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Manuscripts by Subject - Family / Local History - #10114

Title: Edith Wakeman-Hughes Papers

Dates: 1864-1957

Collection Number: Mss 10114

Quantity: 13 ft.

Provenance:  The State Historical Society of North Dakota acquired the Edith Wakeman-Hughes Papers from Hartley L. Weingartner on July 29, 1959.  This collection was processed and the inventory prepared by Karen Mund, Grace Wanttaja, and Kari Rombs Kohlhoff, in August 1988.

Property Rights:  The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights:  Hartley L. Weingartner has dedicated such copyrights as he possesses in this collection to the public.  Consideration of all other copyrights is the responsibility of the researcher.

Access:  This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation:  Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

Transfer:  Three feet of material were removed from the Edith Wakeman-Hughes Papers and transferred to the appropriate collection management area of the State Archives.  One-half foot of transferred material consisted of publications such as books, booklets, bulletins, and magazines.  All publications were transferred to the library.

One and three fourths feet of photographs were transferred to the Photo Archives.  The photographs were black and white and mostly of Edith, her friends and family, and Aurora, the pig. 

One-half foot of postal covers and post cards were placed with the philatelic collection.  Two items, a 1905 calendar and a handkerchief, were transferred to the Museum Division.  Two ribbons, for the Reception Committee to the President of the United States, 1919, were transferred to the ephemera collection.  One atlas of Genesee County, New York, was transferred to the map collection.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Edith Adele Wakeman, philanthropist and socialite, was born on May 21, ca. 1876-1879, in Rochester, New York.  The only child of Bismarck pioneer residents, James David and Josephine Warner Wakeman, Edith grew up in Bismarck and attended Bismarck schools. She later attended Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.  From 1897 to 1900 she held several clerical positions in Bismarck:  with the U.S. Surveyor General's office, 1897-1898; the Secretary of State's office, 1898-1899; the State Treasurer's office, 1899; and with the State Land Commissioner's office, 1900.

On June 13, 1900, in the Episcopal Church in Bismarck, Edith A. Wakeman married Edmond Alexander Hughes, a pioneer of electric power development within North Dakota.  Among Edmond Hughes' interests were lignite mining; telephone communications; construction of hotels, theaters, apartment buildings, and garages; state and local politics--he served in the state legislature from 1913 to 1915; and various causes such as the Missouri Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America.  Edith and Edmond did not have children; they were divorced after less than forty years of marriage. Edmond A. Hughes died on October 9, 1970.

Perhaps best known for her work on behalf of the blind, Edith Wakeman-Hughes' interest in such work was sparked by her own experience:  in 1934 she lost her sight to cataracts. At Christmas time in 1939, she sent five hundred colorful clay piggy banks to friends, asking them to fill the banks with "A Penny a Day to Keep Darkness Away".  Responses were numerous and the money was used by the Braille Institute of America to bring Braille to blind people across the nation.  Mrs. Wakeman-Hughes then conceived the idea of a "super piggy bank" to collect money for the Braille Institute.  From prize-winning photographs of pigs at Minnesota county fairs, and with a five-week-old piglet as a model, sculptors Evelyn and Harold Gebhardt created "Aurora", so named for the Roman goddess of dawn.  Aurora was unveiled in August of 1944 at the Farmers Market in Los Angeles, California.  In 1949, the same year the Aurora/Braille Institute float won first prize in Class "C" of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses parade, surgery restored Edith's sight. Over a period of eighteen years from 1939 to 1957, Mrs. Wakeman-Hughes helped to raise over $90,000 for the Braille Institute while covering over $15,000 in expenses herself.  She also served on the Institute's Board of Trustees.

The Braille Institute of America was not the only charity supported by Mrs. Wakeman-Hughes. During World War I she was involved with the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief. In 1918 she applied for service with the American Red Cross and was recommended for Hospital Hut duty in France, though it is not known whether she was actually sent.  Edith was also a longtime fund-raiser for the United China Relief Association.

In 1939 Edith began handling Walt Disney Productions originals.  During that year she was commissioned, one of over twenty individuals and galleries nationwide, by Courvoisier Galleries of San Francisco to sell Walt Disney Productions original celluloid paintings.  Courvoisier Galleries was the sole, legal distributor of the limited number of issued "celluloids" or "cells" used in creating Disney films.  Edith received a commission of forty per cent of the sale price of each "cell", and this she often donated to charity.

Writing was another interest of Edith Wakeman-Hughes.  In addition to composing poems and "tales", presumably for her own pleasure, she penned a "pocket edition" book.  Motoring in White from Dakota to Cape Cod was published in 1917; it chronicled the trip taken by her and her husband during the summer of 1915 or 1916 from Bismarck to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and back.  Her article on a New York City roof garden was published in the September 1917 issue of the "The Vogue".  She also assisted other authors in publishing their works.

Before she began dividing her time between North Dakota and California, Mrs. Wakeman-Hughes was an active Bismarck and North Dakota resident.  Edith served as the Navy and (Theodore) Roosevelt Day state chairperson for several years during the 1920s.  A member of the Bismarck Country Club in the 1910s and 1920s, she served on its tournament and house furnishings committees and assisted in procuring land for the club.  She, along with her husband, was also active in state and national Republican politics.

When she was not busy with business, charitable, or political affairs, Edith Wakeman-Hughes enjoyed many other activities.  She traveled extensively throughout her life, touring parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, the United States, and Canada.  She played golf and tennis, winning several loving cups for her efforts.  Mrs. Wakeman-Hughes was also a popular hostess.

On June 20, 1957, after a long illness, Edith Wakeman-Hughes died in Los Angeles, California.  Funeral services and burial took place in California.

Sources:

The Bismarck Capital, March 3, 1936, p. 4.

The Bismarck Tribune, June 24, 1940, p. 1; March 21, 1944, p. 1; September 11, 1944, p. 2; June 28, 1957, p. 13; October 9, 1970, pp. 1, 13.

Edith Wakeman-Hughes Papers, 1864-1957, 13 ft., 10114.

SCOPE AND CONTENT

The Edith Wakeman-Hughes Papers date from 1864 to 1957, the bulk of material dating from the 1900s through the 1940s, and measure 13 ft.  This collection documents the life and activities of Edith Wakeman-Hughes, and to a lesser extent, those of her husband, Edmond A. Hughes, and her parents, James D. and Josephine Warner Wakeman.  This collection consists of subject files and scrapbooks.

The subject files date from 1864 to 1957, the bulk of files dating from the 1900s to the 1940s, and measure 10 1/4 ft.  Contained in the subject files are several address books, bills and receipts, brochures, broadsides, budget books, business cards, greeting cards, clippings, correspondence, a diary, decals, invitations, two daily journals, several manuscripts, maps, a marriage certificate, pamphlets, paper dolls probably dating from the late 1800s, a passport, poems, programs, reports, film scripts and synopses, sketches, speeches, telegrams, and one oversize folder.  Subjects of interest include the Atheneum of Bismarck; Aurora, the pig; Bismarck Auditorium; Braille Institute of America; Walt Disney Productions; James W. Foley; the Hotel Prince of Bismarck; Edith's marriage plans; Motoring in White; politics; and the Roosevelt family.  The subject files are arranged alphabetically by keyword.

The scrapbooks date from 1912 to 1945 and measure 2 3/4 ft.  The seven scrapbooks contain greeting cards, clippings, correspondence, invitations, photographs, programs; publications; and telegrams.  Scrapbook subjects include Aurora, the pig; the Braille Institute; James Wakeman's 88th and 89th birthdays; Josephine Wakeman's death; and the Wakeman's 65th wedding anniversary.  Arrangement is alphabetical by keyword.

BOX / FOLDER INVENTORY

Scrapbooks

Box 1:
1. Aurora the Pig Scrapbook                                 1944                                             
2. Braille Institute of America Scrapbook            1939-1944                                    
3. Christmas Cards Scrapbook                              1939                                             
4. Clippings Scrapbook                                         1925-1936                                    
5. Wakeman, James D., Birthday Scrapbook       1938-1939                                    
6. Wakeman, Josephine, Death, Scrapbook          1940                                             
7. Wakeman, M/M, 65th Anniversary Scrapbook  1939                                           

Box 11:
16. Aurora the Pig Scrapbook Inserts                   1944                                             
17. Aurora the Pig Scrapbook Inserts                   1944-1945                                    
18. Braille Institute of America Scrapbook Insert  1912-1940                                  
19. Christmas Cards Scrapbook Inserts                1939-1943                                    
20. Clippings Scrapbook Inserts                           1920-1939                                    
21. Wakeman, James D., Birthday Scrapbook Inserts  1938-1939                           
22. Wakeman, Josphine, Death Scrapbook           1932-1941                                    

Subject Files

Box 1:
1. Adair, Robin                                                     1894-1897                                    
2. Address Book                                                                                                        
3. Address Book                                                                                                        
4. Address Book, Bachelors in Hollywood                                                               
5. Addresses                                                                                                              
6. Atheneum Programs                                         1890-1900                                    
7. Aurora the Pig                                                   1939-1947                                    
8. Aurora the Pig                                                   1948-1952                                    
9. Aurora the Pig Report                                       1946-1948                                    
10. Aurora the Pig Statements                              1945-1950                                    
11. Aurora the Pig Third Birthday Telegrams      1947                                             
12. Aurora the Pig Tournament of Roses Float    1949                                             
13. Ballet Russe and Col. de Basil Party              1937-1938                                    
14. Barnebetta Script                                                                                                 
15. Barrymore, John and Ethel, Clippings            1918-1942                                    
16. Bills and Receipts, Miscellaneous                   1923-1957                                    
17. Bismarck Auditorium Programs                     1914                                             
18. Bismarck Auditorium Programs                     1915                                             
19. Bismarck Auditorium Programs                     1916                                             
20. Bismarck Auditorium Programs                     1917-1919                                    
21. Bismarck Auditorium Programs                     1920-1923                                    
22. Bismarck Auditorium Programs                     1920-1925                                    
23. Bismarck Auditorium Programs                     1923-1930                                    
24. Bismarck Country Club                                  1915-1920                                    
25. Bismarck Country Club Golf                          1914-1918                                    
26. Bismarck Country Club Membership             1922                                             
27. Bismarck Country Club Records                    1915-1918                                    
28. Bismarck Country Club Tennis                       1913-1915                                    
29. Bismarck Pageant                                           1921                                             

Box 2:
1. Bismarck to Hollywood Trip                            1931                                             
2. Bracelet, Lost                                                    1950                                             
3. Braille Institute of America Arrangement        1940                                             
4. Braille Institute of America, Building              1946                                             
5. Braille Institute of America, Correspondence 1944-1948                                    
6. Braille Institute of America, Pig Banker          1939-1947                                    
7. Braille Institute of America, Pig Banker          1940-1949                                    
8. Brochures                                                          1916-1952                                    
9. Burton, Helen                                                   1943-1944                                    
10. Business Cards                                                                                                     
11. California and New Mexico, Tours of            1930                                             
12. Cannes Program of Events                             1929                                             
13. Chiang Kai-Shek, Madame, Address             1943                                             
14. Chateau Elysee/Fifield Manor                                                                             
15. Check Register, Chase National Bank, NY   1940-1942                                    
16. Check Register, First National, Bismarck       1940                                             
17. Check Register, First Nat'l, Los Angeles        1944-1947                                    
18. Check Register, Security 1st Los Angeles      1940-1943                                    
19. Cherbourg and Southampton, Tours of          1926                                             
20. Cherbourg and Southampton, Tours of          1930                                             
21. China Relief Association, United                   1941                                             
22. Chinese Dynasty Throne Room Rug              1920                                             
23. Christmas Cards                                              1926                                             
24. Christmas Cards                                              1927                                             
25. Christmas Cards                                              1928-1929                                    
26. Christmas Cards                                              1930-1934                                    
27. Budget Book                                                  1937                                             
28. Budget Book                                                  1940                                             
29. Budget Book                                                  1941                                             
30. Car Account Book                                          1931-1941                                    

Box 3:
1. Christmas Cards                                                1936-1953                                    
2. Christmas Cards                                                                                                     
3. Christmas Cards and Gifts Lists                       1917-1938                                    
4. Christmas Cards and Gifts Lists                       1939-1944                                    
5. Clippings                                                           1918                                             
6. Clippings                                                           1912-1922                                    
7. Clippings                                                           1915-1922                                    
8. Clippings                                                           1916-1928
9. Clippings                                                           1928-1938                                    
10. Clippings                                                         1920-1944                                    
11. Clippings                                                         1916-1945                                    
12. Clippings                                                         1913-1946                                    
13. Clippings                                                         1922-1946                                    
14. Clippings                                                         1937-1946                                    
15. Clippings                                                         1908-1949                                    
16. Clippings                                                         1916-1950                                    
17. Correspondence and Phrases, Record of        1908-1910                                    
18. Correspondence, Incoming                             1894-1899                                    
19. Correspondence, Incoming                             1903-1914                                    
20. Correspondence, Incoming                             1915-1919                                    
21. Correspondence, Incoming                             1920-1924                                    

Box 4:
1. Correspondence, Incoming                               1925-1926                                    
2. Correspondence, Incoming                               1927                                             
3. Correspondence, Incoming                               1928                                             
4. Correspondence, Incoming                               1928-1929                                    
5. Correspondence, Incoming                               1930-1933                                    
6. Correspondence, Incoming                               1933                                             
7. Correspondence, Incoming                               1933-1934                                    
8. Correspondence, Incoming                               1934-1937                                    
9. Correspondence, Incoming                               1938-1939                                    
10. Correspondence, Incoming                             1940-1942                                    
11. Correspondence, Incoming                             1945-1947                                    
12. Correspondence, Incoming                             1948-1949                                    
13. Correspondence, Incoming                             1950-1956                                    
14. Correspondence, Incoming                                                                                  
15. Correspondence, Incoming                                                                                  
16. Correspondence, Incoming                                                                                  
17. Correspondence, Incoming                                                                                  

Box 5:
1. Correspondence, Incoming from Edmond       1926-1927                                    
2. Correspondence, Incoming from Parents         1926-1933                                    
3. Correspondence, Incoming from Parents                                                              
4. Correspondence, Incoming Miscellaneous                                                            
5. Correspondence, Outgoing                               1916-1919                                    
6. Correspondence, Outgoing                               1920-1929                                    
7. Correspondence, Outgoing                               1932-1948                                    
8. Correspondence, Outgoing                                                                                    
9. Correspondence, Outgoing to Edmond            1920                                             
10. Correspondence, Outgoing to Parents            1895-1897                                    
11. Correspondence, Outgoing to Parents            1898-1899                                    
12. Correspondence, Outgoing to Parents            1900                                             
13. Correspondence, Outgoing to Parents            1901-1904                                    
14. Correspondence, Outgoing to Parents            1905-1911                                    
15. Correspondence, Outgoing to Parents            1912-1919                                    
16. Correspondence, Outgoing to Parents            1920-1927                                    
17. Correspondence, Outgoing to Parents            1928-1929                                    
18. Correspondence, Outgoing to Parents            1930-1931                                    
19. Correspondence, Outgoing to Parents            1932-1940                                    

Box 6:
1. Correspondence, Outgoing to Parents                                                                   
2. Correspondence, Outgoing to Parents                                                                   
3. Correspondence, Outgoing to Parents                                                                   
4. Correspondence, Outgoing to Parents                                                                   
5. Correspondence, Outgoing to Parents                                                                   
6. Correspondence, Outgoing to Parents                                                                   
7. Correspondence, Outgoing to Parents                                                                   
8. Correspondence, Outgoing to Parents                                                                   
9. Cuba, Tour of                                                    1903                                             
17. Diary                                                               1952                                             

Disney, Walt

10. Christmas Cards                                              1932-1947                                    
11. Clayburgh, Alma                                             1940-1942                                    
12. Clippings                                                         1941-1942                                    
13. Coral Casino                                                   1939-1941                                    
14. Courvoisier Galleries                                       1939                                             
15. Courvoisier Galleries                                       1940                                             
16. Courvoisier Galleries                                       1941-1942                                    

Box 7:
1. Disney, Walt, Correspondence                         1933-1940                                    
2. Fairbanks, William K.                                       1940-1941                                    
3. Lilly, Rachel (Mrs. Richard)                             1939-1941                                    
4. Paintings, Originals                                           1939-1940                                    
5. Paintings, Originals, Consignments                  1940-1941                                    
6. Paintings, Originals, Expenses                          1939                                             
7. Paintings, Originals, Expenses                          1940                                             
8. Paintings, Originals, Expenses                          1941                                             
9. Paintings, Originals, Expenses                          1942                                             
10. Paintings, Originals, Sales                               1939                                             
11. Paintings, Originals, Sales                               1940-1943                                    
12. Social Service Gift Shop                                 1939-1940                                    
13. Walsh, Clara Bell                                            1942                                             
14. Weyerhaeriser, Mrs. F. E.                               1939-1942                                    
15. Donahue, Lester                                              1937-1939                                    
16. Douglas Family Clippings                               1927-1928                                    
17. "Ellen Young" Script                                                                                           
18. Entertainment Party Lists                               1912-1945                                    
19. Entertainment Party Lists                               1940-1946                                    
20. Financial Information                                     1930-1957                                    
21. Finnish Relief                                                  1939-1940                                    
22. Foley, James W.                                              1912-1917                                    
23. Foley, James W.                                              1918                                             
24. Foley, James W.                                              1919-1924                                    
25. France, Tour of                                               1928                                             
26. Fraunces Tavern, New York City                   1907                                             
27. French Grammar                                             1906-1907                                    
28. Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Tours of       1912                                             
29. Golf, Score Cards and Programs                    1915                                             
30. Great Lake Cruise                                           1918                                             
31. Greeting Cards                                                1931-1933                                    
32. Greeting Cards                                                1938-1944                                    
33. Greeting Cards                                                1906-1948                                    

Box 8:
1. Greeting Cards                                                  1929-1948                                    
2. Greeting Cards                                                  1907-1953                                    
3. Greeting Cards                                                  1930-1953                                    
4. Head, Edith                                                      1945                                             
5. Hoffman, Ed and Erna                                     1927                                             
6. "Hollywood Houseboy", Amando Acuin         1936                                             
7. "Hollywood Houseboy", Amando Acuin                                                              
8. Hotel Decals                                                                                                          
9. Hotel Prince                                                      1926                                             
10. Hotel Prince                                                    1930                                             
11. Hotel Prince and Lucky Lindy Light             1927-1929                                    
12. Hotel Prince Publicity                                     1926-1928                                    
13. Hotel Prince Redecorating                              1926                                             
14. Hotel Prince Redecorating Swatches                                                                  
15. Hotel Prince Remodeling                                1926                                             
16. Hughes Alliance, National, Campaign Train   1916                                            
17. Hughes, Edmond, Correspondence                1921-1928                                    
18. Hughes Electric Stockholders Meeting          1925                                             
19. Hughes Family History                                   1938                                             
20. Invitations                                                       1902-1949                                    
21. Itinerary for Stevens, Fonda                           1919                                             
22. Journal                                                             1904-1910                                    
23. Journal                                                                                                                  
24. Kackley, Olive, Biographical Material            1950                                             
25. Karlsbad Regime                                            1928                                             
26. Longworth, Alice                                            1921-1928                                    
27. Marriage Plans                                                1900                                             
28. Mediterranean Cruise                                      1924                                             
29. Mediterranean Cruise                                      1924                                             
30. Miscellaneous                                                  1909-1931                                    
31. Morse Code                                                                                                         
32. Motoring in White                                           1915-1933                                    
33. Motoring in White Diary                                 1915                                             
34. Motoring in White Drafts                                                                                     

Box 9:
1. Motoring in White Travel Brochures                 1912-1915                                    
2. Motoring in White Travel Brochures                 1915                                             
3. Motoring in White Travel Brochures                 1915-1916                                    
4. Motoring in White Travel Brochures                 1915-1916                                    
5. Motoring in White Travel Brochures                 1915-1916                                    
6. Navy and Roosevelt Day                                  1922-1923                                    
7. Navy and Roosevelt Day                                  1923                                             
8. Navy and Roosevelt Day                                  1923-1926                                    
9. Navy and Roosevelt Day                                  1927                                             
10. Nestos, R. A., Governor                                 1923                                             
11. "New Clothes for Old", Goulding, Edmund   1917-1918                                   
12. Nursing Care                                                   1949                                             
13. Olympiad, Tenth                                             1932                                             
14. Pamphlets                                                        1924-1927                                    
15. Paper Dolls                                                                                                           
16. Paper Dolls                                                                                                           
17. Paper Dolls                                                                                                           
18. Paper Dolls                                                                                                           
19. Paper Dolls                                                                                                           
20. Paper Dolls                                                                                                           
21. Paper Dolls                                                                                                           
22. Paper Dolls                                                                                                           
23. Paper Dolls                                                                                                           
24. Paper Dolls                                                                                                           
25. Paper Dolls                                                                                                           
26. Paper Dolls                                                                                                           
27. Paper Dolls                                                                                                           
28. Passport                                                           1928                                             
29. Personages for Memory Book                                                                             
30. Piano Tuning Record                                      1924-1927                                    
31. Poems                                                                                                                   
32. Poems and Lyrics                                            1930                                             
33. Politics                                                            1919-1921                                    
34. Politics                                                            1921-1922                                    

Box 10:
1. Politics                                                              1922                                             
2. Politics                                                              1921-1923                                    
3. Politics                                                              1923-1939                                    
4. Politics Clippings                                              1922-1946                                    
5. Pons, Lily, Breakfast                                        1941                                             
6. Pons, Lily, Clippings                                         1940-1949                                    
7. Pons, Lily, Party                                               1943-1945                                    
8. Programs                                                           1881-1903                                    
9. Programs                                                           1912-1916                                    
10. Programs                                                         1917-1926                                    
11. Programs                                                         1932-1946                                    
12. Recipes                                                                                                                 
13. Red Cross                                                       1918                                             
14. Riter, Joe                                                         1917-1918                                    
15. Roosevelt, Eleanor                                                                                               
16. Roosevelt Family Clippings                            1919-1931                                    
17. Roosevelt, Theodore                                       1900-1922                                    
18. S.S. America Menu                                         1941                                             
19. St. Alexius Hospital Directory                        1924-1926                                    
20. School, Hughes Junior and Senior Lists                                                              
21. Silver Service, Battleship North Dakota         1923-1926                                    
22. Sketches                                                          1924                                             
23. Speeches                                                         1918-1925                                    
24. "Spring Has Come"                                                                                              
25. "Strange Adventures of Johnnie Whittle"                                                           
26. Sulgrave Institution                                        1924-1925                                    
27. Summer Tours Brochures                                1898                                             
28. Tales                                                                1923-1933                                    
29. Telegrams                                                        1915-1940                                    
30. "The House of Troon" Synopsis                      1917                                             
31. "The Ice Wagon", Acuin, A. P.                       1934                                             
32. "The Seventh Story in Dakota"                       1925                                             
33. Theater Clippings and Programs                     1914-1916                                    
34. "Thorns of Success" Synopsis                                                                              

Box 11:
1. Tournament of Roses Parade Programs            1949-1952                                    
2. Wakeman Corresp., James and Josephine         1897-1899                                    
3. Wakeman Corresp., James and Josephine         1902-1921                                    
4. Wakeman Corresp., James and Josephine         1902-1940                                    
5. Wakeman Family History                                                                                      
6. Wakeman, James D., Death                              1944                                             
7. Wakeman, James D., Penmanship                    1864                                             
8. Wakeman, Josephine, Death                             1940                                             
9. Wakeman, Josephine, Hospital Statement        1931                                             
10. Wakeman, Josephine, Telegrams on Death    1940                                     
11. Wakeman, M/M James D., Invitations           1880-1892                                    
12. Wakeman, M/M James D., Invitations           1877-1893                                    
13. Wakeman, M/M James D. Silver Anniversary  1899                                  
14. Who's Who in America                                   1923                                             
15. Women's Club House, New York                  1924-1925                                    
23. Wakeman Account Book                                1930-1941                                    

990407 Miscellaneous Oversize                            1865-1941                                    

                                    

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