear feet: 24.5
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library 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 reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Chester H. Rowell papers, BANC MSS C-B 401, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Scope and Content

    Chester H. Rowell's correspondence, articles, and editorials reflect his wide interest in the political and social problems of the period. He was an organizer and president of the Lincoln-Roosevelt Republican League, 1907-1911; delegate to a number of Republican state and national conventions between 1910 and 1936 and Progressive National Committeeman, 1912-1916; unsuccessful candidate for the Progressive nomination for United States Senator from California, 1914; chairman, Republican State Central Committee, 1916-1918; member of the California Railroad Commission, 1921-1923; member of the Presidential Emergency Boards on railroad strikes, 1928-1931; member of American Youth Commission, 1935-1948; and member and officer of numerous other political and social organizations. He was a strong advocate of United States entry into the League of Nations.
    The Rowell collection was given to the Bancroft Library in September, 1948, by his children, Mrs. Cora R. Givens, Mrs. Barbara R. Laughlin, and Jonathan H. Rowell.
    The correspondence is divided into two groups: letters from Rowell arranged chronologically (Boxes 1-7) and letters to Rowell arranged alphabetically (Boxes 8-27). If there is only one letter from an individual, this letter is filed in the appropriate miscellany folder. If there are two or more, the letters are filed in folders either under the name of the person or the name of the organization for which he wrote, depending on the nature of the correspondence. Within each folder, the letters are arranged chronologically. Names of principal correspondents appear in the manuscripts catalog and shelf list.
    Rowell's copies of his editorials in the Fresno Republican, 1898-1920, are arranged chronologically (Carton 2). The articles and printed material are roughly arranged according to the nature of the material and the subject matter (Cartons 1, 3-10).
    A collection of Rowell's articles in the San Francisco Chronicle, chiefly 1926-1946, was presented to the Bancroft Library by the Chronicle in 1950 (C-B 402).


    Chester Harvey Rowell, California journalist and civic leader, was born in Bloomington, Ill., in 1867, son of Jonathan Harvey and Marie S. (Woods) Rowell. He was educated in Bloomington public schools, received the Ph.B. degree from the University of Michigan, 1888, and did graduate work at the universities of Halle and Berlin. In 1898 he became editor and publisher of the Fresno Republican, a small country newspaper founded by his uncle, Dr. Chester Rowell, and soon made it one of the leading papers of the state. He sold the Republican in 1920 to George A. Osborn and Chase S. Osborn, Jr. In 1923 Rowell began a series of syndicated newspaper articles and from 1932-1939 was editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. He died in 1948.
    Autobiographical material can be found in Apr. 23, 1914 letter to Forkner.