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CRA064 -- Edward Newell Papers


3.50 Linear Feet
January 1983
Revised June 1999
Revised January 2000


Mr. Art Daranatsy, attorney for the Edward Newell estate, deposited the Edward Newell Collection in the Calumet Regional Archives in 1982.

Property rights in the collection are held by the Calumet Regional Archives; literary rights are dedicated to the public. There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Linear feet of shelf space: 3.5 linear feet.
Number of containers: 4 boxes.
Calumet Regional Archives Collection 064
Processed By: Stephen McShane
Date: January, 1983

Scope and Content

These records document portions of the life of Edward Newell, a longtime resident of the Gary, Indiana, area, from 1907 to 1975. The collection contains many varied types of records ranging from personal diaries and writings to a unique pamphlet file and a large volume of photographs. A series of Newell diaries (1914-1943) reveals one young man's views of early twentieth century events and issues. Newell comments on subjects such as the American social system, nature, the First World War, socialism, politics, the arts, morality, sports, religion, government, and philosophy. Also, the diaries provide information on homemaking, entertainment, and lifestyles of local residents in the first portion of the century and contain miscellaneous graphic material, clippings, and photographs to supplement Newell's discussions of these contemporary topics. While the correspondence in the collection (1907-1975) deals with similar subjects, the series primarily focuses upon Edward Newell's involvement in the residential development of the Indiana Dunes, particularly with the Ogden Dunes Realty Company and Sand Dunes, Incorporated. In addition, the correspondence and diaries retain materials from several early Dunes outdoor recreation clubs, such as the Dunes Outdoor Club, an "experiment in economics." The collection also comprises approximately 500 Indiana Dunes photographs, slides, and graphic cards (ca. 1930's to 1950's) complementing the descriptions in the correspondence and diaries. The photographs depict many early scenes of the Dunes and lakeshore as well as the activities of Edward Newell and his fellow outdoorsmen. Also, the photographs portray military camps during the First World War, along with shots of various individuals, possibly Newell, his friends, and/or relatives. Finally, a series of pamphlets and newsclippings (1908-1974) deal with many assorted topics including socialism, sexual norms, industry, foreign relations, literature, plays, and other cultural events.

The Edward Newell Collection provides valuable insight into numerous historical and sociological issues, subjects, and events, both local and national, during the first half of the twentieth century. Researchers should note that the collection contains several miscellaneous folders containing a large number of diverse documents and materials. Also, researchers should be aware that most of the papers in the collection are fragile and that certain portions of these records will be opened for only serious research. Related collections held by the Calumet Regional Archives dealing with the Calumet Region's environmental history include the Bailly Alliance Records (CRA 023), the James Newman Papers (CRA 073), the Community Action to Reverse Pollution Records (CRA 099), the Dustin Papers (CRA 113) and the Lindsey Papers (CRA 118).

Historical Sketch

Born in 1893, Edward Newell observed and recorded the events and issues around him for more than seventy years. Newell graduated from grammar school in 1908 and immediately joined the work force to alleviate his family's financial problems. At this time, Newell decided to work for a period of years and then devote the remainder of his life to "Study and Social Experimentation." In 1912, Newell joined the Corn Exchange Bank in Chicago and began to reside for long periods in a newly acquired cottage located in the Indiana Dunes. Newell found that the Dunes not only provided a good retreat for contemplation but also he became involved in real estate development of Indiana lakeshore properties on a non-profit basis. After the onset of the Great Depression, however, Newell's business dealings became stagnant and in 1932, he was dismissed from the bank. After his dismissal, Newell chose to reside permanently in Miller and concentrate on his life in the Dunes.

During his lifetime, Newell developed a negative view of capitalism as a social and economic system and worked toward creating a simple, uncomplicated lifestyle. He began to reflect on many local, national, and world events and beliefs and devoted his life to philosophy and observation, analyzing various social issues and recording his beliefs in diaries, manuscripts, photographs, and miscellaneous writings. Probably the most important part of Newell's life focused upon his love for the Indiana Dunes. Newell spent most of his life at his Dunes cottage and became an avid camper, hiker, swimmer, and outdoorsman. He established several outdoor recreational clubs and continued his dealings in Dunes real estate transactions to provide himself with a basic income. He spent many years in the Dunes, observing most of the local and national events and trends of the twentieth century and developing his own special philosophy of life. While the exact date of his death is unknown, it is believed Edward Newell died ca. 1975.

Box File Description
1 1 Personal biography, narratives and notes, 1934, 1946, 1949
2-14 Newell diaries, (1914-1943)
15-22 Personal Correspondence, (1907-1925)
23 Financial records, (1919-1962)
24 Land transactions, (1927-1943)
25 Deeds/contracts, 1932, 1938
26 Insurance policies, (1927-1933)
27 Discharge letter, 1919
28 Office file, 1923, 1929-1930

Box File Description
2 1 Edward Newell, Emile Tobler!--notes and drafts,n.d.
2 Emile Tobler! notes, n.d.
3 Edward Newell, Dan Dean, notes and drafts,n.d.
4 Personal writings, n.d.
5 Miscellaneous personal writings and notes, (1919-1922? )
6 Miscellaneous notes, n.d.
7 Plans and proposals for outdoor recreation clubs, (1929-1933)
8 Dunes Outdoor Club, (1930-1934)
9 The Wakishaka Club, Constitutions and related materials, 1932-1933
10 Wakishaka Club, minutes, 1930-1931
11 Wakishaka Club and "Y" Hikers Club Activity reports, 1929-1931
12 Sand Dunes Hikers Club, By-laws and minutes, 1951
13 United World Federalists material, (1955-1959)
14 Local church information, 1947, 1974

Series: Financial Records
Box File Description
3 8 Appointment book, 1920
9 Bank books, 1920-1935
10 Tax receipts, (1944-1962)

Series: Printed Material
Box File Description
3 11 Pamphlet, The New Edison Long Playing Phonograph, 1908
12 Pamphlet, "Jesus on the Stage," The Rationalist, 1915
13 Pamphlet, Emma Goldman, Philosophy of Atheism and Failure of Christianity, 1916
14 Pamphlet, Emma Goldman, Marriage and Love, 1916
15 Pamphlet, Program of Chicago Society of Anthropology, 1917
16 Pamphlets, (2), Program Farewell Banquet, Camp Jackson, South Carolina, 1918
17 Pamphlet, Bertrand Russell, Democracy and Direct Action, 1919
18 Constitution of the League of Nations, 1919
19 On Duty of Civil Disobedience, 1919 edition
20 Pamphlet, Call to Bank Employees of Chicago, 1923
21 Illinois Merchants Review
22 Pamphlet, Shall Companion Marriage Be Legalized?
23 Pan's Garden, Oliver Hill, 1928
24 Pamphlet on birth control, 1929
25 Pamphlet, The Central "Y" Hikers Club, 1930-1931
26 The Continental Illinois News, 1931
27 Pamphlet, The Modern Thinker, 1932
28 Bulletins, Reconciliation Trips, 1932-1933
29 Publication, New Masses, January 1933
30 Pamphlet, order of service, the Peoples Church of Chicago, 1932
31 Bulletin, the Beacon Book Shop, Chicago, 1933
32 Lecture, "Our Accelerated World," 1932
33 Program, Progressive Education Association Conference, 1933
34 Schedule, Social Science Institute (Hobo College), 1933?
35 Pamphlet, The Spiritual Meaning of Marriage, 1933
36 Lecture, "Six Views of Tomorrow," 1934
37 Newsletter, Leaves, Zoro Nature Park, Roselawn, Indiana, 1937, 1939
38 Interim report, Republic Drill and Tool Company, 1942
39 The Annals, 1944
40 Pamphlet, An Appeal to Reason, 1947
41 Pamphlet, A Chance to Live, N.A.A.C.P.,1949?
42 Pamphlet, Man and Food--The Lost Equation,1949
43 Program, A Streetcar Named Desire, 1949
44 The Miller News, 1950
45 Pamphlet, Here is Hawaii, 1953
46 Newsletter, World Events, 1955
47 Graduation Program, Saint Mary of the Lake, 1957
48 Pamphlet, Introduction to World Peace through World Law, 1958
49 Bulletin, Gary Center of Indiana University 1959
50 Pamphlet, A Handbook of Heart Terms, 1968
51 Review, The Study Centre for Jugoslav Affairs, 1974
52 Pamphlets, n.d.
53 Pocket dictionary, 1913
54 Miscellaneous, (1919-1957)
55 Miscellaneous, n.d.
56 Postcards, (17), n.d.
Slide Box Slides, (45), Ogden Dunes, (1952-1955)
4 1-5 Newsclippings, (1913-1959)
6 Newsclippings, n.d.
7 Newspaper graphics, n.d.
8 Magazine articles, (1916-1959)
9 Magazine graphics, n.d.

Subject Tracings

  • Armed Forces
  • Business
  • Gary
  • Indiana Dunes
  • International Relations
  • Miller
  • Ogden Dunes
  • Outdoor Recreation
  • Real Estate Development
  • Recreation
  • Socialism
  • Social Policy
  • World War I