Theodore Dreiser/Paul Dresser Collection
Accession Number:  780810
Description:  Ten folders in a document case


Theodore Dreiser
was born at Terre Haute, Indiana in 1871. During a journalistic career that began about 1890, Dreiser worked on newspapers and magazines in New York and St. Louis.

After abandoning his newspaper career as "too brutal," Dreiser turned to "realistic" writing in which he depicted the inequality and corruption in the American social and business worlds. He became famous &emdash; and controversial &emdash; with his many volumes of work that included such novels as An American Tragedy and Sister Carrie along with plays and essays. All his writings reflect his obsession with the "brittle cruelty" of life.

Dreiser died at age 74 in Hollywood, California in 1945.

Paul Dresser was born at Terre Haute, Indiana in 1859. An older brother of Theodore Dreiser, early in life changed his family name to Dresser.

Actor and entertainer, Dresser became well known through his song, "On the Banks of the Wabash," which was adopted by the Indiana General Assembly as the State Song in 1913.

Another one of Dresser's most popular songs was "My Gal Sal." In all, he wrote 106 songs before he died in 1906 in New York at age 47.

In 1963 Dresser's birthplace in Terre Haute was moved to a new site overlooking the Wabash River, where it has been restored as a permanent memorial.

Content and Scope of Collection

There are no original documents or manuscripts in this collection. Mostly, the materials are newspaper clippings about the lives and works of the two brothers and about their family background.

There are also a few pictures, a tape recording and miscellaneous pieces of correspondence relating to questions asked by researchers about the brothers. One folder contains the newspaper record of the establishment of the Dresser Memorial.

Document Case






Folder 1


Chronology of Dreiser family






Correspondence about family
  background, dates, etc.

Newspaper clippings about the brothers





Folder 2

Clippings: reviews of some works;
articles about his life and death





Folder 3

Miscellaneous pieces:  about his life,
work and play "The Hand of the Potter"





Envelope 1

Reprint of "Life, Art and America,"
by Theodore Dreiser, The Seven Arts





Envelope 2

Picture of Dreiser, from The Los Angeles Times





Folder 4

Centennial Festival - ISU





Folder 5

Miscellaneous materials





Folder 6

Pamphlet - "Life of Paul Dresser,"
by Max Ehrmann





Folder 7

Correspondence about Dresser





Folder 8

Dresser Home





Envelope 3

Photographs:  Dresser's birthplace;
memorial marker





Folder 9


Tape &emdash; "On the Banks of the Wabash"






Folder 10


Sheet Music:

1. "In Dear Old Illinois"
     "The Voice of the Hudson"
     "The Boys Are Coming Home Today"

2. "On the Banks of Wabash, Far Away"