Guide to the Chester H. Rowell Papers, 1887-1946

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Guide to the Chester H. Rowell Papers, 1887-1946

Collection number: BANC MSS C-B 401

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information:

Processed by:
The Bancroft Library staff
Encoded by:
Brooke Dykman Dockter
© 1997 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

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.

Key to Arrangement

Box 1

Letters from Rowell, 1893 -Oct. 1913

Box 2

Letters from Rowell, Nov. 1913 -1915

Box 3

Letters from Rowell, 1916 -Mar. 1918

Box 4

Letters from Rowell, Apr. 1918 -1919

Box 5

Letters from Rowell, 1920 -1925

Box 6

Letters from Rowell, 1926 -1929

Box 7

Letters from Rowell, 1930 -1942

Box 8

Letters to Rowell, A - Aq

Box 9

Letters to Rowell, Ar - Bk

Box 10

Letters to Rowell, Bl - California. University. College of Agriculture

Box 11

Letters to Rowell, California. University. Extension Division - Cn

Box 13

Letters to Rowell, Do - Fk

Box 14

Letters to Rowell, Fl - G

Box 15

Letters to Rowell, H - Hh

Box 16

Letters to Rowell, Hi - I

Box 17

Letters to Rowell, J - Johnson, Hiram W.

Box 18

Letters to Rowell, Johnson, Robert - Lh

Box 19

Letters to Rowell, Li - M (Miscellany)

Box 20

Letters to Rowell, Mac - Mn

Box 21

Letters to Rowell, Mo - O

Box 22

Letters to Rowell, P - Rd

Box 23

Letters to Rowell, Re - Sam

Box 24

Letters to Rowell, San - Stn

Box 25

Letters to Rowell, Sto - U

Box 26

Letters to Rowell, V - Woq

Box 27

Letters to Rowell, Wor - Z

Carton 1

College lecture notes and papers, ca. 1887-1892

Carton 2

Editorials, Fresno Republican, 1898-1920

Carton 3

Autobiography; miscellaneous writings and speeches re:


Far Eastern relations




Republican Party


Progressive Party - Account of Hugbo's [?] Calif. Campaign, 1916


California Railroad Commission


Debate with Senator Borah on foreign policy


Earl lectures, 1928


Interviews with Ida Tarbell and Edward F. O'Day

Carton 4

Press clippings (arranged chronologically) of Rowell editorials, 1925-1929 (chiefly from his column "Comment" in the Chronicle)

oversize volume 1-2

Scrapbooks (formally in Carton 4)

Carton 5

Press clippings (miscellaneous, unarranged; some about Rowell, some by him), 1908-1935

Carton 6

Railroad strike material, 1929

Carton 7

American Council on Education


American Youth Commission. Mimeographed and printed minutes of meetings and reports, 1936-1941

Carton 8

Pamphlets and printed items re:


U.S. Shipping Board


California health insurance


California Railroad Commission


National Youth Administration




California public utilities



Carton 9

Pamphlets and mimeographed material re:


International relations - Far East (except China)

Carton 10

Pamphlets and mimeographed material re:


International relations - Europe, Far East (China)