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Wilbur Dick Nesbit (1871-1927) Papers, 1896-1948

Identifier: MS53
The Wilbur Dick Nesbit Papers, comprising ten boxes and an oversize folder, are arranged in four categories: biographical material, correspon­dence, literary works, oversize material and photographs.

The biographical material includes several "curricula vitae", clip­pings, obituaries, and various publications in which Nesbit's name ap­peared.

The correspondence is divided into seven subcategories: personal, house, clubs and organizations, advertising, investments, business and publishers'.

The personal correspondence is almost entirely family, the most interesting being that to Mrs. Nesbit from her husband shortly after their marriage.

The house correspondence is almost entirely between Nesbit and Tallmadge and Watson concerning the building of Nesbit's new house on Sheridan Road in Evanston. The magazine, "The Western Architect," has photographs of the finished structure.

The correspondence relating to clubs and organizations includes programs, poetry, and pamphlets. Material concerning Nesbit's various affiliations is arranged alphabetically by club or organization. The Forty Club and The Indiana Society have the most material.

The advertising correspondence includes copy, both printed and in draft.

The investment correspondence is limited, but includes several letters about "Girl of My Dreams" for which Nesbit wrote the lyrics.

The business correspondence mainly deals with literary rights, permission to publish, and speaking engagements. Because the filing system used by Nesbit changed, some personal and advertising business is included for the years, 1923-1927.

The correspondence with publishers is mainly comprised of a large amount of material concerning the Volland Company, including type-scripts of verses and mottoes for which Volland paid Nesbit royalties. The Buzza Company and Volland Company conducted an acrimonious corres­pondence with Nesbit, 1923-1925, regarding which of the two companies held an exclusive contract for his work.

The literary works are preceded by a list of his published poems, 1900-1917, made by Nesbit. His poems are in typescript, alphabetized by title, A-Y. Greeting card verses, jokes, prose pieces, drafts and correspondence relating to his After Dinner Speeches are among the literary works.

The oversize material includes a few song lyrics, poems written in memoriam, James Whitcomb Riley, a plot survey and house plans and a copy of The Western Architect, Dec., 1915, illustrating the work of Tallmadge and Watson. Finally there are many photographs of Nesbit and his family, both identified and unidentified.


  • 1896-1948


Conditions Governing Access



1-10 Boxes


Wilbur Dick Nesbit was a mid-western poet, newspaper columnist, hu­morist, toast master and advertising pioneer.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Unknown. Found in underground storage.
Guide to the Wilbur Dick Nesbit (1871-1927) Papers, 1896-1948
Ellen V. Howe
December, 1981
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US