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CRA316 -- Mattie Hannsz Papers


1.25 Linear Feet
July 1991
Revised September 1991
Revised August 1994
Revised September 1997

Scope and Content

The Mattie Hannsz Papers offer valuable information on the history of the Gary public schools, particularly Lew Wallace School, from 1926 to 1965. The collection's creator, Mattie Hannsz, taught in the auditorium department at Lew Wallace School for almost forty years. Reports, minutes, programs, and other materials from the Wallace auditorium department provide insight into the objectives and activities of this portion of the famous Wirt curriculum. In addition, the collection contains programs from other area plays and performances. Of special interest is a file from the earliest days of the Gary Teachers Union, providing data on initial struggles to improve salaries. Finally, the Hannsz Papers include programs from the Glen Park Golden Jubilee.

Historical Sketch

Born on April 22, 1898, near New Lisbon, Wisconsin, Mattie Gray Hannsz eventually became one of the longest tenured teachers in the Gary, Indiana Public School System. Graduating from Northwestern University in 1922, she taught at Wonewoc, Wisconsin until offered a position teaching speech at Gary's Lew Wallace School in 1926. She remained at Lew Wallace for the rest of her career, becoming the senior member of the auditorium department and a close friend of Mildred Harter Wirt, auditorium head in the school system. In 1929, she married Arthur Hannsz, an employee of Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company in East Chicago; they had no children.

Around 1966, Mattie Hannsz retired from teaching, but she remained active and lived for another twenty-five years. She died in May 1991 at the age of 93.

Box File Description
1 1 Historical Information, Mattie Gray Hannsz, (1912-1963)
2-3 Correspondence, Mattie Hannsz, (1915-1990)
4 Correspondence, Gary Public Schools, (1926-1963)
5 Correspondence, Mildred Harter Wirt, 1927. 1935, 1946
6 Memoranda, Gary Public Schools, 1935-1937
7 Contracts, Mattie Hannsz, (1921-1958)
8 Evaluations, Mattie Hannsz, 1927-1932
9 Licenses, State of Wisconsin, 1921-1926
10 Licenses, State of Indiana, (1927-1940)
11 Lecture Notes, Teaching of Speech, Mattie Gray,n.d.

Series: Lew Wallace School, Auditorium Department
Box File Description
1 12 Minutes, Teacher's Meetings, 1934-1935
13-14 Record Books, Daily Auditorium Activities, 1931-1932, 1936-1938
15 Financial Record, Auditorium, 1935-1938
16 Objectives, Auditorium, Lew Wallace, 1941-1942
2 1 Roster, Auditorium Students, n.d.
2 Auditorium Cards, Lew Wallace, 1941, n.d.
3 Programs, Lew Wallace Plays, 1935, 1937, 1949-50, 1953, 1961-1962
4 Guest Book, Lew Wallace Auditorium Council, 1943-1944

Sub-Series: Lew Wallace School, General
Box File Description
2 5 Programs, Better Citizenship Organization Inaugurals, 1934, 1936
6 Teacher List, Lew Wallace, 1934
7 Reports, Various, Lew Wallace School, 1935
8 Commencement Program, Lew Wallace High School, 1939
9 Handbook, Lew Wallace, 1954
10 Notebook, "Club 15," Lew Wallace, n.d.
11 The Philosopher, (1933-1939)
12 Newsarticles, Lew Wallace School, 1930, 1933, n.d.
13 Program, Reunion, Class of 1953, Lew Wallace High School, 1978

Sub-Series: Gary Public Schools, General
Box File Description
2 14 Manual, Information Concerning Work-Study-Play Schools, 1926-1927
15 Programs, Other School Plays, (1930-1937)
16 Program, Vocational Commencement, 1936
17 Schedule, Pension Plan, 1939
18 Minutes, Discussion of Auditorium and Music Roles in Schools and Purdue Survey, 1941
19 Policy Manual, Board of Trustees, Gary Public Schools, 1948
3 1 Report, Gary Public Schools Workshops, 1951
2 Constitution and By-Laws, Mutual Benefit Association for Gary School Teachers, 1935
3 Reports, Gary Teachers Union, 1937-1938
4 Newsletters, Gary Schools Employees' Federal Credit Union, 1937
5 Schedules, Auditorium, Various Schools, 1929-1936

Series: Oversize
Box File Description
5 2 Brochure, Gary Community Chest, n.d.
3 Programs, Glen Park Golden Jubilee, 1949
4 Posters, Lew Wallace Plays, 1936, n.d.
5 Poster, "Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer," Horace Mann School, n.d.
6 Poster, "HMS Pinafore," Emerson School, 1937
7 Award, Oratorical Citation, Mattie Hannsz, 1960
8 Certificate of Appreciation, Arthur Hannsz, n.d.

Addition of September 1997
Box Description
6-7 Correspondence, Mattie Hannsz, (1912-1928), n.d.

Subject Tracings

  • Education--Indiana--Gary
  • Gary Teachers Union
  • Glen Park
  • Horace Mann School (Gary, Ind.)
  • Lew Wallace School (Gary, Ind.)
  • Theater