MS 16 - William B. Guitteau Papers
|Title||MS 16 - William B. Guitteau Papers|
The papers of William Backus Guitteau date from 1884 to 1963. They were donated by the Toledo Board of Education in 1971 and comprise approximately three linear feet. This collection consists of three scrapbooks detailing the education and career of William B. Guitteau with the bulk of the material focusing on the years 1890 through 1932. In addition, the collection contains several original copies of speeches Dr. Guitteau gave at various points in his career, correspondence pertaining to Guitteau's employment and miscellaneous newsclippings on his career. This particular collection will prove useful to those with an interest in Toledo politics, progressivism, education, and local history.
Literary and property rights are in the public domain and duplication is permitted for the purposes of research and preservation. This register was prepared by Robert Rook, graduate assistant in the History Department, Bowling Green State University, in March 1982.
William Backus Guitteau was born in Toledo, Ohio, on November 27, 1877. He attended Toledo public schools including Toledo Central High School from which he graduated in 1894. Guitteau studied at the University of Michigan for one year and then enrolled at Ohio State University in 1896. In addition to his law studies at OSU, Guitteau passed the Ohio State Bar Exam. Postponing his career in law, Guitteau was awarded the President White Fellowship from Cornell University where he spent one year and earned a Master of Arts in Economics. Also, that same year Guitteau served as a Special Clerk to the U.S. Industry Commission in Washington, D.C.
In 1902, Guitteau resumed his graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania where he completed a PhD in History in 1904. Guitteau's dissertation was written about municipal politics and foreshadowed a public career that was to span nearly thirty years. Guitteau was profoundly influenced by progressivism and was to emerge as "the archetype Progressive."
In 1905 Guitteau returned to Toledo where he became principal of Toledo Central High School. Guitteau spent the next twenty-five years serving the Toledo School District in various capacities. In 1911 Guitteau became Superintendent of Toledo Public Schools, later serving as Director of Schools from 1923 through 1925. In addition to his administrative functions, Guitteau lectured about municipal reform and published several textbooks--among them the highly controversial Our United States, which was deemed too "pro-British" and subsequently banned in several school districts. Guitteau also led a highly successful movement to provide better education for those stricken with tuberculosis culminating in the establishment of an "Open Air" School.
Guitteau attained his first position in city government in 1926 when he served briefly as City Service Director. One year later he made an unsuccessful mayoral bid. Guitteau's pinnacle of public achievement occurred in 1930 when President Herbert Hoover named him U.S. Collector for the Internal Revenue Service in northwest Ohio, a position he held until 1932.
With the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the onset of the New Deal, Guitteau retired from public life accepting a job as Executive Secretary and Lobbyist for the Ohio Crushed Stone Association. In 1946, Guitteau returned briefly to public service with his unsuccessful proposal for the reorganization of Toledo City Government. Guitteau retired from the Ohio Crushed Stone Association in 1949 and resumed private law practice until his death on July 25, 1963.
Guitteau is survived by his two daughters, Mary Jane of Cleveland, Ohio, and Joanne Pat of Tiffin, Ohio. Shortly after his death, Guitteau's private library was donated to Heidelburg College. This collection consists primarily of secondary sources and contains few personal papers.
|Scope and Content|
The papers of William B. Guitteau, with minor exceptions, document his public career from the turn of the century until 1932. The majority of the documents span from 1907 through 1920 with several items being undated. These papers consist primarily of original drafts of public speeches and essays submitted to journals covering a wide range of topics from citizenship to Boy Scouts, correspondence pertaining to Guitteau's employment and a few newsclippings.
In addition to the papers, this collection contains three scrapbooks. These scrapbooks are filled with a variety of items, for example newsclippings, photographs, and broadsides.
Volume I contains newsclippings, photographs, and grade cards detailing Guitteau's education and early career in the Toledo Public Schools. The only weakness of this material is in the lack of dates. Regardless, most of the items are arranged categorically and chronologically making identification possible.
Also, this volume contains several miscellaneous items concerning Guitteau's civic involvement after 1933.
Volume II contains material specifically relating to Guitteau's role in Toledo politics including newsclippings, photographs, and telegrams outlining his mayoral campaign. In addition, this volume contains substantial material, for example, newsclippings and telegrams detailing the development and response to the "textbook controversy" which plagued Guitteau's publishing career.
Volume III consists primarily of newsclippings outlining Guitteau's career in school administration in Toledo. also several personal notes are contained including correspondence from Heidelburg College concerning Guitteau's posthumous donation of his private library.
The strength of this collection lies in its coverage of Guitteau's involvement in reform, both in government and education. Much of the material is "classically" progressive. Of particular research interest are the materials concerning the controversy over Guitteau's Our United States. The one weakness of this collection is its lack of Dr. Guitteau's personal papers beyond the speeches.
PUBLIC ADDRESSES OF WILLIAM B. GUITTEAU
SCRAPBOOKS AND NEWSCLIPPINGS
Volume I - Scrapbook of William B. GuitteauPage
Volume II--Scrapbook of William B. Guitteau
Newspaper clippings concerning Toledo politics, 1926-1927; 1963
Volume III--Scrapbook of William B. Guitteau
Newspaper clippings concerning education in Toledo, 1909-1920; 1953; 1963