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Joseph Medill (1823-1899). Papers relating to the administration of his estate

Identifier: III-27

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Scope and Contents

Papers concerning the estate of Joseph Medill (managing editor of the Chicago Tribune). The contents of the files fall into three broad categories:

  • Joseph Medill's and the Chicago Tribune's's affairs before his death (Box 1)
  • Joseph Medill's estate and its administration (Boxes 2-4)
  • The business affairs (chiefly real estate) of Katharine Medill McCormick and Eleanor Medill Patterson (1899-1910; Box 5)
  • Dates

    • 1861 - 1910

    Conditions Governing Access

    There are no restrictions on use of the materials in the department for research; all patrons must comply with federal copyright regulations.


    5 Boxes

    Language of Materials



    Papers concerning the estate of Joseph Medill (managing editor of the Chicago Tribune)


    The papers were in some disarray when they arrived at the Tribune Company Archives, and the original folders and envelopes were in bad shape. Many of them bore numbers; but some numbers were duplicated and others were missing, so there may have been two files. The current arrangement was prepared before the collection was received from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation

    Custodial History

    On May 22, 1985, Charles T. Brumback asked William N. Clark and John McCutcheon to come with him to the office of William B. Nelson, vice president of the Chicago Tribune for finance, to see some old papers that had turned up in the finance department vault in room 815.

    A brief look made it clear that the papers were important, and they were immediately brought to the Tribune Company Archives in one large carton. They appear to be the same papers mentioned in a 1954 memo saying that William G. Beale's file on the Medill estate had been found in the Isham, Lincoln & Beale files. There was no evidence that they had been transferred to the Tribune at that time. (In 1984, John McCutcheon had asked former Illinois Governor Richard B. Ogilvie, a member of the Isham firm, to see if the file was still there. Ogilvie reported back that it was not.)

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Received from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Chicago Tribune Company, and Nexstar Media Group on January 10, 2020, accession #SPEC-2020-1.

    Guide to Joseph Medill (1823-1899). Papers relating to the administration of his estate
    Input from typescript by Gary L. Strawn
    Description rules
    Describing Archives: A Content Standard
    Language of description
    Script of description

    Library Details

    Part of the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections Repository

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