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The Glenn Balch Papers (MSS 174)

Scope and Content

Glenn Balch's papers relate primarily to his writing career. They date primarily from 1936 to the time of his death, although there are some family photos (including his baby picture) that go back to 1902. The predominant materials in the collection are typescripts of short stories, articles, and novels, both published and unpublished; magazines containing stories and articles he wrote; contracts, royalty statements, and sales reports; reviews of his books; clippings about him; photos; and autobiographical writings. The collection also contains a few personal letters and some business correspondence, but by and large, the correspondence files are not extensive.

The collection is divided into nine series:

                        1.      Biographical and personal papers
                        2.      Business papers
                        3.      Articles and essays (Typescripts)
                        4.      Stories (Typescripts)
                        5.      Novels (Typescripts)
                        6.      Photographs
                        7.     Galley proofs and magazines
                        8.      Additions
                        9.      Memorabilia and Oversize

More detailed listings for each series follow.

The Glenn Balch collection was donated to Boise State University in 1998 by his four children, Betty Weston, Mary Birch, Nikki Balch Stilwell, and Olin Balch.  The family has also donated copies of his books to Boise State University.  Circulating copies are found in the library's Curriculum Resource Center, and non-circulating copies are available in Special Collections.   In 2002, the Library mounted an exhibit commemorating the centennial of  Glenn Balch's birth.  Some of the images from the exhibit are available online.

Inclusive dates: 1902 -1989                                                    
Collection size: 7 ft. (in 15 boxes)plus memorabilia
Collection number:  MSS 174 
Processed by:  Alan Virta, 2001-2002

Series I: Biographical and Personal Papers

Glenn Balch's biographical papers (Folder 1) include publicity sketches, newspaper features, and biographical entries from reference books, along with his obituary.  His application to be Idaho Writer-in-Residence (Folder 2) also includes biographical detail, as do two memoirs, "Dogs I've Known" and "Man to War," a memoir of his World War II service.  "Man to War" contains rich, detailed descriptions of daily life in India and Casablanca, Morocco.  Military papers also include a script he wrote while with the 1st Motion Picture Unit in California, 1943.  An autobiography (33 pages), written in the 1980s and covering Balch's life through World War II, was added to the collection in 2007 and is located in Series VIII, Additions (Box 14, Folder 10).

Glenn Balch did not save much of his correspondence over the years.  There are a few pieces of fan mail in the collection, one long letter from illustrator Paul Bransom (1939), and several letters he wrote in the 1960s to his daughter Mary.  The letters to Mary are the most personal items in the collection, full of fatherly advice, comments on family matters, and his opinions on the Vietnam War.  After the collection was processed, the family donated a letter to Balch from Ernest Hemingway, along with an autographed and inscribed copy of To Have and Have Not.  A copy of the letter can be found in Series VIII (Additions, Box 14).

This series also includes published reviews and publicity for many of Glenn Balch's books.  Additional biographical and review clippings can be found in the Glenn Balch file in Special Collections' Idaho writers information file (MSS 88, file 115). 

Box 1: Biographical and Personal Papers

Folder  1            Biographical information
Folder  2            Writer-in-Residence application: 1987
Folder  3            "Dogs I've Known"  (part one)
Folder  4            "Dogs I've Known"  (part two)
Folder  5            "Man to War"  (pp. 1-107): ca. 1945
Folder  6            "Man to War"  (pp. 108-206): ca. 1945
Folder  7             Lists of books by Glenn Balch
Folder  8             Correspondence: 1957-1975
Folder  9             Correspondence: Birch, Mary: 1963-2000
Folder 10            Correspondence: Bransom, Paul: 1939
Folder 11            Correspondence: Columbia Pictures: 1940
Folder 12            Military records: 1945-1963
Folder 13            Military records: Rosters: 1940-1943
Folder 14            Military records: Script, "AAF Classification": 1943
Folder 15            Story notes
Folder 16            Reviews and Publicity: 1953-1988
Folder 17            Reviews and Publicity: Christmas Horse: 1949-1990
Folder 18            Reviews and Publicity: Hide-Rack: 1939
Folder 19            Reviews and Publicity: Horse of Two Colors: 1969-1970
Folder 20            Reviews and Publicity: Indian Paint: 1965

Series II: Business Papers

This series consists of agreements (contracts) Glenn Balch made with his major publisher, Thomas Y. Crowell, and sales reports and royalty statements, along with some business correspondence with the Crowell company.  See also Series VIII (Additions) for more Agreements.  Editorial correspondence with Robert Crowell concerning the novel Tiger Roan is found in SeriesV. 

Box 1: Business Papers

Folder 21            Business correspondence: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1955-1985
Folder 22            Contracts, Rights: Miscellaneous
Folder 23            Agreements: The Brave Riders, 1958-1964
Folder 24            Agreements: Christmas Horse, 1949
Folder 25            Agreements: The Flaxy Mare, 1966
Folder 26            Agreements: Grass Greed, 1959, 1987
Folder 27            Agreements: Guns in Short Grass, 1956
Folder 28            Agreements: Hide-Rack Returns, 1958
Folder 29            Agreements: Horse in Danger, 1959
Folder 30            Agreements: Horse of Two Colors, 1968
Folder 31            Agreements: Indian Paint, 1942-1949
Folder 32            Agreements: Keeping Horse, 1965
Folder 33            Agreements: Little Hawk, 1956
Folder 34            Agreements: Lost Horse, 1949
Folder 35            Agreements: Riders of the Rio Grande, 1936-1970
Folder 36            Agreements: The Runaways, 1961
Folder 37            Agreements: The Spotted Horse, 1960
Folder 38            Agreements: Stallion King, 1959
Folder 39            Agreements: The Stallion's Foe, 1962
Folder 40            Agreements: Tiger Roan, 1937-1985
Folder 41            Agreements: White Ruff, 1959
Folder 42            Agreements: Wild Horse, 1947-1950
Folder 43            Agreements: Wild Horse Tamer,  1954,1967
Folder 44            Agreements: Young Sportsman's Guide to Western Horseback Riding,1964
Folder 45            Options: Indian Paint, 1959-1962

Box 2: Business Papers

Folder 1            Sales reports, 1937-1953
Folder 2            Royalty statements, 1941
Folder 3            Royalty statements, 1948
Folder 4            Royalty statements, 1949
Folder 5            Royalty statements, 1950
Folder 6            Royalty statements, 1951
Folder 7            Royalty statements, 1952
Folder 8            Royalty statements, 1953
Folder 9            Royalty statements, 1954
Folder 10          Royalty statements, 1955
Folder 11          Royalty statements, 1956
Folder 12          Royalty statements, 1957
Folder 13          Royalty statements, 1958
Folder 14          Royalty statements, 1959
Folder 15          Royalty statements, 1959-1965

Series III: Articles and Essays 

Most of these articles and essays are typescripts that concern hunting and wildlife in Idaho.  Most are undated, and most have no indication whether they were published or not.  At least one of them, "Little Benny's Rug," is a typescript made many years later of an article published in Field & Stream in October 1934.  A few other articles concern horses and dogs and are almost of an autobiographical nature (e.g., "Seeing Karen Home).  "A Sawtooth-Ache" recounts a perilous cross-country ski trip by Balch and friends in Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains in the 1930s.


Box 2: Articles and Essays

Folder 16            Antelope Trap
Folder 17            The Beautiful Theory of Lead
Folder 18            Big Brother of Mr. Bobwhite
Folder 19            Country Waking Up
Folder 20            Cowboy in Icy Straits
Folder 21            Cowboy in Icy Straits
Folder 22            A Day Spent Hunting
Folder 23            Forgive Me My Cripples
Folder 24            How to Hunt Pheasants
Folder 25            The Hump-Backed Mare:1976
Folder 26            Hunting the Bighorn
Folder 27            Hunting Your Dog
Folder 28            I Never Stole Another Horse
Folder 29            I Never Stole Another Horse
Folder 30            Idaho, Gem of the Mountains (offprint):1950
Folder 31            Little Benny's Rug: 1934
Folder 32            Mountain Elk: 1951
Folder 33            The Nineteenth Duck
Folder 34            Pointer on the River
Folder 35            The Psychology of Wingshot
Folder 36            The Return of the Pronghorn
Folder 37            Run, Horse, Run
Folder 38            A Sawtooth-Ache
Folder 39            Seeing Karen Home
Folder 40            Seeing Karen Home
Folder 41            Shoot to Kill
Folder 42            A Tale of Two Horses
Folder 43            A Tale of Two Horses
Folder 44            The Truth of the Fable
Folder 45            The Wary Hungarian
Folder 46            Wild Horse Roundup
Folder 47            Untitled  [New York police]

 Series IV: Stories

These typescripts of stories are, in the main, undated, with no indication of whether they were published or not.  Most cover familiar themes of hunting, dogs, and horses, and several (e.g. "Roarin' River Roundup" and "The Pseudo-Dude") are set in the Idaho backcountry.  A few of the stories are different: "Saints Do Not Protect" and "Stag Party," for example, are pieces of fiction written in a hard-boiled style more reminiscent of James M. Cain or Raymond Chandler than the usual Glenn Balch.  "War's Hell on Women, Too" is a story from World War II, set in the jungles of south Asia. Written during the war, it is stamped with the approval of a military censor.


Box 2: Stories

Folder 48            Advice Taken
Folder 49            An Affair of the Heart
Folder 50            Bill Gaines' Partner (pp. 1-2, 7-12)
Folder 51            The Branding of the Golden Filly
Folder 52            Coroner's Verdict
Folder 53            Cowboy Land

Box 3: Stories

Folder 1            Cowboy's Back Pay: 1948
Folder 2            Curfew by Hide-Rack
Folder 3            Double-Crosses
Folder 4            Example by Hide-Rack
Folder 5            The Father of His Son
Folder             First Roundup
Folder 7            Gun-Fanner's Range
Folder 8            The Heart of a Horse
Folder 9            Hide-Rack at Sun Valley
Folder 10          Home a Hero
Folder 11            The Hump-Backed Mare
Folder 12            The Hunter
Folder 13            Let Another Tree Grow
Folder 14            Let Another Tree Grow
Folder 15            Loyalty
Folder 16            Man Sleeping in a Bomber
Folder 17            The Millers' Mare
Folder 18            Nerve Duel
Folder 19            Night Herd
Folder 20            Out from Pierre's Hole
Folder 21            Packy and the Long-tailed Cat
Folder 22            Packy, The Rat
Folder 23            Pay for a Buckaroo
Folder 24            The Press Goes A-Hunting
Folder 25            The Pseudo-Dude
Folder 26            Puppies Do Count
Folder 27            The Quarterback: 1959
Folder 28            Quarter-Back Brains
Folder 29            Quarter-Back Brains
Folder 30             Red Shirt
Folder 31            Riding Golden Miller
Folder 32            Roarin'River Roundup
Folder 33            The Saints Did Not Protect
Folder 34            Soldier Come Home (Story outline)
Folder 35            Son of the Wild
Folder 36            Spring Madness
Folder 37            Stag Party
Folder 38            Stampede
Folder 39            Testimony by Blue
Folder 40            Thursday's Mail
Folder 41            Time of His Life
Folder 42            Time of His Life: Synopsis
Folder 43            Time of His Life: Original synopsis
Folder 44            True to Life
Folder 45            War's Hell on Women, Too
Folder 46            Untitled fragment, pp. 6-10
Folder 47            Untitled  

 Series V: Novels                

Contained in this series are typescripts of novels, both published and unpublished, and one non-fiction work.  Some books are represented by more than one draft, and many typescripts have been marked up by Glenn Balch and his editors. 

Besides a number of his well-known published works, the series contains four unpublished Westerns and historical novels: Dead Man's Shadow, Oblige the Lady, The Red Petticoat, and Why Not Knowing, the latter set in the Nez Perce and Shoshone country of Idaho and apparently written in 1937, while Balch was in New York.  There are two versions of an Idaho political novel, Statehouse, set during a gubernatorial campaign and perhaps reflecting Balch's own experiences as a political writer and aide.  Another novel, Blaze of Glory, is a story about polo players.

Balch's favorite novel, Tiger Roan, is not represented by a typescript, but there is some pre-publication editorial correspondence concerning the story development and potential audience.  The novel Indian Paint is represented by a radio script and two screenplays.


Box 4: Novels

Folder 1      Basque Boy and Many Sheep (pp. 1-70)
Folder 2      Basque Boy and Many Sheep (pp. 71-148)
Folder 3      Blaze of Glory (pp. 1-83)
Folder 4      Blaze of Glory (pp. 84-174)
Folder 5      The Brave Riders (pp. 1-78)
Folder 6      The Brave Riders (pp. 79-140)
Folder 7      The Brave Trail: Characters, Outline
Folder 8      Buck, Wild
Folder 9      Buck, Wild
Folder 10   Buck, Wild: Letter to Marjorie Clark, 1974
Folder 11    Buck, Wild: Edited typescript (pp. 1-26)
Folder 12   Buck, Wild: Edited typescript (pp. 27-54)
Folder 13   Buck, Wild: Edited typescript (pp. 55-78)
Folder 14    Buck, Wild: Edited typescript (pp. 79-103)
Folder 15   Buck, Wild: Variant pages
Folder 16   Buck, Wild: Loose editorial slips
Folder 17   Buck, Wild: Typesetter's copy

Box 5: Novels

Folder 1      Dead Man's Shadow (pp. 1-77)
Folder 2      Dead Man's Shadow (pp. 78-161)
Folder 3      Dead Man's Shadow / Back-Tracking Death (pp. 1-90)
Folder 4      Dead Man's Shadow / Back-Tracking Death (pp. 91-187)
Folder 5      The Flaxy Mare: Version one
Folder 6      The Flaxy Mare: Version two (pp. 1-48a)
Folder 7      The Flaxy Mare: Version two (pp. 48b-104)
Folder 8>      The Flaxy Mare: Version three (pp. 1-75)
Folder 9      The Flaxy Mare: Version three (pp. 76-132)
Folder 10   The Flaxy Mare: Version four
Folder 11   The Flaxy Mare: Typesetter's copy (pp. 1-59)
Folder 12   The Flaxy Mare: Typesetter's copy (pp. 60-118)
Folder 13   The Flaxy Mare: Pages revised by author
Folder 14    The Flaxy Mare: Old pages

Box 6: Novels 

Folder 1      Horse of Two Colors (pp. 1-67)
Folder 2      Horse of Two Colors (pp. 68-130)
Folder 3      Horse of Two Colors / For a Spotted Stallion
Folder 4      >Indian Fur (pp. 1-68)
Folder 5      Indian Fur (pp. 69-126)
Folder 6      Indian Fur (pp. 127-197, 245)
Folder 7      Indian Paint: Radio script: 1949
Folder 8      Indian Paint: Screenplay by Albert Aley
Folder 9      Indian Paint: Screenplay by Norman Foster
Folder 10    Keeping Horse (pp. 1-62)
Folder 11   Keeping Horse (pp. 63-137)
Folder 12   >Keeping Horse: Typesetter's copy (pp. 1-59)
Folder 13   Keeping Horse: Typesetter's copy (pp. 60-114)

Box 7: Novels

Folder 1      Oblige the Lady: Version A (pp. 1-77)
Folder 2      Oblige the Lady: Version A (pp. 78-151)
Folder 3 7nbsp;     Oblige the Lady: Version A (pp. 152-256)
Folder 4      Oblige the Lady: Version B (pp. 1-72)
Folder 5      Oblige the Lady: Version B (pp. 73-137)
Folder 6      Oblige the Lady: Version B (pp. 138-214)
Folder 7      The Red Petticoat (pp. 1-58)
Folder 8>   > >  The Red Petticoat (pp. 59- 126)
Folder 9      The Red Petticoat (pp. 127-187)
Folder 10   The Red Petticoat  (in red binder)
Folder 11   The Red Petticoat: Revised version (pp. 1-68)
Folder 12   The Red Petticoat: Revised version (pp. 69-141)
Folder 13   The Red Petticoat: Revised version (pp. 142-202)


Box 8: Novels

Folder 1      The Runaways (pp. 1-63)
Folder 2      The Runaways (pp. 64-129)
Folder 3      The Runaways: Early version (pp. 8-76)
Folder 4      The Runaways: Early version (pp. 77-139)
Folder 5      The Spotted Horse (pp. 1-69)
Folder 6      The Spotted Horse (pp. 70-163)
Folder 7      The Stallion King: Synopsis
Folder 8      Statehouse: Geographical key
Folder 9      Statehouse (pp. 1-78)
Folder 10   Statehouse (pp. 79-159)
Folder 11   Statehouse (pp. 160-238)
Folder 12   Statehouse (pp. 239-324)
Folder 13   Statehouse / Joe Smith, Governor (pp. 1-77)
Folder 14   Statehouse / Joe Smith, Governor (pp. 78-156)
Folder 15   Statehouse / Joe Smith, Governor (pp. 157-221)
Folder 16   Statehouse / Joe Smith, Governor (pp. 222-288)


Box 9: Novels

Folder 1    Tiger Roan: Story line, Strip adaptation (1-12)
Folder 2   Tiger Roan: Editorial correspondence: 1937
Folder 3   The Trail of Broken Matches (pp. 1-77)
Folder 4   The Trail of Broken Matches (pp. 78-165)
Folder 5   Trouble on the Snaffle: 1936
Folder 6    Wild Stallion
Folder 7   Young Sportsman's Guide to Western Horseback Riding
Folder 8   Young Sportsman's Guide to Western Horseback Riding
Folder 9   Young Sportsman's Guide to Western Horseback Riding: Correspondence, Photo captions
Folder 10   Why Not Knowing (pp.1-74)
Folder 11   Why Not Knowing (pp. 75-140)
Folder 12   Why Not Knowing (pp. 141-203)
Folder 13   Why Not Knowing (pp. 204-271)
Folder 14   Why Not Knowing (pp. alternate 17-25)
Folder 15    Why Not Knowing (pp. 1-87)
Folder 16   Why Not Knowing (pp. 88-178)
Folder 17   Why Not Knowing (pp. 179-264)

Series VI: Photographs 

The photographs in this series are mainly images of Glenn Balch, his family, and his horses and dogs.  All are black and white, unless otherwise noted.  See also Series VIII, Additions.

Box 10: Photographs

5" x 7" or smaller 

001                    College portrait
002-005            Family portraits and photos
006-009            Family photos (wallet size) ca. 1942 
010-011            Military 
012-015            Polo 
016-019            Grouse hunting 
020-024            Hunting and guns 
025-028            Miscellaneous 
029-031            At home with dogs and horses, 1987 (color)
032-039            Miscellaneous color snapshots
040                    Glenn Balch on horseback

Larger than 5" x 7" (mainly 8" x 10")

101                    Baby picture, 1902
102                    Military portrait 
103                    Portrait, ca. 1955 
104                    Family portrait, ca. 1954 
105                    Elise, Olin, and Glenn Balch, ca. 1965 
106                    With dog Fastest 
107                    Glenn Balch and first wife 
108                    Informal portrait in military uniform 
109                    With Bing Crosby, inscribed and autographed (2 copies) 
110                    Military group 
111                    Portrait, with books 
112-115            Hunting (color) 
116                    William E. Borah fishing 
117                    Bob Boyd, proposed to star in motion picture "Indian Paint" 
118                    Military group 
119                    With campers
120                    In military parka, Juneau, Alaska 
121                    William E. Borah 
122-151            Alaska, scenic (1st Motion Picture Unit, World War II)
152-155            Elk hunting, Salmon River Mountains, 1951

Series VII: Galley Proofs and Magazines

Box 11: Galley proofs

    Keeping Horse        Little Hawk and the Free Horses
    Winter Horse           The Stallion King

Box 12: Galley proofs

    Keeping Horse
    Flaxy Mare
    Horse of Two Colors            

Box 13: Magazines with stories and articles by Glenn Balch

     American Boy

            1932 August.  "Hide-rack"

            1932 October.  "Hide-rack Picks An Owner."

            1933 November.  "Warned by Hide-rack."

            1934 January.  "Hide-rack Wins a Friend."

            1934 February.  "Hide-rack Stands By."

            1934 March.  "Hide-rack Uses the Golden Rule."

            1934 April.  "Hide-rack Meets a Killer."

            1934 May.  "Hide-rack Goes to Jail."

            1934 June. "Hide-rack Learns to Ride."

            1935 November.  "Hide-rack Stands Guard."

            1935 December.  "Hide-rack Practical Joker."

            1936 January.  "Hide-rack, Sled Dog."

            1936 April.  "Padded Jaws for Hide-rack."

            1936 May.  "Hide-rack, Mighty Fisher."

            1936 October.  "Trouble on the Snaffle" (Part one)

            1936 December.  "Message by Hide-rack" and "Trouble on the Snaffle"(part 3)

            1937 June.  "Big Medicine Hide-rack."

            1938 December.  "Home by Hide-rack."

            1939 June.  "The Long Trail"  (part one)

            1939 July.   "The Long Trail"  (part two)

            1939 August.  "The Long Trail" (part three)

            1941 July-August.  "Hide-rack Takes the Count."


Boys Life   1938 February.   "Tiger Roan" (part 3)

Field & Stream  1934 October.  "Little Benny's Rug"  (Mountain goat hunting)

Field & Stream. 1939 January.  "Plateau Chin Whiskers" (Mountain goat hunting)

Think  1950 March.  "Idaho, Gem of the Mountains."

Scenic Idaho.  1955 Summer.  "Wild Horses of the Owyhee."


Series VIII: Additions

These are papers received after the processing of the rest of the collection was complete.

Box 13: Sound Recording

Interview with Glenn Balch for the radio program, "Carnival of Books," with a reading from his book Indian Fur, on two 78 rpm records (1952)

Box 14: Business papers: Agreements 

The following are mainly photocopies of agreements with publishers and photocopies of copyright registrations for his books.

Folder 1                       Buck Wild, 1974
Folder 2                       Hide-Rack Kidnapped, 1939
Folder 3                       Indian Fur, 1950-1979
Folder 4                       Indian Saddle-Up, 1953, 1981
Folder 5                       Midnight Colt, 1952-1980
Folder 6                       Squaw Boy, 1952
Folder 7                       Viking Dog, 1949
Folder 8                       Winter Horse, 1951-1979

Box 14: Additional Correspondence

Folder 9                        Hemingway, Ernest: 1939 (Photocopy)

Box 14: Autobiography

Folder 10                        Autobiography through World War II, written 1980s (33 p.)

Box 15: Photos for The Book of Horses

Black and white glossy prints used as illustrations in Balch's non-fiction book, The Book of Horses (1967).   Most were obtained from commercial photo services.  They are included with the collection for reference purposes only.   To obtain copies, patrons must contact the original suppliers.

Series IX: Memorabilia and Oversize

Oversize drawer

Military group photo

Diploma, Baylor University (1924)

Oversize Box (on oversize shelves)

Advertising display board, The Brave Riders (11 x 14)

Enlarged graphics on foam core, prepared for exhibit by Boise State, 2002
                  White Ruff cover
                  American Boy magazine cover, October 1936
                  Lilla Hoken cover (Little Hawk and the Free Horses, Swedish edition)
                  Buck Wild typescript, page one
                  Boys Life, first page of Tiger Roan installment, February 1938



Stetson (tan color), Nafziger-Banks Men's Store            

Air Medal and ribbon

Typewriter  [on loan to Boise Public Library, 2001-        >] 

Military trunk

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