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Papers of the Fisher family, 1905-1935


MSS 160


This collection, consisting entirely of photocopies, is made up mainly of letters written by members of the Fisher family to one another between the years 1915 and 1935. Writers include the author Vardis Fisher (1895-1968), his wives Leona and Margaret, sister Irene ("Dot"), brother Vivian, Vivian's wife Mattie, and Vardis Fisher's mother Temperance. Most of the letters were intended for Joseph and Temperance Fisher, parents of Vardis, Vivian, and Irene, and were addressed to Mrs. Fisher. There are also a few other miscellaneous papers, including several poems by Vardis Fisher in typescript.  These photocopies were obtained from two sources: from Vardis Fisher's son, Grant Fisher, in 1997 (ca. 80 items) and from Fisher biographer Tim Woodward (ca. 25 items) in 1998.


The papers donated by Grant Fisher were discovered in 1990 in the "new" house that Joseph and Temperance Fisher built in the 1930s on their Snake River homestead near Ririe, Idaho. Workers remodeling the home for a new owner discovered them in a box built under the peak of the roof. They loaned the papers to Ricks College Library in Rexburg, Idaho, for photocopying. Ricks College retained a set of copies and presented another set of copies to Vardis Fisher's son, Grant Fisher. In March 1997 Grant Fisher donated his copies to Boise State University Library. The original letters are still in private hands. Boise State University makes this set available to the public for research after consultation with Ricks College and with the permission of Grant Fisher. A fuller account of the discovery of the letters was published in the October 1990 issue of the Idaho Librarian.


In 1998, Tim Woodward, author of the biography of Vardis Fisher, Tiger on the Road, donated copies of more letters that he obtained from private sources during the course of his research.


Family matters and personal affairs are the main subjects of discussion in the letters. Included are Vardis Fisher's first letters home from college (University of Utah in Salt Lake City). He asked his parents to save his letters for his autobiography (October 1, 1915). He also declared his devotion to home: "You may think down here I will rush about [,] forget about home and Idaho. Not me...I don't want to get weaned away from home" (October 15, 1915). Irene Fisher's letters home to her parents from Salt Lake City in 1927-1928 also shed light on Vardis Fisher's life, as he was living in Salt Lake City at the same time teaching at the University of Utah. Irene's letters also reflect the social life of an unmarried LDS woman in Salt Lake City and her courtship with her future husband.   


Inclusive dates: 1905-1935
Collection size: ca. 105 items in 2 boxes.  
Processed by: Alan Virta, 1997 and 1998 . Assisted by Kim Beeman and Anna Rutkowska, 1997.




List of Letters in the Fisher family collection donated by Grant Fisher


Letters written by Temperance Fisher (mother of Vardis Fisher)


Folder 1     1915 (?) December 8     To Vardis Fisher from Antelope, Idaho

Folder 2     1919 April 27                    To Irene Fisher from Idaho Falls, Idaho


Letters and other papers written by Vardis Fisher


Folder 3       Poems. 5 items

Folder 4       1915 September 20      To his parents from Salt Lake City, Utah

Folder 5       1915 October 1              To his parents from Salt Lake City, Utah

Folder 6       1915 October 15            To his parents from Salt Lake City, Utah

Folder 7       1916 January 21            To his parents from Salt Lake City, Utah

Folder 8       1916 September 29*    To his parents from Salt Lake City, Utah
                   *(Main body of letter by Vivian Fisher; note by Vardis Fisher appended)

Folder 9       1921 November 20        To "Folkes" [from Chicago, Illinois]

Folder 10     1921 December 4          To "Everybody" from Chicago, Illinois

Folder 11     1922 January 15             To "Everybody" from Chicago, Illinois

Folder 12     1922 April 11                   To his mother from Chicago, Illinois

Folder 13     1922 June 8                    To his mother [from Chicago, Illinois]

Folder 14     1928 November 10        To "Folks" from New York, New York

Folder 15     1930 June 10                  To "Everybody" from Liverpool, England

Folder 16     ------ February 12            To his parents

Folder 17     -------August 15               To "All of you" from Chicago, Illinois

Folder 18     -------November 30         To "Everybody" from New York, New York

Folder 19     -------December 23         To his parents (Text mostly obliterated)

Folder 20     undated                             To his sons

 

Letters written by Leona Fisher (first wife of Vardis Fisher)


Folder 21     1921 October 2               To "All of you" from Chicago, Illinois

Folder 22     1922 March 15                To "Everybody" from Chicago, Illinois

Folder 23     1922 April 21                   To "All of you" from Chicago, Illinois

Folder 24     1922 June 22                  To "Everybody" from Chicago, Illinois


Letters written by Margaret Fisher (second wife of Vardis Fisher)


Folder 25     1935 July 9*                    To "Folks" from Iowa City, Iowa
                                * with enclosure from Vardis Fisher, July 10

Folder 26     1936 January 6               To "Folks" from Boise, Idaho

 

Letters written by Irene Fisher (sister of Vardis Fisher)


Folder 27     undated                            To her mother

Folder 28     undated                            To her parents and Dolly from Salt Lake City

Folder 29     1922 August 23               To Vardis Fisher

Folder 30     1926 September 25       To "Dear Ones at Home" from Salt Lake City

Folder 31     1926 December 11        To her parents from Salt Lake City

Folder 32     1927 April 24                   To "Darling Ones at Home" from Salt Lake City

Folder 33     1927 May 1                       To "Darling Ones" from Salt Lake City

Folder 34     1927 May 19                     To her mother (postcard) from Salt Lake City

                      1927 May 23                     To her parents from Salt Lake City

Folder 35     1927 May 26                     To her mother (postcard) from Salt Lake City

                       1927 May 29                    To her mother (postcard) from Salt Lake City

Folder 36     1927 September 21        To her parents and Wayne ("Chubby") do.

Folder 37     1927 November 13         To "Dear Ones at Home"

Folder 38     1927 November 27         To "Dear Ones at Home" from Salt Lake City

Folder 39     1927 December 14         To her parents from Salt Lake City

Folder 40     1928 January 3                 To "Dear Ones at Home" from Salt Lake City

Folder 41     1928 January 8                 To "Dear Ones at Home" from Salt Lake City

Folder 42     1928 January 15               To "Dear Ones at Home" from Salt Lake City

Folder 43     1928 January 22               To "Dear Ones at Home" from Salt Lake City

Folder 44     1928 January 29               To "Dear Ones at Home" from Salt Lake City

Folder 45     1928 February 11             To "Dear Ones at Home" from Salt Lake City

Folder 46     1928 February 21             To "Dear Ones at Home" from Salt Lake City

Folder 47     1928 February 26             To "Dear Ones at Home" from Salt Lake City

Folder 48     1928 March 8                    To "Dear Ones at Home" from Salt Lake City

Folder 49     1928 March 14                  To "Dear Ones at Home" from Salt Lake City

Folder 50     1928 March 30                  To "Dear Ones at Home" from Salt Lake City

Folder 51     1928 April 12                     To "Dear Ones at Home" from Salt Lake City

Folder 52     1928 April 21                     To "Dear Ones at Home"

Folder 53     1928 May 16                      To her parents

Folder 54     1929 March 19                  To her mother (postcard) from Ririe, Idaho

Folder 55     1929 April 3                       To her parents from Rigby, Idaho


Letters written by Vivian Fisher (brother of Vardis Fisher)


Folder 56     [1915?] Dec 15                  To Vardis Fisher

Folder 57     1916 April 9                        To Vardis Fisher

Folder 58     1933 April 4                        To "Everybody" from New York, N.Y.

Folder 59     1934 October 1                  To his parents, Irene Fisher from New York, N.Y.

Folder 60     1934 November 18           To "Everybody" from Flushing, N.Y.

Folder 61     undated                               To his parents from Rigby, Idaho

Folder 62     undated                               To his parents from New York City

Folder 63     undated                               To his parents from New York, N.Y.

Folder 64     undated                               To his parents from New York, N.Y.

                                                                     List of Christmas presents

 

Letters written by Mattie Fisher (wife of Vivian Fisher)


Folder 65     1934 August 20                To "Folks" from New York, N.Y.

Folder 66     1935 January 6                 To "Everybody" from Forest Hills, L.I., N.Y.

Folder 67     1935 March 12                  To Temperance Fisher (card) from Tucson, Arizona


Other items


Folder 68     1918 March 9                    Lester Bryan toVardis Fisher from Rigby, Idaho

Folder 69     1929                                   Gladys Miller wedding invitation

Folder 70     -----                                      Miscellaneous


Additional letters donated by Tim Woodward


See list for MSS 160b




For more letters written by Vardis Fisher, see MSS 159, Papers of Vardis and Opal Fisher.

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