Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Colgan and Bruner Families Papers

Dates: 1826-1983.

Relatives of the Truman family.

The papers of the Colgan and Bruner families include correspondence, financial records, legal documents, handwritten notes, newspaper clippings, and other documents mostly relating to the history of the Colgan family and the relationship by marriage between the Colgans and the family of Harry S. Truman. The collection contains letters written or received by Truman's aunt, Emily Truman Colgan; her husband, Rochester Campbell Colgan; their son, Murray Truman Colgan; and their granddaughter, Virginia Colgan Bruner. Also in the collection are newspaper clippings and other printed materials concerning President Truman.

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


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: Less than one linear foot (about 1,600 pages).
Access: Open.
Copyright: Mrs. Bruner has given to the U.S. government her copyright in all unpublished materials in this collection, and in any other collection of Colgan-Bruner papers in depositories administered by the U.S. government. Documents prepared by U.S. government officials in the course of their duties are also in the public domain. Copyright in other documents presumably belongs to the creators of those documents, or their heirs.
Processed by: Dennis Bilger (1984); Randy Sowell (2004); David Clark (2007).


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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1855 (July 25) Birth of Emily Ricks Truman (younger sister of John Anderson Truman, Harry S. Truman's father)
1875 (October 13) Marriage of Emily Ricks Truman to Rochester Campbell Colgan
1879 (September 9) Birth of Murray Truman Colgan, Harry Truman's cousin, son of Rochester and Emily Colgan
1881 (July 17) Birth of Myra Emily (Polly) Colgan, Harry Truman's cousin, daughter of Rochester and Emily Colgan
1882 Birth of Fred Rochester Colgan, Harry Truman's cousin, son of Rochester and Emily Colgan
1884 (May 8) Birth of Harry S. Truman
1885 (July 7) Birth of Mary Virgil Colgan, Harry Truman's cousin, daughter of Rochester and Emily Colgan
1905 Marriage of Murray Truman Colgan and Milbra Campbell
1906 (September 14) Birth of Rochester Campbell Colgan II, son of Murray and Milbra Colgan
1912 (July 16) Birth of Virginia Elizabeth Colgan, daughter of Murray and Milbra Colgan
1935 (June 8) Marriage of Virginia Elizabeth Colgan to Dr. Robert Earl Bruner (they would have three children: Murray Truman Bruner, Robert Earl Bruner, Jr., and Mary Ann Bruner)

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COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The papers of the Colgan and Bruner families include correspondence, financial records, legal documents, handwritten notes, and newspaper clippings providing genealogical information about the Colgan family and their relationship by marriage with the family of Harry S. Truman. As a young man, Truman was especially close to his Colgan cousins: Murray, Myra ("Polly"), Fred, and Mary, who were roughly the same age as Truman. The future President briefly lived with the Colgans while working in a Kansas City bank in 1905. In later years, he continued to correspond with his cousins and their children.

The collection is comprised of two series, a General File and a Harry S. Truman File. The General File contains documents dating back to 1826 that relate to the ancestors of Rochester Campbell Cogan, who married Harry Truman's aunt, Emily Ricks Truman, in 1875. Of particular interest are several letters to Colgan's mother describing conditions in the Kansas-Missouri border region during the Civil War, and documenting the raid on the region by Confederate forces under the command of General Sterling Price in late 1864. Also included in this series is a 1900 letter from William T. Truman (Emily's older brother) to his younger sister, Mary Martha Truman, containing references to Harry Truman and his parents. Other letters, financial records, and legal documents relate to the affairs of Rochester and Emily Colgan and their eldest son, Murray Truman Colgan. Virginia Colgan, Murray's daughter, married Dr. Robert E. Bruner in 1935, and the series includes some materials pertaining to their family. The General File also contains information about other prominent Missourians: the artist Thomas Hart Benton; Dr. John Sappington, who pioneered in the use of quinine as a treatment for malaria; and Sappington's great-great-great-granddaughter, the film star Ginger Rogers. The Sappingtons were distant relatives of the Colgans.

The Harry S. Truman File mostly consists of clippings of newspaper and magazine articles relating to Mr. Truman and his family, and programs for such special events as the 1949 Inauguration. The series also includes Truman correspondence with Dr. and Mrs. Bruner, dating from the 1930s to the 1970s. Most of this correspondence marks occasions such as birthdays and holidays, but a few letters refer to the prominent involvement of the Bruners in the Cerebral Palsy Foundation (two of their children suffered from the disease). A small accretion was added to the series in 2007, consisting of Truman correspondence with Mr. and Mrs Rochester C. Colgan II, Mrs. Roy D. (Myra Colgan) Hornbuckle, Benjamin F. Cook, and Murray Colgan. Much of the correspondence in the accretion relates to birthdays, holidays and the death of Harry S. Truman.

Related materials at the Truman Library include the papers of Roy Romine, which contain Truman's correspondence with his cousins Myra Colgan Hornbuckle and Mary Colgan Romine. Also of interest is the Library's oral history interview with Mary Ethel Noland, another Truman cousin who recalls the practical jokes Harry and the Colgans played on each other when they were young.

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SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos.Series
1-2GENERAL FILE, 1826-1977
Correspondence, financial records, handwritten notes, legal documents, newspaper clippings, and other items relating to the Colgan and Bruner families and their connection with Harry S. Truman. Arranged alphabetically by folder title.
2HARRY S. TRUMAN FILE, 1937-1983
Newspaper clippings, programs, correspondence, and other items documenting the life of President Truman and his association with Dr. and Mrs. Robert E. Bruner Mr. and Mrs. Rochester C. Colgan II and Mrs. Roy D. Hornbuckle. Arranged alphabetically by folder title, and thereunder chronologically.

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FOLDER TITLE LIST

Box 1
  • Account Books-R. C. Colgan, c. 1900
  • Account Books-Regarding Wages Paid, 1888
  • Addresses, List of-Colgan, Bruner, Ragland, Truman, and Wallace Families, Etc.
  • Announcements and Calling Cards
  • Benton, Thomas Hart [clippings, etc., 1930-1977]
  • Bible-List of Births, Marriages, and Deaths Taken from the Bible of Anderson Shipp Truman
  • Bruner-Commissioning of the U.S.S. Fulton, September 12, 1941
  • Bruner-Colgan Correspondence, 1948
  • Buying a Slave [or land]-Legal Paper, 1845
  • Campbell and Colgan Tax and Other Receipts, c. 1826-1877
  • Campbell, Hugh-Correspondence
  • Campbell, Miscellaneous-Correspondence, 1867, 1885, Undated
  • Civil War Letters to Elizabeth Colgan
  • Colgan, Elizabeth-Correspondence, 1864-1889
  • Colgan, Emily-Contracts, 1903
  • Colgan, E. R.-Correspondence
  • Colgan-Financial Statements (Bills), 1838-1901
  • Colgan, Fred-Correspondence with Murray Colgan, 1912
  • Colgan, Grandmother and Aunt Emma-Letters from Cammie Colgan, 1886
  • Colgan Insurance and Other Receipts
  • Colgan, Mattie-Class of 1890
  • Colgan, Murray-Correspondence, General, 1898-1902
  • Colgan, Murray-Correspondence with Milbra Campbell, 1904
  • Colgan, Murray-Correspondence with Nat Young, 1898-1899
  • Colgan, Murray-Letter to His Mother, 1901
  • Colgan, Murray-Manual Training High School, 1903, Etc.
  • Colgan, Murray-Pocket Memorandum, 1902
  • Colgan, Myra-Correspondence, 1903, 1905, Undated
  • Colgan, Rochester and E. R.-Agreements and Contracts, 1902-1903
  • Colgan, Rochester C.-Correspondence from School Land Department, Guthrie, Territory of Oklahoma, 1901
  • Colgan, Rochester C.-Deeds and Contracts, 1892-1897
  • Colgan, Rochester C.-Letter, 1877, Etc.
  • Colgan, Rochester C.-Letters from F. M. McGuire, 1870-1872, Etc.
  • Colgan, Thomas G., Inventory of the Estate of (Not Dated)
  • Colgan, Thomas G.-Land Grants, 1852
  • Colgan-Truman History-Letter, 1957
  • Colgan, William Henry-Pocket File, 1880
  • Colgan, William Henry to R. C. Colgan, 1893
  • Dairy, Country Club-Dr. R. E. Bruner, 1975
  • Johnson, R. E., from R. C. Colgan, 1901
  • Miscellaneous Material
  • Newspaper Clippings-Miscellaneous
  • Receipts-Dr. and Mrs. Robert E. Bruner, 1972-1975
  • Sappington-Correspondence Regarding Genealogical Records
  • Sappington-Data on Family History
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • Sappington, Dr. John-Articles and Newspaper Clippings Regarding, 1930-1967
Box 2
  • Sappington-Family History
  • Sappington-Genealogical Background Materials
  • Sappington-Harvey Sappington's Autograph Book, 1889
  • Truman, Mary Martha-Letter from W. T. Truman, 1900
  • Truman, Mattie [Mary Martha]-Letters from Ellen Noland and Others, 1900
  • Ararat Temple, Kansas City, Missouri-Ceremony, November 1, 1948, Program
  • Correspondence Between President and Mrs. Truman and Dr. and Mrs. Robert E. Bruner, c. 1937-1972
  • Correspondence Between President and Mrs. Truman and Mr. and Mrs. Rochester C. Colgan II, 1952-1979 [2007 Accretion]
  • Correspondence Between President and Mrs. Roy D. Hornbuckle, 1946-1961 [2007 Accretion]
  • Correspondence Between Senator Truman and Benjamin F. Cook, 1944 [2007 Accretion]
  • Correspondence Between Senator Truman and Murray Colgan, 1944 [2007 Accretion]
  • Cross Reference Sheet [for photo, and genealogical information]
  • Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation-Program
  • Newspaper Articles in Kansas City Star by Margaret Truman Daniel, December 1972
  • Newspaper Clippings Regarding Harry S. Truman-1940s
  • Newspaper Clippings Regarding Harry S. Truman-1950s
  • Newspaper Clippings Regarding Harry S. Truman-1960-1965
  • Newspaper Clippings Regarding Harry S. Truman-1966-1969
  • Newspaper Clippings Regarding Harry S. Truman-1970-1972
  • Newspaper Clippings Regarding Harry S. Truman-1973-1974
  • Newspaper Clippings Regarding Harry S. Truman-1974-1979
  • Newspaper Clippings Regarding Harry S. Truman-1980s
  • 1949 Inaugural Program
  • Saturday Evening Post, June 13, 1964, Featuring Article on Harry S. Truman
  • Tribute to Harry S. Truman by W. Stuart Symington [Truman Memorial Concert, 1974]
  • Whistle Stop-Harry S. Truman Library Institute
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