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Vance H. Trimble Collection

Manuscript Collection No.119
Overview | Biography | Scope and Content | Container List | Appendix


4.8 cu. ft. in 8 boxes. 1854-1988.

Provenance: The Ohio University Libraries received the Vance H. Trimble Collection as a gift from Mr. Trimble in December 1988. Seth Lerner accomplished preliminary processing in Spring and Summer 1990. Amy Borgstrom Somers further processed the collection in Spring 1992, and Katherine E. Absher completed the collection in Summer 1994.

Property Rights: The Ohio University Library owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Mr. Trimble reserves all copyright, either express or implied, to the typescript of the E. W. Scripps biography. The contents of the manuscript may be utilized for scholarly research and limited quotation provided full credit is given to the author. Consideration of all other copyrights is the responsibility of the researcher and publisher.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the Ohio University Library.

Photoduplication: Ohio University Libraries will entertain requests to photocopy reasonable amounts of material from the collection for the convenience of individual researchers.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection name and number, and Ohio University Library in all bibliographical references.

Related Materials: The Libraries have several cataloged copies of Mr. Trimble's biography, The Astonishing Mr. Scripps: The Turbulent Life of America's Penny Press Lord (Iowa State University Press, 1992), the E.W. Scripps Papers (MSS #117) and photocopied portions of the Ellen B. Scripps Diaries (MSS #143).

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Vance H. Trimble was born in Harrison, Arkansas in 1913 and grew up in Oklahoma. He began his journalism career as a 14 year old high school freshman as after-school cub reporter on the Okemah (Oklahoma) Daily Leader. While finishing high school in Wewoka, Oklahoma, he worked after school and summers for the Wewoka Times- Democrat as courthouse reporter, sports editor, and city editor. During the Depression he worked on a dozen Oklahoma dialies, including the Seminole Morning News, the Seminole Producer, the Maud Enterprise (as editor), Okmulgee Times, the Muskogee Phoenix, and the Tulsa Tribune, on the latter as financial editor. After working on the Beaumont (Texas) Enterprise and the Port Arthur (Texas) News, Trimble joined the Scripps Howard chain in 1939 as a copy editor on the Houston Press. Within six months he was promoted to city editor and in 1950, after two years in the Army in World War II, he was appointed managing editor of the Press. In 1955 he was transferred to the Scripps Howard Washington bureau as news editor. Here he undertook an investigation of nepotism and payroll abuses in Congress. His six-month series of stories triggered public indignation that prompted the Senate to open its payroll records for the first time in 34 years, and won for Trimble in 1960 a journalism "triple crown": the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting, the Sigma Delta Chi award for distinguished Washington correspondence, and the Raymond Clapper Award for the year's best Washington reporting. In 1963 he was appointed editor of the Kentucky Post in Covington, Kentucky, from which position he retired in 1979.

Besides The Astonishing Mr. Scripps: The Turbulent Life of America's Penny Press Lord (Ames, IA: Iowa University Press, 1992), his biography of E.W. Scripps, Trimble has recently published Heroes, Plain Folks, and Skunks: the Life and Times of Happy Chandler, with A. B. Happy Chandler (Chicago: Bonus Books, 1989); and Sam Walton: the Inside Story of America's Richest Man (New York: Penguin Books, 1990), a biography of the founder of the Wal- Mart stores. He is also the author of The Uncertain Miracle (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1974); Ronald Reagan, the Man from Main Street, USA (Cincinnati: Mosaic Press, 1980); the Scripps-Howard Handbook, 3rd. rev. ed., (Cincinnati: E.W. Scripps Co., 1981) and Faith in My Star: A Selection of His Own Words That Showcases the Vision and Vitality of E.W. Scripps (Cincinnati: E.W. Scripps Co., 1990).

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The Vance Trimble Collection contains materials related to Trimble's biography of E.W. Scripps, the journalistic pioneer who founded the Scripps Howard newspaper chain. The collection is arranged in two series, both of which relate to the biography.

The first series consists of "Original Materials Generated in the Preparation of the Scripps Biography." Boxes 1 and 2 of this series contain the original manuscript of Trimble's book, originally entitled Scripps: An Astonishing Life! The manuscript has forty-two chapters with approximately 470,000 words. The published version was edited by some 40 per cent, resulting in a total of under 300,000 words.

Box 3 contains Trimble's typed research notes for the book, filed in chronological order for the period 1872-1926.

The second series, "Working Files and Collected Material," consists of primary and secondary materials related to the Scripps family and firm. Some of these materials are compiled in dated working files, which are stored in Boxes 4 and 5. The material here includes photocopied correspondence, diary entries, chronologies, and miscellaneous research notes which span the period from 1889- 1926. These are arranged chronologically.

Miscellaneous, undated primary and secondary material filed by topic are in Box 6 (primary materials) and Box 7 (secondary materials). This material includes books, reviews, clippings, correspondence, and third party remembrances. Most of this material is photocopied, but some items are in the original, including samples of EWS fiction. One highlight is the Time magazine cover story on Ellen B. Scripps, sister of E.W. Scripps, from February 1926.

Taken as a whole, the 8 boxes of primary and secondary source materials that make up the Vance H. Trimble Collection provide a great deal of detailed information about the Scripps family, the Scripps Howard newspaper chain, and the life of E. W. Scripps.

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