Knox College Library

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George H. Fitch Papers Manuscript Collection

Biographical Notes: George Helgeson Fitch, (1877-1915), born in Galva, Illinois and graduated from Knox College in 1897. Fitch was an editor of the Peoria Herald-Transcript and a syndicated columnist who turned his playful eye to politics. He was best known though as humorist and author. Several of his short stories and novels featured a small Midwestern college, Siwash College, that bore some similarity to Knox College (At Good Old Siwash, Curtis Publishing Co, 1910; Petey Simmons at Siwash, Little Brown, 1916.) So similar, in fact, that for some time Knox was known casually as Old Siwash.

Scope Notes: The collection contains letters from George Fitch to his family, with transcriptions, other family letters, photos, drawings by GHF, news clippings, scrapbooks, newspaper and magazine articles, poems and stories by GHF. The collection includes a Civil War diary of George W. Fitch. The materials are originals and were donated by Elinor Fitch Griffin after being located by Martin Litvin as source material for his biography of Fitch, I'm Going to Be Somebody, Western Books: Woodston, KS, 1991.

Collection range: 1864, 1902-1914, 1930-1940s
Collection size: 12.5 and 2 oversize
Donor: Elinor Fitch Griffin, daughter of George H. Fitch