Louis C. Cramton Papers: circa 1865-1966 (bulk 1916-1965)
Summary Information
Title: Louis C. Cramton Papers
Creator: Cramton, Louis C. (Louis Convers), 1875-
Dates: circa 1865-1966 (Majority of material found within 1916-1965)
Extent: 8 linear feet, 2 oversize volumes, 1 oversize folder
Abstract:
State Representative from Lapeer, Michigan; U.S. Congressman, 1913-1931, and special attorney to the Secretary of the Interior, 1931-1932; correspondence, speeches, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, photographs, campaign materials, and other items relating to his advocacy of the national park system, the concept of historic preservation, fair employment practices legislation, increased support for Howard University and all other aspects of his career.
Call number: 851130 Aa 2 AC UAm
Language: The materials are in English.
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid prepared by: William H. McNitt and Matthew T. Schaefer

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection was the gift of Louis C. Cramton (donor no. 1677) and his son Louis K. Cramton (Donor no. 5121). The collection came in multiple accession, 1948-1950 and 1970-1971 and 1987.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.

Copyright:

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

item, folder title, box no., Louis C. Cramton Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Biography

Louis Convers Cramton was born in Hadley township, Lapeer County, Michigan, on December 2, 1875. He graduated from the University of Michigan Law Department in 1899, was admitted to the bar, and then began practice in Lapeer at that time. After short stints as a newspaper publisher and secretary to the Michigan Railroad Commission, Cramton embarked on a career of public political service that was both diverse and enduring. He served as a member of the State House of Representatives in 1909 and 1910; was a Republican member of Congress from 1913 to 1931; special attorney to the Secretary of the Interior in 1931 and 1932; circuit judge of Michigan's fortieth circuit court from 1934 through 1941; was elected to the State house of representatives again in 1948 and served until his retirement at the end of 1960. Throughout his public career, Cramton distinguished himself as able legislator, jurist, and lawyer. He was a staunch advocate of the maintenance of the National Park system and of historic preservation of landmarks and buildings. He also championed increased opportunity for the disadvantaged; witness Cramton's legislative efforts to improve the health, education, and industrial development of American Indians, his patronage of Howard University, and his work on the fair employment-practices law in Michigan. Cramton died in Saginaw, Michigan, June 23, 1966.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Louis C. Cramton papers came to the Bentley Historical Library in three separate accessions (1948-1950; 1971; 1987). The collection has been arranged into six series: Correspondence, Miscellaneous Papers, Topical Files, Newspaper clippings/Scrapbooks, Photographs, and Louis Kay Cramton Papers.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.


  • Conservation of natural resources -- United States.
  • Discrimination in employment -- United States.
  • Elections -- Michigan -- 1920.
  • Elections -- Michigan -- 1940.
  • United States -- Emigration and immigration.
  • Historic buildings -- United States.
  • Immigrants -- United States.
  • Indians of North America.
  • Isle Royale National Park (Mich.)
  • Lapeer (Mich.)
  • Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1899-1916.
  • Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1917-1921.
  • Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1922-1928.
  • Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1929-1938.
  • Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1939-1945.
  • Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1946-1960.
  • Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 1940.
  • Public lands -- United States.
  • Temperance -- United States.
  • Women -- Suffrage -- United States.
  • World War, 1914-1918.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1901-1953.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1953-1961.
  • Baseball.
  • Buildings -- Michigan -- Kingston.
  • Buildings -- Michigan -- Lapeer.
  • Buildings -- Michigan -- West Branch.
  • Conservation of natural resources -- United States.
  • Courthouses.
  • Hotels and taverns.
  • Kingston (Mich.) -- Buildings.
  • Lapeer (Mich.)
  • Lapeer (Mich.) -- Buildings.
  • Lumber industry.
  • National parks and reserves.
  • Offices.
  • Upper Peninsula (Mich.)
  • West Branch (Mich.) -- Buildings.
  • Photographs.
  • Scrapbooks.
  • Cramton, Louis C. (Louis Convers), 1875-
  • Debs, Eugene V. (Eugene Victor), 1855-1926.
  • Henry Ford Peace Expedition (1915-1916)
  • Howard University.
  • Indian Rights Association.
  • Michigan. Fair Employment Practices Commission.
  • Michigan. Legislature.
  • Navy League of the United States.
  • People's Lobby.
  • Republican Party (Mich.)
  • United States. Congress -- Elections, 1920.
  • United States. Congress. House.
  • United States. Dept. of the Interior.
  • United States. National Park Service.
  • Cramton, Louis C. (Louis Convers), 1875-
  • Knights of Pythias -- Michigan -- Lapeer.
  • Michigan. Legislature.
  • United States. Congress. House.
  • Albright, Horace M. (Horace Marden), 1890-1987.
  • American Civic Association.
  • American Indian Defense Association.
  • Anti-Saloon League of America.
  • Burke, Charles Henry, 1861-1944.
  • Cannon, James, 1864-1944.
  • Catt, Carrie Chapman, 1859-1947.
  • Cramton, Louis Kay.
  • Cummins, Albert Baird, 1850-1926.
  • Emergency Peace Federation (U.S.)
  • Green, Fred W. (Fred Warren), 1872-1936.
  • Hannah, John A., 1902-1991.
  • Hayden, Carl Trumbull, 1877-1972.
  • Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964.
  • Johnson, Hiram, 1866-1945.
  • Johnson, Mordecai W. (Mordecai Wyatt), 1890-1976.
  • Marsh, Pliny W., 1876-
  • Mather, Stephen Tyng, 1867-1930.
  • Mellon, Andrew W. (Andrew William), 1855-1939.
  • Mitchell, William, 1879-1936.
  • Moore, Charles, 1855-1942.
  • National Security League.
  • Phelps, William Lyon, 1865-1943.
  • Pinchot, Amos Richards Eno, 1873-1944.
  • Pinchot, Gifford, 1865-1946.
  • Sigler, Kim, 1894-
  • Stone, Irving, 1903-1989.
  • Sullivan, Mark, 1874-1952.
  • Vandenberg, Arthur H. (Arthur Hendrick), 1884-1951.
  • West, Roy Owen, 1868-1958.
  • Wheeler, Wayne Bidwell, 1869-1927.
  • Wilbur, Ray L. (Ray Lyman), 1875-1949.
  • Williams, G. Mennen, 1911-1988.
  • Wirth, Conrad Louis, 1899-1993.
  • Work, Hubert, 1860-1942.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
 
Correspondence 1896-1966 [series]

The Correspondence series is divided into three subseries. The first subseries, dated 1896-1966, also the first to be processed, is heavily weighted toward the period when Cramton was a member of Congress and in the period when he served in the Interior Department, roughly from the mid-1920s to 1933. There is a partial index to correspondents appended to this finding aid for the materials in this first portion of the collection. Cramton corresponded with a wide range of important public figures and notable organizations, such as the American Indian Defense Association, the Anti-Saloon League of America, Hiram Johnson, Mordecai Johnson, Michigan governors Kim Sigler and G. Mennen Williams, U.S. Senator Arthur Vandenberg, and conservationist Gifford Pinchot. This first subseries, though largely correspondence, also includes a scattering of other materials such as memoranda and speeches. The second subseries, though it covers much the same period as the first, 1920-1966, was received following Cramton's death, and includes more personal materials, such as letters of appreciation and letters that Cramton chose not to donate when he was alive. The last subseries consists of letters that Cramton exchanged with members of his family, mainly with his son Louis Kay Cramton, with whom he had a close relationship.

 
Mainly Congressional and Interior Department activities [subseries]
Box   1  
Undated, 1896-1928 (41 folders)
Box   2  
1929-1932 (38 folders)
Box   3  
1933-1966 (16 folders)
 
Miscellaneous and personal [subseries]
Box   3  
1920-1966 (15 folders)
 
Family letters (mainly with son Louis Kay Cramton [subseries]
Box   3  
Undated, 1930-1959 (5 folders)
Box   4  
1960-1966 (2 folders)
 
Miscellaneous Papers 1893-1966 [series]

Miscellaneous is the arbitrary designation given to groupings of files that Cramton and his son donated to the library. The largest is a chronological run of papers - memoranda, reports, etc. - received by Cramton during the period when he served in the Congress, with the Interior Department, and with the Michigan legislature. This subseries dates from 1893 to 1966. Smaller subseries include bills introduced by Cramton while serving with the state and federal governments, remarks of his from the Congressional Record, campaign materials, genealogical materials, and a collection of the articles, speeches, and other writings made by Cramton during the course of his career.

 
Chronological files [subseries]
Box   4  
Undated, 1893-1930 (26 folders)
Box   5  
1931-1966 (16 folders)
 
Bills files [subseries]
 
Introduced in the Michigan Legislature
Box   5  
1909
Box   5  
1949-1951
Box   5  
1952-1959
 
Introduced in the U.S. House of Representative
Box   5  
Undated, 1906-1933 (3 folders)
 
Remarks from Congressional Record [subseries]
Box   5  
1915-1937 (2 folders)
Box   5  
1950-1966

(about Cramton or issues in which he was interested)

 
Campaign Materials [subseries]
Box   5  
1908-1916
Box   5  
1918-1941
Box   5  
1948-1958
 
Miscellaneous [subseries]
Box   5  
Tribute to Cramton by the City of Lapeer 1960
Box   5  
Diary of a trip to Panama and Puerto Rico undated
Box   5  
Travel logs 1918 (2 volumes (in 1 folder; bound manuscripts))
 
Genealogy [subseries]
Box   6  
General circa 1930-1960 (2 folders)
Box   6  
Documents 1747-1918
Box   6  
Families circa 1900-1960 (23 folders)
 
Writings, Articles, Reminiscences, and Speeches 1897-1962 [subseries]
 
Articles 1930-1962
Box   6  
"The 49'ers in Reorganization," Undated
Box   6  
"The Home Department," undated
Box   6  
"Legislation," undated
Box   6  
"Lunch with the Prince Regent of Serbia and Premier of Greece," 1938-1962
Box   6  
"When Jeff Davis Reorganized," 1930-1933
Box   6  
Days of Yore 1943-1948
Box   6  
Miscellaneous and Notes, no date
Box   6  
Reminiscences 1960
Box   6  
Speeches 1897-1966 (2 folders)
 
Topical Files [series]

The Topical Files series was received after Cramton's death, and although similar in content to papers to be found in the Miscellaneous chronological subseries, it has been kept separate. The series reflects his lifelong interests in the National Park system and Howard University.

Box   6  
Autobiographical Documents 1904-1963
Box   6  
Chesapeake Ohio Canal 1938-1961
Box   6  
Hoover Dam 1931-1935
Box   6  
Howard University 1930-1966
Box   6  
Lapeer County Historical Committee 1941-1942
Box   6  
Lapeer County Historical Documents 1850-1878

(include Lapeer Seminary documents)

Box   6  
National Parks 1929-1961
Box   6  
Port Huron Bridge 1953
Box   6  
Programs 1892-1965 (2 folders)
Box   6  
Prohibition 1909-1924
Box   6  
Property and Deeds 1937-1963
Box   6  
Rotary 1946-1950

(include photographs)

Box   6  
Washington Parkway 1930-1961
 
Newspaper clippings/Scrapbooks [series]

The Newspaper clippings/Scrapbooks series consists of clippings about Cramton, arranged chronologically, and two oversized scrapbooks, dated 1910-1912, pertaining to state politics and government.

 
Clippings by date [subseries]
Box   7  
Undated, 1903-1959 (31 folders)
Box   8  
1960-1966 (6 folders)
 
Scrapbooks [subseries]
Oversize Volume   1  
Scrapbook 1910-1911
Oversize Volume   2  
Scrapbook 1912
 
Photographs circa 1865-1966 [series]

The Photographs series consists of photographs and negatives dated from around 1865 to 1966. The bulk of the photographs depict Cramton in official capacities, but there are also photographs of Lapeer, Michigan which were collected by Cramton. Of special note are the photographs and negatives of Cramton's Western trips; they depict the National Park system in the 1920s and reveal his affection for America's natural splendor.

Box   8  
Formal Portraits 1893-1966
Box   8  
Informal Portraits 1896-1961
Box   8  
Family circa 1865-1920
Box   8  
Cramton at Award Ceremonies circa 1950-1965
Box   8  
Cramton as part of larger group 1913-1950

(also in outsize folder, UAm)

 
Career Photos 1895-1960

(also in outsize folder, UAm)

Box   8  
Education (Lapeer-UM Law School) 1896-1902
Box   8  
Michigan Railroad Commission 1907-1908
 
U.S. Congress 1919-1930
Box   8  
Trip to France 1919
Box   8  
Western trips 1920-1929 (3 folders)
Box   8  
Yosemite visit 1929
Box   8  
U.S. Department of Interior 1931-1933
Box   8  
Michigan Legislature 1948-1960
 
Collected Photos
Box   8  
Chemawa, Oregon Undated
Box   8  
Kingston, Michigan (railroad station) circa 1890
Box   8  
Lapeer Buildings and Organizations 1883-1910

(also in outsize folder, UAm)

Box   8  
Lumber camp circa 1885
Box   8  
West Branch hotel circa 1885
Box   8  
Album of views of Northern Michigan and Upper Peninsula
Box   8  
Unidentified and Miscellaneous
 
Negatives circa 1917-1930
Box   8  
Cramton Family (Washington, D.C. and camping) circa 1917-1925
Box   8  
Cramton trips West 1922-1930
Box   8  
Congressional trips 1918-1925
 
Numbered Negatives circa 1921-1929

(detailing Western National Parks)

Box   8  
93-163, Yosemite, San Francisco, Fairbanks, Mt. McKinley
Box   8  
164-242, Anchorage, Cordova Glacier, Juneau, Victoria, White Pass
Box   8  
243-327, Mt. Rainier, Yahima Indians, Zion
Box   8  
328-392, North Rim, Glendale, Bryce, Poison Spring, Dirty Devil Rock
Box   8  
397-449, Colorado River, Sun Temple, Mesa Verde
 
Louis Kay Cramton (son) Papers 1951-1967 [series]

The series titled Louis Kay Crampton (son of Louis C. Cramton) consists of a few folders of papers of Louis Kay Cramton mainly, about his father and his father's career. Letters of Louis Kay to Louis C. Cramton are located in the Correspondence series.

Box   8  
1951-1959
Box   8  
1960-1965
 
1966-1967
Additional Descriptive Data
Selective Index of Correspondents
Albright, Horace M. (Horace Marden), 1890-1987.
  • 1927-1933, June 24, 1958, Nov. 30, 1958, Feb. 6, 1959, Apr. 26, 1960, Aug. 10, 1960, Dec. 2, 1961, Feb. 22, 1962, Nov. 17, 1962, Aug. 15, 1964, June 23, 1966
American Civic Association.
  • Dec. 18 and 21, 1928, 1930, June 11, 1952, Apr. 9, 1953, June 29, 1955
American Indian Defense Association.
  • Mar. 30, 1926, Nov. 25, 1927, Dec. 13 and 20, 1927, Feb. 1928, Mar. 24, 1930, Jan. 23, 1931, Feb. 26, 1932
Anti-Saloon League of America.
  • Dec. 19, 1917, May 21, 1918, June 28, 1918, May 22, 1920, Dec. 15, 1923, Oct. 10, 1924, May 2 and 6, 1925, Oct. 12, 1925, Nov. 8, 1926, Mar. 23, 1927, June 4, 1927, July 6, 12 and 14, 1928, Jan. 28, 1929
Burke, Charles Henry, 1861-1944.
  • 1925, 1926, 1928, 1929, Sept. 23, 1930
Cannon, James, 1864-1944.
  • 1929
Catt, Carrie Chapman, 1859-1947.
  • Jan. 16, 1918
Cummins, Albert Baird, 1850-1926.
  • 1913
Emergency Peace Federation (U.S.)
  • 1917
Green, Fred Warren, 1872-1936.
  • 1927, Feb. 21, 1930, Oct. 13, 1930
Hannah, John Alfred, 1902-
  • 1955, May 17, 1956, Feb. 8, 1960
Hayden, Carl Trumbull, 1877-1972.
  • Oct. 30 and 31, 1925, Sept. 24, 1930, Mar. 28, 1953
Hoover, Herbert Clark, 1874-1964.
  • 1929, Feb. 1, 1935
Indian Rights Association.
  • Mar. 20, 1926, Jan. 11, 1929, May 13, 1930, Jan. 27, 1931
Johnson, Hiram Warren, 1866-1945.
  • 1920, Nov. 21, 1923, Dec. 15, 1923, Mar. 31, 1924, Aug. 8 and 9, 1930
Johnson, Mordecai Wyatt, 1890-
  • undated, Jan. 16, 1930, Oct. 9 and 17, 1930, May 11 and 26, 1931, Feb. 25, 1932, Feb. 17, 1954, May 31, 1955, July 1, 1955, Aug. 29, 1955, Feb. 21, 1958, Apr. 26, 1960, June 30, 1960, Nov. 25, 1960, Apr. 11, 1962, July 25, 1964, May 2, 14 and 20, 1965
Marsh, Pliny W., 1876-
  • Mar. 31, 1911, Apr. 7, 1911, July 7, 1919, 1924, May 26, 1949, 1951, Jan. 2, 1952, Apr. 16, 1960
Mather, Stephen Tyng, 1867-1930.
  • undated, July 8, 1925, Oct. 5, 1925, 1927-1929
Mellon, Andrew W. (Andrew William), 1855-1939.
  • May 15, 1924, Jan. 3, 1925, Feb. 6, 1925, Mar. 27, 1929, Apr. 17, 1929
Mitchell, William, 1879-1936.
  • Nov. 27, 1920, Dec. 1, 1920, Jan. 1925
Moore, Charles, 1855-1942.
  • 1929, Sept. 19, 1930
National Security League.
  • Oct. 2, 1915, Mar. 16 and 18, 1916
Phelps, William Lyon, 1865-1943.
  • 1930, Jan. 19 and 27, 1931
Pinchot, Amos Richards Eno, 1873-1944.
  • Feb. 13 and 15, 1917
Pinchot, Gifford, 1865-1946
  • Aug. 8 and 9, 1928, June 6, 1940
Sigler, Kim, b. 1894.
  • June 7, 1945, Mar. 7, 1946, Apr. 19, 1946, June 28, 1946, Sept. 23, 1948, Mar. 23, 1949, Oct. 21, 1949, Jan. 22, 1951, Feb. 11, 1951, May 14, 1951
Stone, Irving, 1903-
  • Sept. 11, 1944, Oct. 6, 1944
Sullivan, Mark, 1874-1952.
  • May 19 and 20, 1920
Vandenberg, Arthur H. (Arthur Hendrick), 1884-1951.
  • Mar. 23, 1920, Apr. 3, 1930, Dec. 4 and 6, 1930, 1931, Nov. 27, 1937, May 31, 1939, June 15 and 18, 1940, July 8, 1940, Jan. 23 and 26, 1943
West, Roy Owen, 1868-1958.
  • 1928, 1929, Sept. 21, 1930
Wheeler, Wayne Bidwell, 1869-1927.
  • June 28, 1918, May 22, 1920, Oct. 10, 1924, May 2 and 6, 1925, Oct. 12, 1925, Nov. 8, 1926, Mar. 23, 1927, June 4, 1927
Wilbur, Ray Lyman, 1875-1949.
  • 1929-1933, July 20, 1935
Williams, G. Mennen, 1911-
  • undated, June 8, 1949, Apr. 21, 1954, Nov. 6, 1954, June 16, 1955, Nov. 11, 1958, Apr. 19, 1960, Dec. 31, 1960
Wirth, Conrad Louis, 1899-
  • Dec. 19, 1951, Oct- 13, 1954, July 9, 1956, 1957, Feb. 5, 1958, June 24, 1958, Dec. 2, 1959, May 16, 1960, Nov 21, 1962
Work, Hubert, 1860-1942.
  • 1924, 1925, 1927, 1928
Selective Subject Index
Debs, Eugene Victor, 1855-1926
  • See letter to Irving Stone, September 11, 1944
Henry Ford Peace Expedition (1915-1916)
  • See letter dated December 1, 1915
Indians of North America
  • See correspondence with American Indian Defense Association and the Indian Rights Association, especially during the 1920s and 1930s
Isle Royale National Park
  • See correspondence, Feb. 1930 and Feb. 1931
Navy League of the United States
  • See correspondence, 1915-1916
People's Lobby
  • See letters of Feb. and April 1930
Temperance
  • See correspondence with the Anti-Saloon League of America and with Wayne B. Wheeler.