Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Bess Truman Collection

Dates: 1845-2008.

The Bess Truman Collection consists of documents related to Mrs. Bess Wallace Truman that were provided by various donors. The collection consists mostly of correspondence between Mrs. Truman and her friends and acquaintances, but also includes documents related to Mrs. Truman’s childhood.

[Administrative Information | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: Less than one-half of one linear foot (approximately 400 pages).
Access: Open.
Copyright: Documents created by U.S. government employees in the course of their official duties are in the public domain. The copyright interest in other materials in this collection presumably belongs to the creators of those materials, or their heirs.
Processed by: Kelley McNabb (2010).


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COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The Bess Truman Collection consists of documents related to Mrs. Bess Wallace Truman that were given to the Harry S. Truman Library by various donors. The documents consist mostly of correspondence between Mrs. Truman and acquaintances. Significant pieces of correspondence include letters from Mrs. Truman to Lady Bird Johnson, Mrs. Alben Barkley, and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge. The collection includes the note Bess Wallace enclosed with the portrait she gave Harry Truman before his deployment to France during World War I. The collection also includes some correspondence from Mrs. Truman’s daughter, Margaret Truman.

Items in the collection related to Mrs. Truman’s childhood include a ledger book documenting the sale of a bicycle to Bess Wallace in 1896, a fourth grade report card, and a letter written by Bess Wallace to a childhood friend in 1895.

Other items of interest include Mrs. Truman’s engagement calendar from April to October, 1945, as well as resolutions by the Missouri House of Representatives and the Jackson County Legislature honoring Mrs. Truman’s ninety-fifth birthday in 1980.

Most of these documents were previously opened for research as part of the Miscellaneous Historical Documents Collection (MHDC) and the General Historical Documents Collection (GHDC). The original MHDC and GHDC numbers are included in the folder title list.

Related manuscript collections at the Truman Library include the papers of Bess W. Truman, Harry S. Truman, Reathel Odum, and Mary Paxton Keeley.

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SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos.Series
1SUBJECT FILE, 1845-2008

Correspondence and other documents relating to Bess Truman. Arranged alphabetically.

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FOLDER TITLE LIST

Box 1
  • Abstract of Title for Childhood Home of Bess Wallace Truman, 117 West Ruby, Independence, Missouri [MHDC 800, donated by Ronny and Alice Willard]
  • Acheson, Dean—Remarks at Unveiling of Portrait of Mrs. Truman, East Room of the White House, April 18, 1968 [MHDC 71]
  • Autographs of Guests at First Party Attended by Mrs. Truman as First Lady, American Newspaper Women’s Club, May 15, 1945 [MHDC 47]
  • Barkley, Mrs. Alben—Correspondence from Mrs. Truman and Others, 1950-1957 [MHDC 358, donated by the University of Kentucky Libraries]
  • Bartle, H. Roe—Draft of Statement on Death of Mayor Bartle by Mrs. Truman and Margaret Truman Daniel, May 9, 1974 [MHDC 229]
  • Bedsaul, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace—Correspondence from Mrs. Truman and Congressman William Randall, 1971-1977 [MHDC 861, donated by Mrs. Zita McGraw]
  • Bixby, Miss—Letter from Mrs. Truman [MHDC 501, donated by the John F. Kennedy Library]
  • Bloom, Vera—Poem in Honor of Mrs. Truman, October 16, 1952 [donated by Mimi Clark Gronlund]
  • Bloomfield, Susan Haber—Letter from Mrs. Truman, postmarked September 1, 1955 [donated by Susan Bloomfield]
  • Chiles, Henry--Letter from Mrs. Truman, postmarked August 10, 1951 [donated by the Truman Library Institute]
  • Connors, Agnes--Letter from Mrs. Truman, postmarked September 1, 1959 [donated by Donna Fisher]
  • Coolidge, Mrs. Calvin—Letter from Mrs. Truman, June 2, 1945 [MHDC 625, donated by Professor Robert Ferrell]
  • DeWitt, Mrs. J. Roger—Letter from Bess Truman Concerning the Lone Jack Battlefield Museum, postmarked August 20, 1963 [donated by the Truman Library Institute]
  • Dodds, H. W.—Letter from Mrs. Truman [MHDC 729, donated by Keith Forbes]
  • Dougherty, Mrs. Gertrude—Correspondence from Mrs. Truman and Madge Gates Wallace, 1945-1948 [MHDC 846, donated by Susan G. Saunders]
  • Engagement Book of Mrs. Truman, April 27-October 11, 1945 [MHDC 16]
  • Helm, Edith—Notes to Mrs. Truman, April 11, 1951, with Invitation to and Menu for White House Wedding, May 21, 1874 [MHDC 882]
  • Hipsch, Ellen—Note from Mrs. Truman, April 11, 1968 [MHDC 875]
  • Illustrations of Ladies’ Fashions from the Mid-1800s That Once Belonged to Mrs. Truman’s Mother. Donated by Frances Royster Williams.
  • Independence, City of-Records Relating to Bess Truman and the Death of Harry S. Truman
  • Invitation to a Tea in Honor of Mrs. Truman, February 5, 1949 [MHDC 50]
  • James, Edna—Letter from Bess Wallace, 1895 [MHDC 573, donated by Lucile Lea]
  • Johnson, Lady Bird and Mary Paxton Keeley—Correspondence from Mrs. Truman and Margaret Truman Daniel [MHDC 852, donated by David Barker]
  • Joyce, Mrs. Grover—Copies of Letters from Bess and Harry Truman, 1948-1949 [donated by Frances Howell]
  • Kelley, Mary-Letter from Bess Truman, postmarked April 8, 1952 [donated by the Shelter Island Public Library]
  • Kimball, Mr. and Mrs. Dan—Correspondence from Edith Helm, Mrs. Truman’s Secretary, 1952 [donated by Miriam Himelfarb]
  • Kramer, Annando—Correspondence from Mrs. Truman and Margaret Truman, 1948-1950 [MHDC 747]
  • Ledger Book from the Raymond Blake Estate, With Entry Recording Sale of a Bicycle to Bess Wallace, 1896 [MHDC 869, donated by Armin W. Schannuth]
  • Louchheim, Katie—Postcard to Mrs. Truman, July 25, 1975 [MHDC 887]
  • Moon, Mrs. Fred—Letter from Mrs. Truman, December 17, 1947 [donated by Marilynn Moon]
  • Ott School—Bess Wallace’s Fourth Grade Report Card [MHDC 532]
  • Philadelphia Inquirer Section, July 19, 1948, Apparently Inscribed by Bess Truman to Julia Woodson Edman of St. Joseph, Missouri
  • Plymat, William—Correspondence from Mrs. Truman, 1945-1946 [MHDC 646, donated by Mrs. Ruth Plymat]
  • Porter, David--Letter from Mrs. Truman, November 8, 1948 [donated by David Porter II]
  • Purcell, Dale—Letter from Mrs. Truman, April 11, 1974 [MHDC 428]
  • Resolutions of the Missouri House of Representatives and the Jackson County Legislature Honoring Mrs. Truman on Her Ninety-Fifth Birthday, February 13, 1980 [GHDC 192]
  • Riggle, Dorothy—Correspondence from Mrs. Truman and Others, 1969-1974 [MHDC 759]
  • Schulenberg, Francise—Letter from Mrs. Truman [MHDC 888, donated by John Maybrier, Sr.]
  • Siegfried, Mrs. Mack—Correspondence from Mrs. Truman, 1945 [MHDC 392]
  • Silver, Ida—Correspondence from Mrs. Truman and Margaret Truman [donated by Bob Silver]
  • Souter, Mrs. Helen—Correspondence and Press Clippings Concerning Mrs. Truman [MHDC 572, donated by the National Park Service]
  • Sproul, Mrs. Robert G.—Letter from Mrs. Truman, Postmarked June 22, 1948
  • Tindall, Robert—Letter from Mrs. Truman [MHDC 543, donated by Jeff Ray]
  • Winkler, Mrs. Lewis—Correspondence from Mrs. Truman, 1947-1948 [donated by Sara Winkler Botts]
  • World War I—Note from Bess Wallace to Harry Truman, Accompanying Her Portrait [MHDC 437]

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