Table of Contents
:Eugene Field ((1850-1895)) attended Knox College 1869-1871. He did not graduate, but received an honorary degree from Knox in 1893. Field worked in St. Louis, Chicago and Denver as a newspaper reporter, editor, and columnist. He was a humorist and a bibliophile, however, he was best known as a children's poet. He and his wife, Julia Comstock, to whom he gave credit for management of the family and its finances, had eight children. Field's columns and poems were collected and published, many in the years after his death. Among his most familiar poems are "Wynken, Blinken and Nod," and "Little Boy Blue."
The collection is composed of photos, prints, poems and correspondence, including autograph letters from Field to professors and friends at Knox College. The collection contains letters about newspaper work and book publishing, as well as correspondence from others about Field. Also included are documents, mementos, news clippings, articles, poems, lists of Field’s work, and auction catalogs of sales of his work. See The National Union Catalog form in File 1 for more details. Attached to this inventory are separate listings of correspondence by Field and also references to Field in Knox College publications.
Other individuals involved in the collection: Edward Caldwell ((1861-1949)), Knox Class 1885, trustee, 1923-1949, president, McGraw-Hill Book Company, among his many gifts to the College was his Eugene Field Collection. Some of his Collection was obtained from Field’s personal friend, Francis Wilson. In addition, Caldwell tried unsuccessfully to obtain the Willard Morse Collection for Knox. Processing was begun under Caldwell’s supervision, but was not complete at his death in 1947. At that time most of the Collection was transferred to Knox.
Anna Osborne was Caldwell's secretary and in 1950 continued to process the Eugene Field Collection after EEC’s death. In 1991 a box of many of the papers in this collection, still unsorted, was delivered to the college without explanation.
Francis Wilson, actor and close friend of Eugene Field, compiled a scrapbook (Box 1) which contains source material used in writing his biography, The Eugene Field I Knew, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1898.
Donor: Edward Caldwell, 1947; Mr. and Mrs. George W. Brainer, 1932