Arnell Engstrom papers: 1952-1970 (bulk 1960-1968)
Summary Information
Title: Arnell Engstrom papers
Creator: Engstrom, Arnell, 1897-1970
Inclusive dates: 1952-1970
Bulk dates: 1960-1968
Extent: 1.5 linear feet
Traverse City, Michigan, businessman, Republican state legislator and chairman of the appropriations committee of the Michigan house of representatives. Correspondence: legislative and campaign files, and files, including materials regarding his election campaigns; personal files; and photographs.
Call number: 851227 Aa 2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
Home Page:
Finding aid created by Thomas A. La Porte, June 1993

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The papers came to the library from the Engstrom estate through the Traverse City State Bank (Donor No. 5090) in 1971 and 1972.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open to 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:


Donor(s) have not transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Arnell Engstrom papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Arnell Engstrom was born June 6, 1897 at Traverse City, Michigan. A high school graduate, Engstrom married the former Mareda Heiges in 1919, with whom he had one son, Richard.

Engstrom was co-owner of the Engstrom-Hicks Insurance agency. In 1940 he was elected by the 104th Representative District (encompassing the counties of Benzie, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Wexford and parts of Kalkaska and Missaukee) to the Michigan House of Representatives, a post to which he was subsequently reelected fourteen times. At the time of his departure from the legislature in 1968 he was the longest serving legislator in the state.

Throughout his career in the House, Engstrom established himself as a prominent Republican and representative of northern lower Michigan. Sitting on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, a committee which he chaired for the last twelve years of his career, Engstrom became one of the more influential members of the House. In addition to his chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee, Engstrom served on several other committees, among them the Committee on Higher Education.

In addition to his career in the state legislature, Engstrom was actively involved in his Traverse City community. He served on the city's board of supervisors, the city commission and the local school board and was also a founding trustee of the Northwestern Michigan College. These activities were supplemented by his involvement with membership in the Congregational Church, as well as the local Elks, Masons and Kiwanis Clubs.

Engstrom was an active outdoorsman and conservationist who enjoyed both hunting and fishing. He usually joined several friends on a yearly hunting trip to Canada and in 1957 he traveled with a group to the African continent for a successful safari big game hunt.

Collection Scope and Content Note

Arnell Engstrom served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1940 to 1968. The Arnell Engstrom Papers, however, only document his activities from approximately 1955 through 1970, with the papers being strongest for the years 1960 to 1968.

The papers are divided into three series: Correspondence Files, Legislative Files, and a small Personal series. This arrangement is a combination of the original arrangement of the materials (the Correspondence Files and the Legislative Files) and an artificial arrangement of some materials that document Engstrom's personal activities.

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.

  • Legislators -- Michigan.
  • Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1946-1960.
  • Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1961-1970.
  • Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1951-
  • Traverse City (Mich.)
  • Photographs.
  • Engstrom, Arnell, 1897-1970.
  • Michigan. Legislature.
  • Republican Party (Mich.)
  • Engstrom, Arnell, 1897-1970.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Correspondence Files [series]

The Correspondence Files are arranged alphabetically. Some papers are arranged according to the sender, some according to the receiver, some by the subject and some by the sending or receiving agency. Therefore if a researcher is looking for correspondence between Engstrom and a given individual, it may be necessary to look in several places. For example, letters to and from Charles Anspach, president of Central Michigan University can be found filed under both 'A' for Anspach and 'C' for Central Michigan. In addition, although this is a correspondence series, certain non-correspondence material may be found among the papers.

Box   1  
[A-Z] 1955-1970 (24 folders)

(includes individual file folder for Philip A. Hart)

Legislative Files 1955-1970 [series]

The Legislative Files are arranged alphabetically by topical. Included here is a short subseries of legislative materials arranged alphabetically by correspondent. Some of these materials are identical in nature to those found in the Correspondence Files, yet this arrangement seems to reflect the original arrangement of the materials.

Topical file
Box   1  
Audit and Appropriations
Box   1  
Committee on Higher Education (2 folders)
Box   1  
Elections 1952-1962
Box   1  
Election 1964 (4 folders)
Box   1  
Election 1966
Box   1  
Interlochen National Music Camp
Box   1  
Interstate Cooperation
Box   1  
Legislative information 1964
Box   1  
Legislative Service Bureau
Box   1  
Box   1  
Michigan Tourist Council
Box   1  
Retirement announcement
Box   1  
Sault Ste. Marie Armory
Box   1  
Seventy-first birthday announcement
Box   1  
Testimonial Dinner May 1, 1965
Box   2  
Alphabetical file (4 folders)
Personal [series]

The Personal series includes materials relating to Engstrom's involvement as a trustee of Northwestern Michigan College, as well as his 1957 African trip and a folder of personal studio portraits.

Northwestern Michigan College
Box   2  
Box   2  
Educational Fund, Inc.
Box   2  
Board of Trustees Minutes
Box   2  
African Trip
Box   2