Guide to the Chester Harvey Rowell Papers, 1882-1940

Processed by Hülya Reshad; machine-readable finding aid created by James Lake
Sanoian Special Collections Library
California State University, Fresno
5200 North Barton Avenue M/S ML 34
Fresno, California 93740-8014
Phone: (559) 278-2595
Fax: (559) 278-6952
© 1998
California State University, Fresno. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Chester Harvey Rowell Papers, 1882-1940

Sanoian Special Collections Library

Henry Madden Library

Fresno, California

Contact Information:

  • Sanoian Special Collections Library
  • California State University, Fresno
  • 5200 North Barton Avenue M/S ML 34
  • Fresno, California 93740-8014
  • Phone: (559) 278-2595
  • Fax: (559) 278-6952
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
Hülya Reshad
Date Completed:
Encoded by:
James Lake
© 1998 California State University, Fresno. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Chester Harvey Rowell Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1882-1940
Creator: Rowell, Chester Harvey, 1867-?
Extent: 1.25 linear feet
Repository: Henry Madden Library (California State University, Fresno).

Sanoian Special Collections Library.
Fresno, California
Language: English.

Administrative Information


The papers were donated by Barbara Laughlin, Rowell's daughter, in 1983.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been transferred to California State University, Fresno.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Chester Harvey Rowell Papers, Sanoian Special Collections Library, California State University, Fresno.


Chester Harvey Rowell was born in Bloomington, Illinois, in 1867. In his youth, he went to Europe to study and travel. After his return, he taught at a small college in Kansas for a year and then came to Fresno, California, to be a high school instructor in mathematics and German. After two years in Fresno, Rowell joined the faculty at the University of Illinois, where he remained for a year. He returned to Fresno in 1898 to become the editor and manager of the Fresno Morning Republican, positions he maintained for twenty-two years. In 1912, on the death of his uncle Dr. Chester Rowell the founder and president of the board of directors of the newspaper, Rowell became president of the board. After leaving Fresno, Rowell became the editor and director of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Rowell also had a highly active political career. In 1907, he helped to organize the Lincoln Roosevelt League of California, the Republican party reform organization of which he was president for several years. He was chairman of the Republican state convention in 1910 and 1912, and a delegate from California, first to the Republican and then to the Progressive national convention. During this period, he served on a subcommittee which wrote the platforms of both political parties. In 1916, Rowell became a member of the Republican national campaign committee from California and between 1916 to 1918 he was chairman of the Republican state committee of California.
After his retirement from newspaper work in 1920, Rowell worked actively to promote general international good will among nations bordering the Pacific Ocean and spent much time in the Orient as a member of the Institute of Pacific Relations.

Scope and Content

The Chester Harvey Rowell papers measure 1.25 linear feet and date from 1882 to 1937. The collection predominantly consists of correspondence to Rowell's family, in particular, to his sister, Cora. These are personal letters in which he reveals his feelings about his current place of employment or his opinions about the various places he has traveled. Also included are Rowell's marriage announcement and editorials from the Fresno Morning Republican and the San Francisco Chronicle.
The collection also contains of correspondence from Dr. Chester Rowell, a prominent physician in Fresno, to his nephew and niece, Chester and Cora.
Interfiled with the correspondence are typed transcripts (some incomplete) of approximately half of the family's letters, done by Schyler Rehart, a former journalism professor at California State University, Fresno.

Additional Information

Related Collections

  • Title: Chester Harvey Rowell Papers,
    The Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley

Other sources of information in Special Collections (Woodward Collection)

  • Bogart, Victor. Chester Harvey Rowell and the Lincoln Roosevelt League, 1907-1910 (M.A thesis--University of California, 1962).

    f F866. R6 B63
  • Cormier, William C. Chester Harvey Rowell: the 1916 Election (M.A. thesis--Fresno State College, 1969)

    f F866. R6 C67 1969
  • Everett, Miles Chapman. Chester Harvey Rowell, Pragmatic Humanist and California Progressive (Ph.D. thesis--University of California, 1966)

    F866. R6 E8 1967

Container List

Box Box 1





Cora (sister)


1882, 1885


1885, 1886








1891 (2 folders)


1891, 1892

Box Box 2

1892, 1893




1894, 1895


1897, 1898


1901, 1905, 1908, 1911-1916


1918, 1919


1920-1924 (includes 1 photograph)


1927, 1931, 1932, 1935-1937

Box Box 3

Rowell, Jonathon Harvey (father) 1893, 1901, 1903, 1906


Rowell, Maria Sanford (Woods) (mother)


1885, 1890, 1892


1894, 1895


Cora (daughter), 1911


Elmer (relationship unknown), undated


Rowell, Laurence (relationship unknown), 1886, 1892


Political, 1890, 1898


Editorials, 1923, 1924, 1937, 1940 and undated


Marriage announcement, 1897


Rowell, Dr. Chester (uncle)




Rowell, Chester Harvey, 1889, 1897, 1898


Rowell, Cora, 1892, 1897, 1901