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Guide to the Wilbur Daniel Steele Papers, 1907-1970 M0019
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access Restrictions
  • Publication Rights
  • Provenance
  • Preferred Citation:
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • General note
  • General note
  • General note

  • Title: Wilbur Daniel Steele papers
    Identifier/Call Number: M0019
    Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 7.0 Linear feet
    Date (inclusive): 1907-1970
    General Physical Description note:
    creator: Steele, Wilbur Daniel, 1886-1970

    Access Restrictions


    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.


    Gift of Mrs. J. F. Jenners and Wilbur D. Steele, 1961, Peter Steele, 1988, David Jenness, 1989, and some additions from other sources.

    Preferred Citation:

    [Identification of item] Wilbur Daniel Steele Papers , M0019, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Biographical Note

    Wilbur Daniel Steele was born in 1886 in Greensboro, N.C. His father became Professor in Iliff School of Theology and University of Denver in 1893 where Wilbur D. Steele had his early education and later won a two year scholarship to the University of Denver where he was active in athletics.
    His love of art brought him to Boston where he attended the school of fine arts attached to the Boston Museum. He showed great promise in art, but began to write short stories.
    In 1913 he married Margaret Thurston who was a talented painter. They had two sons. In 1931 Mrs. Steele died.
    In 1932 he married Norma Mitchell, an actress and playwright with whom he collaborated on several plays. They make their home at Lynne, Connecticut where they still reside.
    He was several times winner of the coveted O. Henry Short Story Prize. He traveled widely in Africa and Europe, basing many of his stories from various places he lived or visited.
    1886 Born Mar. 17, Greensboro, N.C. (of damyankee parents).
    1890-1892 Binney's Compend of Theology.
    1893-1907 Grade, Prep & College (A.B.), University Park, Denver. Letters in 5 sports, captain in 2.
    1907-1908 Boston Museum of Fine Arts (school attached to same)
    1908-1909 Paris, various art courses - began writing there & in Italy.
    1909-1920 Provincetown, Mass. Co-founder of Provincetown Players. Married Margaret Thurston, 1913 - sons, Thurston, `15, Peter, `18 - and during this period, following breaks.
    1917 Travel (for Harpers Mag.) in lesser Antilles & Demarara.
    1918 Correspondent, attached to Navy, for Cosmopolitan Mag., Eng., Ireland & France.
    1919-1920 Bermuda
    1920-1922 North Africa (for Harpers) Riviera & England.
    1922 Removed from Provincetown to Nantucket - resided there until `29 -- during which following breaks (winters):
    1922-1923 So. Norwalk, Conn. 23-4, France. 24-5, Westport, Conn. 25-6, Switzerland. 26-7 & 27-8, Charleston, S.C. (There's a winter missing, be dogged if I know where.)
    1929 Removed from Nantucket. 29-31, Chapel Hill, N.C. Wife, Margaret, died there.
    1932 Married Norma Mitchell (actress & playwright) in London -- removed to her home (then new) in country neighboring Lyme, Conn. Resided there ever since. With following breaks: winters: 32-33 & 33-4, Hollywood (very sad) 34-5 35-6 & 38-9, N.Y.C. 39-40, Hollywood (still sadder). 1944, I made extended trip around South America, flying.
    Both my sons are now married, with children, boys.
    Both graduated from Brown Univ.

    Scope and Content

    Includes correspondence, chiefly letters by Steele to various members of his family, manuscripts of numerous short stories, plays and novels, three etchings done by Steele, 1908, the privately printed story, "A Life," publishers agreements, photographs, press releases, clippings and other papers.

    General note

    ms. and/or article at Stanford.

    General note

    (more or less complete) fairly chronological.

    General note

    Notations: Number underlined: has been published (as, 12)
    *, I have it filed in a clipping as published
    #, I have it filed in manuscript
    ?, doubtful, as of scripts untitled & unremembered
    C, I have it in a published collection of my own work
    A, I have it in a published anthology.
    Periodicals & dates of publication given where able Dates of writing, following titles, will be vague.
    No notation, means never sold or published, or ppreserved. All other than Short Stories, thus (12)